The Luxembourg-based facility manager and business support system Regus will open a new location downtown. The company operates more than 1,400 locations around the world with nearly 60 in the city.
With a lease duration of 10 years, Regus’ latest office boasts 32,000 square feet at 101 Sixth Avenue, an Edward J. Minskoff Equities asset north of Canal Street with steep asking rents of $75 per square foot.
From a Taconic Investment Partners project in Hunts Point to the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan, power in New York real estate circles has increasingly expanded from the comfortable confines of Midtown Manhattan to the fringes of all five boroughs. While large developments such as the Related Company’s Hudson Yards often dominate the conversation, Brooklyn, Queens and even the Bronx continue to grow in stature.
Long Island City is fast becoming a focal point for the real estate industry as Rockrose and other residential developers tap into the growing Queens neighborhood. In the Bronx, Taconic Investment Partners, formerly the owners of 111 Eighth Avenue, is in the process of a significant capital improvement plan at the BankNote Building on Lafayette Avenue in Hunt’s Point.
Below, a sampling of where power thrives in New York City in 2013.
The dark glass walls lining 51 Astor Place are modernistic, if not futuristic. Some critics have claimed that its developer’s asking rents, at upward of $115 a foot, are from the future too.
Others have argued that Edward Minskoff took a gamble in erecting the structure without an anchor tenant—a so-called “spec tower.”
But for Mr. Minskoff, who has developed close to 37 million square feet of property in 10 cities around the country—maintaining patience as a virtue—the term takes on a positive connotation.
“A spec tower means that we started the development with the confidence that if you build it they will come, and with the confidence necessary to lease the building,” Mr. Minskoff told The Commercial Observer. “If you’re going to plan a building and you don’t start it until a tenant comes walking along, you can be sitting on the dirt for 10 years.”
Edward Minskoff has developed close to 37 million square feet of property in 10 cities around the country. His latest dive into Midtown South comes at 51 Astor Place, where a 13-story, 430,000-square-foot dark glass building will open next month, fueled by a red-hot office market and Mr. Minskoff’s personal faith that the neighborhood will Read More
Midtown South is starting to look a little like Downtown North.
In the latest sign of the evolution of Manhattan’s former no-man’s land between Midtown and Downtown into the hottest office submarket in the U.S., Cushman & Wakefield last week noted a migration of financial firms into Midtown South and a corresponding overflow of technology and media firms into the Financial District over the past 10 years.
“We’ve never seen such an intertwining of the Midtown South market and Downtown,” Andrew Peretz, executive vice president at C&W, said in an interview.
2012 Owners Magazine
A few years ago, a city Department of Finance official noticed irregularities in the way certain residential properties had been appraised by the agency, leading to slightly lower-than-normal valuations.
To compensate, the official suggested the department decrease its assessments across the board for the group, which mostly comprised single-family homes and small co-op buildings in an area of one of the boroughs.
Dropping the valuations slightly below usual thresholds would reduce the taxes the city could collect, but only by a few percentage points—a seemingly harmless amount in the face of the billions of dollars the agency assesses—and it would allow the department to restore uniformity and equanimity to its calculations, one of the mandates of its process.
What appeared to be an innocuous adjustment, however, garnered a backlash that was swift and forceful. Top officials at the department were summoned to Mayor Bloomberg’s Upper East Side townhouse. There they were confronted by the mayor and irate senior executives from the city’s budget office, the person said.
Though the theme of the meeting was ostensibly to discuss the irregularities and why the department had chosen lower assessments, the underlying message was clear: don’t trifle with the city’s revenue.
“I feel like we got taken out to the backyard to get whipped,” the source said, requesting anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the meeting.
Construction starts in New York City were down 16 percent in the first half of 2012, the New York Building Congress announced this morning.
A total of $6.6 billion-worth of new construction projects launched in New York City during the first 6 months of this year, down from the $7.9 billion achieved in the first part of 2011 and down $4 billion from the first half of 2010.
The Lawyers You Call
Jonathan Mechanic, a partner at Fried Frank and chairman of the firm’s real estate department, represents clients in every type of commercial real estate transaction. His deals have included Conde Nast’s 1-million-square-foot lease at One World Trade Center and, more recently, the 170,000-square-foot bite that the New York Genome Center took out of 101 Avenue of the Americas.
The New York Genome Center has signed a 20-year, 170,000-square-foot lease at Edward Minskoff’s 101 Avenue of the Americas to establish the largest genetic sequencing facility in the city.
Mayor Bloomberg, who was on hand at a press conference held at the Hudson Square building this morning to announce the deal, said the lease was evidence of how biotech and life sciences companies were moving to the city and helping to diversify the local economy.
The New York Genome Center has completed a deal to take 150,000 square feet at 101 Avenue of the Americas, sources involved in the transaction have revealed to The Commercial Observer.
The center, which was founded through a partnership of several large medical and academic institutions, will be a biotech, data storage and genetic sequencing facility.
As the first month of 2012 was coming to a close, many in the industry wondered aloud whether this would be a moribund year for leasing in many of the city’s newest buildings. There were notable new developments –1 and 4 World Trade Center and 51 Astor Place among them– dealing with equally-as-notable vacancies.
The NY Post’s Steve Cuozzo in January wrote that he detected “nothing substantive, or close to it, happening at no fewer than a half-dozen-odd new projects, from the World Trade Center to West 55th Street.”
Since then, however, the market has picked up, and many of these new developments have notched significant deals that have kept the naysayers mum…. at least, temporarily so.
Maverick developer Edward Minskoff is close to bagging his first tenant for 51 Astor Place, the spec office building he is boldly building in Cooper Square without any guaranteed tenants in hand.
Hult International Business School is in talks to take 51 Astor’s entire second floor, a roughly 55,000-square-foot space. Sources say the school could pay rents that begin in the $60s per square foot but escalate to around $100 per square foot over the life of a long term lease at the roughly 400,000-square-foot property.
While leasing activity for much of New York City in the past few months has been more lackluster than blockbuster, a sizable chunk of available space –sizable in the, say, 6 million square foot range– is on the cusp of hitting the market, The Wall Street Journal reports.
New developments like 1 World Trade Center, 4 World Trade Center, and Edward Minskoff’s 51 Astor Place, are all slated to hit the market in 2013. The last time NYC had this much new space becoming available was in 1989, said Cassidy Turley’s Robert Sammons.
Construction Outlook 2012
Plenty of statistics point to the need for new office construction in Manhattan, and the city’s aging building stock isn’t least among them.
Indeed, no meaningful addition to the city’s roughly 400 million square feet of commercial space has been added to the skyline in two decades, raising questions as to whether it could face a shortage in the coming years, a situation that has pressured rental spikes in the past. For now, however, amid what appears to be at least a hiccup in leasing during the last quarter of 2011 and the opening quarter of this year—not to mention lingering concerns about the health of the economy—only the most intrepid developers have gone into the ground with projects.
Seth Pinsky, head of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, said that the recent motions to landmark buildings in downtown Brooklyn wouldn’t prohibit landlords there from attracting tenants in search of 21st-Century accommodations.
Mr. Pinsky gave his comments participating in a panel this morning in midtown hosted by the accounting and business consulting firm Margolin, Winer & Evens LLP and came as other panelists, including Mr. Pinsky himself, highlighted the need for new space in the city.