Year in Real Estate

Passing the Torch: Real Estate Execs Sign Off in 2013

Mort Zuckerman

From Silverstein Properties and Boston Properties on down to Forest City Ratner Companies, age played a decisive role in succession planning across some of the country’s largest real estate companies this year.

Larry Silverstein, Mort Zuckerman and Bruce Ratner all handed the reins to younger real estate executives during a year of leadership changes that rippled across the industry. Vornado Realty Trust and Cushman & Wakefield also experienced top-level shake-ups. 

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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

Postings

Changing of the Guard, Real Estate Style

CO 4-23 Postings Page 22

T he turnover of leadership at New York’s venerable real estate organizations has been staggering. Since September, Stephen Ross of Related Companies, Michael Fascitelli of Vornado Realty Trust, Mort Zuckerman of Boston Properties, Larry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties and Bruce Ratner of Forest City Ratner have all announced their resignations from their current roles.

While all will stay involved with their respective companies in one form or another, the changing of the guard in New York real estate has been in full swing.

Below, The Commercial Observer highlights each of these men—and their replacements—along with the one that started the recent trend, Douglas Durst. Read More

Postings

Owen Thomas to Replace Mort Zuckerman as Boston Properties CEO

Mort Zuckerman

Owen Thomas will succeed Mortimer Zuckerman as chief executive of real estate investment trust Boston Properties on April 2, it was announced today. Mr. Thomas will also join the firm’s board of directors, while Mr. Zuckerman will remain in his role as executive chairman.

Mr. Thomas is a 25-year real estate industry veteran and has been serving as chairman  of Lehman Brothers Holdings since March 2012. Mr. Thomas has presided over a number of transactions while with Lehman, including the $15 billion sale of Archstone Enterprise LP to Equity Residential and AvalonBay Communities. Prior to Lehman Brothers Holdings, Mr. Thomas served in a number of roles during a 20-year career at Morgan Stanley, including head of real estate and chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd. Read More

Lease Beat

Microsoft Inks 3rd Biggest Deal of 2012

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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

Year in Real Estate

Above and Beyond Hurricane Sandy

East Coast Begins To Clean Up And Assess Damage From Hurricane Sandy

FEMA spokesperson William Rukeyser described the ad-hoc, jumbled feel of the company’s impromptu space in the Forest Hills Tower like a scene from a hard-hit neighborhood, with hanging wires, antennas strapped to the ceiling, Post-It notes and sheets of paper with various instructions scattered about, and impromptu folding tables holding printers and other office equipment. Most seemed at a loss for words when assessing damages.

“It’s—It’s—It’s just a mess,” Durst Organization spokesperson Jordan Barowitz told The Commercial Observer less than a week after the storm hit, struggling to describe the destruction in Lower Manhattan. Read More

Lease Beat

Negotiations Over Signage Delay Microsoft Deal

microsoft_logo

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

Postings

Observer Media’s Masters of Real Estate, Minute by Minute by Minute

CO 11-13, Postings Page 22

More than 300 real estate professionals crowded the Metropolitan Club early Thursday morning, despite snow-covered sidewalks, for the Observer Media Group’s third annual Masters of Real Estate forum.

Sponsored by Fried Frank and Marks Paneth & Shron, the event drew boldface names like Larry Silverstein and Mortimer Zuckerman, who spoke about the devastation wrought by Sandy, not to mention financiers like Angelo Gordon & Co.’s Adam Schwartz and Rockpoint Group’s Keith Gelb, who weighed in on opportunistic investments.

Below, reporter Al Barbarino walks the room and listens in on the panels, striving to put his finger on the commercial real estate industry’s pulse, minute by minute. Read More

Sandy

Daily News’s 4 New York Plaza Offices Could Be Uninhabitable for a Year

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It could be up to a year before the New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report are allowed back into their 4 New York Plaza headquarters, which were “wiped out” by Hurricane Sandy, Mortimer B. Zuckerman said today.

Like many companies in Lower Manhattan, both publications were forced to relocate after 11-foot tidal surges caused flooding and electrical outages in the area.

“We have just leased some other space for nine months to a year just to make sure that we can keep the magazine and the newspaper going,” the chairman of Boston Properties said at the Observer Media Group‘s Masters of Real Estate conference. “We suffered dramatically on the publishing side because the U.S. News and the Daily News offices were at the southernmost part of Manhattan and their offices were just destroyed.” Read More

office space

Litigious MoFo Saves Mort Zuckerman’s Baby

Morrison & Foerster, the San Francisco-based law firm with the off-kilter nickname, has signed a letter of intent for 200,000 square feet at 250 West 55th Street, the office tower started by Mort Zuckerman’s Boston Properties but later capped at its foundation after previous anchor-tenant deals fell apart amid a chilly construction-financing market.

The move makes sense Read More

Selling Freedom

Zuckerman Bows Out of 1 W.T.C. Race

Mort Zuckerman is out of the running for the country’s tallest building.

Boston Properties, the real estate firm which the Daily News publisher chairs, on Monday pulled out of a three-way race to buy a stake in One World Trade Center, according to multiple government officials and a real estate executive. Mr. Zuckerman leaves behind Read More