The Plan

The Plan: 140 William Street

Dancers in the window at 140 William Street.

At the start of the current school year last month, Pace University unveiled the second phase of its renovation project at Pace Performing Arts’ home at 140 William Street.

Plans included the conversion of the seventh floor and penthouse into a design studio, sound studio, mechanical and electrical equipment rooms and a rooftop terrace for special events. Read More

Sales Beat

SL Green to Sell Three Manhattan Assets

180 Broadway. (PropertyShark)

SL Green Realty Corp. has agreed to sell three of its Manhattan assets, the real estate investment trust announced today. The deals, for 2 Herald Square, 180 Broadway and 985-987 Third Avenue, will generate net cash proceeds of $240 million, according to a press release.

The REIT will sell the leased fee interest in 2 Herald Square for $365 million. SL Green acquired the interest in joint partnership in 2007 before consolidating its position in 2010, the landlord said. Read More


Pace Dorm at 33 Beekman Reaches 65 Percent Built [Updated]

Rendering of the Pace dorm and public space at 33 Beekman Street. (Credit: Naftali Groups website)

Construction of the 178,500-square-foot Pace University dormitory at 33 Beekman Street in the Financial District has reached 22 stories, leaving 12 more to go, Commercial Observer has learned.

The dorm, being developed between William and Nassau Streets by a joint venture of Naftali Group, SL Green Realty and Harel Insurance and Finance, will have 378 housing rooms with 725 beds, said Miki Naftali, chairman and CEO of Naftali Group. Read More

Lower Manhattan 2013

Lower Manhattan Commercial Leasing Hits Five-Year High [Updated]

Leasing Activity in Lower Manhattan

Commercial leasing in lower Manhattan was strong in the fourth quarter last year, according to a new report from Alliance for Downtown New York, marking the best-performing quarter since 2006.

Fourth-quarter leasing activity in the Downtown Manhattan market was at 2.2 million square feet, up 46 percent from the prior quarter and 82 percent year-over-year, the report indicates. That was also more than double the five-year average. Read More

South Street Seaport

CB1 Looks to Delay Howard Hughes Seaport Development

SHoP Architects

Community Board 1 claims to have received assurances from the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Manhattan Borough President that the city will not move forward with the approval process for Howard Hughes Corporation’s planned redevelopment of the South Street Seaport before a community planning process is completed. The process may take the form of a community task force, according to board members, but the details have yet to be confirmed.

“Our chairperson announced that we are working together to figure out what the planning process will be,” Diana Switaj, CB1’s director of planning, told Commercial Observer. “It’s likely to be a task force, but we haven’t decided exactly.”

Read More

Lower Manhattan

Report: Higher Education Tenants Flocking to Lower Manhattan

Source: Alliance for Downtown New York

Leasing to post-secondary education tenants has increased by more than 80 percent since 2004 in Lower Manhattan, according to a January Lower Manhattan research report by the Alliance for Downtown New York. That is accompanied by a near doubling in student enrollment to about 50,000, all below Chambers Street.

Downtown Alliance Acting President William Bernstein attributes the 82 percent leasing increase downtown to the presence of the Borough of Manhattan Community College and Pace University as well as low rents and a healthy transit system. Read More

Food & Drink

Residents at 150 Nassau Street Slam Proposed Denny’s Restaurant

The Lumberjack Slam at Denny's.

Denny’s, the chain of 24-hour hour restaurants that calls itself “America’s diner,” signed its first New York City lease, and neighbors are queasy.

The company known for healthy portions of unhealthy grub has been eying Manhattan locations for some time, a spokesman told DNAinfo. Denny’s last year inked a deal for a ground floor space at the 23-story 150 Nassau Street, which went condo in 2003 and is a Grand Slamwich’s throw away from City Hall. Read More

Lower Manhattan 2013

Keeping Pace: As One-Time Commuter School Expands, Retailers and Students Clamor for Space in Lower Manhattan buildings

140 William Street

When David Falk toured Pace University’s new dormitory at 180 Broadway in January, he was struck not only by the gleaming facilities but also by what they said about the 107-year-old school.

Mr. Falk, the New York tristate region president of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, has worked with the university since 1999. The new building “is beautiful,” Mr. Falk said. “It’s the new Pace.”

The transformed school has helped alter the real estate landscape of lower Manhattan. In the past 15 months, Pace has inked deals for the entire 47,000 square feet at 140 William Street, renewed a 32,707-square-foot office lease at 156 William Street, and, with partner SL Green, announced plans for a 30-story dormitory at 33 Beekman Street.

The 220,000-square-foot 180 Broadway—also a joint project with SL Green—came to light in the darkest days of the recession. Pace wanted to bring about 600 beds back to its lower Manhattan campus from Brooklyn Heights. Read More

Power Broker

On Top of the World: SL Green’s Steve Durels on Last Year’s Viacom Deal and the Projects Reshaping Manhattan


When Viacom pulled the trigger on its 1.6-million-square-foot renewal and expansion at 1515 Broadway last year, SL Green Realty served up a stinging rebuke to swirling rumors that the media giant would relocate.

But company executives with the city’s largest landlord were well aware that the firm’s most coveted tenant had toyed with the idea 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

Lease Beat

7-Eleven Takes 2,500 Square Feet at 111 Fulton Street


Convenience store chain 7-eleven has signed a long-term lease for roughly 2,500 square feet of retail space at 111 Fulton Street in the Financial District, The Commercial Observer has learned.

Ross Kaplan of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented the landlord, while Ariel Schuster and Greg Covey at RKF represented the tenant.

“There’s a flurry of activity going on Downtown,” Mr. Kaplan said, who has represented the landlord for the last year.  “Tourism and a dense commercial and residential population is a big draw for retailers in this part of town, especially quick-service shops.” Read More

Lease Beat

Au Bon Pain Takes 2,600 Square Feet at 111 Fulton Street

111 Fulton Street (Credit: Emporis)

Au Bon Pain has signed a long-term lease for roughly 2,600 square feet of retail space at 111 Fulton Street in the Financial District, The Commercial Observer has learned.

Ross Kaplan of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented the landlord, while Jacqueline Klinger of The Shopping Center Group represented the tenant.

“There’s a perfect storm going on Downtown,” said Mr. Kaplan, who has represented the landlord over the course of the last year.  “The dense commercial and residential population, as well as the tourism in the area, is a great draw for retailers.”

Read More