VIDEO: Empire Outlets Strikes Back

Rendering of Empire Outlets

A glossy new video foretells the end of what’s known as the Staten Island Shuffle.

Sightseers who ride the Staten Island Ferry will stop in their tracks before riding back to Manhattan once BFC Partners completes its 1.1-million-square-foot Empire Outlets project and Richard A. Marin‘s New York Wheel rises higher than any ferris wheel in the world from Staten Island’s St. George waterfront, according to the two-minute video by Neoscape that BFC released yesterday. Read More

Nordstrom Confirms First Queens Location


Seattle-based Nordstrom has confirmed its plans to open its first Queens location at Onex Real Estate PartnersThe Shops at SkyView Center in Flushing.

The approximately 39,000-square-foot, two-level Nordstrom Rack is scheduled to open Fall 2014.

“We are excited about the opportunity to be a part of a dynamic retail center within a vibrant neighborhood Read More

Developing Situations

Occluded Sky, Okay: Landmarks Approves Extell’s Plan to Cantilever Nordstrom Tower Over Art Students League

The LPC concluded that the cantilever would detract from 215 West 57th Street.

Despite strong community opposition, including that of the local community board, this afternoon the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved Extell’s request to cantilever its 1,424-foot skyscraper over the Art Students League.

The vote was six to one in favor of the application, which will allow Extell to cantilever its Smith + Gorden Gill-designed tower at 217 West 57th Street over the comparatively diminutive French Renaissance building next door. In their discussion before the vote, the LPC cited the minimal impact of the cantilever—which is some 290 feet high and not visible from all vantage points—on the experience of the landmark, as well as the building’s contextually-sensitive cladding. Read More

Sales Beat

Nordstrom Pays $102.5 M. for Midtown Flagship


Seattle-based luxury retailer Nordstrom has reportedly paid $102.5 million for the site of its future Midtown flagship store at 225 West 57th Street.

The seven floor store will anchor a massive 88-story, 1,550-foot residential condo tower that Extell Development is building at the site.

The retailer said its store will encompass 285,000 square feet when it Read More


REBNY Issues Call for Submissions for Retail Deal of the Year Awards


The Real Estate Board of New York has opened the submission process for the Retail Deal of the Year Awards, it was announced yesterday. The awards recognize the most creative and significant retail deals in New York City.

Submissions for the awards are due April 25. Winners will be announced at the REBNY Retail Committee’s Deal of the Year cocktail party on June 11.

“It’s certainly the most prestigious award given in our business,” Peter Braus, retail committee chair at REBNY, told The Commercial Observer. “As retail has gotten to be more of a factor in New York real estate, it has gotten to be quite the market prestige to win the award.” Read More

Sales Beat

Apartment Building, Former Church, Music Legend Hangout Nets $42.5M

309 West 57th Street

A property at 309 West 57th Street in Midtown West that once housed a Victorian Gothic church and later saw the likes of John Lennon and Frank Sinatra pass through its doors has changed hands for $42.5 million.

The 16-story, 75,600-square-foot rental property with 102 apartments and nearly 14,000 square feet of commercial space – currently home to night club Providence NYC – was purchased by New York City-based real estate investment firms Imperium Capital and Bronstein Properties.

The property, site of a former church and later a prominent recording studio, is located near a number of popular amenities and development projects, and it’s the latest in a string of high-profile acquisitions made by Imperium Capital. Read More

On the Market

SoHo Retail Condominum at 350 West Broadway Could Rake in $30M

350 West Broadway

Jones Lang LaSalle has been retained as the exclusive leasing agent for the marketing and sale of the 11,115-square-foot retail condominium on the first two floors of a luxury residential building at 350 West Broadway in SoHo, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The two-story jewel box retail store is located in one of SoHo’s prime retail centers, between Grand and Broome Streets, with 80 feet of frontage along West Broadway.  The space also features an exclusive, 1,500-square-foot terrace area. Read More

Power Broker

Phoenix Rising: Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Jeff Rosenblatt, Post Kent Swig

Jeff Rosenblatt.

It didn’t take long for Jeff Rosenblatt to sense something awry in the house of Kent Swig.

It was 2009 and Mr. Swig, at the time a large landlord in the city, had purchased the real estate services company Helmsley-Spear a year earlier. In the months after his big acquisition of the legendary brokerage firm, Mr. Swig had offered Mr. Rosenblatt a senior position managing its leasing operations. Read More

The Sit-Down

Andrew Goldberg, Broker Behind Trump Tower’s Gucci Deal, Thinks Retail is Ready to Splurge on the West Side.

Andrew Goldberg.

Andrew Goldberg is a retail executive at CBRE, where he is one of the firm’s top brokers, representing both landlords and tenants. With Nordstrom’s deal on 57th Street, retail leasing has been the talk of the town. Of course, Mr. Goldberg is no stranger to big-time leasing deals, having brokered Gucci’s 50,000-square-foot flagship at Trump Tower in 2006, one of the most valuable retail deals ever done in Manhattan. Mr. Goldberg spoke with The Commercial Observer recently about last month’s huge Nordstrom deal, the Drake development site, Gucci and Westfield’s plans for the World Trade Center. Read More


Nordstrom and Extell Development: Patience is a Virtue

Derek Trulson

It turns out that patience is virtue for both Nordstrom and Extell Development. When the retailer announced Thursday that it would be opening a 285,000-square-foot, 7-story store at 225 West 57th Street some time in 2018, it represented the culmination of ten to 15 years of searching. Meanwhile, developer Gary Barnett had been quietly assembling the parcel where the store will open for almost a decade.

In the end, the deal was pulled off thanks to a team from Jones Lang LaSalle, the firm’s Derek Trulson telling The Commercial Observer that real estate expertise, not retail expertise, paved the way. Read More

Details on Nordstrom’s 225 West 57th Street Location


On the heels of The Commercial Observer’s report yesterday about all signs pointing to Nordtrom taking space at Extell Development’s project at 225 West 57th Street, the company said today that it has now finalized those plans. The store is projected to open in 2018 and excavation work could begin by the first quarter of 2013. When it opens, it will be the retailer’s New York flagship, and its first full-line store in the city. Read More

Nordstrom Will Open at 225 West 57th

Gary Barnett

Sources say Nordstrom is in talks to anchor a development project that Gary Barnett would build at 225 West 57th Street.

Rumors have swirled for months that Mr. Barnett, one of the city’s most prolific and successful builders of residential and commercial real estate, is trying to arrange a transaction with the department store, which has been cruising around Manhattan for a site for years. Read More


Nordstrom in Talks with Barnett, One57

One 57

As Gary Barnett’s new residential tower One 57 continues to rise over Central Park – not to mention all of its neighbors – rumors continue to circulate in the city’s brokerage industry that Mr. Barnett is lining up a huge retail deal befitting the property.

Several sources familiar with the project say that Nordstrom, the Read More