In another whopping example of large real estate owners seeking to capitalize on current market conditions by unloading top-shelf inventory, Boston Properties has reportedly sold its 23-story office building at 125 West 55th Street for $470 million to J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
The deal follows a string of other Class A building sales this year – 550 Madison Avenue, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 237 Park Avenue and 75 Rockefeller Plaza – which accounted for $3.8 billion of the city’s first quarter dollar volume and created a 46% year-over-year jump, according to data from Avison Young.
As president of the New York Jets, Jay Cross spent the first half of the 2000s immersed in the plans for the New York Sports and Convention Center on the Far West Side. The plan collapsed and the Jets’ focus shifted to the Meadowlands, but Mr. Cross kept eager watch on the Mass Transit Authority’s bid to find a new developer.
After Stephen Ross purchased the Miami Dolphins in 2008, Mr. Cross found himself fatefully reacquainted with Related’s founder and chairman through an assigned seating arrangement at an NFL owners’ meeting, setting the stage for Mr. Cross’s eventual role as president of Related Hudson Yards.
“The Jets always sat beside the Dolphins at these meetings, so I was sitting beside Stephen,” Mr. Cross said. “He asked me how I was getting home. He flew me home and said, ‘You should come and run this project for us.’”
Here’s what Mr. Cross had to say about the 26-acre, 15-million-square-foot mixed-use project that he began orchestrating on Manhattan’s Far West Side in the summer of 2008.
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
Manhattan Market Report
An unprecedented sevenfold increase in retail property sales fueled the Manhattan commercial real estate sales market’s epic comeback in the fourth quarter – its strongest performance since 2007, according to preliminary data from Eastern Consolidated.
The hallmark quarter, with nearly $13 billion in sales volume – the strongest since record-breaking performances in 2007 (peaking at $19 billion in Q2 of 2007) – was triggered by fears of impending capital gains taxes, which had owners scrambling to unload properties before year’s end.
“This was definitely fiscal-driven growth,” said Barbara Byrne Denham, Eastern Consolidated’s chief economist. “Sellers wanted to cash out and buyers knew it, so they were eager to come to the table as well.”
Year in Real Estate
The city’s aging population, a drive for state-of-the-art facilities and strong hiring across the health care industry prompted unprecedented growth in leasing activity in the health care sector across the five boroughs in 2012.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Mt. Sinai, Montefiore Hospital and Inventa Health were among the dozens of hospitals and medical companies to announce bold new initiatives to expand their footprints in the city in 2012, and those developments are only a sign of what’s to come, brokers and analysts predict.
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.
When the owners of 197 East Broadway, on the Lower East Side, came to terms with the fact that their building was in desperate need of a renovation after 124 years as their headquarters, they made a move that might look obvious for any holder of a valuable commercial real estate asset. They looked for a loan. On paper, though, the Educational Alliance—a non-profit serving about 50,000 New Yorkers with a range of services, from pre-school, health and wellness for seniors to addiction recovery programs—is not your average Goldman Sachs client.
Nonetheless, in August 2012, Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group committed $44.1 million of capital to finance the redevelopment of the Educational Alliance’s building. The financing comes in part as a New Markets Tax Credit transaction, and in part as a senior loan directly to the nonprofit.
With a recently obtained mortgage and other two rumored to come next, Vornado Realty seems close to obtaining over $1 billion in loans on Midtown properties from some of the biggest players on the market.
The German Bank Landesbank Baden-Württemberg has recently provided $98 million of refinancing on 435 Seventh Avenue, at the corner with 34th Street. The 43,000-square-foot building is fully leased to the Swedish retailer H&M. Vornado Realty might now use part of the proceeds of the new loan to retire a $52 million mortgage provided in 2009 by HSBC Holdings.
Morgan Stanley has provided a $125 million mortgage on the retail portion of 15 Central Park West, the ultra luxurious condo where Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, and many other influential bankers live, The Mortgage Observer has learned.
Blackstone Group’s Brixmor, the second-largest owner of U.S. neighborhood shopping centers, has obtained a $90 million mortgage from Goldman Sachs Mortgage Company on three malls located in New Jersey, California and Illinois.
The 330,000-square-foot Shoppes at Cinnaminson, in Riverton, N.J., is 86 percent occupied with tenants such as Shoprite, Ross Dress for Less and Burlington. It was refinanced with a mortgage loan of $31.3 million.
Anyone who follows the CMBS market, especially in relation to its contribution toward funding the massive amount of commercial real estate loans coming due the rest of 2012, knows that it can be a topsy-turvy ride. But experts tell The Mortgage Observer that despite the load of coming-due loans and a CMBS market that’s a fraction of where it was pre-crash, there’s no reason to panic. This, even as delinquency rates for CMBS climb higher and higher.
According to data from Trepp, initially there was roughly $70 billion in CMBS set to mature in 2012. As of the end of August, $38.6 billion of that was still outstanding, though this figure “is somewhat skewed by loans past their maturity dates but not modified,” one analyst said. These loans will likely meet differing ends, through extensions, modifications or liquidations. Just counting loans that are current, $13.5 billion is due to mature for the rest of the 2012.
Record-low mortgage rates have helped to fuel the nation’s refinancing activity for residential homes. In July, the number of mortgage applications filed hit a three-year high. Freddie Mac also reported that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.49 percent for the week ending July 26.
Likewise, attractive rates are fueling financing in the multifamily market, where financing for low-leveraged rental buildings has reached its lowest levels in decades. The result? Fierce competition among lenders looking to provide financing for the asset class, particularly in the Big Apple.
During a ski trip to Colorado several months ago, Michael May, an executive at Cantor Fitzgerald, remembers his eagerness to hit the slopes. He rose at the crack of dawn and found his friend Marty Burger, who had organized the trip, waiting in the lodge with the same idea in mind.
Traveling with a large group of executives, they skied all day. Mr. May remembers being exhausted, but Mr. Burger convinced him to join him and few others for some indoor tennis back at the hotel. A couple of games, at Mr. Burger’s urging, turned into a couple of sets.
Will Avison Young grow into the Goldman Sachs of its era?
CEO Mark Rose, the former CEO of Grubb and Ellis and the former COO of Jones Lang LaSalle, is hoping to mirror the management structure and, eventually, the success of the financial giant.
Robert Watson, known as one of the pioneers of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification process, has helped prompt office developers and owners to consider energy-saving measures across the nation. Mr. Watson spoke with The Commercial Observer last week about LEED’s origins and his role in bringing sustainability to foreign markets as founder of the advisory firm EchoTech International.