Legal Disputes

140 Franklin Crunch Lease Dispute Heads to Court

140 Franklin Street

Next week, the case against a real estate company which is in negotiations to bring a Crunch Gym to a Tribeca residential condominium heads to court, and the decision could make or break a gym lease at 140 Franklin Street.

On Wednesday, March 12, the court will conduct a hearing to determine whether to grant the 140 Franklin Street condominium board’s application to prevent Lily Realty from signing a lease with Crunch, pending the trial. There is currently a temporary restraining order in place prohibiting Lily Realty from executing any lease with Crunch. That order expires upon the court’s decision, which will be issued following next Wednesday’s hearing. Read More

Brooklyn Issue

A Spec Office Building Signals W’burg’s Transformation Into a 24-7 Destination

Williamsburg's still-evolving waterfront. (Credit: Mark Stinson)

Williamsburg’s real estate success story has mostly centered on its residential boom—until now. With a new speculative office tower planned for the Brooklyn neighborhood and high-profile retailers preparing to set up shop, the former industrial area and hipster haven is becoming a hotbed of major league commercial activity.

The neighborhood has been abuzz over, and not always happy about, its residential development, which, with many more projects on the horizon, continues to overshadow the commercial market. There are more than 6,100 residential units in the pipeline, according to data compiled by MNS in January.  Read More

Lease Beat

Emily Thompson Flowers Signs Lease at South Street Seaport

211 Front Street

Emily Thompson Flowers, a high-end floral arrangements designer, has signed a five-year, 850-square-foot retail lease at 211 Front Street, located on the corner of Beekman and Front Streets in Manhattan’s South Street Seaport District, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The space features 12-foot ceilings, with roughly 60 feet of exterior wraparound frontage and floor-to-ceiling windows, brokers Read More

Coming Soon

Whole Foods on Track for Mid-2014 Williamsburg Opening


After securing a $45 million loan from Meridian Capital Group to finance the development of Williamsburg’s first Whole Foods, the healthful grocery Goliath is targeting a mid-2014 debut.

The 35,000-square-foot store at 240-242 Bedford Avenue is part of a 150,000-square-foot development that will take up a full block of North 4th Street between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street. The project will also include a New York Sports Club and luxury rental apartments. Read More


Frank Gehry to Design Facebook’s New Offices at 770 Broadway

770 Broadway

A-list starchitect Frank Gehry will team up with Facebook on the design of the social media kingpin’s “big,” “open” and “cozy” new offices at 770 Broadway in New York.

Mr. Gehry is currently working with Facebook on the expansion of its Menlo Park, California headquarters. The 100,000-square-foot Village office will share certain elements–collaborative spaces, an uncluttered floor plan, an abundance of white boards and videoconferencing rooms–with the West Coast mothership but, per an announcement by Facebook’s New York engineering team site director Serkan Piantino, also “be distinctly Big Apple in design.” Read More

ICSC 2013

Retail on the Rebound: Spirits High at ICSC Event

(Credit: LeVar Thomas)

In 2009 and 2010 “you could have rolled a bowling ball down the aisle” at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon conference “and it wouldn’t have hit anybody,” Massey Knakal executive vice president of retail leasing Benjamin Fox told The Commercial Observer.

But when an estimated 33,000 real estate professionals converged upon one million Read More

Lease Beat

Men’s Apparel Brand Bonobos Signs Soho Lease


Bonobos, an e-commerce men’s apparel brand, has signed a 1,500-square foot lease at 35 Crosby Street in Soho, it was announced today.

“This is a great location with many original details and a lot of character,” said Justin Fantasia, associate at RKF, who represented the tenant, in a prepared statement. “Bonobos will garner plenty of foot traffic while maintaining a destination feel off of the hustle and bustle of tourist-heavy Broadway.” Read More


Up, Up and Away: Retailers Pushing Boundaries on Upper East Side


National retailers are pushing north from 72nd Street on the Upper East Side, chasing changing demographics and searching for value, according to several brokers active in the market. Both 86th Street between Third and Lexington Avenues and Madison Avenue north of 72nd Street have seen strong activity and booming lease prices.

“I did deals up there 10 or 15 years ago and was hard-pressed to push $110 to $120 per square foot,” said Patrick Breslin, executive vice president of global retail at Studley. “Today, if you can find good real estate on Lex on 82nd to 85th, you’re looking at $400, $500, $600 per square foot.” Read More

Lease Beat

Lovely Bridal Shop Waltzes into TriBeCa With 10-Year Lease


Here comes the Lovely Bridal Shop after signing a 10-year lease at 182 Duane Street in TriBeCa.

The 2,500-square foot ground floor space, between Hudson and Greenwich Streets, features an additional 2,000-square-foot lower level.  A small backyard patio sits behind the all-glass doors that line the rear of the lower space, giving the shop a tucked-away, oasis-like feel that the owners sought, brokers involved with the deal said.

“This space just blew them away,” said Ross Kaplan, with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, who represented the tenant with Kate Cohen.  “When they walked in the door they fell in love.  It was just what they were looking for because it’s got a great feel to it, very clean-looking, with great ceiling heights.” Read More

Lease Beat

J.Crew Expands at 770 Broadway

770 Broadway

Retailer J.Crew is expanding its Manhattan corporate offices at 770 Broadway sources say.

Three floors are available at the 1.1 million-square-foot office tower and J.Crew will take one of them in the deal, a roughly 80,000-square-foot space.

Last summer, the company renewed its roughly 300,000 square feet in the building, which is owned by the real estate investment trust Vornado. Read More

retail beat

J Crew Eying Billyburg Spot at 247 Bedford Avenue

247 Bedford Avenue (photo courtesy of CoStar)

J Crew, the popular purveyors of all things preppy, are reportedly interested in taking a 35,000-square-foot retail space at 247 Bedford Avenue. 

The Bedford Avenue building that is situated between North 3rd and North 4th streets is part of “the Bedford portfolio” that sold for $66 million and is expected to be developed into 55,000 square feet of retail space, according to The Real Deal

Lee & Associates NYC are marketing the space and will be up for leasing in the next year. A partnership made up by Red Sky Capital and others bought the “Bedford portfolio” from The Backer Group in April. Read More

The Sit-Down

Retail is Dead, Long Live Retail: Patrick Smith of SRS Real Estate on the Future of Brick-and-Mortar

Patrick Smith.

Patrick Smith is an executive vice president and principal of the retail real estate services firm SRS Real Estate Partners, which was spun off from Staubach when that company was acquired by Jones Lang LaSalle. Mr. Smith is a busy leasing dealmaker not only in the city but nationally and represents a host of large retailers that have been active in the market both here and around the country, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Party City and Disney. With ICSC, the biggest retail event of the year, only weeks away, Mr. Smith weighed in on the state of the retail market with The Commercial Observer and discussed what he has planned for this year’s conference in Las Vegas. Read More