Sales Beat

Madison Capital’s Purchase of 606 Bway Slated to Close by Year’s End

Rendering of 606 Broadway

Madison Capital is expected to close on its purchase of 606 Broadway by the end of the year, Commercial Observer has learned, after going into contract nearly a year ago.

Madison Capital paid $25.825 million for the Soho property as well as $13 million for an alternative parking facility for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which leases 606 Broadway from the city under a master lease. Read More

East 23rd Street

Flatiron BID Looks to Draw High-Profile Tenants to East 23rd Street [Updated]

View of 23rd Street facing west from Park Avenue South

Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership is hoping to raise the profile of one stretch of its district that has been under the radar, in part due to scaffolding that has been up for years: East 23rd Street between Third Avenue and Avenue of the Americas.

With streetscape and free public wireless network projects underway, the BID’s executive director, Jennifer Brown, told Commercial Observer that she hopes sprucing up East 23rd Street will help “attract” high-quality tenants. Read More

Wired City

City Launches Wireless Corridor Challenge and WiredNYC

(Photo: Celeste Sloman)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced two new tech initiatives to expand the city’s access to wireless and broadband connectivity, one of which encourages the deployment of leading broadband technologies across its commercial real estate buildings.

The Wireless Corridor Challenge will establish free public WiFi corridors in each of the five boroughs, while WiredNYC, described as LEED Read More

Wired City

One on One with a ConnectNYC Fiber Challenge Winner: Digital Advising Agency Barrel

barrel-staff

Their Chinatown office may boast a ping-pong table and two kegerators, but Barrel’s most important presence is on the web. Founded in 2006, the company helps other businesses develop and achieve their digital goals: from designing sleek websites to developing custom apps; tailoring online user experience to implementing content management systems.

“As a digital agency whose main operations exist on the web, our Internet connection has a direct impact on how our business functions,” said Boram Kim, Barrel’s office manager. Let’s just say they’re one forward-thinking company that definitely doesn’t have time for a backwards Internet connection. Read More

Wired City

One on One with a ConnectNYC Fiber Challenge Winner: Coworking Center SoTechie Spaces

nancygonzalez

When the fates of over a dozen startups are in your hands, you naturally want to provide them with all the resources they could possibly need to succeed—and that includes reliable Internet connection.

Such was the position of SoTechie Spaces, a popular coworking center near Manhattan’s Bryant Park. The organization’s primary focus is to offer startups and entrepreneurs an affordable place to incubate and run their businesses, said SoTechie Spaces board member Nancy Gonzalez. Read More

Wired City

One on One with a ConnectNYC Fiber Challenge Winner: Creative Hub 3rd Ward

carloshenriquez

If you check out the city Economic Development Corporation’s map of fiber availability in New York City, it’s hard to miss the sprawling fiber-less emptiness of poor Brooklyn and Queens. With the exception of two prominent east-west channels of wiring, things are looking a little sparse.

So you can imagine 3rd Ward’s excitement when it learned not only that it had won the ConnectNYC Fiber Challenge, but also that Time Warner’s fiber was laid right outside its East Williamsburg building. Read More

The Sit-Down

Rise of the Machines: Robot Garage Will Be North America’s Largest

WEBPerryFinkelman_Credit-AmandaCohen2616

Perry Finkelman at times sounds like he’s describing something from a science-fiction movie. The CEO of Automotion Parking Systems talks of designing machines, manipulating machines—even machines that send text messages. It’s not Rise of the Machines he speaks of … not exactly. But the technology that will control the 697-car underground parking garage that Automation plans to Read More

Wired City

NYC Launches Second Round of ConnectNYC

ConnectNYCGraphic1

In a press release Tuesday, New York City’s Economic Development Corporation announced that ConnectNYC Fiber Access will begin accepting applications for a second time.

ConnectNYC is part of the suite of initiatives launched in July of 2012 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to help expand broadband connectivity to businesses. The program covers the cost of construction and installation of fiber in commercial buildings. Read More

Wired City

The World According to Riggs Kubiak, Honest Buildings’ Visionary CEO

Riggs Power Broker_Fernando Pereira Gomes-3

For Riggs Kubiak, the appeal of real estate lay in its tangibility.

“Working with things that you can touch, feel, walk into and experience,” he said, “was more exciting to me than dealing with synthetic collateralized debt obligations.”

Mr. Kubiak, 32, got his start in the industry renting apartments while he was an undergraduate at Boston College. And, following stints at Ernst & Young and Granite Partners, he rose to become the global head of sustainability at Tishman Speyer, where he worked for five years.

Now he’s the chief executive officer of Honest Buildings, a website he co-founded with his sister, Garrett Kubiak, and Cody Roberts that connects building owners and tenants with brokers, contractors and other real estate professionals in a bid to bolster transparency and hasten innovation in construction, design and other fields. Read More

Development

City Planning Commission Approves Pier 17 Retail Development Plans at South Street Seaport

seaport_interiorbanner5

The New York City Department of City Planning has approved The Howard Hughes Corporation’s plans to raze South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 and replace it with a two-level glass structure.

The commission agreed to allow the Dallas-based developer to overhaul the existing development with 120,000 square feet of retail and additional open space, including a 10,000-square-foot Read More

Controversies

Gary LaBarbara of Building Trades Thrashes City Point Developers as Community Groups Rally for Changes

A peak atop the Armani Exchange at City Point

Gary LaBarbara has an axe to grind with developers at City Point before they dig any deeper into Downtown Brooklyn.

In a move that could exacerbate friction that’s already occurring at the community level, the president of the Building & Construction Trades Council of New York thrashed the builders of the development project, claiming that they are “failing” to meet the needs of the community by instead catering to private interests.

“City Point is receiving vast amounts of public subsidies ranging from tax exempt bond financing to property tax abatements,” Mr. LaBarbera wrote in an op-ed that appeared in Real Estate Weekly yesterday.  “But on a score central to responsible economic development for everyday New Yorkers — creating good jobs that strengthen local communities — City Point is failing.” Read More

On the Market

Big Box Retail Opportunity Could Capitalize on Western Queens Growth

Untitled

Massey Knakal is marketing a massive lot for long-term net lease at 39-19 21st Street for $1.5 million, hoping to capitalize on the rapid development occurring in western Queens.

Neatly tucked between a number of strategic roadways and two rapidly changing neighborhoods, the 100,000-square-foot lot on the corner of 39th Avenue and 21st Street sits between Long Island City and Astoria, Queens.

“It’s rare to come up with this large a footprint along a main drag,” said Benjamin Fox, executive vice president of retail leasing with the firm, who is exclusively marketing the property. Read More

Development

City Seeks Developers for Seward Park Mixed-Use Project

Credit: EDC

After a decades-long stall in the plans for the Seward Park project in the Lower East Side, the city is seeking a developer (or developers) to build and operate what will eventually become an approximately 1.65-million-square-foot, mixed-use development.

The Economic Development Corporation issued an RFP today for the development project that will take shape on the largest contiguous parcel of city-owned land in Manhattan south of 96th Street – a plot of land near the intersection of Delancey and Essex streets that the EDC called a “void in the urban fabric for 45 years.”

The RFP marks another historic milestone for the Lower East Side, said Seth Pinsky, president of EDC. Read More