Mortgage Observer

Year in Review: 2014

Illustrations by Chris Morris.

It was another year of highs, lows and mammoth deals. While concerns about the Ebola epidemic and increasing violence abroad rattled markets in 2014, the year nonetheless brought jobs growth, rising stocks and an improved real estate market to the U.S. Of course, the specter of China’s ascendance, a double-edged sword for the American economy, is a wild card. China overtook the U.S. as the world’s largest economy in 2014, and at the same time Chinese investments in U.S. real estate reached an all-time high. Read More

Lease Beat

Cushman & Wakefield Opens Downtown HQ in 1 WTC

Base of One World Trade Center

Cushman & Wakefield, the exclusive leasing brokers for One World Trade Center, opened a downtown headquarters Monday through a 10-year, 10,222-square-foot lease on the 45th floor of 1 WTC, the firm announced yesterday.

The firm that maintains its global headquarters in Midtown now boasts an office footprint in space with asking rents of $69 per square foot that the company also markets on behalf of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Durst Organization. Read More

Life Sciences

Industry Leader: 1 WTC a Lightning Rod

1 WTC Lightning

A week after photos of lightning striking the steel spire of One World Trade Center made international news, experts familiar with the electric bolts pointed to the building’s resilience against such dangers.

The 1,776-foot skyscraper, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, sustained six lightning shocks since the end of June, said Rob Cooper, the president of top lightning protection system installer Associated Lightning Rod Company. Read More

Standing Tall

The City’s Tallest Building, at Hudson Yards?

Hudson Spire - 435 10th

The real estate industry sat wide-eyed in anticipation of the ruling by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in November that officially named 1 World Trade Center the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, beating out Chicago’s Willis Tower

But in the not too distant future the gleaming new tower could have competition in its own backyard – Hudson Yards, that is – as Massey Knakal is exclusively marketing the sale of a development site that it believes could spawn what the firm has dubbed “The Hudson Spire,” an 1,800-foot-tall super-skyscraper.  

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REBNY 2014

The Rudin Way

Bill Rudin

Bill Rudin sits at the helm of one of the largest privately owned real estate companies in the city. Like much of the Real Estate Board of New York community, in addition to his firm’s undertakings, he often puts at the top of his agenda initiatives that might not always show immediate results but which are essential for the future success of the city. Mr. Rudin, a REBNY vice chairperson, spoke to The Commercial Observer about his current projects, REBNY, major real estate happenings over the last year and what needs to be done to keep New York City competitive. Read More

Grand Openings

4 World Trade Opens Later this Week

4 World Trade Center.

Officials are reportedly planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony next Wednesday for the opening of 4 World Trade Center, which will make the 978-foot building the first to open at Ground Zero.

“We want people to come and experience this both as a great office building but also a sense of accomplishment that we’ve really turned the Read More

World Trade Center

Trade Center Concourse Cost $225 M.

(Photo: Fox News)

The price tag apparently matches the grandeur of the new underground concourse that passes underneath the World Trade Center site, which opened to pedestrians for the first time since 9/11 two weeks ago.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey passageway told Next City that the passageway cost approximately $225 million.

The 600-foot Read More

The Sit-Down

Measuring Up with Peter Weismantle


Flags waved and onlookers cheered back in May when construction workers hoisted a crown atop 1 World Trade Center. The gleaming tower reached a symbolic 1,776 feet, and the Port Authority proclaimed it the “tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.” An official ruling had not been made, however, throwing the building into a rivalry with Read More

Cover Story

Downtown Manhattan, Uptown Chic


Burberry. Salvatore Ferragamo. Ermenegildo Zegna. Michael Kors. Scoop. Hermes. Judith & Charles. Calypso St. Barth.

It’s an impressive list of retailers. What’s more striking is that Brookfield Office Properties cut deals with all of them this year, and they’ll be sharing a home at the revamped Brookfield Place beginning next year, forming an unprecedented shopping destination Downtown. Read More

Sales Beat

Hong Kong Firm Scoops Fifth Avenue Hotel


Hong Kong-based Great Eagle Group has closed on the $229 million purchase of a 214-room hotel, formerly The Setai Fifth Avenue, which comprises floors one through 27 at 400 Fifth Avenue in Midtown.

“We are pleased to have completed this transaction and the timing couldn’t be better, especially with The Residences at 400 Fifth Avenue Read More

The Sit-Down

What About Bob: CBRE’s Robert Alexander on Hudson Yards


In 2005, CBRE broker Mary Ann Tighe told The New York Times that there had never been a “phenomenon quite like Bob Alexander.” What’s more phenomenal is that the 58-year-old chairman of the firm’s tristate region still ranks among its top brokers, having landed some of the city’s highest-profile deals this year as a lead broker representing Read More