Lease Beat

Major League Baseball Expands at Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market. (Jamestown)

Professional baseball organization Major League Baseball has hit a winner with an expanded lease for its multimedia branch, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, inside Jamestown‘s Chelsea Market, Commercial Observer has learned.

MLB Advanced Media, which oversees and is based on the fifth floor at 75 Ninth Avenue, has added 35,000 square feet on the second floor, bringing its total square footage in Chelsea Market to 150,000, a source with intimate knowledge of the deal said. Read More


A New Lease on…Leasing

Hunters Point Park pier in Long Island City.

Landlords across the city are embracing non-traditional leases in the hope of avoiding two problems: a less than fresh roster of tenants and empty rental space. And property owners are taking advantage of the perks of filling commercial space with creative companies under a wide range of lease terms to amp up property presence, community engagement and, of course, the bottom line.

And while pop-ups came into their own amid the recession for the basic reason of filling space, landlords are increasingly using them as a way to market properties even with much improved vacancy rates, according to reports. Read More


Gotham West Market: Order Up on the Far West Side

Gotham 44th & 11th Ave

There’s now a reason to walk as far west as 44th Street and 11th Avenue.

That barren stretch of Midtown Manhattan last week welcomed Gotham West Market, a 10,000-square-foot food hall with a strong nod to Brooklyn. Developed by the Gotham Organization as a component of its Gotham West residential building, the market boasts options ranging from tapas at El Colmado to burgers at Genuine Roadside—not to mention the much-hyped Ivan Ramen, a ramen noodle hot spot that launched in Japan.

Following a seven-month wait that had food bloggers salivating, the Chelsea Market-like venue opened Wednesday to generally rave reviews. Below, a minute-by-minute chronicle of the lunch rush on its first day in business.

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The Plan

Check Out Jamestown’s Long Island City Project


With Long Island City quickly becoming a popular alternative to Manhattan, both for work and play, Jamestown Properties last year acquired the Falchi Building, a 640,000-square-foot office and manufacturing facility at 31-00 47th Avenue.

Envisioned by Jamestown as a mixed-use property with retail, office and light manufacturing components, Mitch Arkin, executive director
at Cushman & Wakefield, is preparing to market space in the building as existing tenants move out and space becomes vacant.

Though Jamestown has employed similar formats elsewhere, the developer is at pains to stress that the Falchi Building is not Chelsea Market and is, in fact, its own unique opportunity. “We think we can develop this into something that is aligned with the Jamestown brand,” Mr. Arkin told The Commercial Observer.

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A Walk Along the High Line


First proposed in 1999 with the establishment of the nonprofit organization Friends of the High Line, the preservation and reuse of the New York Central Railroad’s West Side Line has been criticized by some as sanitizing the once gritty Meatpacking District.

First opened in 2009, the High Line stretches as far north as 30th Street and will eventually terminate at the Hudson Yards site. Though the High Line can boast a significant role in popularizing the neighborhood both with tourists and New Yorkers, it is neither the first nor only attraction to boost real estate values in the area.

Below, The Commercial Observer looks at some of the real estate landmarks and popular attractions in the vicinity.

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Lease Beat

Angelo Gordon Adds 34K at 245 Park Avenue

Courtesy of Patrick Daniels

Angelo Gordon has tacked on a 34,000-square-foot addition to its office at 245 Park AvenueThe Commercial Observer has learned.

The deal is the firm’s second expansion in the last year. Angelo Gordon initially added about 20,000-square-feet to its 55,000-square-foot occupancy last June bringing them to a total of 74,000-square-feet. Read More

The Sit-Down

Jamestown Properties’ Michael Phillips on Feeding Chelsea

Michael Phillips (Credit: Jamestown)

As chief operating officer of Jamestown Properties, Michael Phillips has helped create and oversee a portfolio of more than 80 properties across nine states, totaling over 25 million square feet. But the jewel in his and Jamestown’s crown may well be Chelsea Market, the wildly popular foodie mecca in the Meatpacking District. Jamestown is currently working on a contentious expansion of that Ninth Avenue destination that will result in an additional 330,000 square feet of office space (an earlier plan for a 90,000-square-foot hotel was scrapped).

The Commercial Observer grabbed a few minutes with Mr. Phillips inside Jamestown’s swank, canopied, free-crepe-dispensing booth at ICSC’s RECon global retail real estate summit in Las Vegas. There, the James Beard Foundation vice chair and Real Estate Board of New York governor shared some morsels about Jamestown’s unannounced plans for a second sit-down restaurant at Chelsea Market, its imminent foray into the Brooklyn culinary world, and marquee projects in Georgia and California. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Brooklyn’s Retail Financing Redux: Hipper Shopping En Route


As the economy continues to build steam, a new Brooklyn finds itself craving a new retail culture—and developers and financers are keeping close watch. While New York’s most populous borough has seen a large number of residential buildings take shape in the past year, financing for retail construction projects and acquisitions are just now beginning to catch up.

When asked, the developers behind several of the latest big retail projects told The Mortgage Observer that many of those properties would have a more chic look and feel and a more versatile use than traditional shopping outlets and malls. One common point of comparison has been Jamestown’s Chelsea Market, the high-end urban food court and shopping center with galleries and production studios mixed in. Read More

Market Report

Midtown South Rents Fall for First Time in Two Years


After two years of consecutive increases, rents in Midtown South dropped during the first quarter of 2013, according to CompStak’s effective rent report for the Manhattan office market, provided exclusively to The Commercial Observer.

Effective rent, which includes landlord concessions, in Midtown South fell during the first quarter to $44.62 from $46.44 in the fourth quarter of 2012, a decrease of nearly 4 percent. Starting rent fell from $49.47 to $47.14 during the same period. Read More


Midtown South, Northbound Rents

CO 4-9 Postings

Midtown South has continued its meteoric rise, overshadowing the traditional office market in Midtown. Demand remains strong in the market, where more than 12 million square feet of space has been leased in the past three years.

As large tech tenants like Google—which subleased 83,000 square feet at Chelsea Market in the last quarter—continue to snap up space, the market only stands to continue its growth.

Jonathan Mazur, director of research at Cushman & Wakefield, spoke with The Commercial Observer last week to shed light on some of the key numbers from the firm’s recent Midtown South office market report for the first quarter of 2013. Read More

Lease Beat

Google Expands at Chelsea Market


Google has completed a deal to expand its presence at Chelsea Market by approximately 90,000 square feet, a source familiar with the deal confirmed with The Commercial Observer.

The tech giant’s total space at the Market will now total about 250,000 square feet. The new space is spread throughout the building, according to the source.

News of the lease was reported by the New York Post earlier this week. According to an earlier report by Crain’s, the deal includes a sublease of market research firm GFK’s fifth-floor space of 58,523 square feet. Read More

Sales Beat

Jamestown Properties Pays $284 M. for Milk Studios Building

450 West 15th Street

Jamestown Properties has purchased the Milk Studios building at 450 West 15th Street from Stellar Management for more than $284 million, city records show.

The 325,000-square-foot, eight-story office building, home to photography studio Milk Studios and an eclectic mix of tech, fashion and creative tenants, borders the High Line.

It’s a symbolic and strategic move for Jamestown, which owns the Chelsea Market across the street and looks to expand its footprint in the heavily-traveled Meatpacking District.

Ironically, city records show that Stellar provided a $150 million loan to Jamestown, which suggests that the move was perhaps more than a kind gesture, but also a play to complete the deal before the end of 2012, as imminent capital gains taxes loomed (the city record was filed on Friday, but shows the deed was finalized December 21). Read More