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.
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.
With his clean-cut suits and boyish good looks, it’s hard to imagine Paul Amrich laboring under the summer sun like a grunt, lugging around materials on a construction site.
But when he was a high school and college student years ago, that’s just what he spent his breaks doing, courtesy of his father, a construction engineer who was able to get Mr. Amrich work on sites he was consulting on.
“You name it, I carted brick and concrete to the bricklayers, lugged sheetrock,” said Mr. Amrich. “It kind of teaches you the value of education. It makes you appreciate the opportunity to be in a city like New York and to be able to walk in and work at a good company. I’m psyched every day.”
Midtown is starting to matter again.
At least that’s the view to take from commercial real estate deals like Japanese financial firm Nomura Holding’s $60-per-square-foot, 20-year lease for a plush 47-story headquarters at 825 Eighth Avenue.
The arrival of a Japanese multinational at the Worldwide Plaza property embodies the roller-coaster ride of the Midtown office market over the past five years. It was bought by Harry Macklowe for $1.7 billion in 2007, only to be sold at a 60 percent discount two years later in a fire sale that saw George Comfort & Sons snatch it up for $600 million in 2009 when the building was half vacant.
It was lunchtime at Casa Lever, the high-end restaurant in the iconic Lever House, and Richard Baxter was on his BlackBerry negotiating.
It was a busy year for Mr. Baxter and his colleagues at Jones Lang LaSalle. His four-man team comprised some of the city’s most prominent brokers of large-scale commercial office buildings, and as the Manhattan sales market’s post-recessionary thaw continues, Mr. Baxter estimated that the group had tallied an impressive $1.3 billion in deals this year.
Three days before Christmas, however, it wasn’t one particular skyscraper Mr. Baxter was bargaining over from his plum seat at Casa Lever. In a year-end rush, his group had loose ends to tie up, deals to close and transactions still in the works. And so, on this particular Thursday amid a bustling lunch crowd, Mr. Baxter was not negotiating with a buyer or a building owner, but rather one of his own assistants, whom he was asking to stay late to receive critical documents and to help get the team through the rest of the day.
It’s the great white whale of Manhattan retail.
Aside from Walmart, Nordstrom is the store every retail broker in the city dreams of harpooning and reeling into a new home. One prominent broker familiar with the store, the amount of space it needs and the rents it would probably be willing to pay estimates that the commission for handling its lease would be around $10 million.
But like a leviathan lurking beneath the waves, the department store has offered only fleeting glimpses around the city, most notably at several development sites and a few existing assets with the capacity to accommodate its sprawling footprint.
The scuttlebutt nowadays: Nordstrom is contemplating one of two leases, one at the West Side rail yards with the Related Companies or another at the base of Extell Development’s soaring new residential tower now rising at 157 West 57th Street.