Phase Two of the DTZ Acquisition of C&W

CO_Voltron_01_LAYOUT_Randy Pollak

When news broke just over a month ago that Cushman & Wakefield—the world’s largest privately held real estate services company—was selling to Chicago-based rival DTZ for about $2 billion, you would have expected waves throughout the industry. But actually, insiders tell Commercial Observer, the combined firms’ new setup—with CBRE alum Brett White helming the Read More


JLL Brokers $130M MetLife Loan for Two Philly Towers

1650 Arch Street in Philadelphia.

CBREI, an investment management affiliate of CBRE, closed the purchase of two Philadelphia office assets with $130 million from MetLife, Commercial Observer has learned.

The two Class A office towers, located in the Center City neighborhood, were purchased for about $200 million. The two floating-rate loans totaling $130 million from MetLife, brokered by JLL, allowed CBREI to complete the purchase.  Read More

Lease Beat

Startup Takes Full Floor at Moinian’s 60 Madison Avenue

60 Madison Avenue.

Eyeview, an online video production company, has inked a five-year deal for office space at 60 Madison Avenue.

The tech company will be taking 18,783 square feet for the entire fourth floor of the 12-story Midtown South building, according to JLL, which represented the landlord. It’s relocating from 29 East 19th Street between Broadway and Park Avenue South—half a mile away from its new office. Read More


Spec Office Development Hits Outer Boroughs

The Brooklyn Bridge.

A few years ago, even in Manhattan, building or converting an office property on spec was unheard of.

That is no longer the case, according to data from JLL, whose debt experts say the arrival of name-brand tenants has made office conversion deals in the boroughs increasingly appealing.  Read More

The Sit-Down

Riguarding Peter: JLL’s Peter Riguardi Has Plenty to Smile About

Peter Riguardi of JLL

When Commercial Observer stopped by Peter Riguardi’s Madison Avenue office for an interview, the dark-haired, 53-year-old Mr. Riguardi—head of JLL’s New York office—was in excellent spirits. In just a few hours, he would be attending the broker party for JLL’s newest building, 28 Liberty Street (formerly 1 Chase Plaza) where the powers that be were auctioning off $2,000 gift certificates at Saks Fifth Avenue, and first-class stays in Europe and Shanghai. (By the way: These are not the most extravagant giveaways at a JLL party. They once raffled off a boat.)

The Staten Island native, who now divides his time between a house in New Jersey and a residence on the Upper East Side, seems like a genuinely chipper person—he talks affectionately about his sons (two of whom followed him to the real estate business) and gets excited when you mention Staten Island pizza. Read More

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