Lease Beat

Muss Development Buys Retail Condo, Simultaneously Lands Le Pain Quotidien

(Credit: Toll Brothers)

Muss Development has purchased a retail condominium at the base of Toll BrothersTouraine luxury residential building on the Upper East Side for $12 million, and construction is already underway to outfit the space for a new Le Pain Quotidien.

The build out of the 5,000-square-foot retail condominium at 865 Lexington Avenue (aka 132 East 65th Street) will take approximately three months to complete, at which point the European cafe chain will move into its 31st Manhattan location, Jason Muss of Muss Development told Commercial Observer. Read More

Lease Beat

Bank, Engineering Firm Take Space in Forest Hills Tower

Forest Hills Tower at 118-35 Queens Boulevard

Signature Bank and Tectonic Engineering & Surveying Consultants have each signed a 10-year lease for space at Muss Development‘s Forest Hills Tower, a 375,000-square-foot office tower in the Forest Hills area of Queens.

Tectonics, a civil and structural engineering firm, and the bank will take a combined 17,782 square feet in the building, at 118-35 Queens Boulevard, which used to be JetBlue’s headquarters, Crain’s first reported. Read More

Lease Beat

CVS Renews Whitestone Lease

CVS Pharmacy at Francis Lewis Boulevard Shopping Center (Credit: Muss Development)

CVS Pharmacy has signed a long-term renewal for its 13,500-square-foot space at Muss Development’s Francis Lewis Boulevard Shopping Center in Whitestone, Queens, Commercial Observer has learned.

The nation’s largest pharmacy chain has operated a branch at the Queens shopping center since 2002 and may soon have a new neighbor there. Muss Development has plans to upgrade the tenancy of a 4,000-square-foot space adjacent to the CVS location once it becomes available in the second quarter, according to a press release. 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

Lease Beat

Men’s Wearhouse Renews Forest Hills Lease


Muss Development has signed Men’s Wearhouse to a long-term, 6,300-square-foot renewal at 7000 Austin Street in Forest Hills, Queens, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The men’s retailer occupies retail space alongside Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, Eddie Bauer and T.G.I Friday’s at the 78,939-square-foot mixed-use property. Allen Health Care and Bilinguals Inc. both occupy office space in the building.

Read More

Mortgage Observer

Outlook for 2014: Early Indications Positive

It’s a new year, and experts in the commercial real estate sector are assessing how factors like New York City’s newly inaugurated mayor and elements of financial reform coming online may impact business. Here, Mortgage Observer spoke to several to get their takes on what the year ahead holds for the economy, banking, financing and New York City as a whole. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Brooklyn’s Retail Financing Redux: Hipper Shopping En Route


As the economy continues to build steam, a new Brooklyn finds itself craving a new retail culture—and developers and financers are keeping close watch. While New York’s most populous borough has seen a large number of residential buildings take shape in the past year, financing for retail construction projects and acquisitions are just now beginning to catch up.

When asked, the developers behind several of the latest big retail projects told The Mortgage Observer that many of those properties would have a more chic look and feel and a more versatile use than traditional shopping outlets and malls. One common point of comparison has been Jamestown’s Chelsea Market, the high-end urban food court and shopping center with galleries and production studios mixed in. Read More

Lease Beat

Mount Sinai Expansion Tops 20,000 Square Feet of Leasing at 1556 Third Avenue


The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has signed a 10-year, 3,616-square-foot expansion on the fifth floor of Muss Development’s 1556 Third Avenue, known as the Agora Building, The Commercial Observer has learned. Asking rents were not disclosed.

The medical tenant’s lease, which brings its total footprint to 8,424 square feet, is the largest of 20,000 square feet of new leases and renewals at the Upper East Side property.

“The Agora Building at 1556 Third Avenue is meticulously maintained, providing Upper East Side tenants a high-end leasing option in an area with few comparable alternatives,” said Jason Muss, principal at Muss Development, in a prepared statement. “We continue to see strong demand for space.” Read More

Lease Beat

Document Technologies Expands at 64 West 48th Street


Document Technologies has signed an 8-year lease for an additional 7,852 square feet at Muss Development’s 64 West 48th Street. Asking rents for the property range from the low to mid $40s per square foot.

“We think they’re happy in the building, which is great,” Jason Muss, principal at Muss Development told The Commercial Observer. “It is part of why they’re expanding.” Read More

Lease Beat

Brooklyn-Based Medical Practice Expands to Forest Hills Tower in Queens


Central Medical Services of Westrock, a medical practice specializing in workers’ compensation cases, has signed a 10-year, 4,150-square-foot lease on the ninth floor of Forest Hills Tower in Forest Hills, Queens, The Commercial Observer has learned. Asking rent for the building is in the mid-$30s per square foot.

CMSW will occupy the space in the Muss Development property at 118-35 Queens Boulevard beginning in May. The practice is headquartered in Brooklyn with satellite offices in Jamaica, the Bronx, Syosset and White Plains. Read More

Lease Beat

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Relocates Headquarters


The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce has signed a 10-year lease for 4,426 square feet at Muss Development’s Brooklyn Renaissance Plaza at 335 Adams Street in Downtown Brooklyn, it was announced last week. Asking rent was $40 per square foot.

“They were looking for an overall upgrade,” Jason Muss, principal at Muss Development, told The Commercial Observer. “They wanted to send the message that the Chamber is thriving and attracting new members.”

The Chamber of Commerce is expected to occupy the new space sometime in the second quarter. New offices will be added to the space, but there will be few other changes, according to Mr. Muss.

Currently, the Chamber of Commerce is located at 25 Elm Place, also in Downtown Brooklyn. Read More

Year in Real Estate

Fast & Furious: The minute-by-minute, behind-the-scenes negotiations that led to this year’s F.E.M.A transaction

New York And New Jersey Continue To Deal With Aftermath Of Hurricane Sandy

The whirlwind negotiations between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Muss Development to create an impromptu relief outpost in Queens in the days following Hurricane Sandy’s descent on New York would not have happened had it not been for one of the real estate industry’s leading dynasties.

In a deal that would later come to symbolize the overall dedication of the city’s real estate titans, government officials and executives banged out terms for 200,000 square feet of temporary space at the Forest Hills Tower in a mere five days, a minor miracle in the world of office leasing. Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

FEMA and Muss Development Ink Deal for Hurricane Relief Headquarters in Two Days


The Federal Emergency Management Agency has pulled together a Queens home base for its Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in a matter of days.

FEMA, as the agency is better known, is taking 200,000 square feet across 10 of 17 floors in the Forest Hills Tower, located at 118-35 Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, Queens.

Negotiations began last week with owner Muss Development, and by Sunday the relief agency had begun its move into the building. Read More