Sales Beat

Sharif El-Gamal Purchases Park Place Site, Con Ed to Net $5.5M

45-51 Park Place.

Sharif El-Gamal’s Soho Properties has purchased Consolidated Edison’s property at 49-51 Park Place for $10.7 million.

Plans for the property currently include an Islamic museum and sanctuary space to be designed by Jean Nouvel at 51 Park Place, along with a 619-foot, luxury condominium building at 45 Park Place, an adjacent site, according to releases issued in April and May by Soho Properties. Read More

on the waterfront

Federal Agency Exploring Wind Energy Off LI [Updated]

New York wind

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is conducting a preliminary environmental assessment and a call for commercial expressions of interest on wind energy leases in an 81,130-acre site that’s roughly 13 nautical miles off Rockaway Peninsula.

After the state’s New York Power Authority submitted a 2011 wind proposal for 194 turbines on the site to the agency in conjunction with the Long Island Power Authority and Con Edison, the federal agency that oversees offshore energy production launched the lengthy public review and competitive bidding processes President Barack Obama outlined in 2010 in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the agency announced in May that it’s accepting notifications from other interested parties ahead of a potential lease auction. Read More

Green Building

City Department of Buildings Sustainability Chief Hails Energy Incentive

Gina Bocra of the Department of Buildings

The head of the city Department of Buildings’ greening efforts heralded a massive efficiency payout for building owners in a speech this morning in front of energy industry insiders at a Con Edison Solutions forum.

Gina Bocra, the agency’s chief sustainability officer, hailed a Con Ed and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority incentive called the “demand response program” that presents building owners with big checks to go with their energy savings in exchange for cutting back on usage and installing new technology. The only catch is that owners have to install the fully-operational equipment by June 1, 2016. Read More

Wired City

Landlords Can Go Green and Save Green with OnForce Solar Photovoltaics


A globally trending energy solution known as Solar Photovoltaics has been helping reduce energy expenses for property owners, business owners and landlords citywide and nationwide.

With Con Edison’s electricity rates notoriously high—it’s more expensive here than anywhere else in the country—it’s a good idea to bring in a company like OnForce Solar, which helps landlords lessen their energy bills while going green at the same time. Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

Building Congress to Propose New Post-Sandy Storm Regulations


The New York Building Congress will issue a series of recommendations today that would go “a long way” toward mitigating the risk associated with future storms like Hurricane Sandy.

A task force made up of 43 local experts found that insufficient power and telecommunications reliability, “uneven emergency response,” vulnerable infrastructure and antiquated building systems contributed Read More

Sales Beat

Capstone Equities Pays $14.25 M for Retail Development and Potential Air Rights Play


Capstone Equities has scooped up a prominent retail corner location at 1-9 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, with plans to reposition the retail and potentially use the air rights on the current structure to tack on a residential component, sources tell The Commercial Observer.

City records confirm that the firm paid $14.25 million for the two-story property, and a source familiar with the company said the plan is to draw in a stable retailer then assess the options to use the 50,000 square feet of air rights to build residential units – and possibly dormitories. Read More

Year in Real Estate

Fast & Furious: The minute-by-minute, behind-the-scenes negotiations that led to this year’s F.E.M.A transaction

New York And New Jersey Continue To Deal With Aftermath Of Hurricane Sandy

The whirlwind negotiations between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Muss Development to create an impromptu relief outpost in Queens in the days following Hurricane Sandy’s descent on New York would not have happened had it not been for one of the real estate industry’s leading dynasties.

In a deal that would later come to symbolize the overall dedication of the city’s real estate titans, government officials and executives banged out terms for 200,000 square feet of temporary space at the Forest Hills Tower in a mere five days, a minor miracle in the world of office leasing. Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

Silverstein Properties Reopens 120 Wall

120 Wall Street (Credit: Silverstein Properties)

Silverstein Properties reopened 120 Wall Street Wednesday morning for the first time since Hurricane Sandy flooded the 600,000-square-foot building’s basement and damaged electrical distribution equipment.

The company pumped more than one million gallons of water out from the building’s basement and removed contaminants before methodically checking all base systems to get them back up and running, Jeremy Moss, the firm’s vice president of leasing told The Commercial Observer.

“Since the storm we’ve been working around the clock to get the building up and running and to bring tenants back – we succeeded this morning at 8 a.m,” Mr. Moss said. Read More

The Sit-Down

The Power Generators: Douglas and Jody Durst on Generating Their Own Electricity at 1 Bryant Park and 1 WTC

Jody Durst. Illustration by Paul Kisselev

Douglas and Jody Durst of the family-owned Durst Organization are well known in the real estate industry for their firm’s progressive stance on environmentally sustainable building practices. Last week, the cousins spoke to The Commercial Observer about co-generator power, a revolutionary, albeit costly, method of generating electricity in buildings they own at 4 Times Square, 1 Bryant Park and, soon, 1 World Trade. Read More