In 2009 and 2010 “you could have rolled a bowling ball down the aisle” at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon conference “and it wouldn’t have hit anybody,” Massey Knakal executive vice president of retail leasing Benjamin Fox told The Commercial Observer.
But when an estimated 33,000 real estate professionals converged upon one million Read More
When The Commercial Observer profiled 229 West 43rd Street (the former New York Times Building) earlier this month, leasing agent Brian Waterman of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank said “a bunch of larger tenants [were] hanging around the rim.” Mr. Waterman declined to name names, but unconfirmed reports suggest interest among some big, usual suspects from the tech and media sectors.
RECon: Las Vegas
JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson is out… as keynote speaker at next month’s ICSC RECon 2013 conference.
The head of arguably the most embattled U.S. retailer was probably an odd choice all along for the event, which takes place May 19 through 22 in Las Vegas.
The Year in Review
This past February, 10Gen, developer of the computer system database MongoDB, was in search of new office space, specifically in tech- and media-rich Midtown South.
The company needed a large open layout for its workers, with an option for more space to allow the firm to grow—plus an option to terminate. Unfortunately, the ultra-tight market Read More
Interpublic Group of Companies and Vornado Realty Trust have sealed the previously reported pending deal at 100 West 33rd Street.
The multinational advertising and public relations company signed a 15-year, 95,000-square-foot space at Vornado’s 1.1 million-square-foot, a spokesperson for the REIT confirmed today with The Commercial Observer.
In one of the biggest real estate stories to break this year, the commercial real estate company Grubb & Ellis filed for bankruptcy in February, listing $150 million in assets and $167 million in debts. The company agreed to sell nearly all of those debts to BGC Partners, the financial brokerage firm headed by Howard Lutnick that entered the real estate fray in 2011 with its acquisition of Newmark Knight Frank.
The melding of Grubb & Ellis’s broad array of corporate clients and financial services with Newmark’s strength in the New York market would create a formidable national powerhouse. But the merger was held up for longer than expected in U.S. Bankruptcy Court as Grubb & Ellis brokers fought against terms that they alleged used commissions owed as incentives to remain with the unified company.
BGC cleared these hurdles and closed on the acquisition in April, leading to the creation of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. The Commercial Observer spoke to Mr. Lutnick—the chief executive of Cantor Fitzgerald before BGC broke away from it—about NGKF’s big first year, his love for and tussles with brokers, and his company’s future designs on commercial real estate.
Late last year, when the education publishing company Scholastic offered up about 60,000 square feet of sublease space at the top of the Soho office building 568 Broadway, the firm quickly found it wouldn’t be difficult to fill.
Within weeks, a host of tenants were competing for it, including several tech firms, one of the most active sectors of the leasing market in Manhattan right now. Tumblr, foursquare and AppNexus, all well-known names in the industry, moved to the front of the pack.
On the face of it, such a decision would seem easy. Of the three, only AppNexus, a firm that specializes in online advertising and is backed by the software giant Microsoft, is known to be profitable. But in a tech boom in which riches don’t always flow from the most likely sources, the deal for the space took a different turn.
The competition soon boiled down not to AppNexus but to Tumblr and foursquare, two companies that have become top brands in the new internet boom and have raised tens of millions of dollars in venture capital between them, but have yet to find income-producing platforms for their services.
If Don Draper still ran an advertising agency, he’d have a very different Manhattan life. Instead of a dozen martinis and oysters at Grand Central every night after work, it’d probably be a quick Peroni and antipasti at Eataly before hitting the gym.
He might even be home early enough to kiss Betty and read a book to his kids. And, of course, he’d work in a fabulous open-plan office in Manhattan’s most desired commercial real estate market, Midtown South.
A Little Bird Told Us
Twitter, the Web’s main repository of personal oversharing, political dissent and tasteless self-promotion, is donning a suit and tie.
The little blue bird has been perching in a spartan temporary New York City space since September, searching for the perfect spot for its first New York City headquarters. Now The Observer has learned that Read More
bpopper [at] observer.com | @benpopper