Engineering firm Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger, Inc. has signed a seven-year, 11,695 square-foot lease and relocation to 550 Seventh Avenue.
The full, 10th floor space will be used as the company’s New York City headquarters after its relocation from its West 34th Street offices, where the company was leasing several floors. The new space features Read More
Earlier this year, Michael Kimmelman, the chief architecture critic at The New York Times since 2011, wrote a column addressing Madison Square Garden’s request that its special permit to operate an arena atop Penn Station be renewed in perpetuity. In it, Mr. Kimmelman suggested that the City Council grant the Garden a 10-year permit, enough time for the various stakeholders to plan for both a renovated Penn Station and a new location for Madison Square Garden. In a show of Mr. Kimmelman’s relative influence, the City Council did just that. Now the clock is ticking on finding a solution for the futures of both the “World’s Most Famous Arena” and the city’s busiest rail hub. Nicknamed “The People’s Critic” by New York magazine for his insightful focus on the New York Public Library, redevelopment after Hurricane Sandy and affordable housing, Mr. Kimmelman spoke with The Commercial Observer last week about the viability of a 10-year term and what can be done to convince stakeholders to come to the table.
City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn has announced her support for a new Penn Station in a letter to Madison Square Garden President and CEO Hank Ratner, suggesting the Garden be granted a 10-year special permit to operate an arena of more than 2,500 seats.
In her letter to Mr. Ratner, Ms. Quinn contrasted the “thrilling moments” experienced by New Yorkers at Madison Square Garden against the congested commuting experience at Penn Station.
Post-Tropical Storm Sandy
The New York Building Congress will issue a series of recommendations today that would go “a long way” toward mitigating the risk associated with future storms like Hurricane Sandy.
A task force made up of 43 local experts found that insufficient power and telecommunications reliability, “uneven emergency response,” vulnerable infrastructure and antiquated building systems contributed Read More
The Municipal Art Society this morning unveiled plans by four elite architecture firms for a revamped Pennsylvania Station. Diller Scofidio + Renfro, H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, SHoP Architects, and Skidmore Owings & Merrill all presented big, futuristic designs for the notoriously dingy, dated and overcrowded transportation hub.
When we spoke with MAS President Read More
Summit Business Media has signed an eight-year relocation and expansion for the 17,000-square-foot 10th floor at 469 Seventh Avenue, where Colliers International continues to market several full floors that include a “building-within-a-building” option for a potential anchor tenant.
Summit, a media company that caters to the insurance, financial services, legal, and investment advisory markets, is relocating from Read More
At a meeting yesterday, the City Planning Commission proposed a 15-year term for Madison Square Garden’s application for a special permit to operate an arena of more than 2,500 seats. The proposal, some way short of MSG’s request the permit be renewed in perpetuity, is still a small victory over previous suggestions of a 10-year limit.
Opponents of Madison Square Garden’s request point to the need for a renovated Penn Station, a process which is inhibited by the arena’s location. A term limit, they say, provides ample time for both Madison Square Garden to find a new location and for plans for a new Penn Station to be drawn up.
Renovation and Repositioning
Vornado Realty Trust is planning renovations to some of its properties around Penn Station, The Wall Street Journal reported this week. The plans are partially motivated by the desire to attract technology and media tenants to the properties, according to the report.
“We benefit from spillover from the Chelsea and Park Avenue South submarkets, which are flooded by tech firms and workers who don’t wear ties,” Steven Roth, newly named chief executive officer, wrote in a recent letter to shareholders.
Cushman & Wakefield represented ownership at 500 Fifth Avenue in a 10,346-square-foot lease renewal to The University of Oxford, completing a string of five recent leases at the building.
The Oxford lease and four other recent leases arranged at the 680,000-square-foot Class-A skyscraper total roughly 20,000 square feet and are reflective of the building’s flexibility, which attracts a range of tenant types and a blend of the old with the new, brokers said.
“They all have a different story,” said C&W’s Harry Blair, who represented 500 Fifth Avenue Inc. with Sean Kearns in the transactions. “500 Fifth Avenue offers tenants a prestigious Midtown Manhattan address combined with high-quality space with plenty of natural light and spectacular views of Bryant Park.”
The Regional Plan Association and Municipal Art Society have launched a campaign to promote the renovation of Penn Station and possible relocation of Madison Square Garden, it was announced today.
As previously reported by The Commercial Observer, Madison Square Garden is seeking renewal of its special permit application to operate an arena with more than 2,500 seats. Last month, Community Board 5 recommended any permit be restricted to 10 years. The application will also be reviewed by the Manhattan Borough President and City Planning Commission before a decision is made by the City Council.
The historic Milford Plaza Hotel in the heart of the Theatre District was sold for $325 million, city records show, confirming previous reports that real estate investor David Werner and Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management’s real estate investment business were in talks to purchase the ground lease at the site.
At a meeting last night, Community Board 5 in Manhattan unanimously recommended a proposed special permit application from Madison Square Garden to operate an arena with more than 2,500 seats be denied unless certain parameters are met, Wally Rubin, district manager, told The Commercial Observer this morning.
“Just to be clear, this isn’t about any frustrations or lack of understanding that the Garden is an important part of New York and is an economic driver for the City,” added Raju Mann, acting chair of CB5’s Land Use Committee.
The Garden is currently going through New York’s uniform land use review procedure (ULURP) to renew the special permit.
The Garden’s original special permit expired last month and the arena is currently operating under a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. The TCO is standard while a building is under construction, according to a Madison Square Garden spokesperson.
In January of 1999 President Bill Clinton’s budget proposal to congress included $20 million in funds for East Side Access, a project that would bring the Long Island Railroad to Grand Central Terminal, which turns 100-years-old on Saturday. The projected cost back then was $2.2 billion.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority Capital Construction President Michael Read More
Penn Plaza, the area surrounding Penn Station, has historically been a hub for firms that rely on transportation, namely the Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit. Recent development, however, has taken the district in a new direction.
“We are seeing a wave of social media, advertising, marketing and high fashion tenants taking advantage of the still favorable value differential in the Penn Station submarket,” said Kevin Hoo, the vice president of Savanna. “Google’s presence at 111 Eighth Avenue and the tightening in that market has also begun to drive creative tenants northward into this submarket.
“We think that the transformation of Manhattan’s West Side has already begun and that these new tenants continue to provide increasing momentum in that direction,” Mr. Hoo added.
Fresh & Co. is set to open a new location in Midtown in early 2013.
The announcement comes in recent light of the eatery’s fifth location on the corner of Broadway and Waverly Place, replacing the local twenty-four hour deli, Delion. The new, sixth location will open at W&H Properties‘ 1359 Broadway catering to those between Penn Station and Bryant Park.