Lease Beat

Birch Coffee Takes Space at 8 Spruce Street

8 Spruce Street.

Birch Coffee fans will get their java on in Lower Manhattan at 8 Spruce Street by the end of the year, Commercial Observer has learned.

For its seventh location, Manhattan-based Birch Coffee, which serves coffee, tea, food, beer and wine, signed a 10-year lease for the entire 904-square-foot retail space at the 76-story, 904-unit residential New York By Gehry Building between Nassau and William Streets, Birch Coffee’s broker said. The asking rent was $125 per square foot. Read More

Market Report

36 Projects in the Pipeline in Downtown Brooklyn: Report

What's ahead in Downtown Brooklyn.

There are 36 projects in the pipeline in Downtown Brooklyn totaling $4.2 billion, according to the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership‘s first-ever real estate market report for Downtown Brooklyn released this morning.

The biggest project in the pipeline in terms of cost and square footage is Forest City Ratner Companies‘ mixed-use Pacific Park, a redevelopment of 22 acres slated to cost $3.05 billion, the report says. Read More

Lease Beat

Sugar Factory Signs Sweet Deal at Barclays Center

Barclays Center.

Come September, Barclays Center will be home to New York City’s second Sugar Factory. The Las Vegas-based cafe and sweetery chain signed a lease on May 15 for 4,000 square feet on the ground floor of the arena, Commercial Observer has learned.

The asking rent in the 15-year deal at the major sports and entertainment venue, at 620 Atlantic Avenue, was $200 per foot, a source with knowledge of the deal said. Read More

ICSC 2014

Forest City Entertaining Entertainment Venue for Atlantic Center

Atlantic Center. (Forest City Ratner Companies)

Forest City Ratner Companies is looking to lease roughly 20,000 square feet on the third floor of Atlantic Center, across from Barclays Center, to an entertainment venue, Commercial Observer learned.

Kathryn Welch, executive vice president at Forest City, told CO at the International Council of Shopping Centers RECon, that after mulling the best use for the space, it decided a sports bar, bowling alley or restaurant would “make sense” with the evolution of the area, especially considering the space is on the difficult-to-lease third floor. The space is being marketed in-house. Read More

ICSC 2014

The Dirt on ICSC’s RECon

rgb_-Las vegas- by Moyan Brenn4

ICSC RECon is sprawling and frenetic enough to test the nerves of grizzled veterans and wide-eyed first timers alike. Commercial Observer picked up some expert advice on the event that hopefully came in handy for those now leaving Las Vegas.

Chase Welles, SCG Retail

Strategy: “I’m almost completely booked with existing clients and solidifying current deals and will take a look at new ones. I also make it my business to go to Lotus of Siam. It’s the best Thai restaurant in the country.”

Trend prediction: “Sunday of ICSC is the new Wednesday.” Read More


Forest City Ratner Eyes Sale of Nets Stake

Barclays Center.

Forest City Ratner Companies has hired Evercore Partners to advise the developer on the sale of its 20-percent stake in the Brooklyn Nets basketball franchise, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The company and a group of investors acquired the team for $300 million in 2004 when the Nets were based in New Jersey. The acquisition played an integral role in bringing the Nets to Brooklyn and the Barclays Center arena, the focal point of Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development. Read More

Lease Beat

Hale & Hearty Takes Space in MetroTech Center

2 MetroTech Center

Hale & Hearty Soups will be opening at 2 MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn this fall after signing a 10-year lease for 1,760 square feet, MetroTech Center developer Forest City Ratner Companies announced.

New York-based Hale & Hearty, which has 30 locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island, sells sandwiches made with artisanal breads, salads and 15 to 20 different soups per day. All soups are made from scratch in Hale & Hearty’s Brooklyn kitchens. Read More

Lease Beat

Northside Media Group Heads from Dumbo to DoBro

1 MetroTech Center

After 11 years in Dumbo, Northside Media Group, publisher of The L Magazine and Brooklyn Magazine, moved to Downtown Brooklyn’s 1 MetroTech Center yesterday, according to one of Northside’s co-founders, Daniel Stedman.

The company, which also specializes in the marketing, branding and execution of events like SummerScreen, Absolut Bonus Track and the Northside Festival, was ready for a change and needed bigger digs for its 25 employees, Mr. Stedman said. Read More

The Sit-Down

Tucker Reed Won’t Sleep Until Downtown Brooklyn Becomes a 24/7 Community

Tucker Reed, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership

Tucker Reed is sweet on Brooklyn—big time. A resident of Prospect Heights who enjoys frequenting the Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Mr. Reed is a champion of the city’s most populous borough. He is a ball of energy as he talks about all of the work the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership has done with him as president for the past two years, from supporting the technology sector with the Brooklyn Tech Triangle Coalition to establishing Downtown Brooklyn as New York City’s college town. About a year after Commercial Observer conducted the Sit-Down interview with Mr. Tucker, we wanted to check in and see how the nonprofit has been doing with the reinvention of Downtown Brooklyn. Read More


MaryAnne Gilmartin Named Co-Chair of Downtown Brooklyn Partnership Board

MaryAnne Gilmartin

MaryAnne Gilmartin, president and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies, and tech leader MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis will serve as the new co-chairs of the board of directors of the nonprofit Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

“When the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership launched in 2006, Downtown Brooklyn looked, felt and served a very different role than today,” Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Tucker Reed said in a statement. “Now, new firms and families are choosing to be here because of the neighborhood’s strong foundation and rich history. MaryAnne and Bre embody a new generation of Brooklyn entrepreneurs, and I am delighted that we’ll be able to tap into their experience and wisdom.” Read More

Sales Beat

Vornado Resolves Extell Dispute, Will Build Luxury Condo at 220 Central Park South

220 Central Park South

Vornado Realty Trust has acquired the land and air rights necessary to proceed with its development at 220 Central Park South, the real estate investment trust announced yesterday.

The $194 million acquisition will allow Vornado to begin construction of its planned 920-foot tall luxury residential condominium and puts to rest an ongoing dispute between the REIT and Extell Development, the seller of the rights. Read More

Atlantic Yards

Chinese Firm Signs Preliminary Deal As Atlantic Yards Majority Investor

Pacific Park Brooklyn

Chinese state-owned property developer Greenland Holdings Group signed a preliminary deal to buy a majority stake in Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards, under which the Shanghai-based investor would take a 70 percent stake from Forest City Ratner Companies.

Under the proposal, Greenland would co-developing the residential portion of the complex and sharing its costs going forward, while FCRC Read More


Lawsuit Alleges FCRC Modular Project Violates Code

Forest City Ratner Companies

An Article 78 litigation proceeding filed last week against the New York City Department of Buildings in the State Supreme Court, New York County, by the Plumbing Foundation City of New York, Inc. and the Mechanical Contractors of New York, Inc., alleges the DOB ignored City plumbing and fire code requirements when it approved the Forest City Ratner Companies plan for the developer’s Atlantic Yards modular project.

According to the lawsuit, the DOB violated the code by approving FCRC’s plan to construct the modular residential building without the supervision of licensed master plumbers and licensed master fire suppression contractors. Read More

Power Broker

Engineering Success: David Cooper on the Future of the WSP Group

David Cooper

When the U.S. branch of London-based engineering consultancy WSP Group was charged by Forest City Ratner Companies and the New York Times with the task of designing the core and shell, as well as the interior, of the Grey Lady’s new headquarters on Eighth Avenue, the team faced a coterie of challenges presented by the advanced technologies required to meet the developers’ sustainability and efficiency demands.

The WSP team, led by president David Cooper, was ready for the task. Read More