Featuring an all-star line up of the city’s most formidable real estate professionals, this year’s annual Masters of Real Estate fetched a record 450 RSVPs, The Commercial Observer has learned.
Observer Media Group executives began preparing for the event, now in its third year, six months in advance with an eye toward creating an eclectic mix of speakers. Larry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties, Michael Fascitelli of Vornado, William Rudin of Rudin Management, Jeff Blau of Related Companies and Glenn Rufrano of Cushman & Wakefield are all scheduled to appear. Rob Speyer of Tishman Speyer bowed out.
Jared Kushner, the owner of The Commercial Observer and president of Kushner Companies, will lead the event with remarks.
Post-Tropical Storm Sandy
In the face of one of the worst natural disasters in the city’s history, commercial real estate landlords braced for Hurricane Sandy, employing every measure possible to hold property damage to a minimum and keep tenants safe.
But not even prophetic foresight could have allowed the city’s landlords—or New York City as a whole—to prevent much of the destruction that the mammoth storm wreaked across the five boroughs.
The road to recovery, especially in low-lying coastal areas like Staten Island, Coney Island and the Rockaways, will take months, if not years. Lower Manhattan went dark for days, with many companies largely shutting down due to power outages and salt water flooding, which is especially corrosive to mechanical equipment.
“It’s—It’s—It’s just a mess,” said Jordan Barowitz, a spokesman for the Durst Organization, who struggled to find words to describe the destruction in Lower Manhattan.
A city proposal to sell three lower Manhattan buildings, potentially converting 750,000 square feet of outmoded office space into luxury housing or hotels, has run into objections from community representatives in the City Hall area, who argue that the plan should have included provisions for a school, community center or affordable housing.
The City Council’s subcommittee on planning, dispositions and concessions plans a hearing next week on the disposal of the properties at 22 Reade Street and 49-51 Chambers Street. Disposition of the third building in the package, at 346 Broadway, was approved in 1998. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the sale in January as part of a drive to make the city more efficient by consolidating its office spaces.
Stat of the Week
The Plaza Class A vacancy rate closed August at 13 percent–the highest vacancy rate of the 14 Manhattan submarkets. It climbed 120 basis points last month alone, thanks to a new 492,000-square-foot chunk of space now available on a direct basis at the Kushner Companies- and Vornado Realty Trust-owned 666 Fifth Avenue.
Before Jeff Sutton and SL Green formed a partnership to acquire 1552 Broadway last summer, the diminutive landmark was best known for the four female Broadway stars on its facade.
Theater buffs trolling the neighborhood often visited the two-story building for the stone figurines of Ethel Barrymore, Marilyn Miller, Rosa Ponselle and Mary Pickford mounted on its second level in the 1920s. But with a T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant as its tenant, the building had otherwise become virtually indistinguishable from the bonanza of big-ticket retailers that have come to dominate Times Square.
Nonetheless, SL Green and Mr. Sutton, widely considered one of the city’s most savvy retail investors, saw greater potential for the 15,000-square-foot asset—a fact indicated by the price they agreed to pay its owner, the Riese Organization. Indeed, at more than $136.5 million, the sale last year amounted to a shocking $9,100 per square foot, more than a dozen analysts and real estate executives told The Commercial Observer in a series of interviews last week.
A leasing team from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank led by the company’s New York area president David Falk is taking over the agency assignment for 40 Thompson Street.
The building, though a small commercial property by most standards, adds to Mr. Falk’s growing body of work in Soho, an area that many leasing experts expect Read More
Kushner Companies unveiled plans this week to turn 200 Lafayette Street into what officials there believe will be one of Midtown South’s most coveted office addresses.
Mr. Kushner, a principal of the large real estate investment company Kushner Companies (and owner of both The Commercial Observer and The New York Observer), bought the roughly 150,000-square-foot building in partnership with the CIM Group in January for approximately $50 million. Mr. Kushner plans to pump significant capital to restore the over 100-year-old building’s classic aesthetic while refurbishing its space to house modern amenities and infrastructure. After a jump, a tour of the building through renderings obtained exclusively by The Commercial Observer.
Broadway Dance Center has expanded its lease at 321 West 44th Street to about 30,000 square feet.
The school and studio, which has its entrance on the 230,000 square foot building’s 45th Street side entryway, which goes by the address 322 West 45th Street, offers both classes for beginners and workshops for seasoned dancers alike taught by acclaimed professionals.
Kushner Companies has named a team from the real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield as the new leasing agent for 321 West 44th Street, the asset that houses The New York Observer.
Arthur Mirante, C&W’s former chief executive who is now a top dealmaker at the firm, will lead leasing at the property along with C&W executives Jeff Lichtenberg and Joshua Goldman.
C&W will be replacing a team from Colliers International.
Schiff Hardin traces its roots to Civil War Chicago, but since the 1970s, it has had a growing presence across the country, including its move to New York in 1991. Given its growing prominence, the firm is moving its headquarters to an apropriately handsome location, 666 Fifth Avenue.
The 28-attorney office, part of a 400-person Read More