Alexander Chudnoff, a commercial leasing broker who takes pride in strengthening relationships with clients through “impeccable service,” was especially busy in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The Jones Lang LaSalle executive managing director was dividing his time last week between volunteer efforts in the Rockaways, where he provided hot pizza and coffee to storm victims, and getting on the phone to make sure his Downtown Manhattan clients could stay open. Though it was a difficult time, the activity of making connections was just what attracted Mr. Chudnoff to the business in the first place.
“I love to make calls. I love to canvass,” he said. “I like to develop the relationship.”
In some cases, the storm required short-term arrangements, such as lining up space with other clients or in Jones Lang’s own offices, he said. In others, clients were able to proceed with minimal disruption, as when Dentsu Holdings USA returned to work at 32 Avenue of the Americas when Rudin Management opened the building the Monday after the storm.
R.G. Vanderweil Engineers, an engineering consulting firm, has signed on for 8,715 square feet of space at 1001 Avenue of the Americas. The lease is for a 10-year term and will see the firm, due to growth, relocate from 499 Seventh Avenue.
Bret Varricchio and Garett Varricchio from Murray Hill Properties represented the tenant, while Douglas Regal, from ABS Partners Real Estate, represented the landlord.
Midtown is starting to matter again.
At least that’s the view to take from commercial real estate deals like Japanese financial firm Nomura Holding’s $60-per-square-foot, 20-year lease for a plush 47-story headquarters at 825 Eighth Avenue.
The arrival of a Japanese multinational at the Worldwide Plaza property embodies the roller-coaster ride of the Midtown office market over the past five years. It was bought by Harry Macklowe for $1.7 billion in 2007, only to be sold at a 60 percent discount two years later in a fire sale that saw George Comfort & Sons snatch it up for $600 million in 2009 when the building was half vacant.
First Quarter Problems
Leasing activity plummeted during the first quarter of the year, by some preliminary estimates by as much as 40 percent. Peter Hennessy, president of the New York region for the brokerage company Cassidy Turley, said that data collected by his company is showing that deals were down so much in the first three months of the year, it is the slowest opening quarter in 18 years.
A shakeup is at hand within the agency leasing team that handles the sizeable Manhattan office portfolio of the real estate investment company TF Cornerstone.
Matt Leon, a young and upcoming executive at the real estate services firm Newmark Knight Frank, will be taking over as head of the leasing team that represents TF Cornerstone’s collection of properties, which includes the midtown trophy building Carnegie Hall Tower, 645 Madison Avenue and 387 Park Avenue South.
350 Fifth Avenue
The Empire State Building is no stranger to grand entrances, but Li & Fung managed to muster an extra dash of drama.
The Hong Kong-based clothing conglomerate has signed a 490,000-square-foot lease in the iconic tower-easily the biggest lease of the young year, and also trouncing all the leases of 2010. Read More