The Plan

Check Out Former Bear Stearns Space, Converted to Monday Properties Marketing Center at 230 Park Avenue

CO Page 38 - The Plan

Built in 1929 by the same architects hired by the Vanderbilt family to construct Grand Central Terminal, 230 Park Avenue has been updated for modern tenancy.

LEED Gold rated and awarded an EPA Energy Star in 2008, the 1.4-million-square-foot property, owned by Monday Properties and Invesco and co-brokered by Jones Lang LaSalle, has been on the forefront of real estate sustainability practices and is the first prewar building in New York to receive those distinctions.

The 71,000-square-foot seventh floor, previously occupied by JPMorgan Chase and its predecessor Bear Stearns, has been redeployed as a marketing center to allow chief executives and other decision-makers the opportunity to see facilities in a predominantly raw space. Jordan Berger of Monday Properties spoke with The Commercial Observer about the space. Read More

Lease Beat

Financial Protection Bureau Signs First New York Lease At 2 Grand Central Tower

2 GCT

The Financial Protection Bureau established its first New York outpost by signing a 21,000-square-foot lease at 2 Grand Central Tower. The bureau will occupy part of the third floor and the entire fourth floor at the Midtown building purchased last year by Rockwood Capital. The 10-year lease was done for rents around $50 per square foot. Paul Amrich, Vice Chairman in CBRE‘s Brokerage Services Group, led a team representing the landlord. David Leest, a broker with Brody Realty Corp., represented the bureau.

The regulatory agency was established last year as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act, legislation passed to guard consumers in the wake of the financial crisis and Great Recession. The bureau sought a space that would place it near the financial services companies it works with–the headquarters of Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo are within a few blocks of 2 Grand Central Tower, on 45th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues. Read More

Northeast Mortgage Beat

Portion of South Boston Development Funded for $170 Million

One Channel Center.

One Channel Center, a 500,000-square-foot office building under development in Boston’s Seaport District, has received a $170 million construction loan.

A team from HFF, led by Managing Director Anthony Cutone and Director Porter Terry, arranged the financing, working on behalf of the developers—AREA Property Partners and Commonwealth Ventures.

According to sources, the loan is through Read More

Mortgage Observer

Competition Hot in Multifamily

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Record-low mortgage rates have helped to fuel the nation’s refinancing activity for residential homes. In July, the number of mortgage applications filed hit a three-year high. Freddie Mac also reported that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.49 percent for the week ending July 26.

Likewise, attractive rates are fueling financing in the multifamily market, where financing for low-leveraged rental buildings has reached its lowest levels in decades. The result? Fierce competition among lenders looking to provide financing for the asset class, particularly in the Big Apple. Read More

Power Broker

Paul Amrich: Young Gun

Paul Amrich. (Photo courtesy Katie Khouri)

With his clean-cut suits and boyish good looks, it’s hard to imagine Paul Amrich laboring under the summer sun like a grunt, lugging around materials on a construction site.

But when he was a high school and college student years ago, that’s just what he spent his breaks doing, courtesy of his father, a construction engineer who was able to get Mr. Amrich work on sites he was consulting on.

“You name it, I carted brick and concrete to the bricklayers, lugged sheetrock,” said Mr. Amrich. “It kind of teaches you the value of education. It makes you appreciate the opportunity to be in a city like New York and to be able to walk in and work at a good company. I’m psyched every day.” Read More

Mortgage Observer

Wells Fargo’s Alan Wiener: Massive Multifamly Biz and Unwelcomed Guests

Alan Wiener.

Alan Wiener called the whole thing “weird.” And for several reasons it was a somewhat unusual scenario—two bus loads of folks from the Bronx 99% Spring, an Occupy Wall Street offshoot, gathered on his lawn Saturday April 14, 2012, a beautiful spring day. The buses had pulled up to the private drive leading to his Rye home as men, women and children took the short walk to Mr. Wiener’s property (click through to the end to read the letter the group left him).

Heidi Hynes, a spokeswoman for the group, told The Mortgage Observer that they chose Mr. Wiener “because he’s in charge of multifamily mortgages and because the Bronx is filled with multifamily housing.” Also, she said, he lives in Rye, which wasn’t far to travel. According to Ms. Hynes, Mr. Wiener is part of the predatory banking system that had over-financed mortgages and then received bailout money from the government, even as programs for poor kids in the Bronx were cut. Read More

the lead indicator

What JPMorgan Chase’s Loss Should Remind Us About Risk Measurement

Sam Chandan.

Last Thursday’s revelation of a multibillion-dollar trading loss at JPMorgan’s Chief Investment Office has reverberated through Wall Street and Washington, stiffening the resolve of tighter regulation’s most outspoken advocates. For the weekend’s op-ed columnists and a herd of elected officials, the loss adds to prima facie evidence of a deep flaw in the current model of investment bank risk-taking.

In the case of a large institution, they argue that risk-taking intimates broader threats to stability that must be contained. For the bankers careful to adopt a contrite demeanor, it also represents an ill-timed misstep by their most credible ideological counterweight and champion of self-regulation. Read More

2Q12

Right Out of Gate, 2Q12 Looks Sluggish

One Chase Manhattan Plaza

Just weeks into the second quarter, brokers are already saying that caution continues to linger in the city’s leasing market.

After one of the slowest quarter in years during the first three months of the year, a number of large transactions that have been
rumored to be in talks for months remain in negotiations and big tenants who do have to lease space have made decisions that reflect a
sense of conservatism. Read More

Sustainability Today

Transparently Green: Landlords, Tenants, Gear Up for Local Law 84

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In the spring, the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability will release data for the first time revealing energy consumption in office buildings in the city.

By making such figures available to the public, Mr. Bloomberg hopes to essentially do to building owners what he has done with national food chains: incentivize them—or shame them, depending on your perspective—into significantly reducing their energy consumption.

“A customer will go into a restaurant now and they’ll say to themselves, ‘maybe I won’t have that doughnut that has 500 calories’,” said Constantine Kontokosta, a professor at New York University and director of its Center for The Sustainable Built Environment, a working group that is assisting the city with its analysis and release of the electrical consumption data.

“On the producer side, you have companies like Starbucks who are also responding to the disclosure, rearranging their offerings so they no longer have 1,000 calorie cupcakes but healthier fare.” Read More

The Sit-Down

Moinian’s Main Man: Gregg Weisser on Columbus Circle and Young & Rubicam

Gregg Weiser.

Gregg Weisser knows how to handle a hot house. The newly anointed executive managing director of the Moinian Group, and volunteer fireman with the Kismet Fire Department in Fire Island, New York, is no stranger to putting out fires, be it a burning beach house or as a director of leasing across some of the city’s most notable addresses. As the real estate director of JPMorgan Chase, where he had worked for over 20 years, Mr. Weisser closed a million and a half feet of empty space in 1 New York Plaza.

Read More

The Sit-Down

Charlie Murphy, Shoveling for Success

Charlie Murphy

As senior vice president and general manager of the New York business unit of Turner Construction, Charlie Murphy oversaw approximately 800 employees and $1.5 billion in construction last year. Despite a general malaise across the construction industry, this year looks particularly active, with assignments for Silverstein Properties, New York University and Boston Properties, among other commercial buildings. Mr. Murphy spoke to The Commercial Observer about a promising spurt in construction spending, work on New York University’s Langone Medical Center campus and working with competing firm Tishman on the ground at the World Trade Center site. Read More

Lease of the Week

Endurance Ensures 750 Third

750 Third Avenue.

Endurance Reinsurance needed more office space. But growing wasn’t going to be as easy as just tacking a few new floors onto its existing footprint.

The firm had split its operations between two closely located buildings on Third Avenue, 750 and 767 Third Avenue. A quick perusal of the former revealed that only a tantalizing scrap on the building’s 10th floor was available. Alone, it wasn’t going to cut it. Endurance, a roughly 60,000-square-foot tenant at the time, was looking to grow by about 50 percent or more. Read More