Mortgage Observer

Pembrook Originates $22M Bridge Loan for Savanna’s DoBro Buy

Stuart Boesky

New York-based debt and equity provider Pembrook Capital Management closed a $21.8 million bridge loan to New York-based real estate investor Savanna, Mortgage Observer has learned. Savanna will acquire a development site at 141 Willoughby Street in Downtown Brooklyn with the funds, said Pembrook founder Stuart Boesky.

The three-year loan has a floating rate; Pembrook declined to provide the exact rate. City records show Savanna paid $28 million to acquire the property, at Gold Street, from prior owner the Institute of Design and Construction. Read More

Brooklyn Issue

City Point of No Return

CityPoint

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

Lease Beat

Brooklyn’s City Point Lands First Office Tenant

A rendering of City Point

Artist management and creative content agency Art Partner has signed a 15-year lease to occupy 10,000 square feet at the City Point in Downtown Brooklyn, becoming the development site’s first office tenant.

The agency, whose services include production, syndication and licensing for print, film, social media and more, plans to relocate from its Hudson Square 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

ICSC

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

Construction, legislation, Development

EB-5 Legislation Clears Senate, Now Congress Awaits

Battery Maritime Building, an EB-5 recipient

Legislation related to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, a financing pipeline that has been used to fund several major development projects in the city, has cleared one hurdle towards renewal.

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would restore an important component of the program set to expire at the end of September. According to people familiar with EB-5 and the legislative process to preserve it, a similar bill must now pass through Congress in the next few weeks before the program sunsets on September 30, a deadline that could possibly cut off millions of dollars of financing for a number of construction projects. Read More

Troubling Developments

EB-5 Financing Set to Expire In September

Battery Maritime Building

Legislation allowing oversees investors to fund job-creating real estate projects in exchange for green cards is set to expire at the end of September and proponents of the financing mechanism fear that a stalled deal to renew the law could strand hundreds of millions of dollars of development in the city.

Several large projects, including a $77 million plan to redevelop the Battery Maritime Building, a $200 million mixed use development in Downtown Brooklyn called City Point and a roughly $70 million deal to redo the retail at the George Washington Bridge Bus Station, have tapped what is called the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program for funding. 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