Lease Beat

Law Firm Renews, Restacks at 1633 Broadway


Law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP has signed a 20-year renewal at The Paramount Group’s 1633 Broadway.

The deal will see the firm restack at its headquarters, trading its current space on floors 20 through 24 for 225,000 square feet on floors 19 through 23. The restacking will include a complete reconstruction and technological renovation project spearheaded by TPG Architecture.

“It was intricate reinventing the infrastructure of a 43-year-old building in order to support the demanding needs of a cutting-edge law firm that needs to be in operation 24/7,” said Mark Weiss, of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, who represented the tenant, in a prepared statement. “We ultimately succeeded in creating a modern day solution for a middle-aged building.”

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What's in a Name?

Douglas Elliman Makes Another Plea on Name Change

Howard Lorber and Dottie Herman

Dear Google, please refresh your cache:  the city’s largest residential brokerage has dropped “Prudential” from its name.

The former Prudential Douglas Elliman returned to its roots as Douglas Elliman last month after it was reportedly unable to strike a new licensing agreement for the name “Prudential.”

The Douglas Elliman name, originated along with the firm in 1911, has been adopted by all of the company’s businesses, including its commercial real estate arm, and the firm redistributed a statement today saying so, perhaps as a rebuttal to multiple media failings to follow suit on the change. Read More


Microsoft Among Wave of New Retailers to “Pop Up” Across Manhattan


Microsoft is cashing in on the critical, but fleeting, holiday shopping season with two ephemeral New York retail outlets. The software giant’s local pop-up stores opened Oct. 27 in Times Square and at The Shops at Columbus Circle, and purport to ease seasonal shopping anxiety with a “curated” selection of the company’s best products.

But the holiday stores’ marquee piece will be Surface, the tablet that Microsoft shipped on the eve of the pop-ups’ opening. By pushing Surface using the pop-up platform, Microsoft is hewing to one of the retail model’s key tenets since it landed in New York about a decade ago.

Initially a form of stealth advertising and a way for retailers to wade into the waters of unfamiliar markets, pop-ups now increasingly qualify as retail events that attract, rather than chase, consumers and help make established companies seem hip rather than lend legitimacy to upstarts.

“There are two reasons why pop-ups continue to be popular: retailers want to test markets in new neighborhoods or, in Microsoft’s case, want to test new concepts,” said Faith Hope Consolo, chairwoman of the retail leasing and sales division at Douglas Elliman, who was not involved with Microsoft’s seasonal shops. Read More


Real Estate Leaders Give Thanks

The Thanksgiving Turkey float  during th

Scanning the papers and business web-sites, you’d assume the economy—and, perhaps, the real estate industry in general—was approaching a quagmire, what with employment rates still lower than expected and leasing sluggish.

Nonetheless, with Thanksgiving approaching we asked some of the commercial real estate industry’s biggest names what they were thankful for this year,and their answers were far more positive than expected.

After the jump, a brief sampling of the responses, as told to Commercial Observer staff reporters Al Barbarino and Billy Gray.
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Lease Beat

Atelier Charles Jouffre Leases Artsy Space in Chelsea

459 West 18th Street.

Two floors of a Chelsea condo—formerly home to the art gallery Taxter & Spengemann—have been taken over by French company Atelier Charles Jouffre, a specialist in wall décor, custom upholstery and window treatments.

The Paris-based Atelier Charles Jouffre has inked a deal for a 2,000-square-foot space at 459 West 18th Street, located between Ninth and Tenth Avenues near the High Line. Read More

Lease Beat

Mariana Antinori Coming to Madison

mariana antinori

Italian luxury goods store Mariana Antinori will be opening up a new its first New York City location at 1244 Madison Avenue, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The store –which will sell custom jewelry, timepieces, and womenswear and menswear– will be moving into a 755-square-foot space that was formerly occupied by Seigo, a purveyor of bespoke ties and bow ties.

Faith Hope Consolo and Joseph Aquino, both of Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Retail Group, represented 17 East 89th Street Tenants, Inc., the landlords of 1244 Madison Avenue. Sinvin Real Estate represented Mariana Antinori in the deal. Read More

Lease Beat

1 Bite Mediterranean Signs At 875 Third Avenue, Eyes Eataly Style Food Hall

Photo Courtesy of

Turkish eatery 1 Bite Mediterranean will be opening its second location at 875 Third Avenue, but this time the business will forgo a restaurant concept for a catering service that hopes to patronize the slew of investment banks and law firms that line Midtown.

And NY F&B Services, LLC, the catering company that owns 1 Bite Mediterranean, is eying a new site for a possible Eataly-style food hall, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The restaurant-slash-caterer will be taking a 3,600-square-foot space that used to be the home of Fisher & Levy Office Catering. Asking rents were $65-a-square-foot in the 10-year lease, according to The New York Post, which broke the news of the deal. Read More


Q: The City's Next Hot Neighborhood? A: Take Your Pick

The Flatiron District, one of many suggested "hot" "new" neighborhoods.

To seasoned retail brokers, the very concept of the next big neighborhood in a city that has been developed several times over is, well, naïve. Still, as The Commercial Observer recently learned, most are still looking for a reason to believe. Read More

Lease Beat

EXCLUSIVE: French Fashion Flagship Headed for NYC's Carlyle Hotel


Fancy French fashion powerhouse Perrin Paris will be launching its first flagship New York City store at the Carlyle Hotel, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The century-old, family-run luxury leather goods company–founded in 1893, to be exact–will rub elbows with fellow swanky retailers Vera Wang, Stubbs & Wootton and Yves Delorme Linens at the 987 Madison Avenue hotel. Read More


We All Pay the Same Manhattan Rents Now

They all look the same, really.

As it turns out, we’re all screwed (except uptown)—the latest second-quarter data from Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel shows there isn’t much discrepancy between rents on the East Side, West Side and downtown in Manhattan. And the net rates just keep on rising. Read More