Cover Story

Breaking Barriers: Richard Bernstein and Peter Hennessy on Cassidy Turley’s Star Turn

Richard Bernstein and Peter Hennessy. (Photo: Mike Nagle)

“If I could knock this wall down I would,” said Peter Hennessy, pointing through a glass enclosure that separates his office from a row of open workstations within the 42nd floor of Cassidy Turley’s 277 Park Avenue offices.

Mr. Hennessy, the tristate president at the firm, will likely get his wish if Cassidy Turley continues to literally and figuratively break down the barriers that once separated its business lines by expanding the consulting practice that he and Richard Bernstein, the firm’s executive vice chairman and principal, said is crucial to the company’s future. Read More

Assignments

C&W Wins Citigroup Assignment

388-390 Greenwich Street.

Citigroup has hired Cushman & Wakefield to manage its real estate portfolio in the U.S. and Canada, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The real estate services company will assume responsibility for the investment bank’s 27 million square feet of office, retail and data space from JLL, which chose not to bid on the contract when it came up for renewal, the Journal reported. The assignment includes Citigroup’s headquarters at 388-390 Greenwich Street in Tribeca, which is triple-net leased to the bank through 2035. Read More

Lease Beat

Novus Partners Signs 200 Park Avenue Sublease

Met Life Building. (Credit: Tishman Speyer)

Novus Partners has signed a sublease from British bank Barclays at the MetLife Building at 200 Park Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

The financial data analytics business signed a short-term deal for an 18,375-square-foot portion of the 27th floor. The company will relocate from 130 East 59th Street on a deal through May 2017.  Read More

The Sit-Down

JLL’s Downtown Don: John Wheeler

John Wheeler. (Credit: Lea Rubin)

John Wheeler was tapped in March 2012 to run JLL’s lower Manhattan office after returning to the firm in 2009. He is a managing director at the company and has been with JLL for 14 years. He had two stints working on the principle side of the business for Gramercy Capital and Antares Real Estate Partners. Today he directs JLL’s efforts on Gramercy Capital’s 13.5-million-square-foot national portfolio. A couple of his key transactions have been a 500,000-square-foot sublease to Morgan Stanley at 1 New York Plaza and a 450,000-square-foot master lease to the City of New York at 180 Water Street. In his entire career, Mr. Wheeler, 52, has negotiated 13 million square feet of leases for clients. Last week, Commercial Observer sat down with Mr. Wheeler in his office at 140 Broadway and talked about lower Manhattan post-Superstorm Sandy, leasing prices being pushed from the bottom up and the newly distinguished submarket of the Water Street corridor. 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

Photo App Startup Signs 100 Wall Street Lease

100 Wall Street.

Pixable, the developer of a mobile photo application of the same name, has signed a five-year lease for a 6,836-square-foot portion of the 18th floor of Savanna’s 100 Wall Street, Commercial Observer has learned.

The company’s product aggregates photos from various social networks and sorts them into feeds. Founded in 2009, Pixable was acquired by SingTel in 2012 for $26.5 million, according to CrunchBase, and is currently headquartered at 137 Varick Street. Read More

Lease Beat

HSBC Grows by 75,000-SF at 330 Madison

330madison

HSBC expanded by 75,000 square feet at 330 Madison Avenue in a deal that gives the British bank two additional floors–the 12th and lucky 13th–at the Grand Central-area office tower.

The tenant already occupies the full fifth floor. This growth spurt will allow HSBC to relocate some divisions from 452 Fifth Avenue to Vornado‘s 742,000-square-foot property. Read More

The Sit-Down

Scott Panzer: Jones Lang LaSalle’s Triple Digit Threat

Scott Panzer (Photo: Sasha Maslov)

Scott Panzer no longer wears a tie to the office. But despite his nod to Gen Y’s watering down of the workplace dress code, the Jones Lang LaSalle vice chairman shows up to our interview in a snazzy pair of suspenders and a starched white button-down. A 26-year veteran of the real estate industry, Mr. Panzer is at a stage of his career when he doesn’t sweat the small stuff, like neckwear. Instead, he focuses on matching elite tenants (like Interpublic Group of Companies) with A-list landlords (including Sheldon Solow) and their trophy properties (e.g. 9 West 57th Street). Mr. Panzer spoke to The Commercial Observer about his real estate salad days, the comeback of triple-digit rents and the negotiating power of cowboy boots.  Read More

Bruno Magli Lands in Manhattan

Italian shoe designer, Bruno Magli, recently signed a 10-year, 5,174-square-foot lease at 4 West 58th Street. Building owner, Solow Management, initially asked for $80 per square foot, said Jones Lang LaSalle vice president, Michael Higgins, who represented the tenant. He would not disclose the final negotiated price. The landlord is currently asking for $85 per Read More