Lease Beat

Bloomberg LP Inks Deal for 150K SF in Midtown

919 Third Avenue.

Bloomberg LP has signed a lease for 150,000 square feet at 919 Third Avenue between East 55th and East 56th Streets, close to its Lexington Avenue headquarters.

The company, founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 1981, is paying rents in the mid-$50s per square foot, according to Crain’s New York Business, which reported the deal. Bloomberg LP declined to comment.  Read More

Mayor Bill de Blasio

Gracie Mansion Not as Bustling Under Bill de Blasio

Gracie Mansion. (

Poor Gracie! After spending the last 12 years as an active events space, the mayoral mansion was slated to be a home once again. But for the first quarter of 2014, Gracie Mansion has been neither a family home nor the humming reception hall it once was.

In the first three months of 2014, the Federalist-style mansion has hosted only 13 events, as opposed to the 32 it hosted during the first three months of 2013, according to data obtained by the Observer. Read More

executive power

De Blasio Moves to Expand Living Wage With Executive Order

Bill de Blasio delivering hi State of the City speech. (Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)

As part of his State of the City address this afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to expand living wage legislation using a tool he has previously rarely mentioned: an executive order.

Mr. de Blasio announced that he will move to drop a lawsuit filed by his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, to halt legislation passed by the Council guaranteeing so-called “living wage” salaries to employees of projects that receive more than $1 million in city subsidies. Read More

Cover Story, Feature

As Cornell begins to rise on Roosevelt Island, tech industry ponders future

Aerial  rendering of Cornell NYC Tech (source: Kilograph)

Even as the construction process commences on a marquee Roosevelt Island technology project, some tech companies are uncertain about how the industry will fare now that Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a staunch advocate for tech, is out of office. 

As Cornell NYC Tech, the engineering school slated for Roosevelt Island, makes its way through the development process and the city welcomes a new administration, it prompts a question: Will the sustainable applied science and engineering campus—and tech in general—get the same level of attention from Mayor Bill de Blasio as it did from his predecessor, Mr. Bloomberg? Read More

Trash Drama

Fewer Trash Cans, Less Litter: MTA

A train car hauls bags filled with subway trash (Photo: Al Barbarino)

It might sound counterintuitive that removing trash cans would reduce litter, but in fact an experiment by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority at 10 subway stations reportedly found just that, prompting a new decision to remove garbage cans from 29 more stations on the J and M lines.

A 10-station pilot program found that the stations had Read More

REBNY 2014

REBNY Banquet: The Rules of the Pregame

Michael Bloomberg and Mary Ann Tighe at the 2012 REBNY Foundation cocktail party. Photo: Steve Friedman

The formal dinner held in the Hilton’s cavernous Grand Ballroom is the centerpiece of the REBNY banquet celebration. But the preceding cocktail party in the Mercury Ballroom is just as lively despite its more intimate size—450 this year, compared to the banquet’s roughly 2,200. Indeed, invites to the cocktail hour are especially coveted by the wheelers and dealers in an industry that’s famously fond of status symbols. Read More

REBNY 2014

The Shape of Things to Come: REBNY’s 2014 Agenda

Grand Central Terminal.

Last year ended in disappointment for the Real Estate Board of New York when the New York City Council struck down Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s sweeping Midtown east rezoning proposal. 

The plan, which would have transformed 73 blocks surrounding Grand Central Terminal, had been viewed as vital modernization of an area deemed structurally obsolete by many in the industry. 

REBNY is undeterred in 2014, however, and is as determined as ever to push through not only Midtown east rezoning but a number of other development projects and legislation it deems critical to the future of the city’s infrastructure.

Read More

Year in Real Estate

The Mayoral Equation

Bill de Blasio (Photo: AP)

William Bratton’s selection as police commissioner under Bill de Blasio will stand as perhaps the mayor-elect’s most prominent appointment. But as the clock ticks on Michael Bloomberg’s administration, two questions remain unanswered: Which projects begun under Mayor Bloomberg will unfold as planned? And who will shepherd Mr. de Blasio’s development goals?

In its final weeks in power, the Bloomberg administration is rushing to consolidate the mayor’s imposing real estate legacy. A New York Times article on Monday reported that $12 billion worth of projects were being pushed through for approval in the mayor’s twilight hours. They include grand projects like a massive Ferris wheel and outlet mall on Staten Island, America’s largest indoor ice rink in the Bronx and the Domino sugar factory redevelopment on the Brooklyn waterfront.  Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

Midtown East Rezoning Denied by City Council


Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s initiative to rezone the 73 blocks of East Midtown surrounding Grand Central Terminal was met with rejection yesterday as members of the City Council announced they could not come to an agreement on the plan.

“A good idea alone is not enough to justify action today,” Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Council Member Dan Garodnick said in a joint-statement released yesterday. “We should rezone East Midtown, but only when we can do so properly. After extensive negotiations, we have been unable to reach agreement on a number of issues in the proposed plan.” Read More


South Street Seaport Breaks Ground

A rendering of the shops at Pier17

The Howard Hughes Corporation launched the redevelopment of the South Street Seaport today with a groundbreaking ceremony for the Pier 17 building.

The $200 million project will yield 365,000 square feet of retail space — a mix of shops, dining and entertainment options — highlighted by a one and a half-acre rooftop and what the developer said will be a world-class restaurant, two outdoor bars and an amphitheater with a 4,000-person capacity. Read More

Masters of Real Estate

Developers Optimistic at 5th Annual Masters of Real Estate Conference Despite Political Uncertainty

The New York Observer- Masters of Real Estate

There’s “something major” happening in every submarket in the city, but will gridlock in Washington and the impending mayoral election thrust the city back into recession – or even into a backdrop of crime and bankruptcy reminiscent of the 1970’s?

Not a chance, said a group of the city’s top real estate developers at Observer Read More

Wired City

NYC Teams Up With Gowex To Expand Free Wifi


As a part of New York City’s initiatives to offer free Wifi across the five boroughs, the New York City Economic Development Corp., is teaming up with Gowex, a company specializing in free Wifi and business-to-business wireless networks.

The city is working with Gowex to add 500 additional smart zones to its existing 2,000 zones. The expanded coverage includes Long Island City, Brownsville, Harlem 125th St, Roosevelt Island, the Bronx and Staten Island.

Read More