Mortgage Observer

Blackstone Lends $85M On Tavros’ Meatpacking Buy

44 Ninth Avenue

A joint venture between Tavros Capital and Arel Capital bought three Meatpacking District properties—including one with the potential to become a global flagship store—with $85 million from Blackstone Mortgage Trust.

The three properties, on 14th Street, 15th Street and Ninth Avenue, cost a total of $105 million, confirmed Nicholas Silvers, a co-founder of New York-based Tavros, a developer and real estate investment manager. His firm also nabbed development rights along 15th Street, though it is not clear what, if anything, the firm will build with them.  Read More

Food For Thought

Finding Value Below and Above Grade

As ground-floor market rents continue to climb back toward the heights of 2007, retailers are beginning to set their sights higher, and lower, as demand and interest have steadily increased for above- and below-grade retail. 

This is hardly a groundbreaking concept, as restaurants like Scalinatella and Serafina have occupied a basement and second-floor space, respectively, Read More

The Plan

Check Out Former Comix Comedy Club Space Hitting Market in Meatpacking


Ideal for a flagship retail tenant, the dual-level space at 353 West 14th Street was recently vacated by Comix Comedy Club. Featuring 50 feet of frontage and soaring ceilings, the space enjoys visibility from both Ninth Avenue and 14th Street.

“Its exposure and visibility is unparalleled to anything else, because even if you’re on the other side of Ninth Avenue, your visibility is limited,” Melinda Miller of Winick Realty told The Commercial Observer last week.

After the jump, Ms. Miller points out some of the more unique features of Meatpacking District space, which Winick began marketing last week. Read More

The Sit-Down

Friends of High Line Co-Founder Robert Hammond Talks About Stepping Down

Headshot_Robert Hammond_RH favorite 2012

Robert Hammond announced this month that he will step down as executive director of Friends of the High Line at the end of the year. The self-described entrepreneur will leave the organization that he co-founded in 1999 with Joshua David in enviable shape. The High Line—the elevated park that in 2009 opened to the public on a long-abandoned former West Side freight railway trestle—drew 4.4 million visitors last year.

Friends of the High Line is in the midst of a $125 million capital campaign that will help fund stage three of the project and bring its northern terminus to West 34th Street. Once it officially runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District through Chelsea and to the Hudson Yards site, the High Line will serve as a pedestrian artery between three of the city’s most dynamic—and fastest changing—neighborhoods.

Mr. Hammond spoke to The Commercial Observer about the genesis of the project, the surrounding real estate gold rush it has amplified, if not prompted, and the backlash of a vocal minority.
Read More

Sales Beat

Jamestown Properties Pays $284 M. for Milk Studios Building

450 West 15th Street

Jamestown Properties has purchased the Milk Studios building at 450 West 15th Street from Stellar Management for more than $284 million, city records show.

The 325,000-square-foot, eight-story office building, home to photography studio Milk Studios and an eclectic mix of tech, fashion and creative tenants, borders the High Line.

It’s a symbolic and strategic move for Jamestown, which owns the Chelsea Market across the street and looks to expand its footprint in the heavily-traveled Meatpacking District.

Ironically, city records show that Stellar provided a $150 million loan to Jamestown, which suggests that the move was perhaps more than a kind gesture, but also a play to complete the deal before the end of 2012, as imminent capital gains taxes loomed (the city record was filed on Friday, but shows the deed was finalized December 21). Read More


ICSC: Lessons Learned and Shopping Hotspots

Adelaide Polsinelli, senior director at Eastern Consolidated

The International Council of Shopping Centers’ (ICSC) New York conference is over. Meetings were held, retailers were courted, flirtations between players crackled with possibilities. The Commercial Observer asked three experienced New York brokers what they learned at the conference and where the city’s retail hotspots are. This is what they said…

West Side Story

“With Read More

Lease Beat

Torrisi’s Growing Roman-American Empire Expands to the Meatpacking District


Major Food Group, the restaurant organization behind downtown culinary darlings Torrisi and Parm, will continue its growth in New York with a new space in the Meatpacking District.

The restaurant group, led by partners Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick beat out more than 20 other applicants seeking a contract at a glass-walled building designed by Renzo Piano beneath the southern edge of the High Line, Grub Street reported. A source told The Commercial Observer that the 100-seat restaurant would take up 1,600-square-feet of space in the building. Read More

Lease Beat

Upscale Footwear Walks Into 807 Washington

Fashionable club-goers and maybe even a few hog butchers will be able to navigate the brick roads of the meatpacking district in style now that Nicholas Kirkwood, the upscale designer footwear brand has inked a 1,572-square-foot retail deal at 807 Washington Street.

Located between Gansevoort and Horatio streets, the ground-floor boutique is scheduled to open by winter of 2012, broker said. As with most space—office and retail alike—asking prices have risen in the area since the High Line park opened two years ago, although specific prices at 807 Washington Street were not immediately available. Read More

Dizzying Designs

Twisted! High Line Gets Another Swank Neighbor


The architecture magnet that is the High Line is still attracting those big steel-and-glass gems. The Standard, the Whitney, Diane Von Furstenburg’s place, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Neil Denari and his crooked HL23—all are there, and so is Morris Adjmi. He already has the XXX-rated High Line Building, and he has been hard at work wooing the Landmarks Preservation Commission with his designs for 837 Washington Street. Yesterday, the commission approved the project 8-2. Read More

New Commercial Building Slated to Rise Across From the Standard

The High Line may be getting a new neighbor.

The opportunistic landlords Taconic Investment Partners and Square Mile Capital are planning a new office and retail building at 837 Washington Street, across from the Standard Hotel, a structure that would rise over the two-story red and tan brick building currently on the site.

Taconic, which owns Read More