Had Today’s Occupancy Trends Existed in 1967, Mad Men’s Don Draper Would Have Worked Remotely From Home


The New York commercial real estate market has undergone an impressive recovery since a devastating collapse in 2008. Since 2009, in fact, the city’s office employment numbers are up 9.5 percent and occupancy rates are up 3.3 percent. Meanwhile, overall asking rents are up 20.7 percent from 2010. Occupancy trends are changing from their precrash levels, however.

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Building Owner Sues Owner of Former Lenox Lounge for Stripping Building


The owner of the building that housed the former Lenox Lounge at 288 Lenox Avenue in Harlem is reportedly suing the owner of the club for stripping the space of its iconic Art Deco façade and fixtures.

The Commercial Observer reported last month that Alvin Reed, owner of the Lounge, had signed a 15-year lease at 333 Lenox Avenue due to an insurmountable rent increase at the former space, and that he had brought with him a truckload of items from the old location that would be used to recreate its original vibe.

The New York Daily News reports that Ricky Edmonds, owner of the building, is now suing Mr. Reed for $50 million, claiming that he owns the items removed.

“The front facade was removed.  The interior and exterior doors were being removed. Fixtures such as mirrors, light fixtures, signs and banquettes were removed, completing their extensive stripping and looting of the property,” the suit claims. Read More

Lease Beat

Historic Lenox Lounge in Harlem Set to Reopen at 333 Lenox Avenue


The owner of the old Lenox Lounge in Harlem has signed a 15-year lease on a new beginning at 333 Lenox Avenue.

The renowned Harlem jazz club, founded in 1939, is set to reopen sometime this summer after owner Alvin Reed was forced to move from the club’s neighborhood staple just two blocks away at 288 Lenox Avenue, due to an insurmountable rent increase.

The original location was host to performances by jazz greats including Billie HolidayMiles Davis, and John Coltrane. Read More


Lifestyles of the Rich and Fictitious

Television Stars Map of New York.

» When the television series 666 Park Avenue debuts this Sunday, it will mark the latest example in a long tradition of writers and directors setting fictional lives in actual New York City real estate. Be it the Ansonia at 2109 Broadway, the real-life address associated with 666 Park Avenue, or 185 East 85th Street, the home of George and Louise Jefferson, the Big Apple is rife with real estate made famous through television shows. With that in mind, The Commercial Observer reached out to Jonathan Miller, president and chief executive of Miller Samuel, for his thoughts on value using what limited information was available back in the day of Manhattan’s most recognizable television co-ops, hangouts and offices spaces. And while the numbers may be surprising, what we still haven’t figured out after all these years is how Joey Tribbiani was able to rent all that prime West Village space on a struggling actor’s salary. Read More