Mortgage Observer

Blackstone Lends $85M On Tavros’ Meatpacking Buy

44 Ninth Avenue

A joint venture between Tavros Capital and Arel Capital bought three Meatpacking District properties—including one with the potential to become a global flagship store—with $85 million from Blackstone Mortgage Trust.

The three properties, on 14th Street, 15th Street and Ninth Avenue, cost a total of $105 million, confirmed Nicholas Silvers, a co-founder of New York-based Tavros, a developer and real estate investment manager. His firm also nabbed development rights along 15th Street, though it is not clear what, if anything, the firm will build with them.  Read More

Mortgage Observer

William Kaufman Organization Upgrades 2 Gansevoort With M&T Loan

2 Gansevoort Street.

The William Kaufman Organization closed a $50 million permanent mortgage to upgrade its landmarked office building at 320 West 13th Street, recently renamed 2 Gansevoort Street, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

The five-year loan, provided by M&T Bank and arranged by Andrew Singer of The Singer & Bassuk Organization, will fund tenant and capital improvements at the Meatpacking District office property, according to the borrower. Read More

books

Experts Pen Book on Rise of Urbanism and Future Challenges

Urban Design for an Urban Century

Urban planning experts Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, David Dixon, FAIA and the late Oliver Gillham, AIA, trace the rise of planned cities from ancient locales like the Greek city of Miletus through the decay of the suburban period and all the way to today’s urban renaissance in an illuminating second edition of their book “Urban Design for an Urban Century” that the Wiley publishing company released earlier this year.

The update to the 2009 text–by Mr. Brown, the founder of an eponymous architecture firm and the current president of the American Institute of Architects‘ New York Chapter, Mr. Dixon, a senior principal at the Stantec company, and Mr. Gillham, an architect and planner who once wrote “The Limitless City: A Primer on the Urban Sprawl Debate”–marshals a series of figures and case studies to make a forceful argument about both the success of today’s burgeoning urban environments and the challenges posed by the current move back to the cities in a way they say should prove instructive to real estate professionals, policy-makers, architects, designers, students and the general public. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Terra Capital and Santander Lend on JDS Luxury Condo Project Near High Line

514 West 24th Street

A joint venture between JDS Development Group and Largo Investments received financing from New York-based mezzanine lender Terra Capital Partners and Santander Bank to fund the predevelopment of a luxury condominium at 514 West 24th Street, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

Terra Capital provided a $12 million preferred equity investment to coincide with an $18 million senior loan from Santander. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Bauhouse Group Obtains Construction Financing for Chelsea Development

Existing Warehouse Building at 515 West 29th Street.

The New York-based real estate development and investment firm The Bauhouse Group received a $35 million construction loan from Doral Bank to fund the development of a luxury condominium and retail building at 515 West 29th Street near Manhattan’s High Line, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

Mark Wolfson of Wolfson Capital arranged the 30-month construction loan, which carries an interest rate of 6 percent, as well as prior acquisition financing from Puerto Rico-based Doral. The construction loan closed last week. Read More

Sales Beat

Marcus & Millichap Arranges $5M Chelsea Sale

353 West 20th Street.

Marcus & Millichap has arranged the $5 million sale of a 3,884-square-foot townhouse at 353 West 20th Street in Chelsea, Commercial Observer has learned.

It’s not every day that a 23-foot-wide property hits today’s hot Chelsea market, brokers handling the sale said, noting that the seller “meticulously managed” the property for two decades before deciding to cash in on their investment. Read More

Developing Situations

High Line Developer Backs Down on Bid to Score More Square Feet for Studio Gang-Designed Tower

The new design will not be as large.

The developer of a commercial tower planned to rise along the western edge of the High Line at 13th Street and Tenth Avenue has dropped its bid to build a significantly larger structure than is allowed by zoning. The proposed tower, to be designed by Chicago-based architecture firm Studio Gang, had sought a variance to build 34 percent larger than is permitted by zoning at 40-56 Tenth Avenue. However, after a number of appearances before the Board of Standards and Appeals, it became clear that approval for the variance would not be forthcoming, according to Howard Goldman, the project’s land use attorney. However, developer William Gottlieb Real Estate is still seeking height and setback variances in its modified application. Read More

ICSC 2013

Without Peer: Greg Carney Talks SuperPier

CarneyHeadshot

In 1952, the February issue of Popular Mechanics boasted of a “SuperPier” at Pier57, an engineering marvel designed to be indestructible and built upon three giant concrete boxes instead of the wooden piles characteristic of surrounding piers. Six decades later, and after five grueling years of paperwork and approval processes, Young Woo & Associates intends to bring Read More

Critters

High Line Park “Welcomes” Winter-Ready Cockroach

Male (left) and female Periplaneta japonica were found on New York City's High Line (Photo: Lyle Buss, University of Florida).

A new breed of visitor is frequenting the High Line park.   

Last year an exterminator at the popular park found an unfamiliar critter in a trap and sent it off to an insect lab. Researchers from Rutgers and the University of Florida have determined that the roach was an Asian species of cockroach - Periplaneta japonica – never before seen in this country that, unlike other cockroaches, can survive outdoors in freezing temperatures.  Read More

Postings

A Walk Along the High Line

1CO2000A1022

First proposed in 1999 with the establishment of the nonprofit organization Friends of the High Line, the preservation and reuse of the New York Central Railroad’s West Side Line has been criticized by some as sanitizing the once gritty Meatpacking District.

First opened in 2009, the High Line stretches as far north as 30th Street and will eventually terminate at the Hudson Yards site. Though the High Line can boast a significant role in popularizing the neighborhood both with tourists and New Yorkers, it is neither the first nor only attraction to boost real estate values in the area.

Below, The Commercial Observer looks at some of the real estate landmarks and popular attractions in the vicinity.

Read More

Going Green

Long Island City’s Answer to the High Line Is Now Open

Credit: Archidose/Flickr

A waterfront park that includes repurposed rail tracks is open in Long Island City, sprucing up the 30-acre middle-income housing development underway in the Hunter’s Point South area.

The five-acre park includes basketball courts, a children’s playground, an expansive dog run and an athletic oval. And, of course, panoramic views of Midtown Manhattan reinforce one of the post-industrial neighborhood’s greatest assets.  Read More

Cover Story

The Landlord’s Market: Midtown South’s Uphill Climb

Gas Odor Investigated In New York City

Midtown South is starting to look a little like Downtown North.

In the latest sign of the evolution of Manhattan’s former no-man’s land between Midtown and Downtown into the hottest office submarket in the U.S., Cushman & Wakefield last week noted a migration of financial firms into Midtown South and a corresponding overflow of technology and media firms into the Financial District over the past 10 years.

“We’ve never seen such an intertwining of the Midtown South market and Downtown,” Andrew Peretz, executive vice president at C&W, said in an interview. Read More

The Sit-Down

Friends of High Line Co-Founder Robert Hammond Talks About Stepping Down

Headshot_Robert Hammond_RH favorite 2012

Robert Hammond announced this month that he will step down as executive director of Friends of the High Line at the end of the year. The self-described entrepreneur will leave the organization that he co-founded in 1999 with Joshua David in enviable shape. The High Line—the elevated park that in 2009 opened to the public on a long-abandoned former West Side freight railway trestle—drew 4.4 million visitors last year.

Friends of the High Line is in the midst of a $125 million capital campaign that will help fund stage three of the project and bring its northern terminus to West 34th Street. Once it officially runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District through Chelsea and to the Hudson Yards site, the High Line will serve as a pedestrian artery between three of the city’s most dynamic—and fastest changing—neighborhoods.

Mr. Hammond spoke to The Commercial Observer about the genesis of the project, the surrounding real estate gold rush it has amplified, if not prompted, and the backlash of a vocal minority.
Read More

Lease Beat

Giorgio Armani Moves to the Milk Studios Building

450 West 15th Street.

Giorgio Armani is getting a view over the High Line. The Italian fashion company has inked a lease for a 60,000-square-foot space at 450 West 15th Street in the Meatpacking District, sources familiar with the transaction confirmed to The Commercial Observer, and is due to move its headquarters and showroom to the space in October 2013. Read More