The Lobby

NGKF Beefs Up Retail Brokerage with Seven Hires

NGKF logo

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank has added seven experienced retail brokers from prominent brokerages to its ranks over the past two months, Commercial Observer has learned.

Veteran dealmakers Thomas Citron of Cushman & Wakefield, Matthew Krell of CBRE and Howard Gilbert of RKF headline the migration to NGKF as the firm continues its global growth following its 2011 purchase by BGC Partners. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Koll Scores $158M to Refi Orange County, Calif. Office/ Industrial Park

Airport Business Center

CBRE Capital Markets sourced $158 million from Brookfield Asset Management to refinance the Airport Business Center, an office/ industrial park in Irvine, Calif., Mortgage Observer has exclusively learned.

Brookfield originated the five-year, fixed-rate, full-term interest-only loan, which carries an “all-in interest rate in the low 5 percent range,” according to a representative for CBRE. A Brookfield representative did not respond to a request for comment. Read More


Brokers Divulge Westfield WTC Retail Details

WTC hub

Despite the fact that World Trade Center retail developer Westfield Group has yet to announce any tenants for the retail component in the Santiago Calatrava-designed Oculus transportation hub at the WTC site, the hub will open fully leased next year, a trio of CBRE retail brokers predicted earlier this week.

The global shopping center company that bought the eventual 440,000 square feet of retail space planned for the transit hub and towers 2,3 and 4 from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey for $1.4 billion is looking for tenants who can offer omni-channel retailing, the new trend in which stores offer customers the ability to purchase products through a variety of mediums and devices, as well as a unique customer experience, the brokers said at a briefing for the media at CBRE’s Midtown offices. Read More

Lease Beat

City Agency, Office Space Provider Ink Forest Hills Leases

Forest Hills Tower

The New York City Board of Elections and office suite provider Regus signed respective leases totaling almost 50,000 square feet at Muss Development’s Forest Hills Tower at 118-35 Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, Queens, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

The city agency will move into a 36,103-square-foot space on three different floors of the 17-story building by the fourth quarter of 2015 and the real and virtual office space finders will occupy 13,317 square feet on the fourth floor of the 1981 structure with asking rents in the high $30s, Jason Muss, a Muss principal, told Commercial Observer. Read More

Market Reports

First Three Quarters Outpace Entire Previous Year in Midtown South

Midtown South Map

Office leasing activity this year in the tight Midtown South market has already bested last year’s total by more than 2 million square feet, according to a new quarterly report released this morning by CBRE.

Transactions like Google’s 178,065-square-foot lease at 85 10th Avenue, Yelp’s 152,232-square-foot deal at 11 Madison Avenue and Squarespace’s 93,517-square-foot lease at 225 Varick Street have netted a year-to-date total of 5.16 million square feet for 2014 after last year’s leasing totaled only 3.06 million square feet in the market composed of six neighborhoods bounded by Chelsea and Madison Square on the north and Soho and Hudson Square on the south, the report says. Read More

Lease Beat

CBS Signs for Space at Worldwide Plaza

Worldwide Plaza

CBS TV will consolidate several current locations for the famous network’s East Coast distribution offices during the first quarter of 2015 through a 12-year, 32,598-square-foot lease for the entire 30th floor at 1 Worldwide Plaza in Midtown, Commercial Observer has learned.

The network joins a growing list of media tenants at the 1.8-million-square-foot building in the mixed-use complex owned by a partnership between George Comfort & SonsRCG Longview, DRA Advisors and New York REIT, said Peter S. Duncan, the chief executive officer of George Comfort & Sons and the head of the investment group. Read More

Lease Beat

Media Software Company To Open First NYC Office

292 Madison Avenue.

Media software platform ZEFR will open its first New York City office in Midtown East through a seven-year, 4,717-square-foot lease for a 15th floor office that includes a 3,600-square-foot wraparound terrace at Marciano Investment Group‘s 292 Madison AvenueCommercial Observer has learned.

The Venice, Calif.-based software providers that boast clients like YouTube, Saturday Night Live and Adidas will occupy a full floor in a pre-built space designed by architects from the Mufson Partnership with asking rents of $65 per square foot in the building on the corner of East 41st Street that already houses tech tenants like Raptor Trading, Exponential Interactive and Qliktech, said Harry F. Blair, an executive director at Cushman & Wakefield. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Westchester Developer Receives $58M Loan for First Manhattan Buy [Updated]

240 West 35th Street.

Westchester landlord Robert Weisz of RPW Group received a $58 million acquisition loan for the purchase of a 162,000-square-foot office building at 240 West 35th StreetMortgage Observer can exclusively report.

The five-year acquisition loan from The Union Labor Life Insurance Company on behalf of its Separate Accounts closed on Tuesday night, a person familiar with the transaction said on background. The unwieldy name refers to Ullico’s real estate investment group. Read More

Mortgage Observer

99 Wall Goes Condo With $52M From Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers

99 Wall Street

The Claremont Group will turn FiDi office building 99 Wall Street into residential condominiums with $52.4 million from Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, Mortgage Observer has learned. Cornerstone, a subsidiary of Massachusetts Mutual Life Company, provided a Libor-based, floating-rate loan with an interest rate “in the low-middle single digits,” according to a representative for CBRE, which brokered the loan. The three-year loan funds the difference between the value of the building and the cost of construction and is non-recourse, the representative said. Read More

Charitable Causes

CBRE Ultramarathoner to Run for Cancer Research

Eric Gelber

CBRE Senior Vice President Eric Gelber will loop Central Park 33 times to run 200 miles and raise $200,000 for research on an incurable blood cancer on Sept. 19-21.

The run to generate resources for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation by the 47-year-old retail services broker represents his latest annual athletic feat in support of a cause with a personal connection to him and his wife Tani. Read More

Market Reports

CBRE Report: East of Broadway a Value Play Downtown

Click to Enlarge: East of Broadway has more inventory than West of the thoroughfare. (CBRE)

Analysts at CBRE found that one of New York City’s most famous corridors divides the hot downtown commercial market between one area with more inventory and another with higher asking rents, according to a report the company will release later today.

While buildings east of Broadway made deals for 1.75 million square feet of leasing activity in the year to date to nearly match the 1.76 million square feet of leasing activity west of the corridor, properties west of Broadway carried average asking rents of $58.14 per square foot to the east of Broadway average of $43.03 per square foot, figures from the report show. Read More

Lease Beat

French Bus Tour Company Opens in Midtown

785 8th Avenue.

RDSL Urban LLC, a subsidiary bus tour company of RATP, the French national public transportation authority, has opened a 2,800-square-foot storefront and basement location down the block from other bus tour company competitors for its first business venture in the city at 785 Eighth AvenueCommercial Observer has learned.

CBRE brokers Snezana Anderson, Bernhard Weinstabel, Annette Healy and Alden Alexander negotiated the 10-year lease for the Open Tour company in Icon Realty Management‘s teeming tourist location, Ms. Anderson said. Read More

Lease Beat

German Tourist Agency Renews in Midtown East

122 East 42nd Street

The German National Tourist Office signed a seven-year, 5,000-square-foot renewal for the 20th floor at the Stahl Organization‘s art deco Chanin Building at 122 East 42nd StreetCommercial Observer has learned.

The building with asking rents ranging from the mid $50s per square foot to the upper $60s per square foot will remain the home of the tourism board that markets Germany to prospective tourists in its fourth renewal at the landmarked 1929 office building. Read More