Lease Beat

Revlon Relocates to 1 New York Plaza

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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.

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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.

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Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force Outlines Strategy

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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

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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

The Sit-Down

The Auditor You Call: Stephanie Urbanski of Ernst & Young

Urbanski, Stephanie_7875 BW

Stephanie Urbanski is the global real estate sector resident and assurance senior manager at Ernst & Young. Boasting a decade of experience at the Big Four firm, Ms. Urbanski is a lead member of the real estate accounting team. She spoke with The Commercial Observer last week about financial accounting issues impacting the commercial real estate industry, potential future changes to financial reporting practices and the risks of another bubble in the market.

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Accounting 2013

Crunching The Numbers On Sandy

The announcement last week that Liberty Mutual had signed a 10-year, 120,000-square-foot lease at 55 Water Street was a rare and welcome piece of good news at a building and corridor of lower Manhattan exceptionally hard-hit by Superstorm Sandy.

The 53-story Financial District skyscraper took on 32 million gallons of water following the October 29 natural disaster. A month later, 30 people were treated for injuries after the basement caught fire during electric repair work. News that Liberty Mutual would be doubling its footprint in the property no doubt came as a relief to the landlord, New Water Street Corp., as it poured $200 million worth of renovations into the ailing tower.

The woes of the building at 55 Water Street are emblematic of those afflicting Manhattan commercial properties affected by Sandy. Accounting firms working on their behalf as they seek damages are all too familiar with the sort of cascading problems wrought by the storm that require a web of insurance plans and clauses spanning wind, flood, blackout and business interruption insurance. Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

Lower Manhattan is ‘Back in Business,’ Industry Data Shows

Lower_Manhattan_from_Helicopter

Lower Manhattan is “back in business,” according to a report from the Downtown Alliance that charts the unprecedented response to the devastation that Hurricane Sandy wreaked just over four months ago.

The data shows that 99 percent of office and residential space, 96 percent of hotel inventory and 90 percent of retail stores are online; while the group said leasing was unfazed.

“Lower Manhattan’s recovery from Sandy has been vigorous,” said Downtown Alliance President Elizabeth Berger, in a statement.  “The Downtown Alliance’s research shows dramatic improvement across of all of Lower Manhattan’s major markets.” Read More