Everywhere a Sign

H&M Logo to Grace 4 Times Square

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H&M is prepping to emblazon its logo atop Durst Organization‘s 4 Times Square, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The ad, to be completed later this year, will accompany the 42,500-square-foot H&M store that will open at the 48-story tower’s base, where it signed a lease for a new store and the rooftop signage in October.

The Read More

Awards

REBNY Gives Retail Deal of the Year Honors to David LaPierre, Jacqueline Klinger, Chase Welles

From left to right: David LaPierre, Jacqueline Klinger, Chase Welles

Brokers who brought big name chain retailers to a pair of Jeff Sutton properties won big last night at the Real Estate Board of New York‘s Retail Deal of the Year Awards at 101 Park Avenue.

David LaPierre of CBRE nabbed the prize for  “most ingenious and creative retail deal that demonstrates exceptional broker acumen” for a transaction that brought Express to 1552-1560 Broadway. Jacqueline Klinger and Chase Welles of SCG Retail‘s success in landing Whole Foods in Harlem (at 100 West 125th Street) were deemed the brokers behind “the retail deal which is most significant in its overall characteristics and importance to the New York City Retail Market” Read More

Lease Beat

TGI Friday’s Relocates in Times Square

Courtesy of Waiterpay

TGI Friday’s will be relocating its Times Square restaurant.

The popular chain restaurant will be moving to a 10,872-square-foot space at 147-149 West 46th Street from its current outpost less than a block away on the corner of Broadway and 46th Street, officials said.

“Their previous location at 1552 Broadway was sold and they were Read More

Controversies

Round 2: City Landlords Kick and Scream Back Following Allegations of Broker Leapfrogging

(Photo: The Real Deal)

Some city landlords are kicking and screaming back after an article published in The Commercial Observer yesterday morning cited sources who allege that a new wave of city landlords are leapfrogging brokers to get at retail tenants directly—but many continue to claim that the landlords do just that.

Wharton Properties’ Jeff Sutton, who sources name among several landlords, sought to set the record straight yesterday, claiming that “95 percent of the deals I do have brokers” and calling the implication that he does otherwise “disgusting.”

“Some deals where I’ve had relationships [with] tenants for many years, who don’t have brokers, I do myself, but how could you put me in that category,” he said.  “I’ve never ever gone around anybody.” Read More

Controversies

Retail Brokers ‘Kicking and Screaming’ as Landlords Skip the Middle Man

Joe Sitt

Some commercial real estate brokers are “kicking and screaming” about the audacity of some city landlords who they claim are disregarding their “exclusives” with retailers by attempting to land tenants on their own.

The idea of “skipping the middle man,” once thought of as a tool for efficiency, is enraging some brokers, who tell The Commercial Observer that large retail owners including  Joe Sitt, Jeff Sutton and Joe Moinian, are steering out of their way – but digging deep under their skin.

“Totally not kosher,” one perturbed president of a top city brokerage wrote in an email to The Commercial Observer.  “It puts the retail brokers in a difficult spot and it is morally incorrect.” Read More

ICSC

Fulton Maul: Culture Clash Ensues in Downtown Brooklyn

Armani Exchange at the City Point Development

With the long-awaited Barclays Center open and new residential and mixed-use development projects popping up across Downtown Brooklyn, a retail conundrum is growing along the 17-block Fulton Mall.

The national and in some cases high-end retailers moving onto the strip paint a stark contrast to the long list of mom-and-pops, local discounters and jewelry shops that once almost exclusively lined the street. Read More

Postings

Tech Wasn’t Only Sector to Lease in Midtown South in 3Q12

Midtown South 3Q12 Leasing Activity.

With all the talk about Midtown South’s incredibly shrinking vacancy rate, it’s easy to conclude that deals by a swarm of new-media companies, social applications and tech startups are at the heart of the market’s heralded rebound. But a closer look at third quarter leasing activity suggests that companies with long histories, like Estée Lauder, should take equal billing. Ken McCarthy, senior economist at Cushman & Wakefield, reviewed Midtown South’s third-quarter activity and explained why the market and its five submarkets performed so well in the last quarter and in the past 12 months. Read More

COver Stories

Sutton’s Place: The Behind-the-Scenes Negotiations That Led to Jeff Sutton’s Blockbuster 1552 Broadway Acquisition

1552 Broadway.

Before Jeff Sutton and SL Green  formed a partnership to acquire 1552 Broadway last summer, the diminutive landmark was best known for the four female Broadway stars on its facade.

Theater buffs trolling the neighborhood often visited the two-story building for the stone figurines of Ethel Barrymore, Marilyn Miller, Rosa Ponselle and Mary Pickford mounted on its second level in the 1920s. But with a T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant as its tenant, the building had otherwise become virtually indistinguishable from the bonanza of big-ticket retailers that have come to dominate Times Square.

Nonetheless, SL Green and Mr. Sutton, widely considered one of the city’s most savvy retail investors, saw greater potential for the 15,000-square-foot asset—a fact indicated by the price they agreed to pay its owner, the Riese Organization. Indeed, at more than $136.5 million, the sale last year amounted to a shocking $9,100 per square foot, more than a dozen analysts and real estate executives told The Commercial Observer in a series of interviews last week. Read More

Power 100

The Commercial Observer’s Power 100 Gala, Minute by Minute, Drink for Drink

Gary Barnett, Among the Most Powerful Men in Real Estate.

Can The Commercial Observer party at its own party? You bet! The CO got down at its annual Power 100 celebration, which honors its picks for the top 100 most powerful, influential and successful real estate figures in the city. Held at the Core Club in Midtown on Monday night, the gathering featured a collection of the most distinguished owners, brokers, executives and politicians. After the jump, a minute-by-minute color commentary on the city’s most powerful human beings. Read More

The Lobby

John Grotto Parts Ways With Durst Organization

John Grotto

John Grotto has abruptly left the Durst Organization The Commercial Observer has learned.

Mr. Grotto was a top leasing executive at the company, which is one of the most prominent landlords in Manhattan, involved in overseeing deals at many of its top assets, including One Bryant Park, Four Times Square and 205 East 42nd Street. Read More