ICSC 2013

Retail on the Rebound: Spirits High at ICSC Event

(Credit: LeVar Thomas)

In 2009 and 2010 “you could have rolled a bowling ball down the aisle” at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon conference “and it wouldn’t have hit anybody,” Massey Knakal executive vice president of retail leasing Benjamin Fox told The Commercial Observer.

But when an estimated 33,000 real estate professionals converged upon one million Read More

Lease Beat

Brooklyn-Based Medical Practice Expands to Forest Hills Tower in Queens


Central Medical Services of Westrock, a medical practice specializing in workers’ compensation cases, has signed a 10-year, 4,150-square-foot lease on the ninth floor of Forest Hills Tower in Forest Hills, Queens, The Commercial Observer has learned. Asking rent for the building is in the mid-$30s per square foot.

CMSW will occupy the space in the Muss Development property at 118-35 Queens Boulevard beginning in May. The practice is headquartered in Brooklyn with satellite offices in Jamaica, the Bronx, Syosset and White Plains. Read More

Cover Story

Long Island City’s Renaissance

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Miami native Rick Rosa stuffed a few bags with his belongings in 1999 and headed for New York City.

Though not the postcard image he envisioned, he stumbled upon the industrial waterfront neighborhood of Long Island City, where he found an affordable pad, close to Manhattan, with a yard for his dog, Benny.

“The neighborhood Read More

On the Market

East Bushwick Development Site Could Be Catalyst for Change


A 105,000-square-foot development site surrounding the Weirfield Coal Company site at 386 Weirfield Street in East Bushwick is on the market for $8.5 million, creating an opportunity for a huge residential development in a neighborhood that is evidently next in line for the gentrification pushing south through northern Brooklyn along the L subway line.

It started with the Bedford stop in Williamsburg.  More recently it took hold along the Jefferson and Morgan Avenue stops in northern Bushwick.  Now “it’s just a matter of time” before changes grip the area surrounding the Halsey Street subway stop, said Massey Knakal Director of Sales Michael Amirkhanian, who is exclusively marketing the site.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that this is moving further south,” he said. Read More


Gary LaBarbara of Building Trades Thrashes City Point Developers as Community Groups Rally for Changes

A peak atop the Armani Exchange at City Point

Gary LaBarbara has an axe to grind with developers at City Point before they dig any deeper into Downtown Brooklyn.

In a move that could exacerbate friction that’s already occurring at the community level, the president of the Building & Construction Trades Council of New York thrashed the builders of the development project, claiming that they are “failing” to meet the needs of the community by instead catering to private interests.

“City Point is receiving vast amounts of public subsidies ranging from tax exempt bond financing to property tax abatements,” Mr. LaBarbera wrote in an op-ed that appeared in Real Estate Weekly yesterday.  “But on a score central to responsible economic development for everyday New Yorkers — creating good jobs that strengthen local communities — City Point is failing.” Read More


Fulton Maul: Culture Clash Ensues in Downtown Brooklyn

Armani Exchange at the City Point Development

With the long-awaited Barclays Center open and new residential and mixed-use development projects popping up across Downtown Brooklyn, a retail conundrum is growing along the 17-block Fulton Mall.

The national and in some cases high-end retailers moving onto the strip paint a stark contrast to the long list of mom-and-pops, local discounters and jewelry shops that once almost exclusively lined the street. Read More