Grand Openings

Fulton Center to Open to the Public on June 26

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Fulton Center will open to the public on June 26, according to materials released Monday by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Capital Program Oversight Committee.

First introduced in 2004, the project formerly known as the Fulton Street Transit Center has seen its budget grow from $750 million to $1.4 billion over the past decade. According to the documents released yesterday, the project’s cost is “trending below current budget of $1.4 billion.” Read More

Lease Beat

Starbucks Leaves Grand Central for 425 Lexington

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Having lost its 800-square-foot space in Grand Central Terminal’s Lexington Passage, Starbucks will be moving across the street. The coffee purveyor has signed a 15-year lease for a 1,300-square-foot retail space at 425 Lexington Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

Starbucks closed its Lexington Passage location earlier this month after losing out to Cafe Grumpy in the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s RFP process. The MTA has shifted its focus away from national chains and toward locally-owned businesses. Read More

Delays

Delays, Costs Grow for East Side Access Project

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When the Metropolitan Transportation Authority reached a federal grant agreement for the East Side Access project in 2006, the agency was optimistic about running Long Island Rail Road trains to Grand Central Terminal as early as December 2013. Now, after years of delays, the project is likely to be pushed back again, according to The Wall Street Journal.

MTA officials are expected to present a new timeline to the MTA board on Monday with expectations that trains might not be running until 2021 or later. Cost projections have also increased, according to the report, to upwards of $10 billion, up from an estimated $8.24 billion as of this time last year. Read More

Year in Real Estate

The 10 Biggest Leases of 2013

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For two years in row, 1 World Trade Center scored among the city’s largest transaction, starting with 2011’s Condé Nast showstopper and following with last year’s 270,000-square-foot UGS deal. But in 2013, the buzz moved uptown when another marquee deal, L’Oreal’s 400,000-square-foot commitment to the Related Companies, stole the headlines at the new Hudson Yards development.

Last year was a relatively modest one compared to 2011 when it came to office leasing, but 2013 saw a significant rebound—the top 10 deals totaled more than 2.7 million square feet, a 50 percent increase year over year. Like 2012, a variety of sectors made the list, from financial services to law firms to the media and publishing industries.

Below are the top 10 leases of 2013 by square footage, courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield.

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Lease Beat

Metro-North Commuter Rail Renews, Expands at Graybar Building

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The Metro-North Commuter Railroad Company has signed a 20-year, 265,903-square-foot lease at the Graybar Building at 420 Lexington Avenue, landlord SL Green said yesterday.

The tenant, a subsidiary of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, has renewed its lease for its 133,503-square-foot space across the entire 11th, 12th and partial 22nd floors. Metro-North has also expanded into an additional 132,400 square feet on the entire 10th floor and much of the second, third and fifth floors.

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The Plan

Check Out New 59th Street-Columbus Circle Subway Shopping Corridor

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Two weeks ago, the Metropolitan Transit Authority announced it had tapped Columbus Development to build, curate and manage Shop//Stop, an unprecedented 27,000-square-foot retail concourse at the 59th Street-Columbus Circle subway station.

As part of the plan, the developer will invest $6.5 million in capital improvements to the concourse, through which 21 million commuters pass each year. Columbus Development Principal Susan Fine, who previously worked on retail projects at the World Financial Center and Grand Central Terminal, spoke to The Commercial Observer last week about the unique challenges and opportunities presented by this public-private project.

“We’re trying to create a family of stores—a curated group of stores—which will both serve the transit rider and the population on the street,” she said.

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Lease Beat

Summit Business Media Takes 17,000 SF at 469 Seventh Avenue

(Credit: 42 Floors)

Summit Business Media has signed an eight-year relocation and expansion for the 17,000-square-foot 10th floor at 469 Seventh Avenue, where Colliers International continues to market several full floors that include a “building-within-a-building” option for a potential anchor tenant.

Summit, a media company that caters to the insurance, financial services, legal, and investment advisory markets, is relocating from Read More

Assignments

MTA Hires Transwestern to Manage 2 Million-Square-Foot Portfolio

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Transwestern, a Houston-based firm that has only operated a New York office for two years has been tapped by The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to manage a portfolio totaling 2 million square feet, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The portfolio includes the MTA’s New York City transit headquarters at 2 Broadway, the Metro-North Railroad operations center at 525 North Broadway in White Plains and the Jamaica control center in Jamaica, Queens. Read More

Lease Beat

NYU to Lease 26,000 Square Feet at Brooklyn’s Metrotech Center

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NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress will temporarily lease 26,000 square feet of space from Forest City Ratner at Downtown Brooklyn’s Metrotech Center, where it will host its inaugural class of 50 students this fall.

Construction has begun on the space at 1 Metrotech as the school awaits the completion of its new home at nearby 370 Jay Street, slated for completion in 2017.

The Metrotech space will include 83 offices and workstations for faculty and staff; collaborative spaces at the corners of the building; and at least three labs, according to NYU. Read More