Lease Beat

J. Crew Paying $90PSQ Plus $3.5M in Improvements for W’burg Store

234-236 Wythe Avenue.

Global apparel chain J. Crew has signed a 6,000-square-foot lease in Williamsburg at $90 per square foot and has agreed to pay millions of dollars in significant improvements to the property, a source with knowledge of the deal told Commercial Observer.

The New York-based chain is bowing in a single-story warehouse building at 234-236 Wythe Avenue, near North 4th Street. There is speculation that the retailer will build a multi-level store as it did in Cobble Hill. Read More

Retail News

UWS Loehmann’s Getting Primo Attention

Loehmann's

Madison Capital, which acquired all of the real estate assets of bankrupt department store Loehmann’s, is primarily focused on the discounted designer goods retailer’s Upper West Side store, company founder Richard Wagman said. Mr. Wagman talked about Loehmann’s while on a retail panel at Massey Knakal Realty Services‘ Commercial Real Estate Investment Summit yesterday. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Multifamily Financing in Manhattan Faces Rising Hurdles

(Illustration by Thomas Pitilli)

While Manhattan is clearly one of the most desirable places on the planet to live—and much ink has been spilled over rising rental prices therein—there is another side to the coin. The sky-high land values that come along with rising rents are now keeping a firm lid on multifamily development in Gotham.

Despite the enormous demand from renters, lenders are far more interested in financing luxury condominiums, hotels and office and retail development in Manhattan, sources told Mortgage Observer. And while developers and bankers cite myriad economic and practical reasons for the hampered development pipeline for multifamily projects, the ever-loftier land costs are the bedrock issue. Read More

Trading CRE

ETRE Financial Files for IPO

Nasdaq

On Monday, ETRE Financial filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of ETRE REIT (proposed ticker is ECAV) on the NASDAQ exchange. Operating as a limited liability corporation, ETRE REIT would allow public investment in individual commercial real estate properties with the properties held as separate real estate investment trusts. Read More

Sales Beat

HAP Investments in Contract for East Harlem Site

247 East 117th Street Site. (Courtesy of PropertyShark)

HAP Investments is in contract to acquire 247-249 East 117th Street in East Harlem from PGC New York 1 LLC, The Commercial Observer has learned. The acquisition price is $3.2 million, according to a source familiar with the transaction.

“We are excited to have purchased this strategic site in East Harlem and look forward to a future development that will provide new rental housing for local residents as well as others in the Greater New York City area,” said Eran Polack, chief executive of HAP, in a prepared statement. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Outlook for 2014: Early Indications Positive

It’s a new year, and experts in the commercial real estate sector are assessing how factors like New York City’s newly inaugurated mayor and elements of financial reform coming online may impact business. Here, Mortgage Observer spoke to several to get their takes on what the year ahead holds for the economy, banking, financing and New York City as a whole. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Experts: Commercial Real Estate Has Returned to 2007

2007_InDepth

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.

Read More

Lawsuits

Broker Accused of Sending Masturbation Video to Teenage Intern

Robert-Khodadadian

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

Sales Beat

Lehman’s Dunbar Manor Residential Portfolio Sells for $139 M.

The Dunbar Manor apartment complex, marketed by Massey Knakal

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

Mortgage Observer

Brooklyn’s Retail Financing Redux: Hipper Shopping En Route

Cover_gentrification

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. Read More

Sales Beat

Massey Knakal Arranges $87.5 M. Sale On Behalf of Yeshiva University

Entryway at 920 Broadway

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. Read More