Mortgage Observer

MetLife Finances 685 Third Avenue in $190M Deal

685 Third Avenue.

MetLife lent $190 million to a joint venture between TIAA-CREF and Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the Australian Government Future Fund, to cover upgrades on the partnership’s 685 Third Avenue office tower, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

The five-year debt deal, which closed on March 18, carries a loan-to-value ratio of 54 percent, a MetLife spokesperson said. The 31-story building in Midtown has no existing debt, according to public records. Read More

Market Report

Tech Sector Gains Ground on Financial Services in NYC Real Estate: Report

111 Eighth Avenue.

In 2014, the tech sector and new media companies leased more than five million square feet of office space and was responsible for 16.2 percent of leasing activity in Manhattan, a 4.9 percent increase since 2013, according to a new report on the industry released by JLL. The report highlighted that the tech sector was second only to the financial services industry in terms of leasing activity; however, while the financial services industry was responsible for 24.7 percent of all activity in 2014, it represented a 3.2 percent decrease from the year before.

“Each year, the gap in activity between tech and financial services has steadily narrowed,” the report highlighted. Read More

Lease Beat

Bank Leumi Signs 58,548-SF Lease at 350 Madison

350 Madison Avenue

Bank Leumi USA, the largest subsidiary of Israeli bank The Leumi Group, signed a long-term lease earlier this month for 58,548 square feet at 350 Madison Avenue as The New York Post reported. Asking rents in the building range from $60 per square foot  in the base to $85 per square foot  in the penthouse.

Occupying the entirety of floors three, four and six, the Israel-based financial services firm will be the building’s largest tenant. Read More

Lease Beat

Non-Profit Foundation Takes Space Within Plaza District

875 Third Avenue.

The JPB Foundation, a non-profit organization that funds initiatives for a host of causes, has signed a 15-year lease for 30,000 square feet in Midtown’s Plaza District, according to Crain’s New York Business.

The Foundation will move into 875 Third Avenue, a 720,000-square-foot office building between East 52 and East 53rd Streets. Crain’s reported JPB will take the top floor of the 29-story tower and that asking rents were $86 per square foot. It will be relocating from the Solow Building at 9 West 57th Street between Fifth Avenue and the Avenue of the Americas. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Steiner’s Brooklyn Residential Tower Gets $390M Construction Loan

333 Schermerhorn Street

The tower once slated to be Brooklyn’s tallest is one step closer to completion—Douglas Steiner nabbed a $390 million construction loan for The Hub at 333 Schermerhorn Street, Mortgage Observer has learned.

The residential rental tower was first announced in 2012, a time when, somehow, the site at Schermerhorn and Flatbush Avenue was still described as “gritty” by The Wall Street Journal, despite its straddling the tony Fort Greene and Boerum Hill neighborhoods. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Magnum, CIM Close Loan for Lower Manhattan Verizon Building Condo Conversion

100 Barclay Street

A partnership of Ben Shaoul and Los Angeles-based CIM Group closed on $390 million they will use to convert a Lower Manhattan office building into fancy condominiums, Mortgage Observer has learned.

A source said the pair obtained capital from New York-based iStar Financial and Stamford-based H/2 Capital to facilitate the construction of 166 residential condos atop retail and offices at 140 West Street, which has been rebranded as 100 Barclay Street. Read More

The Lobby

JLL Names New Property Management Group Head [Updated]

Linda Aronson.

Commercial real estate and investment management firm JLL has appointed Managing Director Linda Aronson to spearhead the organization’s property management group in the New York tri-state market, according to a press release issued by JLL.

“We have restructured our property management group to facilitate the expansion of our third-party management portfolio in the New York tri-state area,” said Stephen Schlegel, the COO of JLL’s New York office, in prepared remarks. “Linda Aronson will focus on further building the business.” Read More

Lease Beat

Companies Lease Over 70K SF at TIAA-CREF Building

475 Fifth Avenue

Two new tenants have signed large-scale deals for space at TIAA-CREF‘s 475 Fifth Avenue.

Penske Media Corporation, the parent company of publications like Women’s Wear Daily and Variety, and VOA Associates Architecture, a global architectural design firm, will relocate its New York City offices to the 24-story property across from Bryant Park between East 40th and 41st Streets. The media company is leasing 56,000 square feet on the second, third, 14th and 16th floors, and the architecture firm grabbed 15,375 square feet for the entire 12th floor, The New York Post reported. Read More

Lease Beat

Finance Tech Firm Takes Space in Midtown East

757 Third Avenue

A virtual financing network platform company has grabbed real-world office space in Midtown East.

CyndX, which connects growing companies with capital providers and executive talent in an online marketplace, moved into a 5,479-square-foot space on a portion of the 15th floor of RFR Realty‘s 757 Third Avenue this week, Commercial Observer has learned. The company signed a five-year lease for space at the property, which commands asking rents in the low $70s per square foot, RFR officials said. Read More

Lease Beat

Finance Software Company to Move NYC Offices

622 Third Avenue.

The old Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield Building just got a new TAMI (technology, advertising, media and information sector) tenant.

Boston-based EZE Software Group, a financial services platform provider, will relocate its New York City offices in the second quarter of the year from 1633 Broadway in Midtown to Charles S. Cohen‘s 622 Third AvenueCommercial Observer has learned. EZE signed an 11-year, 25,000-square-foot lease for a portion of the 10th floor of the 39-story, 1-million-square-foot Grand Central Plaza building between East 40th and 41st Streets, officials with Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation said. Read More

Mortgage Observer

JLL Closes Sale and Financing of Philadelphia’s 1635 Market Street

Seven Penn Center at 1635 Market Street.

Philadelphia continues to lure New York real estate investors, as its central business district becomes an appealing alternative to Manhattan and its sky-high prices.

JLL brokered the sale and financing of a 19-story office and retail building on Philadelphia’s Market Street, the second investment there by Nightingale Group in December, Mortgage Observer has learned. Read More

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.

The 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