It is hard to believe that it was just a few years ago—specifically in 2007—when a perfect storm of positive events was taking place in the financial and real estate markets. The S&P 500 reached record highs, CMBS transactions grew to nearly $770 billion, the Blackstone Group completed its $39 billion purchase of Equity Office Properties Trust and then sold eight buildings in the Equity Office portfolio to Harry Macklowe for $7 billion, foreign investors were purchasing commercial real estate at record levels and everyone was purchasing residential condominiums. In short, happy days were here again.
Eastern Consolidated is suing former associate broker Robert Khodadadian, claiming he violated company policy when he allegedly messaged a cellphone video of himself masturbating “to conclusion” to a teenage intern.
Mr. Khodadadian allegedly sent the (faceless) video to the female intern on April 24, two days before the Manhattan-based commercial real estate firm canned him Read More
Massey Knakal Realty Services has arranged the $139 million sale of a portfolio that includes the Dunbar Manor apartment complex in West Harlem, The Commercial Observer has learned.
The monster residential portfolio, which consists of 1,084 units across 15 properties located throughout Northern Manhattan and the Upper West Side, generated what brokers called a “storm Read More
As the economy continues to build steam, a new Brooklyn finds itself craving a new retail culture—and developers and financers are keeping close watch. While New York’s most populous borough has seen a large number of residential buildings take shape in the past year, financing for retail construction projects and acquisitions are just now beginning to catch up.
When asked, the developers behind several of the latest big retail projects told The Mortgage Observer that many of those properties would have a more chic look and feel and a more versatile use than traditional shopping outlets and malls. One common point of comparison has been Jamestown’s Chelsea Market, the high-end urban food court and shopping center with galleries and production studios mixed in.
Massey Knakal has sold a portfolio of three office buildings on behalf of Yeshiva University for $87.5 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.
The 16-story, pre-war office building at 920 Broadway – in Midtown South’s Flatiron District – has roughly 110,000 rentable square feet and accounted for $58.5 million of the transaction. It features 96 feet of footage on Broadway and 74 feet along East 21st Street and the corner building is zoned for office and residential development.
The 12-story block-through office building at 9 East 38th Street in the heart of Midtown has about 94,000 rentable square feet, with 47.5 feet of frontage along East 38th Street and 50 feet of frontage on East 39th Street. A three story, 25-foot-wide adjunct building provides half of the frontage along 39th Street, with the two buildings netting the remaining $29 million of the transaction.
Todd Korren joined Massey Knakal Realty Services yesterday, stepping out from the transaction-based roles that made him one of the city’s elite brokers and into a managerial role as Managing Director of Manhattan.
Mr. Korren, who spoke exclusively with The Commercial Observer about his new role, will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Read More
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 Holiday, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane.
Year in Real Estate
TIAA-CREF has purchased 1511 Third Avenue on the Upper East Side from Related Companies for $60 million, sources tell The Commercial Observer.
The 60,000-square-foot property is a four-story landmarked building, one block south of East 86th Street, the main retail artery in the neighborhood.
On the Market
Brooklyn malls don’t usually come to mind as the city’s highest-grossing commercial real estate. But this year was different, with 5100 Kings Plaza, a k a the Kings Plaza Mall, taking the top spot among citywide sales when it sold for $751 million earlier this month.
It wasn’t just the biggest sale of the year—it was the biggest outright, single-trade sale in Brooklyn ever, according to data provided by Massey Knakal Realty Services.
A note to all billionaires: Massey Knakal Realty Services is exclusively marketing an 11,000-square-foot Upper East Side building at 18 East 64th Street for $40 million.
The property has been off the market for six decades, and now presents an opportunity for a potential buyer to cut down existing office and residential space in the building and create a single-family palace on one of the city’s most exclusive blocks – and the nation’s most expensive neighborhood.
Massey Knakal Realty Services recently sold a senior note collateralized by 490 apartment units in the Bronx. The note was sold for $31 million in a transaction handled by Massey Knakal Chairman Bob Knakal and First Vice President of Sales David Simone.
Record-low mortgage rates have helped to fuel the nation’s refinancing activity for residential homes. In July, the number of mortgage applications filed hit a three-year high. Freddie Mac also reported that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.49 percent for the week ending July 26.
Likewise, attractive rates are fueling financing in the multifamily market, where financing for low-leveraged rental buildings has reached its lowest levels in decades. The result? Fierce competition among lenders looking to provide financing for the asset class, particularly in the Big Apple.
Eastern Consolidated last week announced the formation of mother-and-daughter brokerage team Ronda and Jamie Rogovin.
While Ronda Rogovin has served as a broker at Eastern for 31 years and has been responsible for more than $500 million in commercial real estate sales, it was the hiring of her 24-year-old daughter, Jamie Rogovin, that spurred last week’s news.
Jamie Rogovin was a founding partner of Little Giants Productions, a music production company based in Harrisonburg, Va. Earlier, she served at the Atlantic Records imprint of the Warner Music Group under the vice president of the artists & repertoire department. She has also worked at Sony Music Entertainment.
Jones Lang LaSalle has promoted John Wheeler to head the firm’s lower Manhattan office, it was announced this week.
Mr. Wheeler, who boasts nearly 30 years of commercial real estate experience, including the past 16 years with Jones Lang LaSalle, will oversee the lower Manhattan office while continuing to provide brokerage and advisory services to some of the firm’s most significant clients.
“John Wheeler was the natural choice to lead Jones Lang LaSalle’s activities in Downtown New York,” said Peter Riguardi, president of Jones Lang LaSalle’s New York region. “Lower Manhattan is one of the most important and challenging office submarkets in the tristate area, and our commitment to the area has never wavered. John is one of a very few individuals with the skill and expertise to oversee our work downtown, and to continue to expand on our track record of success there.”
The developer Jon Lam is arranging a deal to significantly increase the size of a hotel project he is planning to build on Broadway between 29th and 30th streets.
Over the summer, Mr. Lam purchased two commercial buildings, 1205 and 1225 Broadway, for about $72 million with plans to raze the two structures and erect Read More