Mortgage Observer

So They Say: Sheldon Silver

Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver

Democrats of the New York State Assembly found themselves electing a new speaker last month, following the resignation of the legendary Sheldon Silver. Mr. Silver, 71, is now facing federal corruption charges—a dark ending to his 21-year term as one of New York State’s most powerful politicians.

The charges sparked a wildfire of further investigation as prosecutors search for more people involved in the criminal behavior, which included allegedly trading favors for cash and referrals.

Mortgage Observer takes a look back at quotes from the speaker’s lengthy time in office. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Old New York: 32 Old Slip

32 Old Slip.

A look at the history of 32 Old Slip in Lower Manhattan, originally the site of a building held by the United States Assay Office—the last public gold refinery in the country. Since then the 1.2-million-square-foot property has been through multiple sales and a big turnaround following Hurricane Sandy. Read More

Lease Beat

Revlon Relocates to 1 New York Plaza


Revlon has reportedly signed a 15-year lease for the top two floors at Brookfield Office Properties1 New York Plaza in a relocation from 237 Park Avenue, joining a flight of value-seeking firms to recently head Downtown.

The 91,194-square-foot lease covers floors 49 and 50, the latter of which is a glass box-style penthouse with 15-foot ceilings, according to the New York Post, which first reported the deal earlier this week and noted that former occupant Goldman Sachs removed columns from the space to accommodate their trading floor. Read More

Brooklyn Issue

South Brooklyn’s Time to Shine

The sun sets over the Coney Island Boardwalk. (Credit: New York Habitat)

South Brooklyn’s waterfront neighborhoods have long fostered considerable charm and affluence despite being overshadowed by the explosion of “brownstone Brooklyn,” Williamsburg and Bushwick.

A few isolated incidents—take the 2011 Brighton Beach boardwalk shooting—and Superstorm Sandy didn’t help with image improvement, but recent developments point to South Brooklyn’s waterfront communities as the next Kings County neighborhoods to catch fire.

Read More

REBNY 2014

The Rudin Way

Bill Rudin

Bill Rudin sits at the helm of one of the largest privately owned real estate companies in the city. Like much of the Real Estate Board of New York community, in addition to his firm’s undertakings, he often puts at the top of his agenda initiatives that might not always show immediate results but which are essential for the future success of the city. Mr. Rudin, a REBNY vice chairperson, spoke to The Commercial Observer about his current projects, REBNY, major real estate happenings over the last year and what needs to be done to keep New York City competitive. Read More

Mortgage Observer

New York City Hotels Are Booming, But Beware Overexposure

Illustration by Lauren Draper.

With more than 52 million visitors to the Big Apple in 2012, one thing seems certain: By all accounts, the hospitality industry is thriving in New York City. Hundreds of new hotels, with nearly 20,000 rooms, have joined the inventory over the past few years. Despite this, according to some industry leaders, there is reason to feel uneasy about the outlook for continued growth in this asset class.

Read More

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force Outlines Strategy


Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, chair of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, today announced a strategy intended to both act as a model for communities across the country faced with extreme weather and offer guidelines on how the government will continue to invest in the areas affected by last fall’s storm.

“Recent disasters have shown families how our changing climate is impacting lives and nowhere is that more apparent than in New York,” Mr. Donovan, a native New Yorker who previously served as commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, noted on a conference call earlier today. Read More

Wired City

How to Stay Wired: Powering Through Natural Disasters, Sandy or Otherwise


Being down as the result of a natural disaster, flood or fire is always a major catastrophe for commercial buildings. Aside from simply switching to fiber cables, which are naturally more resilient, here are several ways to increase your chances of staying fully operational when you’re hit hard by one of the elements.

One of the biggest trends quickly gaining momentum: put it all in the cloud. Read More