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.
For summer 2012, financing has returned for many real estate investors. And borrowers are able to secure it at record low interest rates, especially if the asset is a residential rental property. Pricing for a five-year, fixed-rate loan is as low as 3 percent, with a 25- to 40-year amortization, and in certain instances interest only for the first two to 10 years of the mortgage.
Financing for certain asset classes, including construction financing, has also become much more readily available to well-capitalized, experienced borrowers, who are having an easier time securing record loan rates for mixed-use retail, residential, office, urban retail and industrial assets. Yet financing for unique assets, which may include hospitality, golf courses, health clubs, restaurants, bars, student housing and vacant land is available from to only a small group of borrowers. When it is available under these circumstances, the terms and conditions require higher interest rates, shorter amortization and—in nearly all instances—the borrower must personally guarantee the loan.
A new medical and wellness center will open their first office in Savanna’s 1375 Broadway.
Founded by four doctors, Every Woman Wellness LLC will provide healthcare, minor procedures, and wellness related activities to women. The center will be in a 6,000-square foot-office on the fifth floor of 1375 Broadway. A ladies wear manufacturer, Necessary Objects Read More
Virgo Business Centers will be opening a new office near Penn Station.
The virtual office company will be taking the entire ninth floor, 27,321 square feet, of Dakota Realty Group’s 14 Penn Plaza.
“The building has eleven and a half foot ceilings, tenant-controlled air conditioning and brand new electrical wiring and windows throughout the building.” Read More
Penson, a financial services company, has expanded and renewed its lease at 1 Penn Plaza, the company’s brokers have told The Commercial Observer.
It is one of the most mythic and elusive redevelopment projects in the city, the plan to restore at least some of Penn Station’s former glory with a new station inside the old Farley Post Office. But this train could be delayed for good.
253 West 35th Street
Could it indeed be true that the grungy Penn Station office market is getting a second chance? At minimum, a tenant named, yes, Better Chance has leased 9,600 square feet for 10 years at 253 West 35th Street.
The national organization dedicated to helping academically talented youth minorities will move from Read More