Chetrit, Clipper Take NYCB Land Loan

A rendering of the project at 77 Commercial Street.

A partnership of The Chetrit Group and Clipper Equity took a $27.5 million bridge loan, backed by the land at 77 Commercial Street in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, Commercial Observer has learned.

As Commercial Observer has reported, the pair plans to develop a 720-unit, two-tower residential complex at the address. The land looks over Newton Creek—some of the last undeveloped waterfront land in the nation’s trendiest borough. Read More

Sales Beat

Chetrit Closes on $191.9M Purchase of Hotel Carter [Updated]

Hotel Carter. (TripAdvisor)

Chetrit Group has closed on its $191.9 million purchase of the infamous Hotel Carter, public records filed today show, and took out $150 million in mortgages from Athene Annuity, a Wilmington, Del.-based life insurance company.

The seller of the former flophouse at 250 West 43rd Street was Alphonse Hotel Corp., a company controlled by the heirs of deceased Vietnamese businessman Tran Dinh Truong. Attorney Ernst Rosenberger of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, the court-appointed temporary administrator of the Truong estate, said the building was sold in order to distribute the assets. Since Truong had no will, it has been, and remains, unclear, who the distributees are, Mr. Rosenberger said. Read More


Chetrit Refinances Suspenders Building

428 Broadway

The Soho mixed-use building known as the Suspenders Building has been refinanced to the tune of about $70.5 million, according to records filed with the city today.

The cast-iron building at 428 Broadway is owned by the Chetrit Group, which bought the six-story property for $22.5 million in 2005. Read More

Lease Beat

Garment Center Synagogue Moving to Chetrit Building

1384 Broadway. (Winick Realty Group)

Garment Center Congregation will temporarily move to the second floor of the Chetrit Group‘s 1384 Broadway between West 37th and West 38th Streets, Commercial Observer has learned.

In a deal signed tonight, the Orthodox synagogue will operate out of the entire 7,131-square-foot space through a short-term (three or five years depending on the construction schedule of the new space) lease, according to developer Sharif El-Gamal, the chairman and CEO of Soho Properties. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Chetrit, Clipper Equity Score $229M Construction Loan for Flatotel Conversion

135 West 52nd Street (PropertyShark)

Prolific development duo Joseph Chetrit and Clipper Equity received $228.5 million in construction funds to convert a Midtown hotel that was foreclosed on last year to a combination of office and residential condominiums.

The Flatotel, at 135 West 52nd Street, will become a five-floor “boutique” office condominium and 37 floors of luxury residential condos, according to a representative for Meridian Capital Group, which brokered the loan with Deutsche BankRead More

Cover Story, Feature

High Tide in Greenpoint

Greenpoint along the East River. (Michael Nagle)

Greenpoint may not be as sleek as Williamsburg, and the neighborhood is still a (diminished) Polish stronghold, but it’s gaining more attention now as residential developments, many stalled during the recession, prepare to dot the still-scrappy waterfront.

“It’s just a matter of evolution,” said Ofer Cohen, the founder and president of Brooklyn commercial brokerage TerraCRG, Read More

Mortgage Observer

Willis Tower Now in Special Servicing: Fitch

Willis Tower (tallest)

Chicago’s Willis Tower was transferred to special servicing this week due to “imminent monetary default,” according to Fitch Ratings, which tracks the senior CMBS debt on the building’s loan. The 110-story tower was, until last year, the tallest in America. One World Trade Center was ruled tallest in November.

The borrowers, a group that includes a number of prominent New York owners and developers led by Joseph Chetrit’s Chetrit Group, owe almost $500 million in senior CMBS debt and about $774 million total, according to data from Fitch. Read More

Lease Beat

Sony Makes 11 Madison Avenue Deal Official


Sony Corporation of America has signed a 15-year, 525,000-square-foot lease at 11 Madison Avenue, the company confirmed today.

The U.S. branch of the Japanese conglomerate will occupy the top 10 floors of the building, as well as the rooftop overlooking Madison Square Park. Additionally, Sony will have a dedicated entrance to the building with the address 25 Madison Avenue. Read More


Report: Biggest Three Commercial Sales of 2013 All Top $1B

30 Rockefeller Plaza

There were three whopping commercial deals in New York City last year in the trillion-dollar price range, blowing away the other commercial transactions for the year in terms of price, according to a report by PropertyShark provided exclusively to Commercial Observer

The priciest deal was Comcast’s $1.3 billion purchase of 1.3 million square feet of office and studio space at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, part of the media and communications giant’s $16.7 billion purchase of a 49 percent stake in NBCUniversal from General Electric. Read More


Gary Barnett Seeks $1B Loan from Chinese Bank

Gary Barnett

Gary Barnett, founder of Extell Development, is seeking approximately $1 billion in financing from Export-Import Bank of China for the planned condominium development at 225 West 57th Street, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier today.

If the deal is closed, it would likely be the largest loan for a U.S. real estate construction project since the market downturn, according to the Journal report. The project, as designed, would be the largest residential building in the United States, rising just a block away from Extell’s soon to be completed One57 residential tower.  Last year, Nordstrom agreed to anchor the development with its first New York flagship location. Read More


Power 100 Heat Map


From a Taconic Investment Partners project in Hunts Point to the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan, power in New York real estate circles has increasingly expanded from the comfortable confines of Midtown Manhattan to the fringes of all five boroughs. While large developments such as the Related Company’s Hudson Yards often dominate the conversation, Brooklyn, Queens and even the Bronx continue to grow in stature.

Long Island City is fast becoming a focal point for the real estate industry as Rockrose and other residential developers tap into the growing Queens neighborhood. In the Bronx, Taconic Investment Partners, formerly the owners of 111 Eighth Avenue, is in the process of a significant capital improvement plan at the BankNote Building on Lafayette Avenue in Hunt’s Point.

Below, a sampling of where power thrives in New York City in 2013. Read More

Hotel Hell

Hotel Chelsea Tenant Association Hits Back, Files Contempt of Court Motion Against Joe Chetrit


The Hotel Chelsea at one time was home to literary lions including Mark Twain, O. Henry and Tennessee Williams. But since the enigmatic developer Joseph Chetrit purchased the bohemian citadel for $78.5 million in 2011, court documents have constituted the bulk of the Chelsea’s written output.

In the past year, owners have proposed a controversial expansion to accommodate a rooftop bar; tenants, joined by Christine Quinn, have rallied and brought litigation against unsafe conditions stemming from renovations; a judge demanded that the Chetrit Group return 22 paintings to an artist’s widow; a blind man sued ownership after falling into a sidewalk elevator and losing the finger with which he reads braille; and, on March 22, the Department of Buildings issued a stop work order after “illegal gas piping” cut off heat and hot water. Read More

Sales Beat

Chetrit and Peebles Will Pay Combined $250 M. for City Buildings


The city announced yesterday that it will sell two Civic Center buildings at 49-51 Chambers Street and 346 Broadway for nearly $250 million to Chetrit Group and The Peebles Corporation.

Chetrit — in the midst of a buying spree — and Peebles were selected following an RFP issued in April of last year as part of the Bloomberg administration’s plan to reduce underused government office space by 1.2 million square feet by 2014.

The developers plan to restore the buildings and redevelop them as as a mix of hotel, residential and community space. Read More

Sales Beat

Piece of 30 Rock Part of Comcast’s NBCUniversal Deal


In one of the largest real estate deals in recent memory, Comcast will purchase from General Electric the properties used by NBCUniversal at iconic 30 Rockefeller Plaza and CNBC Headquarters as part of its acquisition of GE’s remaining 49 percent equity stake in the media company, it was announced earlier this week.

Though the building is owned by Tishman Speyer, the office and studio space at 30 Rock involved in the deal is owned by GE and is considered a commercial condo. GE will keep space in the building on the 52nd and 53rd floors.

The real estate component of the deal accounts for approximately $1.4 billion of the $16.7 billion transaction and trumps the $1.1 billion sale of the Sony Building to the Chetrit Group last month. Read More