Mortgage Observer

Old New York: The Starrett-Lehigh Building

Starrett-Lehigh Building (Library of Congress)

A look at the history of the Starrett-Lehigh building, which traded last month in a massive sale from RXR Realty to Blackstone Group. The dazzling structure, first built to accommodate rail deliveries, has transformed throughout the years as it went from offering rents from $1 per square foot per year to trading for nearly $100 million. Read More

On the Market

Helmsley Estate to Sell Park Lane Hotel


CBRE is gearing up to market the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel towards developers of high-end condominiums, according to published reports.

The 370,000-square-foot property, being sold by the estate of Leona Helmsley, has received at least two separate offers of more than $600 million, including one from industry scions Harry Macklowe and Steven Witkoff, The Wall Street Read More

The Year in Review

Commercial Real Estate In Memorium: 2012

A sketch of David Winoker.

New York real estate is some of the most desirable and expensive in the world, but the ever-fluctuating price of a square foot of space in a given neighborhood is unquestionably dwarfed by the value of human life. This year, the commercial real estate world lost several notable figures and The Commercial Observer would like to take a moment to remember them. Read More

Pop Quiz

The 2012 RE-Entrance Exam


With school back in session earlier this month, The Commercial Observer reviewed its library of leather bound text books and plucked at random a collection of 15 entry-level real estate trivia questions, touching on everything from ethic and law to pop culture and the brick and mortar itself.

While a high score won’t ensure success in real estate, it does promise popularity in life and bragging rights at the water cooler. The answers are upside down below, after the jump. Buena Suerte! Read More


Howard Rubenstein: Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Recipient

Howard Rubenstein. (Illustration by Joao Maio Pinto)

Manhattan real estate moguls talk about his “Solomonic wisdom,” according to The New York Times.

Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani called him the “dean of damage control.” His public relations firm, Rubenstein Associates, once simultaneously represented both Leona Helmsley and Donald Trump.

So it’s no exaggeration to say that nothing of importance happens in New York City without somehow involving Howard J. Rubenstein. Read More

Leona Helmsley Trust Sheds Two Manhattan Properties

The estate holding the assets of the one-time hotelier and reputed Queen of Mean Leona Helmsley sold two properties on Manhattan’s East Side on Oct. 1, according to city records.

The properties in question are a ground-floor 4,178-square-foot retail condominium at 760 Third Avenue and the nearby 144 East 48th Street, a 114,500-square-foot apartment building Read More