Forest City Ratner has included plans for a 400,000-square-foot WeWork headquarters as part of its bid for a mixed-use development project at Seward Park in the Lower East Side, the Wall Street Journal reported.
WeWork, a rapidly-growing communal office space provider for startups, already has offices in Soho, Midtown and the Meatpacking District, Read More
T he turnover of leadership at New York’s venerable real estate organizations has been staggering. Since September, Stephen Ross of Related Companies, Michael Fascitelli of Vornado Realty Trust, Mort Zuckerman of Boston Properties, Larry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties and Bruce Ratner of Forest City Ratner have all announced their resignations from their current roles.
While all will stay involved with their respective companies in one form or another, the changing of the guard in New York real estate has been in full swing.
Below, The Commercial Observer highlights each of these men—and their replacements—along with the one that started the recent trend, Douglas Durst.
Larry Silverstein, the affable face of Silverstein Properties and the man behind the redevelopment of the World Trade Center, is stepping down as CEO – the latest of a string of high-profile real estate CEOs to step down this year.
The co-chief executive at the firm, Mr. Silvertein’s heir apparent, Marty Burger, who joined in 2010 as executive vice president after 15 years with Related Companies, will succeed Mr. Silverstein, The Wall Street Journal reported. Mr. Silverstein will stay on as chairman.
“Marty is a terrific young guy, and his function is really going to be to grow the company,” the 81-year-old real estate icon, Mr. Silverstein, told the Journal.
Tough Mudder, a company that stages obstacle races around the world, has signed a lease to take 70,000 square feet of office space at 15 MetroTech Center, Joseph Cirone of Cushman & Wakefield told The Commercial Observer. The company will take the entire seventh and eighth floors in Forest City Ratner’s 19-story building.
The deal is a sublease of space currently held by Wellpoint, a healthcare company. Asking rents were in the $20s per square foot.
Before Jeremy Moss, senior vice president of leasing at Silverstein Properties, joined the firm four and a half years ago, he spent eight years working at Forest City Ratner, a tenure that culminated in a role managing the leasing of the office space at the New York Times building. He called working alongside Bruce Ratner Read More
A retail powerhouse that seemingly materialized from thin air last summer has reportedly placed its CEO on administrative leave for alleged embezzlement, surprising many – but not all – brokers.
Trevi Retail placed its founder and CEO Rockie Gajwani on administrative leave after he allegedly embezzled up to $2 million in funds from the firm’s financial partner, Principal Enterprise Capital, a subsidiary of the Iowa-based financial services firm Principal Financial Group, sources told The Real Deal.
“It’s shocking,” one broker told The Commercial Observer, reacting to the news. “I didn’t see it coming.”
Though not a traditional owner-operator, TIAA-CREF has begun to draw the attention of the real estate industry in recent months for a bevy of deals, including its acquisition of a stake in the Frank Gehry-designed building at 8 Spruce Street and a joint venture with Norges Bank Investment Management.
The asset management firm’s steady persistence in the real estate market during the downturn has led to a realization of gains, and recent deals could lead to the redeployment of capital in key markets going forward, said analysts familiar with the firm’s strategy going into 2013.
“TIAA is one of the investors that was pretty active in the depths of the market in 2009 and 2010, and some of those investments have turned into significant home runs,” said Dan Fasulo, managing director and head of research at Real Capital Analytics.
Gary LaBarbara has an axe to grind with developers at City Point before they dig any deeper into Downtown Brooklyn.
In a move that could exacerbate friction that’s already occurring at the community level, the president of the Building & Construction Trades Council of New York thrashed the builders of the development project, claiming that they are “failing” to meet the needs of the community by instead catering to private interests.
“City Point is receiving vast amounts of public subsidies ranging from tax exempt bond financing to property tax abatements,” Mr. LaBarbera wrote in an op-ed that appeared in Real Estate Weekly yesterday. “But on a score central to responsible economic development for everyday New Yorkers — creating good jobs that strengthen local communities — City Point is failing.”
As forecasters became more and more certain that a monster storm named Sandy was barreling toward Manhattan in the 48 hours leading up to its landfall on Monday, October 29, Real Estate Board of New York President Steven Spinola lay in a hospital bed recovering from a sudden medical emergency.
But the hospital stay didn’t Read More
Year in Real Estate
FEMA spokesperson William Rukeyser described the ad-hoc, jumbled feel of the company’s impromptu space in the Forest Hills Tower like a scene from a hard-hit neighborhood, with hanging wires, antennas strapped to the ceiling, Post-It notes and sheets of paper with various instructions scattered about, and impromptu folding tables holding printers and other office equipment. Most seemed at a loss for words when assessing damages.
“It’s—It’s—It’s just a mess,” Durst Organization spokesperson Jordan Barowitz told The Commercial Observer less than a week after the storm hit, struggling to describe the destruction in Lower Manhattan.
NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress will temporarily lease 26,000 square feet of space from Forest City Ratner at Downtown Brooklyn’s Metrotech Center, where it will host its inaugural class of 50 students this fall.
Construction has begun on the space at 1 Metrotech as the school awaits the completion of its new home at nearby 370 Jay Street, slated for completion in 2017.
The Metrotech space will include 83 offices and workstations for faculty and staff; collaborative spaces at the corners of the building; and at least three labs, according to NYU.
On Thursday, Nov. 1, Virgo Business Centers made 27,321 square feet of temporary, furnished office space available at 14 Penn Plaza. Companies displaced by Hurricane Sandy filed in one by one, and by the following Thursday, the space was full.
“Typically, that process takes about a year,” said Pasha Erkin, director of sales at the company. “It’s all about readiness. You could literally bring me 40 people today, and I could have the space ready tomorrow. All you have to do is walk in, flip on a switch, plug in and start working.”
In that building alone, the company took on 177 employees from displaced companies like Coronet, amfAR, Linda Decorato, Ambrose and others located on the eastern tip of Downtown and other areas hit hard by the hurricane.
Post-Tropical Storm Sandy
The list of real estate companies teaming up with the New York City Economic Development Corporation to donate free, temporary office space in the wake of Hurricane Sandy continues to grow.
The latest, The Lightstone Group, announced Friday that it will make 11,000 square feet of space available at 1407 Broadway through a city program for a period up to six months.
Basketball owner and rap mogul Jay-Z can claim another title to his rap-and-business resume: Director of a basketball arena.
Jay-Z, a.k.a “Shawn Carter,” is listed under his real name as the director for the Brooklyn Arena LLC, the company behind Barclay’s Center, as was first reported by Norman Oder’s Atlantic Yards Report blog.
The hip hopper’s new title was discovered on liquor license application papers filed by Forest City Ratner Cos.
Forest City Ratner developer Bruce Ratner suffered one of the most dramatic drops in this year’s Power 100 (at least, without actually dropping out of the list), going from 48 in 2011 to 72 in 2012. But the Ohio-based company’s biggest critic, Norman Oder, insists the 24-rung fall was too much.