On the Market

Howard Hughes to Market 80 South Street

80 South Street (image: GoogleMaps).

The Howard Hughes Corporation, the real estate development company behind the South Street Seaport’s revitalization, has completed a site assemblage for 80 South Street, Commercial Observer has learned.

According to a spokeswoman for the company, Howard Hughes is marketing for sale or joint venture its interest in 80 South Street, the 8,128-square-foot site that sits on the corner of Fletcher Street by the East River. Last January, Real Estate Weekly reported that Howard Hughes paid $100 million for the site. Read More


Connecticut Mall Receives $15M Permanent Loan

Playhouse Square

Connecticut landlord and developer HB Nitkin Group nabbed $15 million in permanent financing on their retail center Playhouse Square, according to CBRE, which brokered the loan.

The 10-year loan with a rate of 4 percent has an LTV of 75 percent. The fixed-rate loan from New Canaan, Conn.-based Bankwell Bank has “flexible prepayment terms and a 30-year amortization schedule,” said a representative for CBRE. Read More

Lease Beat

Bank of China Taking Less Space in Its Tower

7 Bryant Park.

Bank of China will take up nearly half of its 30-story, 7 Bryant Park, a move from original plans to take the whole building, The New York Post reported.

The bank will occupy 40 percent of the 471,000-square-foot tower, which it bought late last year $600 billion, according to The Post. About 282,600 square feet of the building, which is between West 39th and West 40th Streets, will be leased out. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Morgan Stanley Refis Midtown Office Building

33 West 46th Street

Morgan Stanley provided a $19.5 million loan to refinance 33 West 46th Street, a Midtown Manhattan office building, according to CBRE, the broker on the deal.

The 38,259-square-foot, 1915 loft office building in Manhattan was sold to an LLC associated with the government of Argentina in 2009 for $11 million, according to city records and a source with knowledge of that deal. CBRE declined to comment on the ownership.  Read More

Power Player

CBRE’s Sacha Zarba: the Go-To Guy for NYC’s Hippest Tech Tenants

Sacha Zarba of CBRE (image: Arman Dzidzovic)

Sacha Zarba knows what tech tenants want.

“Typically, they prefer older building stock,” said the executive vice president at CBRE. “They prefer pre-war, high ceilings, that brick and timber feel, exposed brick, lots of wood. They’re looking for buildings and neighborhoods where their workforce can feel at home. Access to amenities, nightlife, bars, restaurants. They [also] want to be close to where the leading technology firms are, so that they can [capitalize] on that creative vibe,” he said. Read More

Lease Beat

The Marshall Project Doubles Its Office Size

The Marshall Project expects to relocate to the CitySpire Center in Midtown next month.

The Marshall Project, the nonpartisan news organization focused on covering the country’s criminal justice system, has doubled the size of its office to 8,000 square feet at the CitySpire Center in Midtown.

According to CBRE, the Marshall Project has signed a five-year lease for part of the seventh floor at Tishman Speyer’s 156 West 56th Street between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue. The organization is expected to move into its new space next month from 250 West 57th Street, only blocks away from the CitySpire Center, where it now occupies roughly 4,000 square feet. Read More

Lease Beat

Capital One Teams Up With Food Retailer in Union Square

Rendering of 853 Broadway.

The Feil Organization inked a new 10-year lease with Capital One for 15,000 square feet of retail space across three floors of 841-853 Broadway in Union Square, a person familiar with the matter told Commercial Observer.

The bank teamed up with an undisclosed food retailer to roll out “a new store within a store concept” at the roughly 260,000-square-foot property, that person said on the condition of anonymity. Read More

Lease Beat

Old NYT Building Fills 27,000 More Square Feet With Fashion Trend Forecaster

229 West 43rd Street.

The property at 229 West 43rd Street, formerly known as The New York Times Building, has a new tenant. WGSN leased 27,000 square feet at the building between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, as reported by the New York Post. The fashion trend forecasting service is taking a pre-built space on the seventh floor of the 16-story, 767,000-square-foot building. It will share the floor with PubMatic, a tech company that signed a lease for 18,911 square feet last fall, as reported by Commercial Observer. Read More

Lease Beat

Bank Leumi Signs 58,548-SF Lease at 350 Madison

350 Madison Avenue

Bank Leumi USA, the largest subsidiary of Israeli bank The Leumi Group, signed a long-term lease earlier this month for 58,548 square feet at 350 Madison Avenue as The New York Post reported. Asking rents in the building range from $60 per square foot  in the base to $85 per square foot  in the penthouse.

Occupying the entirety of floors three, four and six, the Israel-based financial services firm will be the building’s largest tenant. Read More

The Lobby

CBRE Brings on Jeff Fischer as a First Vice President in Manhattan Office

Jeff Fischer.

Jeff Fischer, a rising star in the leasing brokerage sphere, has been named a first vice president by CBRE. Formerly a senior vice president at commercial real estate firm JLL, Mr. Fischer specializes in advising tenants on renewing leases, finding new office space and restructuring terms and was featured on Commercial Observer’s “30 Under 30” list in 2012. Upon his 2012 appointment to vice president, Mr. Fischer was JLL’s youngest broker in the tristate region to hold that title. Read More


CBRE’s Mary Ann Tighe Has Revitalized NYC One Lease at a Time


Almost every visitor who steps foot in New York City is familiar with the handiwork of Mary Ann Tighe, whether they know it or not. When the tri-state chief executive officer of CBRE started in real estate, Times Square was a dumping ground for the dregs of the city—but it looked very different when she was through. She was the one developer Larry Silverstein turned to when he needed to lease up his little Downtown project, the World Trade Center. And if you look at her roster of real estate clients—Coach, The New York Times Company, News Corp., the Archdiocese of New York—they’re the most serious companies and brands in the world.

Aside from being one of the greatest dealmakers in New York real estate, Ms. Tighe has the distinction of being one of the most sophisticated bigwigs in her industry; when she was still in her 20s, she was a staff member for the Smithsonian and an arts adviser to Vice President Walter Mondale.

Commercial Observer spoke to Ms. Tighe in her office at the MetLife Building about the de Blasio administration, the World Trade Center and her days working in the White House. Read More

The Sit-Down

CBRE’s Stephen Siegel on the World Trade Center, Working With His Kids and Sarabeth’s

Steven Siegel. (Sasha Maslov)

Last September, Stephen Siegel co-represented Hudson’s Bay Company, parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue, in its plans to consolidate its New York City offices and relocate to 410,000 square feet at Brookfield Place. The transaction included additional space at 225 Liberty Street and 250 Vesey Street. That was the ninth largest lease signed in all of 2014.

Mr. Siegel is no stranger to big deals as the chairman of global brokerage at CBRE, where he has worked since the firm acquired Insignia Financial Group in 2003. Prior to the merger, Mr. Siegel was the president of Insignia Financial Group and the chairman and chief executive officer of Insignia/ESG, the latter of which was the commercial real estate division of Insignia Financial Group. (Insignia Financial Group acquired Edward S. Gordon Company, or ESG, then New York’s largest commercial real estate company, in 1996.) Read More

Mortgage Observer

Retail Lending Surges As Investors Hunt Yield: CBRE

Lender Market Share (CBRE)

Lending on retail properties in the U.S. skyrocketed in the first three quarters of 2014, up more than 50 percent from the same period the year before, a new report from CBRE provided exclusively to Mortgage Observer shows.

Driving the trend was the appetite for yield, as low interest and cap rates drove the expedient investor away from the tried and true multifamily sector and into the arms of retail. Read More

Market Reports

CBRE’s Q4 2014 Report Reaffirms Downtown’s Strength

CBRE Group today released its fourth-quarter 2014 statistics that included figures on the full-year 2014 Manhattan market, confirming what many in the New York real estate space had already known: Downtown’s resurgence is continuing unabated.

The report, issued at the company’s quarterly media breakfast at its 200 Park Avenue New York headquarters, shows that average asking rents Downtown reached an all-time high, with an average asking rent of $51.97 per square foot, a $5.50 increase from 2013. Read More