It is hard to believe that it was just a few years ago—specifically in 2007—when a perfect storm of positive events was taking place in the financial and real estate markets. The S&P 500 reached record highs, CMBS transactions grew to nearly $770 billion, the Blackstone Group completed its $39 billion purchase of Equity Office Properties Trust and then sold eight buildings in the Equity Office portfolio to Harry Macklowe for $7 billion, foreign investors were purchasing commercial real estate at record levels and everyone was purchasing residential condominiums. In short, happy days were here again.
Masters of Real Estate
There’s “something major” happening in every submarket in the city, but will gridlock in Washington and the impending mayoral election thrust the city back into recession – or even into a backdrop of crime and bankruptcy reminiscent of the 1970’s?
Not a chance, said a group of the city’s top real estate developers at Observer Read More
Masters of Real Estate
The Commercial Observer will host its annual Masters of Real Estate conference on October 16 at The Metropolitan Club, located at 1 East 60th Street. Beginning at 8am, the event will feature three panel discussions on the State of New York City Real Estate, the State of Opportunistic Investments and the State of the Capital Markets.
Financial services tenants have been flocking to Boston Properties’ 510 Madison Avenue and three recent deals indicate interest remains high, despite triple-digit rents. The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, 400 Capital Management and Prosiris Capital Management have all signed 10-year, 11,500-square-foot full floor deals in the building, a source familiar with the transactions confirmed with The Commercial Observer.
Some were surprised, to say the least, when news spread last month that Brazil’s Banco Itaú had agreed to pay upward of $200 per square foot for a 35,000-square-foot space on the 50th floor of the General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Avenue.
“I nearly fell off of my chair when I read that,” said Read More
On the Market
CBRE is gearing up to market the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel towards developers of high-end condominiums, according to published reports.
The 370,000-square-foot property, being sold by the estate of Leona Helmsley, has received at least two separate offers of more than $600 million, including one from industry scions Harry Macklowe and Steven Witkoff, The Wall Street Read More
LH Financial has signed a 10-year, 6,553-square-foot lease at 510 Madison Avenue, where asking rents start at $100 per square foot, The Commercial Observer has learned.
“[The firm's current] layout and configuration are no longer conducive to their business and operations,” said Lance Leighton, assistant director at Studley, who represented the tenant. “As a result, they wanted to find a space that was more efficient for the firm.”
City records confirm Joe Chetrit and David Bistricer’s $1.1 billion closing on the Sony Building, the deal that thrust Mr. Bistricer into the spotlight as his media shy partner continued his buying rampage.
The duo plans to turn the tower into residential condominiums and a hotel, and to retrofit the retail space; and they recently went into contract to purchase the 1.5-acre former Cabrini Medical Center site at Second Avenue and East 19th Street.
The Sony Building purchase pitted Mr. Bistricer and Mr. Chetrit against industry heavyweights like Joseph Sitt and Harry Macklowe, winning a competitive bid by slapping down a jaw-dropping $600 million letter of credit to seal the deal.
Joseph Chetrit is in contract to purchase the 1.5-acre former Cabrini Medical Center site at Second Avenue and East 19th Street, The Wall Street Journal reported today.
The Chetrit Group and its partners have agreed to pay more than $150 million for the five-building complex owned by Memorial Sloan-Kettering, sources familiar with the deal confirmed with The Commercial Observer.
The Journal noted that Mr. Chetrit is purchasing the property with the same group of investors that he bought the Sony Building with, which included David Bistricer and put the man at the helm of Clipper Equities on the map among commercial real estate’s elite.
When Aaron Jungreis sought a buyer for the Bossert Hotel at 98 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights last year, a long list of obstacles stacked up.
The off-market deal meant potential buyers had limited access to the site. Complicated zoning meant the Board of Standards and Appeals would be thrown into the mix. And competition Read More
It looks like luxury home builder Toll Brothers may have yet another New York City residential development project on the drawing board after scooping up a financially troubled and stalled development site – once dubbed the Oliver – from Alexico Group for $64 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.
Owner of the high-end boutique condominium building The Touraine in Lenox Hill, Toll Brothers purchased 953, 957, 959 and 961 First Avenue (or 953-961 First Avenue) in Midtown East after years of financial turmoil bogged down and eventually killed Alexico Group’s original plans to build a 161-unit luxury rental building at the site.
Worldwide Plaza will definitely look to recapitalize, following several months of lingering on the auction block. Sellers, George Comfort & Sons and RCG Longview, had purchased the building – located at 825 Eighth Avenue – in 2009 for just under $600 million.
“The truth of the matter is that they have decided on a recapitalization Read More
When the credit crisis hit and the real estate market all but collapsed, news of disgraced developers became commonplace, their tales more often than not layered with intrigue.
Take Kent Swig, who, after being divorced by his wife, filed an affidavit in May responding to a lawsuit filed by his ex-father-in-law, industry luminary Harry Macklowe, arguing that Mr. Macklowe embarked on a “vendetta” aimed at “starving” him of every last penny.
But as the downfalls of real estate tycoons like Mr. Macklowe, Shaya Boymelgreen, Bruce Eichner and Larry Gluck stack up like so many new developments across Manhattan’s skyline, analysts and the city’s landlords themselves have begun to wonder aloud if there’s a limit to how much real estate can be accumulated.
“A developer’s function is to develop property, and sometimes they develop and develop until they can’t develop anymore,” said appraiser Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel Inc., a real estate appraisal and consulting firm based in New York City. “Where people fell short was that the market was more powerful than them … the market is brutal, and it has no compassion.”
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.
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.