Lease Beat

Edward Minskoff in Negotiations to Fully Lease 51 Astor Place

51 Astor Place.

Edward Minskoff is “optimistic” that the IBM Watson building at 51 Astor Place will be fully leased within the next month-and-a-half, as negotiations for the property’s final two floors play out following a leasing frenzy that has filled most of the “spec” tower. 

Deals for floors 10 and 11 would follow the string of high-profile leases that brought in reported rents that in some cases stretched well beyond $100 per square foot. Read More

Year in Real Estate

Spec No More: 51 Astor Lands First Tenant


Edward Minskoff was unfazed in April when he rather pointedly blamed the media for allegations that his “spec” office tower gamble at 51 Astor Place had backfired.

“These are words that are coming from media types that don’t understand our business, so they make assumptions—and by definition an assumption is not a statement of fact,” Read More

Lease Beat

Architecture Firm Signs Deal at 31 Penn Plaza

31 Penn Plaza

Architecture firm RMJM has signed a seven-year, 5,085-square-foot lease on the sixth floor at 31 Penn Plaza, the landlord announced earlier this week.

Headquartered in Britain, RMJM operates offices worldwide, including Hong Kong, Edinburgh, London, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. The firm’s portfolio includes a number of high profile projects, such as the New Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, the Gazprom Tower in St. Petersburg and the banking headquarters for China Merchants Bank in Shanghai. Read More

Lease Beat

Compass Group USA Takes Space at 31 Penn Plaza

31 Penn Plaza

Compass Group USA has signed a 8,600-square-foot, 10-year lease for a portion of the sixth floor at Savanna’s 445,000-square-foot 31 Penn Plaza.

The food service management and support services company serves six million meals a day throughout the U.S and Canada from its vending and coffee machines, restaurants, corporate cafes, schools, arenas, museums, and special events. Read More

Lease Beat

51 Astor Lands First Tenant

Edward Minskoff

Months of speculation over pending deals at Edward Minskoff’s 51 Astor place are now at least partially substantiated with the signing of the “spec” tower’s first tenant.

Online auctioneer 1stdibs has signed a 15-year lease for the 12-story building’s entire 42,232-square-foot third floor.

The company, which will relocate from its current offices at 156 5th Avenue in the Flatiron District, has grown Read More

Lease Beat

TPG Architecture Moves to Garment District, Increasingly A Midtown South Alternative

132 West 31st Street

TPG Architecture is the latest company to bank on the Garment District as an ascendant neighborhood. The firm signed an 11-year, 42,000-square-foot lease at 132 West 31st Street and will relocate to the area from an increasingly expensive Midtown South.

Mitch Konsker of Jones Lang LaSalle represented the landlord, SavannaMark Ravesloot and Michael Monahan of CBRE represented the tenant. Asking rent was in the $40s per square foot. Read More

New Developments

Waiting on a Dream: Betting on ‘Spec’ at 51 Astor Place


The dark glass walls lining 51 Astor Place are modernistic, if not futuristic. Some critics have claimed that its developer’s asking rents, at upward of $115 a foot, are from the future too.

Others have argued that Edward Minskoff took a gamble in erecting the structure without an anchor tenant—a so-called “spec tower.”

But for Mr. Minskoff, who has developed close to 37 million square feet of property in 10 cities around the country—maintaining patience as a virtue—the term takes on a positive connotation.

“A spec tower means that we started the development with the confidence that if you build it they will come, and with the confidence necessary to lease the building,” Mr. Minskoff told The Commercial Observer.  “If you’re going to plan a building and you don’t start it until a tenant comes walking along, you can be sitting on the dirt for 10 years.” Read More

Lease Beat

Microsoft Inks 3rd Biggest Deal of 2012


Months of negotiations between SPJ Properties and Microsoft have finally paid off, with the tech giant signing a 230,000-square-foot lease at its new Midtown headquarters at 11 Times Square – and solidifying one of the top leasing deals of the year.

The company eyed the new space for months, as rumors swirled it would be vacating Vornado’s 1290 Avenue of the Americas, and last month transaction is the third biggest non-renewal leasing transaction of 2012. Read More

Lease Beat

Negotiations Over Signage Delay Microsoft Deal


Negotiations over outdoor signage at 11 Times Square, among other issues, has delayed a deal between SPJ Properties and Microsoft expected today, sources told The Commercial Observer.

After eyeing the space for months, the company was shuffling papers around this week with owner SPJ Properties to get the deal completed; but the signing of a letter of intent, which sources said was scheduled to happen today, likely won’t be completed until after Thanksgiving, said people familiar with the deal.

The 16-year lease is for 260,000 square feet across floors four through 11, at a rate in the low $60’s, a broker who reviewed a preliminary version of the lease said. Read More

Lease Beat

Talk About Windows! Microsoft Poised to Sign 400,000-Square-Foot Lease at 11 Times Square


Steven J. Pozycki has reeled in his white whale as one of the most sought after tenants in the entire city has landed at one of its most troubled office towers. According to numerous sources, Microsoft is poised to sign a long-term lease for 400,000 square feet at 11 Times Square, the office tower Mr. Pozycki’s New Jersey-based SJP Properties built just as the real estate bubble was bursting.

For months, the Seattle-based software company has been looking at new offices in New York as it mulled whether or not to leave its current home at 1290 Avenue of the Americas. Microsoft had been looking at space across Manhattan, but it seemed to have a special affinity for the West Side, having strongly considered Mort Zuckerman‘s swiftly rising 250 West 55th Street. For a time, Microsoft appeared interested in 11 Times Square but its focus faded in favor of other opportunities, until a last minute pitch by SJP brought the building back into the running and helped seal the deal. Read More

The Lobby

C&W Promotes 11 Brokers

Rob Lowe

Cushman & Wakefield promoted a group of top producing leasing dealmakers the company announced this morning.

Eleven brokers were named vice chairmen at the firm, its highest executive title for brokerage professionals.

Michael Burgio, Joseph Cabrera, Samuel Clark, Louis D’Avanzo, Augustus Field, Gary Greenspan, Jay Hruska, Robert Lowe, Stuart Romanoff, Dale Schlather and Fred Smith were the brokers awarded the promotion according to a release issued by C&W. Read More

Lease Beat

NY Genome Center Completes 170K S/F Deal

Edward Minskoff, Nancy Kelley, Mayor Bloomberg and Dave Sabey

The New York Genome Center has signed a 20-year, 170,000-square-foot lease at Edward Minskoff’s 101 Avenue of the Americas to establish the largest genetic sequencing facility in the city.

Mayor Bloomberg, who was on hand at a press conference held at the Hudson Square building this morning to announce the deal, said the lease was evidence of how biotech and life sciences companies were moving to the city and helping to diversify the local economy. Read More

Lease Beat

Savanna’s 100 Wall Street Welcomes Blackwall Capital

100 Wall Street (Courtesy of Commercial Short Sale)

Blackwall Capital Markets has signed a lease for Savanna’s 100 Wall Street in the Financial District.

The consulting firm specializing in life insurance and financial planning has signed a lease for a 4,343 square foot portion of the eleventh floor in the historic building. The lease was set for eight years.

Mitch Konsker, Scott Cahaly, Read More