Museums

MoMA Files $1.6M Plan to Raze Folk Art Building

45 West 53rd Street

The Museum of Modern Art has filed an application with the city’s Department of Buildings for what amounts to a $1.6 million demolition job at the former American Folk Art Museum site on West 53rd Street.

The major alteration application, filed last Friday, calls for a series of jobs including removal of all above-grade stories, plumbing fixtures and piping as well as the mechanical equipment. The DOB plans come about a year after the museum announced its intention to demolish the folk art building, at 45 West 53rd Street between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas. Architecture firm The Mufson Partnership, led by designer Christina Powaday, is handling the project. Read More

Lease Beat

Hedge Fund Expands at 600 Lexington Ave

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Element Capital has signed a 10-year expansion deal at SL Green’s 600 Lexington Avenue, doubling its space to 13,500 square feet on the 33rd and 34th floors of the building, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The hedge fund will pay rent starting in the mid-$70s per square foot, according to data from CompStak. Element first signed a lease at the building in 2009 when starting rent for the 34th floor space was in the low-$70s per square foot. Read More

The Lobby

WX to Honor Marjorie Tsang as Woman of the Year

Ms. Tsang

Marjorie Tsang of the New York State Common Retirement Fund is to be honored by WX New York Women Executives in Real Estate as Woman of the Year. A long-time member of the association, Ms. Tsang previously served on the WX board of directors and aided in the development of the association’s scholarship initiative.

“It is truly a humbling experience,” Ms Tsang told The Commercial Observer of her nomination. “What clicks immediately is the cause, which is to support the scholarship program that WX has championed.” Read More

Sales Beat

Sale of 425 Lexington Tops $664 M.

425 Lex (Credit: Hines)

A group of institutional investors advised by JPMorgan Asset Management has closed on its purchase of 425 Lexington Avenue for more than $664 million, city records show.

The 31-story office tower was auctioned off by the international real estate investment firm Hines, which put the 27-story office building at 499 Park Avenue up for sale Read More

2Q13

The Return of the Mega Deal

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Dominated last year by smaller middle-market transactions, New York’s investment sales market has welcomed the return of large institutional transactions in 2013, while leasing activity in the first half of the year also experienced positive year-over-year growth.

With 10 transactions in excess of $400 million under contract through the second quarter, 2013 is set to be the single most active year for large deals since the Great Recession began in early 2008, according to midyear statistics from Cushman & Wakefield. Read More

Sales Beat

Hines Properties to Be Sold in $1 Billion Deal

425 Lexington Avenue

Hines has selected buyers for its properties at 499 Park Avenue and 425 Lexington Avenue. The properties, part of the Hines U.S. Core Office Fund, are set to be acquired by American Realty Advisors and institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management, respectively, for a combined total of over $1 billion.

“New York has demonstrated a capacity for large scale capital transactions,” Tommy Craig, senior managing director at Hines, told The Commercial Observer. “That has been validated [in these transactions.]” Read More

The Sit-Down

Catching Up With Hines

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Hines has been busy on the investment and development side over the past few months. After breaking ground at 7 Bryant Park in February, officials at the 56-year-old firm announced in March that they would put up for sale its properties at 499 Park Avenue and 425 Lexington, both part of the Hines Core Fund. Read More

Postings

Power 100 Heat Map

CO POSTINGS 4-30

From a Taconic Investment Partners project in Hunts Point to the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan, power in New York real estate circles has increasingly expanded from the comfortable confines of Midtown Manhattan to the fringes of all five boroughs. While large developments such as the Related Company’s Hudson Yards often dominate the conversation, Brooklyn, Queens and even the Bronx continue to grow in stature.

Long Island City is fast becoming a focal point for the real estate industry as Rockrose and other residential developers tap into the growing Queens neighborhood. In the Bronx, Taconic Investment Partners, formerly the owners of 111 Eighth Avenue, is in the process of a significant capital improvement plan at the BankNote Building on Lafayette Avenue in Hunt’s Point.

Below, a sampling of where power thrives in New York City in 2013. Read More

Development

Developers Break Ground at 7 Bryant Park

Rendering of 7 Bryant Park

Developers broke ground at 7 Bryant Park yesterday, with a consortium of public officials including Mayor Michael Bloomberg gathering to pitch the trophy office tower as a boon for the city.

Politicians are touting the planned 28-story, 470,000-square-foot steel and glass tower, slated for completion in the first quarter of 2015, as a magnet for good jobs, talent and companies.

“The best days are still to come to Bryant Park – a place the city has worked hard to bring roaring back to life,” Mr. Bloomberg said at the ceremony, adding that the project will bring “more top-tier, cutting-edge commercial space, and more leading companies and their tax revenue to Midtown Manhattan.” Read More

Mortgage Beat

GSA-Heavy Bethesda Building Receives $47 Million in Financing

10401 Fernwood Road.

Cushman & Wakefield Equity, Debt & Structured Finance has arranged $47 million in financing for the Atrium at Rock Spring Park, a 237,000-square-foot office building located at 10401 Fernwood Road in Bethesda, Maryland.

Meritage Properties owns the building in a joint venture with GTIS Partners. The two bought it from Hines in 2006 for $57 million, according to data from Real Capital Analytics. Previous financing on the building included a $20.5 million first mortgage from Variable Annuity Life Insurance Co. Read More

New Developments

Is It Still Too Quiet Out There? New Developments Slowly Bringing in New Tenants

Rendering for 51 Astor Place

As the first month of 2012 was coming to a close, many in the industry wondered aloud whether this would be a moribund year for leasing in many of the city’s newest buildings. There were notable new developments –1 and 4 World Trade Center and 51 Astor Place among them– dealing with equally-as-notable vacancies.

The NY Post’s Steve Cuozzo in January wrote that he detected “nothing substantive, or close to it, happening at no fewer than a half-dozen-odd new projects, from the World Trade Center to West 55th Street.”

Since then, however, the market has picked up, and many of these new developments have notched significant deals that have kept the naysayers mum…. at least, temporarily so. Read More