Land Use

Italian Company Plans $15.5M Bronx Facility with City Aid

150 Bruckner Boulevard

An Italian company that makes high-end furniture, lighting, home accessories and jewelry would purchase and renovate a 50,000-square-foot vacant building in the Bronx with the help of city tax breaks under a plan officials with the New York City Industrial Development Agency will review next week.

SICIS North America, which already operates a Soho retail location at 470 Broome Street, would acquire a two-story property at 150 Bruckner Boulevard in the Port Morris neighborhood and add five full-time employees through tax exemptions and abatements worth $9.6 million, according to an application the company’s real estate arm filed with the city. Read More

Tech

EDC To Open New Incubator Space in BK Tech Triangle

One City Built to Last

The city’s Economic Development Corporation will grow its clean energy technology incubator program by investing in a 75,000-square-foot facility near an existing demonstration and education space in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle between Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s new energy savings plan.

The site planned for an as-yet-undetermined location for “step-out space” close to the NYC Urban Future Lab at 15 MetroTech in Downtown Brooklyn would provide flexible leases and wide-open, low-cost spaces to help companies innovate without needing to leave New York City to implement their designs or try out their prototypes, says a section of the 114-page “One City: Built to Last” plan. Read More

Exits

Twilight of an Era: Seth Pinsky Leaving EDC for RXR Realty

Leaving for the private sector.

The waning months of Mayor Bloomberg’s reign are expected to be marked by a series of high-powered departures, as one official after another jumps ship before the mayor leaves office. The latest is Bloomberg stalwart and Dan Doctoroff protégée Seth Pinsky, who is stepping down from the Economic Development Corporation to take a private sector gig with RXR Realty, as the agency announced today. Kyle Kimball, who is currently the agency’s executive director, will succeed him. Read More

The Sit-Down

ABS Partners’ Ashkán Zandieh on the Sociology of Tech and NYC’s Race Against San Francisco

Ashkán Zandieh

“The ability to socialize and collaborate is one of the founding blocks of creating a tech community,” writes Ashkán Zandieh, director of the creative and start-up advisory division at ABS Partners Real Estate, in the latest edition of his quarter TechStarter report. Mr. Zandieh has been involved with the technology sector for seven years. He created and sold a start-up, has advised several fledgling companies and tracked the field’s real estate activity for the past year. From ABS Partner’s Union Square area office, Mr. Zandieh is well-positioned to observe and dissect the red hot Midtown South tech real estate market and, if he looks south, the growth of the Financial District as a tech and new media contender.

Mr Zandieh spoke by phone with The Commercial Observer.

The Commercial Observer: How is the tech-fueled Midtown South commercial real estate market holding up?

Mr. Zandieh: The average asking rental price per square foot increased from an estimated $38 per-square-foot in 2011 and 2012 to nearly $60 per square foot for Class B buildings in Midtown South in the first quarter of 2013. What’s pretty interesting is that we’re seeing a Class B transition–there’s a fuzzy line between Class B and Class C.

So young companies are still drawn to, and able to afford, the neighborhood?

A lot of the start-ups I’m working with now are down in Soho and expanding by 20 or 30 employees. They’re moving out of Soho and to NoMad, where they can get larger floor plates. By NoMad, I mean 23rd Street to 28th Street between Park and Seventh Avenues. Read More