Lease Beat

Li & Fung Subsidiary Expands at 1359 Broadway

1359 Broadway

A division of Hong Kong-based retail supply-chain manager Li & Fung will grow its footprint at Empire State Realty Trust‘s 1359 Broadway through a seven-year, 12,900-square-foot expansion deal, Commercial Observer has learned.

LF Distribution Holdings, an entity wholly-owned by the largest tenant in ESRT’s portfolio, grabbed new space on a portion of the building’s ninth floor to expand to 104,000 square feet at the property, a source close to the negotiations told CO. The building between West 36th and 37th Streets commanded an asking rent of $58 per square foot, representatives for ESRT said. Read More

Power Broker

The Storm Chaser: Alexander Chudnoff on Post-Sandy NYC Recovery Efforts

Alex Chudnoff.

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. Read More

Lease Beat

Engineering Firm Inks Space at 1001 Avenue of the Americas

1001 Avenue of the Americas.

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. Read More


The Heart of Manhattan: Why Midtown is Starting to Make Sense, Again

Midtown Manhattan

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. Read More

First Quarter Problems

Weakest Leasing in 18 Years: Experts

Peter Hennesy.

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. Read More

Agency Shift

EXCLUSIVE: In TF Cornerstone Leasing Switch, Matt Leon Takes the Reigns (UPDATED)

Newmark's Matt Leon.

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. Read More