Year in Real Estate

Above and Beyond Hurricane Sandy

East Coast Begins To Clean Up And Assess Damage From Hurricane Sandy

FEMA spokesperson William Rukeyser described the ad-hoc, jumbled feel of the company’s impromptu space in the Forest Hills Tower like a scene from a hard-hit neighborhood, with hanging wires, antennas strapped to the ceiling, Post-It notes and sheets of paper with various instructions scattered about, and impromptu folding tables holding printers and other office equipment. Most seemed at a loss for words when assessing damages.

“It’s—It’s—It’s just a mess,” Durst Organization spokesperson Jordan Barowitz told The Commercial Observer less than a week after the storm hit, struggling to describe the destruction in Lower Manhattan. Read More

Cover Story

We Are OK: New Technology and Existing Resources Are Allowing Sandy’s Victims to Avoid Subleasing

US-WEATHER-STORM-SANDY

On Thursday, Nov. 1, Virgo Business Centers made 27,321 square feet of temporary, furnished office space available at 14 Penn Plaza. Companies displaced by Hurricane Sandy filed in one by one, and by the following Thursday, the space was full.

“Typically, that process takes about a year,” said Pasha Erkin, director of sales at the company. “It’s all about readiness. You could literally bring me 40 people today, and I could have the space ready tomorrow. All you have to do is walk in, flip on a switch, plug in and start working.”

In that building alone, the company took on 177 employees from displaced companies like Coronet, amfAR, Linda Decorato, Ambrose and others located on the eastern tip of Downtown and other areas hit hard by the hurricane. Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

The List of CRE Companies Donating Office Space Through City Program Continues to Grow

David Lichtenstein

The list of real estate companies teaming up with the New York City Economic Development Corporation to donate free, temporary office space in the wake of Hurricane Sandy continues to grow.

The latest, The Lightstone Group, announced Friday that it will make 11,000 square feet of space available at 1407 Broadway through a city program for a period up to six months. Read More

Power Broker

To REIT or Not To REIT: The Question

55th Street.

Having spent time working with ownership groups that operated like Real Estate Investment Trusts, working for The Winter Organization has been a welcome change for Robert Fink, who joined the group four years ago.

“Real estate is a long-term investment, but when you become a REIT and you’re now issuing stock to the public, everyone is looking quarter-to-quarter,” said Mr. Fink, director of leasing at the firm, in an interview with The Commercial Observer. “Those [are] counteracting forces that sometimes lead to not make the best real estate decisions.” Read More