Mortgage Observer

MetLife Finances 685 Third Avenue in $190M Deal

685 Third Avenue.

MetLife lent $190 million to a joint venture between TIAA-CREF and Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the Australian Government Future Fund, to cover upgrades on the partnership’s 685 Third Avenue office tower, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

The five-year debt deal, which closed on March 18, carries a loan-to-value ratio of 54 percent, a MetLife spokesperson said. The 31-story building in Midtown has no existing debt, according to public records. Read More

Initial Public Offerings

Hilton IPO Could Break Records

New York Hilton, Midtown

The Blackstone Group-owned Hilton Worldwide Holdings reportedly plans to raise as much as $2.37 billion in its U.S. initial public offering, one of the year’s largest and the most ever for a hotel company, surpassing even Twitter‘s $2.1 billion IPO last month.

A regulatory filing stated that the company will offer 112.8 million shares, priced Read More

In Brooklyn

Pratt Institute Launches Fashion/Design Incubator

(Photo: Vicky Chan, Avoid Obvious)

Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute announced yesterday the launch of The Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator, a 15,000-square-foot space in the former Pfizer building at 630 Flushing Avenue in Williamsburg that will provide low-cost space resources to launch high-potential startup ideas into businesses.

“The Accelerator is Pratt Institute’s vision for creating a bridge to success – a place where Read More

Power Broker

Welcome to the Bio-Dome


When it announced it would close its research facility in Nutley, N.J., Swiss biotech company Roche went out to the market in search of a new state-of-the-art facility.

Courted by cities across the Northeast, including established pharmaceutical hubs in New Jersey and Cambridge, Mass., Roche officials added an unlikely option to the list of potential locations: New York City. Read More

Lease Beat

Waggener Edstrom Inks Lease at 110 Leroy Street


Public relations firm Waggener Edstrom has signed a seven-year, 9,416-square-foot lease for the entire ninth floor at 110 Leroy Street, The Commercial Observer has learned.

“Opportunities to get a full floor in that area to call your own are few and far between,” said Chris Mongeluzo, of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, who represented the owner.

The tenant will pay rent in the mid-$50s per square foot for at the Hudson Square property, according to data from CompStak. Read More

Lease Beat

Huntsworth Health to Relocate Agency to 101 Sixth


Huntsworth Health, a family of companies focused on the healthcare sector, has signed a 10-year, 15,600-square-foot lease for the entire 13th floor at Minskoff Equities101 Sixth Avenue, where asking rents are $70 per square foot.

The company’s evoke interaction agency, a healthcare marketing firm, will relocate from its 13,000-square-foot, two-floor space at 920 Broadway. The subsidiary, whose client roster includes Genentech and Pfizer, also operates offices in Philadelphia and Boston. Read More

Life Sciences

New York Emerges as Biotech Hub but Hurdles Remain

Alexandria Center for Life Science

With the highest concentration of research facilities in the country, New York has quietly emerged as a challenger to the established biotechnology and pharmaceutical hubs of Boston and San Francisco, according to a New York City Life Sciences report provided to The Commercial Observer by CBRE.

Despite the growing presence of biotech and pharmaceutical companies in New York, the city still faces a challenge of providing adequate space to accommodate the increasing level of interest. Read More

Lease Beat

Crain Communications Moving Next Door on Third Avenue


Business media company Crain Communications, owner a wealth of trade publications and consumer brand names, announced on Monday that it is moving its headquarters to 685 Third Avenue after signing a 58,527-square-foot lease.

One of the firm’s publications, Crain’s New York Business, reported that the company plans to relocate from its current offices – next Read More

Sales Beat

CUNY to Put $62 M Towards New Digs and Medical Equipment


The City University of New York will split the proceeds from the $62 million sale of the Grace Building at 535 East 80th Street, to buy some pricey science equipment and the 30-year condo interest it agreed to buy last year at 205 East 42nd Street.

One half of the money will buy the new high-end instruments to be used for research at the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center on the City College campus in Harlem, while the other half buys the seven floors in the former Pfizer building at 3rd Avenue and 42nd Street, said Michael Arena, a spokesperson for the university.

“We are very excited about this new location, especially because it will have very prominent storefront access,” Mr. Arena said. Read More

Lease Beat

Epiq Systems to Ink 100,000 SF Deal

685 Third Ave_opt

Technology firm Epiq Systems is on the brink of signing a lease for roughly 100,000 square feet of office space at 685 Third AvenueThe Commercial Observer has learned.

A source familiar with the deal said it was slated to close towards the end of last week, but the deal had not closed by press time.

“A couple more days,” the source said. Read More

Lease Beat

A&E Commits to 222K Swing Space

The Network Mary Ann Tighe Built.

A&E Television Network has renewed its 222,000-square-foot temporary office lease at 685 Third Avenue, but only until the end of the year, when the large network is planning to relocate back to space it has on East 45th Street. Read More