On the Market

Hamilton Heights Corner Retail Hits Rental Market

3556 Broadway.

A corner retail spot in Hamilton Heights has hit the rental market, not far from a new development by Columbia University, the brokers announced.

Currently housing a Payless ShoeSource, 3556 Broadway at the corner of West 146th Street has 3,700 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and 4,000 square feet on the second level, according to Douglas Elliman. The floors can either be leased together as a package, or separately.   Read More

Mortgage Observer

HFZ Scores $185M From Mexican Bank to Revamp South Beach Hotel

The Shore Club in Miami Beach (Photo: advencap via Flickr)

HFZ Capital refinanced The Shore Club, a luxury hotel in Miami’s South Beach neighborhood, Mortgage Observer has exclusively learned. With the $185 million provided by Banco Inbursa, the Mexican bank run by Carlos Slim, the hotel will be redeveloped, a source close to the deal said.

The financing was arranged by Howard Michaels, chairman of The Carlton Group, a representative for the brokerage confirmed, though the representative declined to confirm the lender’s identity. Read More

The Sit-Down

Faith Hope Consolo on Fashion, Politics and Fourth Careers

Faith Hope Consolo

It’s difficult to wrap one’s head around this, but Faith Hope Consolo—Douglas Elliman Retail Group chairman and self-proclaimed monarch of New York City retail—didn’t always work in real estate, and she isn’t originally from New York. The native of (Commercial Observer was shocked to learn) Cleveland started a modeling agency in college and then worked in interior design in Los Angeles before she started her real estate career, she said. Ms. Consolo leads a team of 25 in New York City and 50 others in 37 countries worldwide, and she invited CO to her Madison Avenue office for a wide-ranging discussion in her usual forthcoming way. She declined, with a not-so-subtle look, to move on our request for her age (although it is already out there for those curious enough to search) but she did mention she’s a widow to her third husband and doesn’t have any children. Read More

Lease Beat

Art Dealer and Energy Company Book Seagram Spaces

375 Park Avenue

London-based petroleum trading company Yakima Oil Trading and independent art dealer Tobias Meyer have opened Seagram Building offices through respective five-year leases on the 25th floor totaling 3,841 square feet at RFR Realty’s landmarked building at 375 Park Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

The energy finance firm has inaugurated its first New York City offices in a 2,437-square-foot space and Mr. Meyer, who stepped down from his role as chief art auctioneer after 20 years at Sotheby’s last year, opened a 1,404-square-foot office for his new private art business, company officials said. Read More

Lease Beat

Moe’s Sneaker Spot Signs Harlem Lease

1890 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd

Trendy urban shoe retailer Moe’s Sneaker Spot will open its second Manhattan location this fall at 1890 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard on the southwest corner of 115th Street in Harlem, Commercial Observer has learned.

The rapidly-expanding shoe chain with a dozen locations in New York and New Jersey inked a 10-year, 1,800-square-foot lease in the ground floor space of a newly-converted condo building owned by Tahl Propp Equities where asking rents for the formerly-vacant retail space run approximately $55 per square foot, said Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of Douglas Elliman‘s retail group. Read More


Real Estate Pros Give at Harlem Week Celebration

Faith Hope Consolo and Neah Banks

Douglas Elliman retail broker Faith Hope Consolo and Joseph Tahl, president of Tahl Propp Equities, participated in the Harlem Chamber of Commerce‘s annual economic development day business awards luncheon by contributing undergraduate scholarships to aspiring Harlem students earlier this month.

Ms. Consolo, Mr. Tahl, U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel, Former Mayor David N. Dinkins, State Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright and Lloyd Williams, chairman of the Chamber, presented the awards from Ms. Consolo and other donors to a group of a half-dozen students in a ceremony at Columbia University during the month-long “Harlem Week” celebration that’s currently still underway. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Chinese Firm Gets Financing for Brooklyn Condo Without J.V. Partner


A major Chinese investment firm has secured a loan from a U.S. lender to develop a large-scale residential real estate project in Brooklyn. But Xinyuan Real Estate Co. is taking a different tack from that of many foreign investors that have developed real estate in New York City: It is proceeding without a U.S.-based joint venture partner.

Xinyuan, through its U.S. real estate arm XIN Development, plans to build a seven-story condominium development in South Williamsburg, to be called Oosten, according to a representative for the firm. The project nabbed a $165 million loan from New York-based Fortress Investment Group, according to data provided by the real estate services firm Real Capital Analytics. Fortress did not respond to a request for comment. Read More


Elliman Wins Soho Retail Building Leasing Assignment

372 West Broadway.

Douglas Elliman retail pros Faith Hope Consolo and Joseph Aquino have been hired to lease the standalone Soho building that was once home to Tommy Hilfiger‘s headquarters, Commercial Observer has learned. The asking rent for the single-tenant building is $2.25 million.

The 11,520-square-foot elevator building at 372 West Broadway, at the corner of Broome Street, spans three floors and includes a lower level selling floor and a rooftop garden. There is 112 feet of frontage along West Broadway. Read More

Lease Beat

Literacy Org Moving Farther Uptown

216-218 West 135 Street.

Behind the Book, a non-profit literary organization, is moving from its digs on West 123rd Street to a two-level space at 216-218 West 135th Street come June 1.

Having signed a three-year lease, Behind the Book will be situated in the 1,650-square-foot ground level and 625-square-foot basement level at the West 135th Street building, which is between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass Boulevards, the brokers in the transaction said. Read More

Lease Beat

Jeweler Paul Morelli Takes Prime Madison Avenue Space

Paul Morelli. (Credit: paulmorelli.com)

Paul Morelli will be opening his first New York store after signing a 10-year lease for a two-level space at 895 Madison Avenue. 

The jeweler, a presence at luxury goods department store Bergdorf Goodman since 1981, will occupy a 728-square-foot ground floor space and a 1,221-suare foot basement, with 40 feet of frontage across from Ralph Lauren’s New York flagships. Read More

Lease Beat

Salon Inks Central Harlem Lease

2520 Frederick Douglass Blvd. (Credit:PropertyShark)

YSB Salon has signed a 10-year lease at 2520 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, between 134th and 135th Streets in Central Harlem, Commercial Observer has learned.

The lease includes 550 square feet of space on the ground floor and 450 square feet on the lower level. The tenant, a full-service hair and beauty salon, will pay rent in the mid-$80s per square foot. Read More

Five-year anniversary

Five Years Post-Stock Market Crash, How are CRE Pros Faring?

NYSE And Deutsche Boerse To Possibly Merge

This past Sunday marked the five-year anniversary of the lowest point in the stock market crash which sent everyone, including New York City’s real estate market pros, reeling. In late 2010 and early 2011, New York City essentially recovered from the economic meltdown but business hasn’t always been rosy since. Commercial Observer checked in to see how the city’s commercial real estate brokers were doing five years ago and how they are faring today.  Read More