Brooklyn Issue

City Point of No Return


Though controversy has surrounded the City Point development in Brooklyn since its inception, the development’s first residential tower is rising under the radar as the tussles subside, at least temporarily, and the commercial real estate industry readies for a major boost for the Downtown Brooklyn area. 

The residential portion of the project’s second phase has risen Read More

Mortgage Observer

Development Projects Abound, But Boroughs Still Under-Retailed

Throggs Neck Shopping Center.

New York City is the number one retail location in the world. Retailers from around the world flock to open flagship stores throughout the Big Apple. Apple’s store on Fifth Avenue, with its familiar cube, has the highest revenue of all Apple stores. Then there are the flagships of Uniqlo, Zara, Tiffany & Co., Bergdorf Goodman and a cast of others. Nevertheless, when you ask prominent owners of commercial real estate as well as local and national retailers, the general consensus is that the outer boroughs of New York City are severely under-retailed.

Eastern Consolidated’s Barbara Byrne Denham reported in May 2012 that retail sales per capita ratios for the outer boroughs were far below the national average. Brooklyn was 39 percent below, Queens was 40 percent below and the Bronx came in a whopping 60 percent below. Read More


Gary LaBarbara of Building Trades Thrashes City Point Developers as Community Groups Rally for Changes

A peak atop the Armani Exchange at City Point

Gary LaBarbara has an axe to grind with developers at City Point before they dig any deeper into Downtown Brooklyn.

In a move that could exacerbate friction that’s already occurring at the community level, the president of the Building & Construction Trades Council of New York thrashed the builders of the development project, claiming that they are “failing” to meet the needs of the community by instead catering to private interests.

“City Point is receiving vast amounts of public subsidies ranging from tax exempt bond financing to property tax abatements,” Mr. LaBarbera wrote in an op-ed that appeared in Real Estate Weekly yesterday.  “But on a score central to responsible economic development for everyday New Yorkers — creating good jobs that strengthen local communities — City Point is failing.” Read More


Fulton Maul: Culture Clash Ensues in Downtown Brooklyn

Armani Exchange at the City Point Development

With the long-awaited Barclays Center open and new residential and mixed-use development projects popping up across Downtown Brooklyn, a retail conundrum is growing along the 17-block Fulton Mall.

The national and in some cases high-end retailers moving onto the strip paint a stark contrast to the long list of mom-and-pops, local discounters and jewelry shops that once almost exclusively lined the street. Read More

Sales Beat

Manny Malekan Makes Manhattan Return Buying Five Buildings

Eddy Gindi, an executive at Century 21

Real estate investor Manny Malekan is in contract to purchase five buildings being sold by the Gindi family, owners of the popular Century 21 department store chain, who are in the process of selling off a portfolio of New York City real estate assets.

Mr. Malekan will acquire 20 John Street, 8-10 Liberty Street, 20 Beaver Street, and both 53 and 122 Nassau Street for an undisclosed sum. All of the properties are located in Lower Manhattan and have ground-floor retail space and rental apartments above. Read More


Six Degrees of Waterfall Asset Mgmt.


Earlier this month, Waterfall Asset Management, a specialist manager of high-yield asset-backed securities, announced its acquisition of Coldwell Banker Commercial Hunter Realty, an independently owned and operated affiliate of Coldwell Banker Commercial, which itself is a franchise system owned by Realogy, the parent company behind Sotheby’s International, the Corcoran Group and Century 21, to name only a few of the dozen or more entities the corporation controls. Confused? So was The Commercial Observer, which is why we took it upon ourselves last week to untangle the many entities now intertwined with Coldwell Banker Commercial Hunter Realty—which, just to add another level of complication, will now be called Coldwell Banker Commercial Alliance. Below, the interests and investments of Realogy and Waterfall Asset Management Read More

Fulton Mall

Century 21 to Open in Fulton Mall

Fulton Mall (photo from Wall Street Journal)

Department store Century 21 will open a new 125,000 square foot outpost in Fulton Mall, giving the retail corridor an upscale tenant to mingle with the current mix of affordable shops like Jimmy Jazz and Conway, The Wall Street Journal reported this morning.

Century 21 will be setting up shop in the City Point development, which, when complete, will feature 1.6 million square foot mix of retail and affordable housing, according to its website. The project, which is being developed by Albee Development LLC and designed by Cook + Fox, has already embarked upon its first phase: the construction of 50,000 square feet of retail. Read More

REBNY Releases Deal Of The Year Award Candidates

Times Square Theatre

The Real Estate Board of New York released the candidates for its annual retail deal of the year awards yesterday. This year’s field includes 10 transactions. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on June 12.

As would be expected, the lineup includes a number of prominent leases. Read More

Discounts Galore! Century 21 May Bring Bargains to Fulton Mall

Shiny new sales. (Brownstoner)

If the Fulton Mall is being transformed, it is only so much. The strip is being glammed up, stocked with major national retailers, at the cost of the mom and pops who have called the mall home for decades.

Still, things are not changing so much. As previously, pretentiously noted, Smith Street it ain’t, nor is it going to be. This is still a discount strip. From H&M to Target, the Gap to the almost-Filene’s, the newcomers have been far from high end—not counting the hamburgers. For further proof of the trend toward the same, welcome Century 21 to the neighborhood. Read More

Whale Watch

Wooing Walmart: NYC brokers still have eyes for elusive retailer

The Category Killer.

The weekly phone calls. The dinner invites. The gifts.

When representatives from Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, waltz into the New York Hilton for this year’s two-day International Council of Shopping Centers conference, many of the city’s most intrepid retail brokers will be close behind them, perhaps even plying those officials with compliments, dinner invitations and business opportunities. Read More