The 360 View
In the Market
Retail pros are aflutter as they schedule their appointments for the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon Las Vegas. Two companies in particular are preparing for a big debut on the first day of the three-day May trade show: Related Companies and Floored.
Floored, a company providing software for the 3-D visualization of real estate, is planning to showcase the 3-D modeling of Related’s 26-acre Hudson Yards at its booth at the convention, David Eisenberg, the chief executive of Floored, told Commercial Observer. The technology will give potential tenants a sense of what it will look and feel like to be at the Far West Side commercial and residential development upon its completion in 2018. (Representatives from Related were not available for comment at press time.)
Internet giant Google is in the market for up to 600,000 square feet of office space in Manhattan—enough to hold more than 3,000 employees, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Google could potentially expand to 450 West 33rd Street or St. John’s Terminal at 550 Washington Street, according to sources cited by the Journal. Brookfield’s 450 West 33rd Street boasts floor plates of 100,000 square feet and is being renovated to the tune of $200 million.
Google Capital, a growth equity fund backed by internet giant Google, has invested $50 million in Auction.com. The investment values the online real estate marketplace at $1.2 billion.
Google Capital joins a list of prominent shareholders in Auction.com, including Starwood Capital Group, Starwood Property Trust, Stone Point Capital and funds managed by Fortress Investment Group. As part of Google Capital’s investment, a representative of the fund will join Auction.com’s Board of Directors and an additional representative will assume a board observer position.
Is there a clear-cut line between southern Chelsea and the Meatpacking District now that both are no longer gritty?
Not really, says a committee that is trying to launch a new Business Improvement District called Meatpacking Area BID that would treat the two areas as one in order to provide maintenance, development and promotional services.
There were three whopping commercial deals in New York City last year in the trillion-dollar price range, blowing away the other commercial transactions for the year in terms of price, according to a report by PropertyShark provided exclusively to Commercial Observer.
The priciest deal was Comcast’s $1.3 billion purchase of 1.3 million square feet of office and studio space at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, part of the media and communications giant’s $16.7 billion purchase of a 49 percent stake in NBCUniversal from General Electric.
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.
Even as the construction process commences on a marquee Roosevelt Island technology project, some tech companies are uncertain about how the industry will fare now that Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a staunch advocate for tech, is out of office.
As Cornell NYC Tech, the engineering school slated for Roosevelt Island, makes its way through the development process and the city welcomes a new administration, it prompts a question: Will the sustainable applied science and engineering campus—and tech in general—get the same level of attention from Mayor Bill de Blasio as it did from his predecessor, Mr. Bloomberg?
Kevin Hoo’s prior experience with UBS AG and later Tishman Speyer allowed him to slip seamlessly into a role as a vice president at Savanna in 2011, where as an asset manager he handles everything from financing acquisitions to choosing building finishes, leasing them up and handling day-to-day operations. “We run a fairly lean team here,” he said. “My role has been to play the jack of all trades.” At Tishman Speyer, Mr. Hoo’s acquisition, development, design and construction roles saw him focusing on properties as iconic as Rockefeller Center and the MetLife Building, but as he tells it, Savanna’s recent repositioning of 245 and 249 West 17th Street, now home to Twitter’s New York City headquarters, is the most exciting endeavor he has been a part of. Read More
The city’s Finance Department reportedly overruled property assessments on Google’s sprawling Chelsea office building at 111 Eighth Avenue twice over the past two years, resulting in $21 million in tax savings.
In February of 2012, an assistant commissioner ordered a reduction in an $816 million appraisal for the building to $628 million, reducing Google’s taxes by about $8.7 million, according to a report from the Daily News’ Juan Gonzalez, which quoted sources who called the reduction “highly unusual.”
View the Space, the real estate startup that collects leasing data and creates virtual space tours, has secured a $7 million round of venture funding.
The funding, provided primarily by Trinity Ventures of Menlo Park, Calif., will allow View the Space to expand into new markets and build the next generation of the service, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
“We believe that real estate has been, like some industries, underpenetrated by information technology,” said Noel Fenton, a general partner at Trinity, in an interview with the Journal. “There is an opportunity there to help owners and brokers execute their job more efficiently through online facilities.”
“I’ll be honest with you,” Gregg Weisser said. “It caught me by surprise.”
Mr. Weisser, the senior vice president and director of commercial real estate at the Moinian Group, was discussing the dramatic rise of Midtown South as a real estate, tech, media and fashion powerhouse. But he likens the fast-paced big-city success story to a leisurely drive upstate.
Google has a new service on the way: Helpouts, a program that allows users to connect with experts in real-time on a variety of topics. In his article for Inman, Paul Hagey predicts that Helpouts could become an important tool in the fee-for-service real estate model, helping agents deliver their services faster.
So could it be useful took for commercial brokers? Our experts weigh in.
Google is on the verge of signing a 360,000 square-foot lease at Related Companies’ 85 10th Avenue in what may be a result of unsuccessful attempts to expand further into its 111 Eighth Avenue headquarters.
The New York Post, which first reported the pending deal, called the negotiations at the 540,000-square-foot, 10th Avenue building “hush-hush,” but the company’s Read More
Beth Israel Medical Center signed a 15-year, 98,913-square-foot lease extension at 111 Eighth Avenue, the 2.9-million-square-foot Chelsea building owned by Google.
Robert Martin and Barbara Winter of Jones Lang LaSalle represented the tenant. Google was represented by Matthew Weir of Taconic Investment Partners along with Kenneth Rapp, David Hollander and Doug Lehman of CBRE.
Heidi Burkhart, president of Dane Professional Consulting Group, asks her staff to handwrite and mail three “thank you” letters each week.
The old-school approach is the key to the trust she earns from her clients in the affordable housing sector, allowing her to skip over heavy paperwork that needlessly complicates deals and focus instead on Read More