Lease Beat

Sushi Zen to Move to New Space

114 West 47th Street

Sushi Zen will move to 114 West 47th Street at the end of the year, Commercial Observer has learned.

The highly regarded restaurant has signed a 20-year lease for 6,508 square feet, more than three times the size of the space it has occupied since 2001: 108 West 44th Street (1133 Avenue of the Americas). Read More

Lease Beat

Charles Schwab Moving to 1133 Avenue of the Americas

1133 Avenue of the Americas

Charles Schwab & Co. will move to the 22,915 square foot 37th floor of 1133 Avenue of the Americas, following a build-out expected to be complete by the third quarter of 2015, as was first reported by

The financial services company, who has been subletting at another Durst Organization property—114 West 47th Street—signed an 11-year lease in January. The asking rent was in the mid-$80s per square foot. Read More

Lease Beat

Steinway, Durst Strike Closing Note in Midtown [Updated]

1133 Avenue of the Americas

The Durst Organization and 163-year-old piano makers Steinway & Sons have finalized the 15-year, 40,501-square-foot deal for a new ground-floor showroom and retail space and 33rd floor offices at 1133 Avenue of the Americas, Durst and Cassidy Turley announced yesterday.

Steinway moved out of its longtime building at 109 West 57th Street before the end of the year and had been near signing the deal with Durst this fall, as The New York Times reported. The company, which sold the building last year just before the Paulson & Co. hedge fund bought the company itself, will operate a pop-up at another Durst property starting the week of Jan. 5 while architect Annabelle Selldorf builds out its new space, Durst officials said. Read More

Lease Beat

WeWork Books 12th NYC Location

205 East 42nd Street

Office space provider WeWork signed a 15-year, 125,000-square-foot lease at the Durst Organization‘s 205 East 42nd Street in Midtown East, the Durst Organization announced today.

The new deal gives the growing workspace-renting company its 12th location in the city, with a 13th set to open in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood soon. WeWork took seven floors, including the 21st-story penthouse, at the East 42nd Street property that carried asking rents of $58 per square foot, according to Crain’s New York Business, which first reported the deal. Read More

Lease Beat

Ad Firm Grabs 60th Floor at 1 WTC

A view of Downtown from New Jersey

Location-based advertisers xAd will expand from Midtown South to 1 World Trade Center through a ten-year, 43,849-square-foot lease for the entire 60th floor of the 104-story tower, the Durst Organization announced earlier this week.

The ad firm that targets consumers through mobile device ads based on their location will add an additional office to its existing 401 Park Avenue South office next summer at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey-owned tower that Durst manages while owning a $100 million joint equity stake. Asking rents at the 3-million-square-foot building, which has now attracted tenants to 1.9 million square feet of its space, run for $69 per square foot, representatives for Durst said. Read More

on the waterfront

Astoria Cove Architect: East River is ‘Next Central Park’

Jay Valgora

The proposed 8.7-acre, 1,723-unit Astoria Cove development will allow residents of the peninsula the waterfront access and community benefits the area hasn’t enjoyed for decades, Astoria Cove architect Jay Valgora told Commercial Observer.

Mr. Valgora, the principal of Studio V Architecture, designed the Queens development that an investment team which includes Alma Realty is applying for a permit to build before the City Council in the final stage of the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. Read More

World Trade Center

PA to Vote on 1 WTC Pre-Built Expansion Wednesday

1 WTC pre-built space

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey will vote on a proposal Wednesday to invest an additional $23.5 million into the Durst Organization‘s pre-built program for smaller office spaces at 1 World Trade Center, according to a board meeting agenda posted on the agency’s website last week.

The proposal would pay for one full additional floor of divided spaces under 20,000-square-feet plus multi-tenant renovations on 10 floors in the building with an octagonal floor plan and plates between 32,000 and 48,000 square feet, according to the agency. Recent leases for Cushman & Wakefield, the Westfield Corp., Legends Hospitality and BMB Group in spaces ranging from 2,191 square feet to 12,000 square feet show the success of the approach in the 3-million-square foot skyscraper, said Jordan Barowitz, Durst’s director of external affairs. Read More

Power Broker

SOM’s Mega-Project Manager Dishes on 1 WTC

T.J. Gottesdiener

Models, awards and pictures from projects all over the world adorn the walls and corridors of the Lower Manhattan offices of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, but the World Trade Center assemblage stands apart from all the rest. There are the gleaming pictures of Dubai’s 2,716-foot Burj Khalifa, a framed certificate recognizing Midtown’s Lever House for the 1980 American Institute of Architects’ 25-year award and the awe-inspiring design portfolio that includes seven of the world’s tallest 15 buildings and over 100 New York City structures. But they give way to a transparent scale model of the World Trade Center complex that’s all alone next to conference rooms and the executive offices where managing partner T.J. Gottesdiener oversees design, construction and planning at the firm’s New York City office. Read More

on the waterfront

Durst Organization Pushes Ferry Near New Queens Acquisition

Douglas and Helena Durst

A week after news broke that the Durst Organization paid over $100 million for a 90 percent stake in the 2,404-unit Hallets Point project, officials at the company that owns New York Water Taxi joined a growing chorus calling for a new ferry route to Manhattan from Astoria. Durst was focused on bringing a station to a section of the Astoria waterfront that’s home to the company’s new acquisition as well as a public housing complex and a proposed 1,723-unit development that’s now under consideration at the City Council.

A new route servicing the Queens waterfront would provide much-needed public transportation to the area around the rising complex where Durst bought a majority stake from Lincoln Equities Group for its first foray into the outer-borough residential market, said Helena Rose Durst, the vice president of the Durst Organization and the president of New York Water Taxi. Read More

Lease Beat

Financial Firm Expands in Midtown Move

114 West 47th Street

Global fund manager IFM Investors will expand its footprint by moving to the Durst Organization’s 114 West 47th Street through a 16-year, 18,260-square-foot lease, the Durst Organization announced last week.

The financial firm that now operates from an 8,000-square-foot office at 99 Park Avenue will move to the top floor of the 26-story Durst building with asking rents of $75 per square foot, company officials said. Read More

Lease Beat

Cushman & Wakefield Opens Downtown HQ in 1 WTC

Base of One World Trade Center

Cushman & Wakefield, the exclusive leasing brokers for One World Trade Center, opened a downtown headquarters Monday through a 10-year, 10,222-square-foot lease on the 45th floor of 1 WTC, the firm announced yesterday.

The firm that maintains its global headquarters in Midtown now boasts an office footprint in space with asking rents of $69 per square foot that the company also markets on behalf of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Durst Organization. Read More

on the waterfront

Douglas and Helena Durst Talk Ferry Policy Aboard NY Water Taxi

Douglas and Helena Durst

Shortly after morning rush hour one day last week, Durst Organization Chairman Douglas Durst and his daughter, Durst Vice President Helena Rose Durst, invited Commercial Observer for an exclusive jaunt around the Hudson River aboard a New York Water Taxi vessel named for Mr. Durst’s father, the Seymour B. Durst.

During an hour-long trip starting and ending at Pier 84 at West 44th Street and West Side Highway, the pair dished on the challenging costs, lack of docks and transit connections and confusing oversight they say is hampering the city from taking full advantage of its many miles of prime waterfront property even as the private ferry service the company started in 2002 continues to prosper. Read More

World Trade Center

1 WTC: Inside the Tallest Building in the Western Hemisphere

One World Trade Center

As construction workers hammered on the World Trade Center site and hordes of tourists mingled with afternoon commuters last week, Jordan Barowitz of the Durst Organization invited Commercial Observer for an exclusive tour of One World Trade Center.

Although more than 2,500 laborers were applying the finishing touches to the 104-floor, 3-million-square-foot structure designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the 1,776-foot building will open around November of this year, said Mr. Barowitz, Durst’s director of external affairs. Read More

on the waterfront

Panel: Ferry Boats Operating in Shifting Tides

Water Panel

Discussions over the future of the city’s ferry system at the New York Conference on Water this morning showcased the topsy-turvy nature of the boat transit that has a long history in the city.

New York Water Taxi president and Durst Organization Vice President Helena Durst and city Economic Development Corporation vice president of ports and transportation Andrew Genn offered nuanced views on the outlook for new and existing routes on the ferry system that’s the second largest in the world in a panel discussion at Fordham University. Read More

World Trade Center

Could String of World Trade Center Leases Appease Critics?


Hugo Boss is reportedly in talks with the Port Authority and the Durst Organization to take tens of thousands of square feet of office space at 1 World Trade Center, the latest in a string of rumored deals that could spark a new tone of optimism across the trade center site.

The news comes amid talk that online marketing software company Percolate is also in negotiations for 50,000 square feet at the gleaming tower. In addition, software developer MediaMath is said to be wrapping up a 120,000-square-foot lease at 4 World Trade Center, according to published reports.

A source close to the negotiations told Commercial Observer that the Hugo Boss deal is “not happening anytime soon,” calling the reports of a potential 100,000-square-foot commitment a “huge exaggeration.” Read More