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.
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.
New York real estate veterans from Richard LeFrak to Sheldon Solow were featured on Forbes‘ annual list of the world’s billionaires. In total, 1,426 individuals made the list with a combined net worth of $5.4 trillion.
Richard LeFrak was the highest-ranked New York real estate titan on the list, at number 225 (number 69 Read More
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.
Year in Real Estate
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.
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.
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.
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.”
In a radio interview this morning, Donald Trump said he feels betrayed by the New York Daily News, which he said he “saved” but now gives him “nothing but bad articles.”
“I understand the Daily News. I saved the Daily News. When Mort Zuckerman and Fred Drasner came to me years ago Read More
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
330 Madison Avenue
Even the experts don’t have an easy time finding new office space.
After a lengthy search, one of the city’s largest commercial brokerages is trading spaces in midtown. Jones Lang LaSalle is taking two floors in Vornado’s 330 Madison Avenue, occupying 82,000 square feet in the base of the recently renovated tower, according to Real Read More
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
Big Real Estate
Daily News owner and real estate mogul Mort Zuckerman is on the hunt.
Not only is Mr. Zuckerman, chairman of real estate concern Boston Properties, vying for a piece of the Freedom Tower (now known as One World Trade Center), but he’s also on the hunt for decidedly smaller prey, says the Wall Read More
The race to sell off a portion of the Freedom Tower-officially, One World Trade Center-has kicked into a new gear.
The Port Authority, the New York-New Jersey-controlled bureaucracy that is developing the tower and shopping around an ownership stake, late last month dropped two developers vying to take a piece of the 1,776-foot tower, according Read More
The Observer‘s Dana Rubinstein, who is at the REBNY lunch where Rupert Murdoch is speaking, emailed to say that Murdoch “voiced support” for Mort Zuckerman as a potential challenger to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
A second person at the event confirmed the remarks, and sent along this quote from Murdoch:
“You probably thought you’d never hear Read More