The Sit-Down

Jamestown Pioneer: Michael Phillips is Hungry for NYC Retail

Michael Phillips, the president of Jamestown (Photo: Arman Dzidzovic/Commercial Observer).

Making a lunch or even a breakfast date with Michael Phillips feels just shy of an exercise in futility. His schedule is jam-packed from morning until night (he is in the office by 7 a.m. and leaves “whenever it’s time,” he said) and appointments get rejiggered at the last moment. CO’s planning of a lunch with Mr. Phillips, the president of Jamestown, started months ago and is finally (fingers crossed) resulting in a coffee date this week. (Update: coffee date was canceled before publication.)

We understand why he’s a busy guy. He splits his time between Atlanta and New York. (And his hands are full with a six-year-old Jack Russell named Scout that he shares with his partner, Dominick Coyne, who’s an interior designer.) Plus, he’s got Jamestown—which has an $8.3 billion portfolio of mixed-use buildings—to fill his time. Read More

Lease Beat

Chipotle Opening Interior Design Testing Center at Industry City

Industry City.

Chipotle Mexican Grill will be opening a 9,197-square-foot space at Sunset Park’s Industry City to create and test interior designs for its restaurants, Commercial Observer has learned.

The burrito and taco chain with more than 1,500 restaurants in the U.S. and abroad took a 10-year deal on the fourth floor in Building 4 of the 6-million-square-foot, 16-building manufacturing complex on the South Brooklyn waterfront. Taking rents range from $15 to $35 per square foot. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Capital One Finances 731 Market Street Buy

731 Market Street.

Capital One Bank closed a $32.5 million loan to a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Jamestown Properties for the purchase of a six-story office building in San Francisco’s South of Market district, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

Jamestown, a national real estate investment and management company with $7.7 billion of assets under management, bought the building at 731 Market Street from Connecticut-based Harvest Properties and Atlanta-based Invesco Real Estate, as previously reported. The asset was acquired for $65 million in mid-January. Read More

Lease Beat

Major League Baseball Expands at Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market. (Jamestown)

Professional baseball organization Major League Baseball has hit a winner with an expanded lease for its multimedia branch, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, inside Jamestown‘s Chelsea Market, Commercial Observer has learned.

MLB Advanced Media, which oversees and is based on the fifth floor at 75 Ninth Avenue, has added 35,000 square feet on the second floor, bringing its total square footage in Chelsea Market to 150,000, a source with intimate knowledge of the deal said. Read More


2014 Wired Store To Pop Up in the Milk Building

The Milk Building at 451-459 West 14th Street. (Jamestown)

In its 10th year, Wired‘s annual pop-up shop is headed to the Meatpacking District’s Milk Building, adjacent to the High Line, Commercial Observer has learned.

The tech-favorite store will assume the 8,413-square-foot storefront space, including an elevated level, at 451-459 West 14th Street, the building’s owner, Jamestown, said last night at a broker party showcasing the space. It is being marketed at $300 per square foot by RKF‘s Karen Bellantoni and Emily Musilli and can be divided for as many as three long-term tenants starting Jan. 1, 2015, Ms. Bellantoni said. Read More

Cover Story, Feature

Transformed Factories Prosper in LIC’s Development Boom

Brandon Medieros

The renowned Scalamandre Silks company once dyed silks for the Kennedy White House and the Hearst Castle where Scott Kushner and his 10 employees now produce videos and reality shows. At the start of this year, after working out of Manhattan for 20 years, Mr. Kushner moved MediaPlace into a section of the bottom floor of the industrial warehouse developer Time Equities has fashioned into today’s Silks Building in Long Island City.

And his company boasts enough floor area in three spaces at the property for soundproof labs, cubicles, stages, collaborative desks where staffers edit videos at computers, and a spacious office where Mr. Kushner, 55, the chief executive officer of MediaPlace, displays pictures of his younger days in the music industry working with bands like Hall & Oates and Judas Priest. (Mr. Kushner has no relation to Jared Kushner, owner of Observer Media Group, parent company of Commercial Observer.) Read More


A New Lease on…Leasing

Hunters Point Park pier in Long Island City.

Landlords across the city are embracing non-traditional leases in the hope of avoiding two problems: a less than fresh roster of tenants and empty rental space. And property owners are taking advantage of the perks of filling commercial space with creative companies under a wide range of lease terms to amp up property presence, community engagement and, of course, the bottom line.

And while pop-ups came into their own amid the recession for the basic reason of filling space, landlords are increasingly using them as a way to market properties even with much improved vacancy rates, according to reports. Read More

Lease Beat

New Leases Total Roughly 70K Square Feet at Falchi Building

Falchi Building rendering.

The NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission and City of New York Office of Trials and Hearings will take a total of 72,577 square feet at the 620,000-square-foot Falchi Building located at 31-00 47th Avenue in Long Island City.

The Taxi Commission will occupy roughly 42,400 square feet, while OATH will have roughly 30,000 square feet, according to a spokeswoman for Jamestown, the building’s owner, who declined to comment on asking rent or when the tenants will move in. Both spaces on the third floor of the five-story building were previously vacant. Read More

Lease Beat

Tech Firm Renews, Expands at Jamestown’s 1250 Broadway

1250 Broadway. (PropertyShark)

Varonis Systems has renewed its existing 15,356-square-foot lease at 1250 Broadway, according to landlord Jamestown. Concurrently, the business technology firm expanded its footprint in the building, signing a 10-year lease for 30,712 square feet on the 28th and 29th floors.

“Broadway between the Nomad District and Flatiron is quickly becoming a burgeoning and dynamic area for many tech, media and creative companies,” said Michael Phillips, the chief operating officer of Jamestown, in a prepared statement. “Varonis Systems expanding within 1250 Broadway further indicates that the NYC tech corridor is beginning to stretch north into Midtown.” Read More

Brooklyn Beat

Land Rush: Developers Seeking Brooklyn Over Manhattan

The $300-per-foot price being paid for the 1.2 million-square-foot Watchtower Property at the back entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge is a startling number for nonresidential footage.

Zoned for commercial usage, aside from the modern tower on Jay Street, the Watchtower’s former printing and warehouse buildings lend themselves to creative office use for major tenants seeking Read More

Manhattan Market Report

Sevenfold Retail Sales Volume Catapults $13 Billion Q4: Eastern Consolidated


An unprecedented sevenfold increase in retail property sales fueled the Manhattan commercial real estate sales market’s epic comeback in the fourth quarter – its strongest performance since 2007, according to preliminary data from Eastern Consolidated.

The hallmark quarter, with nearly $13 billion in sales volume – the strongest since record-breaking performances in 2007 (peaking at $19 billion in Q2 of 2007) – was triggered by fears of impending capital gains taxes, which had owners scrambling to unload properties before year’s end.

“This was definitely fiscal-driven growth,” said Barbara Byrne Denham, Eastern Consolidated’s chief economist.  “Sellers wanted to cash out and buyers knew it, so they were eager to come to the table as well.” Read More