Mortgage Observer

Macklowe Completes 1 Wall Street Buy With $460M in Financing

1 Wall Street.

A joint venture led by Macklowe Properties sealed its $585 million purchase of 1 Wall Street from Bank of New York Mellon with $460 million in acquisition financing serviced by Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, city records show.

The transactions closed on Sept. 30 and hit records this morning. Qatar National Bank is listed as the agent bank in the deal. No other lenders are named. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Experts: Commercial Real Estate Has Returned to 2007

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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.

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Masters of Real Estate

Developers Optimistic at 5th Annual Masters of Real Estate Conference Despite Political Uncertainty

The New York Observer- 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

Lease Beat

Leasing Activity Remains Steady at Boston Properties’ 510 Madison

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Financial services tenants have been flocking to Boston Properties510 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. Read More

On the Market

Helmsley Estate to Sell Park Lane Hotel

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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

Lease Beat

LH Financial Relocates to 510 Madison Avenue in High-Priced Deal

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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.” Read More

Sales Beat

$1.1 B. Sony Deal Etched in Stone

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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. Read More

Sales Beat

Joseph Chetrit and Partners Sling $150 M. at Former Cabrini Medical Center Site

Joe Chetrit (DNAinfo/Mathew Katz)

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. Read More

Sales Beat

Toll Brothers Pays $64M for Residential Development Site

Toll Brothers' The Touraine in Lenox Hill

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. Read More

Worldwide Plaza Confirms Recapitalization Plans

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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

Cover Story

Reaching for the Sun: Is It Possible to Own Too Much Real Estate?

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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.” Read More