Wrecking Ball

Vornado Seeks Demo Permit for Rizzoli Bookstore Building

Rizzoli Bookstore before it shuttered last month.

Vornado Realty Trust is taking steps to demolish the building that housed the beloved Rizzoli Bookstore as well as a vacant adjacent structure on West 57th Street.

According to Department of Building records, Vornado is seeking permits to demolish 31 West 57th Street as well as 33 West 57th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Vornado and the LeFrak Organization‘s 31 West 57th Street was home to Rizzoli Bookstore for 29 years until last month. Read More

Preservation

Borough President Calls for Landmarks Reform

Rizzoli Bookstore. (Credit: PropertyShark)

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and city preservationists today called for reforms to the landmarking process following the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s refusal to consider landmark status for the Rizzoli Bookstore building at 31 West 57th Street.

“The landmarks process requires reform; we must avoid more Rizzoli-like ambushes on our history. We are here today to ask that the LPC immediately study those remaining buildings on West 57th Street to identify and landmark those that represent the best of their eras, and I will introduce legislation which will require the LPC to follow transparent and consistent time frames in responding to future designation requests,” Ms. Brewer said in a prepared statement. Read More

Postings

Observer Media’s Masters of Real Estate, Minute by Minute by Minute

CO 11-13, Postings Page 22

More than 300 real estate professionals crowded the Metropolitan Club early Thursday morning, despite snow-covered sidewalks, for the Observer Media Group’s third annual Masters of Real Estate forum.

Sponsored by Fried Frank and Marks Paneth & Shron, the event drew boldface names like Larry Silverstein and Mortimer Zuckerman, who spoke about the devastation wrought by Sandy, not to mention financiers like Angelo Gordon & Co.’s Adam Schwartz and Rockpoint Group’s Keith Gelb, who weighed in on opportunistic investments.

Below, reporter Al Barbarino walks the room and listens in on the panels, striving to put his finger on the commercial real estate industry’s pulse, minute by minute. Read More

Lease Beat

Tocqueville Expands at 40 West 57th Street

40 West 57th Street

Tocqueville Asset Management has expanded at 40 West 57th Street, a Plaza District office tower owned by the LeFrak Organization.

Sources said the company took about half of the building’s 18th floor for rents in the $70s per square foot. The deal will add about 12,000 square feet to the roughly 25,000 square feet the firm already occupies at the tower on the floor above, the entirety of 19. Read More