Mortgage Observer

CREFC: It’s a Borrower’s Market!

CREFC Conference 2014.

It was a lenders party, technically, though borrowers may have more reason to celebrate.

This year’s CRE Finance Council powwow at the New York Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square drew an audience of about 1,200—mostly members of lending institutions ranging from large banks, life insurance companies and CMBS shops to alternative lenders, private equity firms and the GSEs. Read More

Lease Beat

Scottish Vintage Shop Coming to East Village

331 East 9th Street.

A Glasgow, Scotland-based vintage clothing shop for men, women and children, has signed a lease for its first location in North America, in the East Village, Robert Frischman, executive vice president of retail brokerage at EVO Real Estate Group, told Commercial Observer.

Glasgow Vintage Company signed a five-year deal for 500 square feet on the ground floor and 250 feet in the basement of the five-story walk-up building at 331 East 9th Street, a property owned by Kushner Companies. (The landlord’s chief executive officer, Jared Kushner, owns Observer Media Group, which publishes Commercial Observer.) Read More

Masters of Real Estate

Developers Optimistic at 5th Annual Masters of Real Estate Conference Despite Political Uncertainty

The New York Observer- Masters of Real Estate

There’s “something major” happening in every submarket in the city, but will gridlock in Washington and the impending mayoral election thrust the city back into recession – or even into a backdrop of crime and bankruptcy reminiscent of the 1970’s?

Not a chance, said a group of the city’s top real estate developers at Observer Read More

Watchtower

Partnership Behind Watchtower Buy Taps CPEX to Lease Retail Space

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The partnership behind the $375 million acquisition of the Watchtower portfolio in Dumbo has appointed Brooklyn-based real estate services company CPEX to lease the development’s retail space, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The deal, which ranks as the largest so far this year in Brooklyn, could feature a variety of retail opportunities including food hall concepts and gym facilities, in addition to its office campus use. Read More

Wired City

City Launches Wireless Corridor Challenge and WiredNYC

(Photo: Celeste Sloman)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced two new tech initiatives to expand the city’s access to wireless and broadband connectivity, one of which encourages the deployment of leading broadband technologies across its commercial real estate buildings.

The Wireless Corridor Challenge will establish free public WiFi corridors in each of the five boroughs, while WiredNYC, described as LEED Read More

Sales Beat

RFR and Kushner Companies to Acquire Watchtower Dumbo Properties

90sands

RFR Realty and Kushner Companies have agreed to acquire a six-property portfolio in Dumbo from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York for $375 million. The sale is the latest in a series of transactions for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who are in the process of transitioning their headquarters from Brooklyn to Orange County, New York.

“We are delighted to partner with Kushner Companies and team with LIVWRK to become the new stewards for these exceptional properties in this burgeoning neighborhood,” said Jason Brown, head of acquisitions at RFR, in a prepared statement. Read More

Shameless Promotions

Masters of Real Estate Event Breaks Record

Jared Kushner.

Featuring an all-star line up of the city’s most formidable real estate professionals, this year’s annual Masters of Real Estate fetched a record 450 RSVPs, The Commercial Observer has learned.

Observer Media Group executives began preparing for the event, now in its third year, six months in advance with an eye toward creating an eclectic mix of speakers. Larry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties, Michael Fascitelli of Vornado, William Rudin of Rudin Management, Jeff Blau of Related Companies and Glenn Rufrano of Cushman & Wakefield are all scheduled to appear. Rob Speyer of Tishman Speyer bowed out.

Jared Kushner, the owner of The Commercial Observer and president of Kushner Companies, will lead the event with remarks. Read More

Lower Manhattan

Sale of City Hall Buildings Snagged

City Hall submarket.

A city proposal to sell three lower Manhattan buildings, potentially converting 750,000 square feet of outmoded office space into luxury housing or hotels, has run into objections from community representatives in the City Hall area, who argue that the plan should have included provisions for a school, community center or affordable housing.

The City Council’s subcommittee on planning, dispositions and concessions plans a hearing next week on the disposal of the properties at 22 Reade Street and 49-51 Chambers Street. Disposition of the third building in the package, at 346 Broadway, was approved in 1998. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the sale in January as part of a drive to make the city more efficient by consolidating its office spaces. Read More

The Sit-Down

Andrew Goldberg, Broker Behind Trump Tower’s Gucci Deal, Thinks Retail is Ready to Splurge on the West Side.

Andrew Goldberg.

Andrew Goldberg is a retail executive at CBRE, where he is one of the firm’s top brokers, representing both landlords and tenants. With Nordstrom’s deal on 57th Street, retail leasing has been the talk of the town. Of course, Mr. Goldberg is no stranger to big-time leasing deals, having brokered Gucci’s 50,000-square-foot flagship at Trump Tower in 2006, one of the most valuable retail deals ever done in Manhattan. Mr. Goldberg spoke with The Commercial Observer recently about last month’s huge Nordstrom deal, the Drake development site, Gucci and Westfield’s plans for the World Trade Center. Read More

Power 100

The Commercial Observer’s Power 100 Gala, Minute by Minute, Drink for Drink

Gary Barnett, Among the Most Powerful Men in Real Estate.

Can The Commercial Observer party at its own party? You bet! The CO got down at its annual Power 100 celebration, which honors its picks for the top 100 most powerful, influential and successful real estate figures in the city. Held at the Core Club in Midtown on Monday night, the gathering featured a collection of the most distinguished owners, brokers, executives and politicians. After the jump, a minute-by-minute color commentary on the city’s most powerful human beings. Read More

Lease Beat

Betting On Soho, Newmark Team Picks Up 40 Thompson

A leasing team from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank led by the company’s New York area president David Falk is taking over the agency assignment for 40 Thompson Street.

The building, though a small commercial property by most standards, adds to Mr. Falk’s growing body of work in Soho, an area that many leasing experts expect Read More

Renderings

200 Lafayette Street Slideshow

5 Photos

Conference Room

Kushner Companies unveiled plans this week to turn 200 Lafayette Street into what officials there believe will be one of Midtown South’s most coveted office addresses.

 Mr. Kushner, a principal of the large real estate investment company Kushner Companies (and owner of both The Commercial Observer and The New York Observer), bought the roughly 150,000-square-foot building in partnership with the CIM Group in January for approximately $50 million. Mr. Kushner plans to pump significant capital to restore the over 100-year-old building’s classic aesthetic while refurbishing its space to house modern amenities and infrastructure. After a jump, a tour of the building through renderings obtained exclusively by The Commercial Observer. Read More

Lease Beat

PFM Management Inks Deal at 40 Wall

40 Wall Street

Demand for space at 40 Wall Street continues to grow with news yesterday that the Trump Organization-owned building’s leasing agency signed financial advisory group PFM Management to a ten-year lease on the 49th floor of the office tower.

Public Financial Management, which does business as PFM Asset Management, is taking 9,263 square feet of turnkey space on the entire 49th floor of 40 Wall Street, brokers involved with the transaction exclusively told The Commercial Observer yesterday. Asking rents were in the low $40s. Read More