Sales Beat

NYU Adds Two Noho Properties to its Portfolio

708 Broadway.

New York University, one of the largest landowners in the city, has added two more downtown buildings to its portfolio: 404 Lafayette Street and 708 Broadway.

The connected properties, located in the Noho Historic District, were purchased for $157 million and are both currently vacant. Together, the buildings have roughly 151,000 square feet. Read More

Education

Appellate Decision Unfreezes NYU’s Expansion Plan; Opponents Remain Bullish

The lay of the land. (Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation)

A panel of judges in the State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division today reversed a previous ruling that put large portions of New York University’s contentious $6 billion 2031 expansion plan on hold. The appellate decision takes issue with Judge Donna Mills’ January finding that four Greenwich Village parcels, which the city had previously turned over to NYU, constituted “implied” parkland and thus could not be ceded (“alienated,” in legal parlance), to the university without a vote in the state legislature. Judge Mills’ ruling gave the go-ahead to the university for only one of four planned buildings—which had become the target of a lawsuit filed by Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, Community Board 2, local residents and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), among others—while pumping the proverbial brakes on the other three. Read More

Lawsuits

NYU President, Opponents Clash Ahead of Lawsuit Appeal

NYU rendering

A week before the city and opponents of New York University’s 1.9-million-square-foot expansion plans in Greenwich Village will make oral arguments in court, NYU President John Sexton reaffirmed the vision behind the four buildings of classrooms, offices and dorms slated for a site bound by LaGuardia Place, Houston Street, Mercer Street and West 3rd Street south of Washington Square Park.

Manhattan State Supreme Court Judge Donna Mills ruled in January that part of the university’s designs for the two “superblocks” require approval from the State Legislature due to its use of land currently occupied by playgrounds and open spaces that have, in effect, become public parks. Read More

Education

370 Jay Street to Become NYU Academic Center

Rendering of 370 Jay Street

New York University has announced plans to turn 370 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn into an academic center for engineering and applied sciences programs, the school announced today.

The 500,000 square foot, 14-story building will house NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, or CUSP, on the top three floors and the university’s entrepreneurial incubators on the third floor, along with classrooms and office space on the remaining floors, according to a release from NYU.   Read More

Lease Beat

Barry’s Bootcamp Coming to NoHo

Barry's Bootcamp is set to open its third NYC location in NoHO.

Barry’s Bootcamp has begun construction on its third New York City group fitness center after signing a 10-year, 8,000-square-foot lease at 419 Lafayette Street, Commercial Observer has learned.

The space will become the company’s largest New York City location. Smack in the center of NoHo, it gives the gym easy access to New York University students and a range of development that has foot traffic that has helped revolutionize the area in recent years. Read More

Science Project

Mega Hudson Yards Development to Be First ‘Quantified Community’

A rendering of the Hudson Yards.

The unexamined life, as we all know, is not worth living. What, then, of the unquantified life? An existence that does not feed into a data set, whose lessons can only be gleaned via subjective analysis?

Well, in any case, that won’t be a concern for those planning to relocate to Hudson Yards. New York University has announced that it is teaming up with Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group to “measure and analyze key physical and environmental attributes at Hudson Yards,” a move that they say will help the nascent neighborhood to run as efficiently as possible when it comes to residential, retail, office and public space. And it will be boon to Related, which will be better able to manage its properties with expert feedback, and also, of course, to NYU, which will get a nice data set to work with.  Read More

The Air Up There

Could More Flexible Air Rights Policies Facilitate the Growth of Affordable Housing?

Could air transfers reforms

During the 1970s fiscal crisis, the city acquired significant quantities of property by way of owner abandonment and tax foreclosure, which it used in subsequent decades to subsidize affordable housing development. Virtually none of that land remains available today, however, and as we recently noted, the now-stratospheric cost of privately held land poses myriad obstacles to new affordable housing production, particularly in neighborhoods with good public schools, ready access to transportation and employment centers. Read More

Wired City

NYU-Poly Professors Win Google Research Award

polytechnic-institute-of-nyu-office

A group of professors at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute are receiving a special research award from Google.

NYU-Poly computer science and engineering professor Juliana Freire and research assistant professor Thanasis Korakis research were among the 100 university engineers and scientists worldwide recognized for their talent and work in big data and improving home wireless performance.

Read More

Lease Beat

Dentsu Takes Additional Floor at 32 Avenue of the Americas

32

The American arm of Tokyo-based advertising giant Dentsu, Inc. has signed a 10-year lease for an additional 36,845 square feet across the entire 20th floor at 32 Avenue of the Americas, sources tell The Commercial Observer.

The expansion brings Dentsu’s occupancy to almost 220,000 square feet at the 27-story Tribeca skyscraper, following what sources described as Read More

Wired City

NYU to Identify Energy-Efficient Commercial Real Estate Tenants

5AEA_Constantine_Kontokosta_headshot_web

The Natural Resources Defense Council and New York University will partner to develop benchmarks for commercial tenants’ energy performance.

If successful, the partnership—formed by NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress and the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Center for Market Innovation—will help save businesses money and energy, officials said last week. Read More

New Developments

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

51 ASTOR

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

Unity Yoga to Bring Hot — Not Scorching — Yoga to Harlem

Yoga instructor Sarah Rehman

Things will get hot and slippery in Harlem this summer with the arrival of Unity Yoga, a hot yoga studio set to open July 1 at 311 West 127th Street – but not too hot.

Yoga instructor Sarah Rehman, who lives in the 156-unit residential building, known as The Balton, has signed a 10-year lease for the property’s 2,500-square-foot retail space.  She will offer her specialty, a less scorching version of hot vinyasa yoga, along with a café and an industrial vibe, in a neighborhood that she said suffers from a yoga void.

“Yoga is very much a part of my everyday life and I have to go all the way Downtown or even to Brooklyn to take the kinds of classes that I like,” the yoga aficionado, social worker and graduate student at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work said.  “But there’s nothing like this Uptown.” Read More