Lease Beat

Li & Fung Subsidiary Expands at 1359 Broadway

1359 Broadway

A division of Hong Kong-based retail supply-chain manager Li & Fung will grow its footprint at Empire State Realty Trust‘s 1359 Broadway through a seven-year, 12,900-square-foot expansion deal, Commercial Observer has learned.

LF Distribution Holdings, an entity wholly-owned by the largest tenant in ESRT’s portfolio, grabbed new space on a portion of the building’s ninth floor to expand to 104,000 square feet at the property, a source close to the negotiations told CO. The building between West 36th and 37th Streets commanded an asking rent of $58 per square foot, representatives for ESRT said. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Nightingale Buys Philadelphia Mixed-Use Building With Starwood Loan

1835 Market Street.

New York-based Nightingale Group acquired a mixed-use office and retail property at 1835 Market Street in Philadelphia with a $90 million loan from Starwood Property Trust, two people familiar with the deal told Mortgage Observer exclusively.

Nightingale acquired the 29-story building from a joint venture between Clarion Partners and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System for about $100 million, they said. The acquisition marks Nightingale’s third investment in Philadelphia’s central business district since 2011. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Has New York Multifamily Lost Its Sheen?

From left, Matthew Galligan, Peter Nicoletti, Chad Tredway and Jeremy Shel. (Patrick McMullan Company)

It almost starts off like a joke. Two lenders, a developer and a broker walk into a panel hosted by a lawyer. What can they all agree on? That rising land and construction costs could imperil New York development and multifamily deals.

That was the prevailing sentiment among four panelists at a Mortgage Observer breakfast event today at Herrick, Feinstein’s Park Avenue office. Read More

Lease Beat

Equity Investment Firm Relocates to Midtown East

350 Madison

Global equity investment company Beacon Light Capital has relocated roughly nine blocks south of its previous location through a seven-year, 7,178-square-foot lease for the entire 22nd floor of RFR Realty’s 350 Madison Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.


The company moved to a space with two terraces in the structure between East 44th and East 45th Streets from a smaller spread at 1330 Avenue of the Americas between West 53rd and West 54th Streets. Officials at RFR, which purchased the building for $261.5 million last year, touted the building renovations.

Read More

Lease Beat

Road Runner Capital Partners Renews in Midtown East

800 Third Avenue

Investment firm Road Runner Capital Partners, also known as Schottenfeld Group, will remain in its 20,010-square-foot space at 800 Third Avenue in Midtown East for more than seven additional years, according to SL Green Realty Corp.’s third quarter U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The financial firm signed an early lease renewal, thereby “bringing the remaining lease term to 7.2 years,” the filing notes. Read More

Lease Beat

British Tech Firm Signs Lease in Midtown East

685 Third Avenue

Cloud-based business software provider NewVoice Media will transition in the first quarter of 2015 into a permanent New York City office that’s three times the Hampshire, England-based company’s temporary space, Commercial Observer has learned.

The company signed a five-year, 6,487-square-foot lease to move to the 16th floor of TIAA-CREF’s 685 Third Avenue between East 43rd and East 44th Streets from an approximately 2,000-square-foot interim space, officials with Avison Young said. Read More

Lease Beat

Hedge Fund to Expand On West 57th Street

142 West 57th Street

Hedge fund manager and global alternative asset management firm the Och-Ziff Capital Management Group will expand into another West 57th Street skyscraper through a 16-year, 15,586-square-foot lease at Metropolitan Tower, Commercial Observer has learned.

The publicly traded American financial firm will grow its footprint to the entire ninth floor at L&L Holding Company’s 142 West 57th Street in January by adding the new digs to go with its current block of more than 100,000 square feet at the Solow Building Company’s 9 West 57th Street one block east, said David Berkey of L&L. Read More

Lease Beat

Ad Tech Company Inks Big West Village Relocation

95 Morton Street

Digital ad valuation company Integral Ad Science has more than quadrupled its New York City office footprint through a 10-year, 25,000-square-foot lease for the entire eighth floor at the Brickman real estate private equity firm’s 95 Morton Street in the West Village.

The company that provides an assessment platform for digital marketing buyers and sellers relocated from a 6,000-square-foot space near Union Square late last month to the space one block east of the Hudson River between Greenwich Street and Washington Street with asking rents of $75 per square foot, according to Brickman officials. The company’s expanded staff played a large role in the move, said Integral Ad Science CEO Scott Knoll. Read More

Lease Beat

City Agency, Office Space Provider Ink Forest Hills Leases

Forest Hills Tower

The New York City Board of Elections and office suite provider Regus signed respective leases totaling almost 50,000 square feet at Muss Development’s Forest Hills Tower at 118-35 Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, Queens, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

The city agency will move into a 36,103-square-foot space on three different floors of the 17-story building by the fourth quarter of 2015 and the real and virtual office space finders will occupy 13,317 square feet on the fourth floor of the 1981 structure with asking rents in the high $30s, Jason Muss, a Muss principal, told Commercial Observer. Read More

Lease Beat

Digital Ad Agency Expands in Dumbo

45 Main Street

Digital marketing firm Huge will expand from 55,000 square feet to 80,000 square feet through a five-year lease with a five-year renewal option at Two Trees Management‘s 45 Main Street in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn, The New York Post reported Tuesday.

The firm with 850 employees worldwide and over 500 in Brooklyn first occupied a 2,500-square-foot space on the site that’s one block from the East River waterfront off of Water Street, but it’s now building out for the large-scale expansion in space where asking rents range from the low-$40s to the low-$50s per square foot, said Dan Conlon, director of leasing for Two Trees. Read More

Market Reports

Reports: Downtown Vacancy Rates Fall While WTC Rises

Downtown Vacancy

Downtown Manhattan’s vacancy rates decreased by more than three percentage points in the last year despite large amounts of space for tenants at the World Trade Center, according to new quarterly data released by JLL and other market observers.

Downtown’s overall vacancy rate dropped from 13.7 percent to 10.6 percent between the third quarter of 2013 and the third quarter of this year, while downtown Class A vacancies plummeted from 15.5 percent to 11.2 percent over the same period, according to the JLL report. The trend reflects the area’s growing appeal to tenants from the technology, advertising, media and information sector who are moving from other neighborhoods, said John Wheeler, the director of JLL’s downtown office. Read More

Mortgage Observer

The Rise of Select-Service Hotels

Bill Grice.

Select-service hotels—once mainly the focus of small, regional owners and operators—have become a target for some of the largest REITs and private equity firms and a growing sweet spot for lenders, according to a report from JLL provided exclusively to Mortgage Observer.

The hybrid lodging class, which stands between full-service and limited-service hotels, has increasingly attracted the attention of large national banks and life insurance companies in addition to the usual local and regional banks, fueling increased lending competition, according to the report. Read More

Mortgage Observer

J.P. Morgan Provides $150M for Hotel Portfolio

A Marriott SpringHill Suites hotel

JLL secured $150 million in acquisition financing from J.P. Morgan on behalf of a joint venture between Blue Mountain Capital and Aimbridge Hospitality, Mortgage Observer has exclusively learned. The J.V. purchased a 16-property select-service hotel portfolio with assets in Kentucky and Ohio.

The 1,776-key portfolio features seven Courtyard by Marriotts, seven TownPlace Suites and two SpringHill Suites hotels in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, according to JLL. The properties recently underwent upgrades.  Read More

The Lobby

Cassidy Turley Hires Nonprofit Group Co-Leader

Janet Woods

Cassidy Turley hired an experienced broker for charities and foundations to help lead its nonprofit practice group, the company announced last week.

Janet Woods has joined Cassidy Turley as co-leader alongside David Lebenstein to play the same role she formerly served at JLL as a representative for the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, the Children’s Aid Society, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and other nonprofit clients. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Hidrock Scores $45M in Acquisition Funds From Bank of Ozarks, Ladder

12 East 48th Street

Bank of the Ozarks and Ladder Capital lent $45.5 million in funds for a seasoned New York City investor to buy a three-lot land assemblage in the Rockefeller Center area for $47 million, Mortgage Observer has learned. The buyer, HID Acquisition Group LLC, a subsidiary of Hidrock Realty, closed on the parcels last month and plans to build a residential condominium, Hidrock’s CEO said.

Bank of the Ozarks provided $26 million in a senior mortgage, while Ladder Capital lent $19.5 million in mezzanine funds, a source told MO. Read More