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


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


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


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


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

The Lobby

Avison Young Continues Hiring Spree With Addition of John Ryan III


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.” Read More

On the Market

Office Condo Up for Sale at 666 Broadway as Non-Profit Funding Dries Up


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. Read More

Sales Beat

Student Housing Developer Picks Up Former CUNY Space for $62 M


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. Read More

Manhattan Market Report

Education Sector’s Manhattan Office Space Surges With Monster Deals and Expansions


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. Read More