Lease Beat

Starwood To Open Garment District ‘Innovation Lab’

417 Fifth Avenue

Hospitality giant Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will open a 46,000-square-foot office and research and development center the company has dubbed ‘Starlab’ through a 13-year-lease at 417 Fifth Avenue between East 37th and East 38th Streets in the Garment District, the company announced last week.

The company will move 200 staffers next month from short-term offices in the city, its headquarters in Stamford, CT and an 8,900-square-foot space downtown into space on the building’s ninth and 10th floors where the company will work on new innovations like keyless room entry for customers patronizing its fleet of 1,200 properties in 100 countries. Read More

Space Search

Soho Properties Shops for Temporary Park51 Space

44 Trinity Place. (Credit: CoStar)

More than three years after developer Sharif El-Gamal faced a firestorm over plans for an Islamic prayer and community center in lower Manhattan, the head of Soho Properties is searching for temporary space for Park51, Commercial Observer has learned.

Yesterday afternoon, Aziz Friedrich from Soho Properties was spotted touring a 2,000-square-foot second-floor space at 44 Trinity Place, being marketed by Eastern Consolidated’s James Famularo and Ravi Idnani. The asking rent for the Trinity Place space is $100 per square foot and the lease term is 10 years, according to the listing. It seems an unusual space for a center since it is above Wogies Bar & Grill. Messrs. Famularo and Idnani declined to comment. Read More

On the Market

Vornado Asking $650 M. for 1 Park Ave.


Vornado Realty Trust is reportedly planning to sell 1 Park Avenue and is seeking roughly $650 million for the office tower.

The real estate investment trust, which has interests in more than 20 million square feet of Manhattan office space, has hired Douglas Harmon and Adam Spies of Eastdil Secured to market the 20-story, 925,000-square-foot Read More

Lease Beat

Financial Services Firm Relocates on Madison Avenue

295 Madison Avenue

Financial services firm Sontag Advisory has signed a 15,875-square-foot lease for the entire fifth floor at 295 Madison Avenue, relocating from its offices just two blocks away at 261 Madison.

The deal doubles the firm’s office space after a one-and-a-half year search focused on finding an existing built space rather than expanding at its previous location. Read More

The Sit-Down

Like Father, Like Son: Murray Hill Properties’ David Sturner

David Sturner (Credit: Mike Nagle)

David Sturner’s long tenure at Murray Hill Properties began in 1995, when the full services real estate company launched its asset and project management departments. But his roots at the firm go even deeper than that: Mr. Sturner’s father, Norman Sturner, is MHP’s president and chief executive. Since coming onboard, the younger Mr. Sturner, 46, has risen in the ranks. The onetime project management specialist now also oversees operations and asset management and two years ago was named chief operating officer. Mr. Sturner spoke to The Commercial Observer about the transformation of MHP, growing up in a real estate family and the quest for fortune over fame.  Read More

Lease Beat

Appboy Relocating to 263 West 38th Street


Appboy, a mobile relationship management platform, has signed a five-year deal for the entire 6,500-square-foot 16th floor at Handler Real Estate’s 263 West 38th Street, The Commercial Observer has learned. Asking rent for the space was in the mid-$30s per square foot.

“Appboy was in expansion mode and we found a good deal on an efficient floor with solid light on three sides,” said Daniel Lolai of Murray Hill Properties, who represented the tenant. “It’s a solid deal for a tech company.” Read More

Lease Beat

Eurotech Signs Sublease at 135 West 50th Street

Courtesy of Honest Buildings

Eurotech Construction has signed a 14,387-square-foot sublease at 135 West 50th Street, also known as the Sports Illustrated Building. The deal, for a portion of the fifth floor, carries starting rent in the low-$30s per square foot, according to data from CompStak.

The deal is similar to that of Fareportal, an online travel group that signed a sublease for the remainder of the fifth floor last year. The company consolidated three offices into the 40,848-square-foot Midtown space. Read More