Lease Beat

Pacific College of Oriental Medicine Opens in Financial District

Courtesy of Swig Equities

Pacific College of Oriental Medicine has inked a deal in the Financial District, the Commercial Observer has learned.

The educational institute for East Asian Medicine will take 42,000 square feet in Swig Equities110 William Street. The lease was signed for both the entire 19th floor and a portion of the ground floor, adding to the college portfolio of branches in San Diego and Chicago. Read More

Lease Beat

Guideposts Takes Leap of Faith in Downtown Relocation


Faith-based not-for-profit organization Guideposts is relocating from its East 34th Street offices to 110 William Street, where the decades-old publisher of spiritual books, magazines and online content will reap the benefits of a Downtown location, brokers handling the deal told The Commercial Observer.

The company will occupy 8,599 square-feet of office space on the 9th Read More

Cover Story

Reaching for the Sun: Is It Possible to Own Too Much Real Estate?


When the credit crisis hit and the real estate market all but collapsed, news of disgraced developers became commonplace, their tales more often than not layered with intrigue.

Take Kent Swig, who, after being divorced by his wife, filed an affidavit in May responding to a lawsuit filed by his ex-father-in-law, industry luminary Harry Macklowe, arguing that Mr. Macklowe embarked on a “vendetta” aimed at “starving” him of every last penny.

But as the downfalls of real estate tycoons like Mr. Macklowe, Shaya Boymelgreen, Bruce Eichner and Larry Gluck stack up like so many new developments across Manhattan’s skyline, analysts and the city’s landlords themselves have begun to wonder aloud if there’s a limit to how much real estate can be accumulated.

“A developer’s function is to develop property, and sometimes they develop and develop until they can’t develop anymore,” said appraiser Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel Inc., a real estate appraisal and consulting firm based in New York City. “Where people fell short was that the market was more powerful than them … the market is brutal, and it has no compassion.” Read More

Lower Manhattan

These Days, Tenants Housed in Insurance Submarket Anything But

Insurance submarket.

Since emerging in the early 20th century, the Insurance District has taken over the northern streets of the Financial District. The district spans from Broadway to William Street and from Pine Street to Park Row, with John and Fulton streets forming the heart of the district.

The New York Life Insurance Company, among the largest insurance companies today, was founded in 1845 and opened its first headquarters at 112-114 Broadway, becoming one of the first insurance companies in the area. Hundreds of firms moved to the area and took spaces in historic buildings like the Home Royal Insurance Building, 110 Fulton Street, Home Insurance Plaza and the National Board of Fire Underwriters Building. Read More

2012 Owners Magazine

Does Size Matter? In an Industry Filled with Goliaths, Davids Abound

Illustration Courtesy Ed Johnson.

On a balmy July afternoon, a few members of SL Green’s management staff pushed their way through the revolving doors of 711 Third Avenue, the company’s 500,000-square-foot, 20-floor tower between 44th and 45th Streets.

They passed through the gallery-style lobby, framed by both Greek Thassos white and De Savoi grey-blue marble, carrying a few boxes. An original Hans Hoffman mosaic mural, designed in 1956, adorned the hallway farther down.

They sliced open the boxes and put on green aprons emblazoned with the firm’s stylized logo—and so the ice cream party for the building’s tenants began.

In a market full of haves and have-nots, there are benefits to being the biggest fish in the pond. Read More

Power Broker

Phoenix Rising: Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Jeff Rosenblatt, Post Kent Swig

Jeff Rosenblatt.

It didn’t take long for Jeff Rosenblatt to sense something awry in the house of Kent Swig.

It was 2009 and Mr. Swig, at the time a large landlord in the city, had purchased the real estate services company Helmsley-Spear a year earlier. In the months after his big acquisition of the legendary brokerage firm, Mr. Swig had offered Mr. Rosenblatt a senior position managing its leasing operations. Read More


Swig Equities Snags Tech Company Stack Exchange for 30,000 Square Feet

110 William Street.

Tech company Stack Exchange has signed for 30,230 square feet of space at Swig Equities’ newly refinanced 110 William Street. The company is taking the entire 27th and 28th floors in the building, which is now 97 percent leased to tenants like the New York City Economic Development Corporation and WB Engineering & Consulting.

Jonathan Dean, a senior vice president and director of commercial leasing for Swig, represented the landlord in-house. Stack Exchange CEO Joel Spolsky wasn’t available to comment, but a rep for the landlord said that the tenant didn’t use an outside broker. Read More

Lease Beat

Addison Signs Deal at 48 Wall Street

48 Wall Street. (courtesy Swig Equities)

Swig Equities, the owner of the landmark building 48 Wall Street, inked a deal with Addison, a brand strategy and design firm, Kent Swig, the firm’s president, announced last week.

Addison signed a 14-year lease for 27,300 square feet occupying the eighth and ninth floors of the building. The firm is relocating from 20 Exchange Place where they occupied 24,600 square feet. The firm represented itself in the deal. The asking rent was in the mid to high 30’s per square foot (a spokesperson would not disclose an exact number). Read More

Power Grab

Dispute Between Partners Could Force Swig Out at 48 Wall Street: Lawsuit

48 Wall

Real estate investor M. Myers Mermel has filed a suit against the embattled landlord Kent Swig to try to force Mr. Swig out of one of his last remaning office buildings, 48 Wall Street.

The case, which is in state Supreme Court, alleges that Mr. Swig violated an operating agreement between partners at the property by pledging his assets as collateral in a $116 million judgment against him late last year to satisfy his long list of creditors. Read More


Walking the REBNY Ballroom: Hungry Brokers, Angry Lapidus

1173 REBNY 116th Annual Banquet, 1.19.12

Speeches were casually ignored, drinks were spilled and bonds were formed at last Thursday’s 116th annual Real Estate Board of New York Gala, which this year drew an estimated 2,000 brokers, owners, advertising buyers and real estate reporters to the New York Hilton for an evening of conviviality, honorifics and hushed deal making. Among the fray was Commercial Observer staff writer Daniel Geiger, who during the course of the evening saw his stenopad tossed by an irate real estate broker and who unabashedly accosted Studley’s Woody Heller in the hotel’s bathroom, all for the sake of the story. Below, a timeline of gala comings and goings, from the innocuous gossip down to the downright obnoxious.  Read More

Lease Beat

Pace Dances Into 140 William Street

140 William Street (photo courtesy of Property Shark)

Pace University has reached an agreement to move into 140 William Street, taking the entire 50,000 square foot building for its dance and visual arts programs, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The school will be relocating from its current space at 280 Broadway, said David Falk, president of Newmark Knight Frank who represented Pace in the deal. Read More