The Air Up There
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.
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.
New York University‘s Polytechnic Institute is getting a boost to its broadband research.
Time Warner Cable announced it will support NYU-Poly through a $1.6 million commitment to New York City’s Media Lab.
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
Arts and Buildings
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.
Ownership at 650 Fifth Avenue has launched a partnership with New York University in the form of “New York Through My Eyes,” a running digital photography exhibit in the building’s lobby that will feature photos by six photography students.
T. Lawrence Wheatman, a professor of photography at NYU’s School of Continuing Professional Studies, handpicked the Read More
The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life has taken a sublease a few blocks away from the heart of Times Square, the Commercial Observer learned.
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.”
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.”
On the Market
Industry veteran John Ryan III is the latest hire in Canadian real estate firm Avison Young’s mission to expand its footprint across New York City and the United States.
As Principal of the firm’s New York City office, Mr. Ryan will harness his 23 years of experience in tenant and landlord representation, providing brokerage services for key clients.
“I am thrilled by the opportunity to join Avison Young,” Mr. Ryan said, in a prepared statement. “The positive trajectory of Avison Young’s growth nationally, as well as in the New York City market, where the firm has established a high-quality reputation in a relatively short period of time, has been very exciting to watch.”
Amid an increasingly difficult economic climate for non-profit organizations, the Funding Exchange (FEX) is closing the doors it opened at 666 Broadway in 1986, listing its office condo for sale through Rudder Property Group for just under $6.5 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.
The 8,621-square-foot condo makes up the entire fifth floor in the 13-story, 100,000-square-foot corner building in the NoHo area of Lower Manhattan. FEX purchased the condo in 1986 for $850,000, when the neighborhood was little more than a shadow of what it is today.
“Times are changing… new buyers are building this B-class nonprofit into a first-class Midtown South office building,” said Michael Rudder of Rudder Property Group, who sealed the exclusive marketing opportunity last week.
The building was converted to an office condo in 1985 and was designed to be purchased by non-profits. Since then the area has experienced explosive growth, fueled in part by New York University’s stronghold in the neighborhood and the rise of nearby Midtown South as a tech mainstay. But constrained funding in the post-recession climate has led to the downfall of many of the city’s non-profit groups, including at least two others in the building.
Todd Korren joined Massey Knakal Realty Services yesterday, stepping out from the transaction-based roles that made him one of the city’s elite brokers and into a managerial role as Managing Director of Manhattan.
Mr. Korren, who spoke exclusively with The Commercial Observer about his new role, will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Read More
Manhattan Market Report
Corigin Real Estate Group has closed on its purchase of a seven-story Art Deco building at 535 East 80th Street, formerly occupied by the City University of New York, for $61.75, city records confirm.
The firm purchased the building from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, according to the city records.
Corigin Real Estate Group’s history indicates that a development project could be in the works at the property, as the firm has built, renovated and/or repositioned at least five student housing facilities in New York City, all of which are leased to New York University.
Though it still makes up just two percent of the Manhattan office market’s total inventory, a number of significant deals have caused a surge in the education sector’s Manhattan footprint.
A report from CBRE attributes the 47 percent jump in office space leased by the sector – between 2005 and November 2012 – to a growing residential population, increases in enrollment at universities, campus expansions, greater availability and lower asking rents in sections of Midtown South and Downtown.
Condé Nast and Interpublic Group were the gifts to New York that kept on giving, as the former added 138,773 square feet to the 1 million it inked last year at One World Trade Center and the latter blazed through a series of deals throughout the year, beginning with a whopping 220,359-square-foot transaction in October and ending with a smaller one last month.
In all, the city’s 10 biggest office leasing transaction were modest compared to 2011, when deals by Nomura Holding and Coach reached nearly 2 million square feet alone.
Still, a wave of transactions from a variety of business sectors—from government and education to legal, financial services and media—proved that, even during economic doldrums, bold can be beautiful.
After the jump, the 10 biggest office deals of 2012.
Editor’s Note: Renewals were not included in this list, nor were deals completed after Dec. 18, the date the final tally was published.