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.
Steve Wiktoff paced back and forth in a conference room at his partnership’s New York City office, eager to talk about his latest endeavors, but just as eager to tackle the other 10 commitments that had come his way over the course of the first of several interviews with The Mortgage Observer.
BSJ SoHo let go of 72-76 Greene Street last week for a reported sum of $41.5 million. The buyer—a partnership of Chicago-based L3 Capital and Washington, D.C.’s ASB Capital Management—paid $1,186 per square foot for the building known as “The King of Greene Street” because of its French renaissance-Second Empire architectural styling. It contains two Read More
Featuring an all-star line up of the city’s most formidable real estate professionals, this year’s annual Masters of Real Estate fetched a record 450 RSVPs, The Commercial Observer has learned.
Observer Media Group executives began preparing for the event, now in its third year, six months in advance with an eye toward creating an eclectic mix of speakers. Larry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties, Michael Fascitelli of Vornado, William Rudin of Rudin Management, Jeff Blau of Related Companies and Glenn Rufrano of Cushman & Wakefield are all scheduled to appear. Rob Speyer of Tishman Speyer bowed out.
Jared Kushner, the owner of The Commercial Observer and president of Kushner Companies, will lead the event with remarks.
Built by the Rockefeller family in the 1930s, Rockefeller Center is one of the largest commercial real estate developments to be built in the past century. Initially spanning approximately two dozen buildings, 22 acres and over 8,000,000 square feet, the district has further expanded in recent years to include a few dozen additional buildings along the Sixth Avenue corridor.
“There has also been a significant slowdown of leasing along the Sixth Avenue corridor, particularly Class A leasing, where leasing in the first half of 2012 was about half the long-term average,” said Melissa Bazar, an executive director at Cushman & Wakefield. “Since the Sixth Avenue corridor is dominated by large corporate users and financial firms, we expect leasing to remain sluggish through the balance of 2012, below the long-term average.”
Inventory has increased from 9.3 percent to 10.5 percent this past year, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s third-quarter report.
Billionaires And Their Toys
What timing! No sooner was it revealed that a number of the world’s billionaires have bought into Extell’s One57 tower than Forbes releases its annual list of the world’s billionaires. Good luck figuring out who some of the Chinese or British money men who bought in the building are—they number in the dozens by now—but how about the Nigerians? With only two billionaires in the country, it would appear one of them has to be among Gary Barnett’s big hitter tenants.
Either Aliko Dangote (#76 on this year’s list of the World’s Billionaires), Africa’s cement king, or Mike Adenuga (#248), the “reclusive” head of Conoil Producing, an oil company, will soon be rubbing elbows with the rest of the world’s billionaires inside Barnett’s luxury tower at 157 West 57th Street.
Developer Gale International has agreed to buy a Flatiron District development site that is currently owned by Gary Barnett’s Extell Development Co.
The site, located on 19-25 W. 20th Street, is a 9,200 square foot vacant lot that sits next to a parking garage. The asking price was reportedly $300 a buildable foot. If it closes the deal, Gale International will be able to add three stories on top of the parking lot, which is leased out by Icon Parking.
The deal was first reported by Crain’s New York.
The site “is under contract, and we are expecting a closing in a couple of months,” said Robert Knakal, chairman of Massey Knakal, which was marketing the property and was involved in the sale.
It didn’t take long for Jeff Rosenblatt to sense something awry in the house of Kent Swig.
It was 2009 and Mr. Swig, at the time a large landlord in the city, had purchased the real estate services company Helmsley-Spear a year earlier. In the months after his big acquisition of the legendary brokerage firm, Mr. Swig had offered Mr. Rosenblatt a senior position managing its leasing operations.
Andrew Goldberg is a retail executive at CBRE, where he is one of the firm’s top brokers, representing both landlords and tenants. With Nordstrom’s deal on 57th Street, retail leasing has been the talk of the town. Of course, Mr. Goldberg is no stranger to big-time leasing deals, having brokered Gucci’s 50,000-square-foot flagship at Trump Tower in 2006, one of the most valuable retail deals ever done in Manhattan. Mr. Goldberg spoke with The Commercial Observer recently about last month’s huge Nordstrom deal, the Drake development site, Gucci and Westfield’s plans for the World Trade Center.
It turns out that patience is virtue for both Nordstrom and Extell Development. When the retailer announced Thursday that it would be opening a 285,000-square-foot, 7-story store at 225 West 57th Street some time in 2018, it represented the culmination of ten to 15 years of searching. Meanwhile, developer Gary Barnett had been quietly assembling the parcel where the store will open for almost a decade.
In the end, the deal was pulled off thanks to a team from Jones Lang LaSalle, the firm’s Derek Trulson telling The Commercial Observer that real estate expertise, not retail expertise, paved the way.
On the heels of The Commercial Observer’s report yesterday about all signs pointing to Nordtrom taking space at Extell Development’s project at 225 West 57th Street, the company said today that it has now finalized those plans. The store is projected to open in 2018 and excavation work could begin by the first quarter of 2013. When it opens, it will be the retailer’s New York flagship, and its first full-line store in the city.
Sources say Nordstrom is in talks to anchor a development project that Gary Barnett would build at 225 West 57th Street.
Rumors have swirled for months that Mr. Barnett, one of the city’s most prolific and successful builders of residential and commercial real estate, is trying to arrange a transaction with the department store, which has been cruising around Manhattan for a site for years.
A Cushman & Wakefield team is ramping up marketing efforts for the upper portion of Gary Barnett’s International Gem Tower, the 46th Street office building currently under construction that will have commercial condos in its base and office floors for lease in the tower.
The 34-story building’s rental floors begin on 23 and are about 22,500 square feet apiece.
It was near the end of 2011, and what most New Yorkers knew of the city’s plan to create an ambitious tech campus on Roosevelt Island was that Stanford University had the project in the bag.
For Suri Kasirer, the founder and president of Kasirer Consulting, the notion could not have been farther from the truth. Indeed, the New York native had been working behind the scenes for months on behalf of her darkhorse client, Cornell University, to whittle down the number of candidates vying to oversee the project, and it was all finally beginning to pay off.
“We’re in a service business, so we do whatever we have to do to make sure that our clients can achieve their goals … within a framework of ethics and principle,” said Ms. Kasirer, whose offices are decorated with photographs of herself next to a litany of the country’s most powerful public figures, Bill and Hillary Clinton as well as Bette Midler not least among them.
“Sometimes it means doing the dirty work.”
As Gary Barnett’s new residential tower One 57 continues to rise over Central Park – not to mention all of its neighbors – rumors continue to circulate in the city’s brokerage industry that Mr. Barnett is lining up a huge retail deal befitting the property.
Several sources familiar with the project say that Nordstrom, the Read More