Power Broker

Ready to Launch: Jerry Larkin’s Vision for Manhattan West

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Earlier this year, a machine known as The Launcher got to work on the foundation upon which Brookfield Office Properties’ 7.2-million-square-foot mixed-use Manhattan West project will rise.

So far, the metallic-yellow workhorse has methodically placed three of 16 concrete bridge spans atop a set of uncovered Amtrak tracks that lead to Penn Station, the rest of which are expected to be in place by year’s end.

As The Launcher continues to work ahead of schedule at the task, the “neighborhood of the future” is becoming more and more of a reality, as marketing efforts to land an anchor tenant for the development’s first commercial tower intensify. Read More

New Developments

Developers, WeWork Eye Former Prison

550 West 20th Street. (Credit: PropertyShark)

A number of developers and co-working giant WeWork toured the former Bayview Correctional Facility, a defunct women’s prison in Chelsea, with an eye toward possibly bidding on the property, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The Related Companies, L&L Holding Company, Taconic Investment Partners and William Macklowe Company toured the facility, the Journal reported. The list of other potential suitors that viewed the property includes the rapidly expanding co-working space provider WeWork, Steinway Musical Instruments and Avenues: The World School. Read More

Hudson Yards

Related Releases New Video of Hudson Yards Development

Hudson Yards construction timeline. (Credit: Related Companies)

Related Companies has released a new visual for the construction timeline at Hudson Yards (at left) as well as a new video (below) as construction begins on the platform that will cover the rail yards.

Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States and the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center, according to new press materials from Related, which is overseeing the building of the 26-acre site bounded between 10th and 12th Avenues and running from 30th to 33rd Streets. Read More

New Developments

Willets Point Businesses Agree to Bronx Move

A rendering of the Willets Points redevelopment.

A group of between 40 and 60 businesses has signed a lease to relocate from Willets Point, Queens to Hunts Point in the Bronx, paving the way for Related Companies’ and Sterling Equities’ proposed mixed-use development in the shadow of Citi Field.

The businesses, known collectively as the Sunrise Cooperative, are eligible for approximately $2 million in funds allocated for area tenants relocating in groups of five or more, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. In total, the city has set aside $3 million for relocating businesses. The money is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Read More

Sales Beat

Oxford Properties Group to Buy 450 Park Avenue

450 Park Avenue. (Credit: ProeprtyShark)

Oxford Properties Group, a division of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, has agreed to acquire 450 Park Avenue from Somerset Partners and Michael Tabor for $575 million. The sale values the 33-story office tower at over $1,700 per square foot, according to The New York Times, which first reported the deal.

“A lot of pension funds, Asian companies, sovereign funds and other investors are increasing their allocations for real estate,” Douglas Harmon of Eastdil Secured, who brokered the deal, told the Times. “If you do that, the first place you want to be is Manhattan.” Read More

MO's Top 50

Jonathan Pollack Takes Top Spot On This Year’s 50 Most Important People in CREF

Jonathan Pollack

Deutsche Bank’s CMBS guru and real estate financing head honcho, Jonathan Pollack, took the No. 1 spot on this year’s 50 Most Important People list due to several colossal deals and his team’s top ranking in the global and U.S. securitized debt markets.

While the German global banking and financial services company reported an unexpected overall loss of 965 million euros, or $1.3 billion, for the fourth quarter of 2013, its real estate debt operations have continued to show clear gains. Read More

East 23rd Street

Flatiron BID Looks to Draw High-Profile Tenants to East 23rd Street [Updated]

View of 23rd Street facing west from Park Avenue South

Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership is hoping to raise the profile of one stretch of its district that has been under the radar, in part due to scaffolding that has been up for years: East 23rd Street between Third Avenue and Avenue of the Americas.

With streetscape and free public wireless network projects underway, the BID’s executive director, Jennifer Brown, told Commercial Observer that she hopes sprucing up East 23rd Street will help “attract” high-quality tenants. Read More

The Sit-Down

Stephen Ross’ West Side Story

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Time Warner Inc. was rumored to be eyeing space at Hudson Yards as early as last spring, but only this month did the company confirm it would anchor Related Companies’ 30 Hudson Yards, an 80-story tower on the Far West Side. Concurrently, Related agreed to a deal to buy back the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle for $1.3 billion and will market space there for the first time since the building came online a decade ago. The complex deals, which include a significant financial commitment to Hudson Yards by Time Warner, are vital for the ambitious development and another victory for Related Chairman Stephen Ross, who has long championed the viability of his plans for the once-barren pocket of Manhattan. Read More

Lease Beat

Hudson Yards Move on the Horizon, SAP Subsidiary Signs Short-Term Renewal

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Ahead of SAP’s scheduled move to Hudson Yards, Sybase, a subsidiary, has signed a short-term renewal for its 31,285-square-foot space on the 32nd floor of the Grace Building, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The software developer has signed an early renewal one one year and three months, according to data from CompStak, and will pay rent in the low-$90s per square foot. The company, acquired by SAP in 2010, first signed a lease at the Brookfield Office Properties’ building in 2004, then paying in the mid-$50s per square foot.

Read More

Sales Beat

Time Warner Sells Headquarters Space, Will Move to Hudson Yards

Time Warner Center. (Courtesy Property Shark)

A venture of the Related Companies, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Singapore’s GIC has purchased the office space of Time Warner Inc. at the Time Warner Center for $1.3 billion, the seller announced today.

Time Warner will relocate its corporate headquarters and New York City employees from Columbus Circle to Related’s Hudson Yards. The company has made an “initial financial commitment” to the development, according to a press release. Time Warner has agreed to lease back office space in the Time Warner Center until 2019, when the development at Hudson Yards is expected to be complete. Read More

Year in Real Estate

The 10 Biggest Leases of 2013

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For two years in row, 1 World Trade Center scored among the city’s largest transaction, starting with 2011’s Condé Nast showstopper and following with last year’s 270,000-square-foot UGS deal. But in 2013, the buzz moved uptown when another marquee deal, L’Oreal’s 400,000-square-foot commitment to the Related Companies, stole the headlines at the new Hudson Yards development.

Last year was a relatively modest one compared to 2011 when it came to office leasing, but 2013 saw a significant rebound—the top 10 deals totaled more than 2.7 million square feet, a 50 percent increase year over year. Like 2012, a variety of sectors made the list, from financial services to law firms to the media and publishing industries.

Below are the top 10 leases of 2013 by square footage, courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield.

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Year in Real Estate

The House That L’Oreal Built

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Back in 2011, Coach agreed to pay a reported $750 million for its 740,000-square-foot global corporate headquarters in Related’s South Tower at Hudson Yards. 

That deal may have been the official stamp of approval for the massive project rising on the city’s west side, but the announcements in April that SAP America, Inc. and L’Oréal Read More