Lease Beat

City Agency, Office Space Provider Ink Forest Hills Leases

Forest Hills Tower

The New York City Board of Elections and office suite provider Regus signed respective leases totaling almost 50,000 square feet at Muss Development’s Forest Hills Tower at 118-35 Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, Queens, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

The city agency will move into a 36,103-square-foot space on three different floors of the 17-story building by the fourth quarter of 2015 and the real and virtual office space finders will occupy 13,317 square feet on the fourth floor of the 1981 structure with asking rents in the high $30s, Jason Muss, a Muss principal, told Commercial Observer. Read More

New Developments

Muss, AvalonBay Plan Sheepshead Bay Development

A joint venture between Muss Development and AvalonBay Communities is planning a residential development on a recently acquired site in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, Commercial Observer has learned.

The partners are planning a split condominium and rental building on the vacant 83,000-square-foot site at 1501 Voorhies Avenue, Jason Muss of Muss Development confirmed. Read More

Demolition Derby

DDG Seeks to Raze UES Buildings

1558 Third Avenue.

Real estate investment and development company DDG is looking to demolish two buildings on the corner of East 88th Street.

DDG picked up the properties, 1558-1560 Third Avenue and 180 East 88th Street, which have rear lots that connect with one another, from Muss Development for nearly $70 million in the last quarter of 2013. The site houses two vacant five-story apartment buildings. Read More

Lease Beat

Muss Development Buys Retail Condo, Simultaneously Lands Le Pain Quotidien

(Credit: Toll Brothers)

Muss Development has purchased a retail condominium at the base of Toll BrothersTouraine luxury residential building on the Upper East Side for $12 million, and construction is already underway to outfit the space for a new Le Pain Quotidien.

The build out of the 5,000-square-foot retail condominium at 865 Lexington Avenue (aka 132 East 65th Street) will take approximately three months to complete, at which point the European cafe chain will move into its 31st Manhattan location, Jason Muss of Muss Development told Commercial Observer. Read More

Lease Beat

Bank, Engineering Firm Take Space in Forest Hills Tower

Forest Hills Tower at 118-35 Queens Boulevard

Signature Bank and Tectonic Engineering & Surveying Consultants have each signed a 10-year lease for space at Muss Development‘s Forest Hills Tower, a 375,000-square-foot office tower in the Forest Hills area of Queens.

Tectonics, a civil and structural engineering firm, and the bank will take a combined 17,782 square feet in the building, at 118-35 Queens Boulevard, which used to be JetBlue’s headquarters, Crain’s first reported. Read More

Lease Beat

CVS Renews Whitestone Lease

CVS Pharmacy at Francis Lewis Boulevard Shopping Center (Credit: Muss Development)

CVS Pharmacy has signed a long-term renewal for its 13,500-square-foot space at Muss Development’s Francis Lewis Boulevard Shopping Center in Whitestone, Queens, Commercial Observer has learned.

The nation’s largest pharmacy chain has operated a branch at the Queens shopping center since 2002 and may soon have a new neighbor there. Muss Development has plans to upgrade the tenancy of a 4,000-square-foot space adjacent to the CVS location once it becomes available in the second quarter, according to a press release. Read More

Brooklyn Issue

South Brooklyn’s Time to Shine

The sun sets over the Coney Island Boardwalk. (Credit: New York Habitat)

South Brooklyn’s waterfront neighborhoods have long fostered considerable charm and affluence despite being overshadowed by the explosion of “brownstone Brooklyn,” Williamsburg and Bushwick.

A few isolated incidents—take the 2011 Brighton Beach boardwalk shooting—and Superstorm Sandy didn’t help with image improvement, but recent developments point to South Brooklyn’s waterfront communities as the next Kings County neighborhoods to catch fire.

Read More

Lease Beat

Men’s Wearhouse Renews Forest Hills Lease


Muss Development has signed Men’s Wearhouse to a long-term, 6,300-square-foot renewal at 7000 Austin Street in Forest Hills, Queens, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The men’s retailer occupies retail space alongside Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, Eddie Bauer and T.G.I Friday’s at the 78,939-square-foot mixed-use property. Allen Health Care and Bilinguals Inc. both occupy office space in the building.

Read More

Mortgage Observer

Outlook for 2014: Early Indications Positive

It’s a new year, and experts in the commercial real estate sector are assessing how factors like New York City’s newly inaugurated mayor and elements of financial reform coming online may impact business. Here, Mortgage Observer spoke to several to get their takes on what the year ahead holds for the economy, banking, financing and New York City as a whole. Read More

Lease Beat

Plaza College Inks 40,000-SF Relocation Deal at Forest Hills Tower

Forest Hills Tower

Plaza College signed a 15-year, 40,000-square-foot lease at 118-35 Queens Boulevard (aka Forest Hills Tower) and will relocate its main campus from Jackson Heights by the start of the 2014-2015 school year.

The private, specialized school will take part of the ground floor and all of the second floor at the 17-story, 375,000-square-foot property. Asking rent was $30 a foot. Read More


Muss Development Rolls Dice on Foxwoods Resort Casino


Just days after Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced legislation that would authorize three new Upstate New York resort casinos, Foxwoods Resort Casino and Muss Development have signed a partnership agreement to build a destination resort style casino and hotel in Liberty, New York.

The presidents of the respective companies, Scott Butera and Joshua Muss, have been Read More

Mortgage Observer

Brooklyn’s Retail Financing Redux: Hipper Shopping En Route


As the economy continues to build steam, a new Brooklyn finds itself craving a new retail culture—and developers and financers are keeping close watch. While New York’s most populous borough has seen a large number of residential buildings take shape in the past year, financing for retail construction projects and acquisitions are just now beginning to catch up.

When asked, the developers behind several of the latest big retail projects told The Mortgage Observer that many of those properties would have a more chic look and feel and a more versatile use than traditional shopping outlets and malls. One common point of comparison has been Jamestown’s Chelsea Market, the high-end urban food court and shopping center with galleries and production studios mixed in. Read More

Lease Beat

Mount Sinai Expansion Tops 20,000 Square Feet of Leasing at 1556 Third Avenue


The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has signed a 10-year, 3,616-square-foot expansion on the fifth floor of Muss Development’s 1556 Third Avenue, known as the Agora Building, The Commercial Observer has learned. Asking rents were not disclosed.

The medical tenant’s lease, which brings its total footprint to 8,424 square feet, is the largest of 20,000 square feet of new leases and renewals at the Upper East Side property.

“The Agora Building at 1556 Third Avenue is meticulously maintained, providing Upper East Side tenants a high-end leasing option in an area with few comparable alternatives,” said Jason Muss, principal at Muss Development, in a prepared statement. “We continue to see strong demand for space.” Read More