On the Market

Hidrock Hopes to Net $75 M for Office Building at 240 West 35th Street

240West 35th Street (Credit: Costar)

Hidrock Realty is selling an office building at 240 West 35th Street and expects to pull in upwards of $75 million for the 162,044-square-foot property with the help of a team at Jones Lang LaSalle, The Commercial Observer has learned.

City records show that Hidrock paid $58 million for the property in 2008, a 200 foot, 18-story building constructed in 1925.  The firm infused $6 million into a capital improvement program that included renovations to the lobby, new elevators and updated HVAC systems.  An affiliate of Meritage Properties reportedly provided $14 million in joint venture equity at the time of the purchase. Read More

On the Market

SoHo Retail Condominum at 350 West Broadway Could Rake in $30M

350 West Broadway

Jones Lang LaSalle has been retained as the exclusive leasing agent for the marketing and sale of the 11,115-square-foot retail condominium on the first two floors of a luxury residential building at 350 West Broadway in SoHo, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The two-story jewel box retail store is located in one of SoHo’s prime retail centers, between Grand and Broome Streets, with 80 feet of frontage along West Broadway.  The space also features an exclusive, 1,500-square-foot terrace area. Read More

Lease Beat

DKNY’s Midtown Headquarters On The Market For $65 Million, Investor Doubts Swirl


Fashion label DKNY has put its 150,000-square-foot Midtown headquarters on the market for $65 million. A partnership led by Sitt Asset Management owns the property at 240 West 40th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. Sitt enlisted Jones Lang LaSalle to handle the sale. Richard Baxter, Scott Latham and Glenn Tolchin will lead the JLL team.

DKNY fully occupies the 12-story building in a lease that expires in 2016. Those details could either encourage investors or steer them away from the property, reports Crain’s. Given the lackluster leasing market, there’s a fair chance that the company–a subsidiary of international luxury goods behemoth LVMH–will exit the buiding when the lease is up, leaving 240 West 40th Street with full vacancy. Read More

Power Broker

David Ash Nearly Said Goodbye to Real Estate. Then Something Happened.

power broker for web

By the end of 2011, it had appeared to David Ash that Prince Realty Advisors, his fledgling startup, was on the cusp of going bust.

The 31-year-old entrepreneur had seen five of his deals—a mix of office buildings and development sites that, if closed, would have been valued in the millions—go from near-closure to sudden death.

Slow business had already forced him to live off of a family loan that would allow him to stay in his Upper East Side apartment and eat for another six months. But that loan was running out quickly.

The outlook was bleak enough for him to try to drum up new business while simultaneously interviewing at Cushman & Wakefield, Jones Lang LaSalle, and Eastdil Secured for possible jobs as a broker. As each deal collapsed, so too did his hopes for his company’s future.

“I’m a positive guy in general, but when you go through what I went through, it’s not so easy to be positive,” said Mr. Ash. Read More

The Lobby

C&W Promotes 11 Brokers

Rob Lowe

Cushman & Wakefield promoted a group of top producing leasing dealmakers the company announced this morning.

Eleven brokers were named vice chairmen at the firm, its highest executive title for brokerage professionals.

Michael Burgio, Joseph Cabrera, Samuel Clark, Louis D’Avanzo, Augustus Field, Gary Greenspan, Jay Hruska, Robert Lowe, Stuart Romanoff, Dale Schlather and Fred Smith were the brokers awarded the promotion according to a release issued by C&W. Read More

Sales Beat

90 Fifth Avenue In Contract For $115 Million

90 Fifth Avenue.

90 Fifth Avenue is being acquired by the Atlanta based investment group Jamestown for $115 million sources have revealed to The Commercial Observer, a price that equates to a lofty over $800 per square foot.

The deal, if it closes, would finally end a years long effort to sell the 140,000-square-foot property, which is mostly Read More

Sales Beat

Samson Buys 129 W29th St. For $54 Million

129 West 29th Street

Thor Equities is in contract to sell 129 West 29th Street for $54 million to Samson Management, a real estate investment company based in Rego Park, Queens.

Arnold Goldstein, a principal at the firm, confirmed the sale in a call this afternoon with The Commercial Observer.

“So are you going to ask me why I Read More

The Lobby

Oelsner Jumps to JLL, Carrega Team Rumored Heading to Avison Young

Yoav Oelsner

Yoav Oelsner, an investment sales broker formerly with Grubb & Ellis, joined Jones Lang LaSalle the company announced this afternoon.

Mr. Oelsner will work with JLL executives Richard Baxter, Jon Caplan, Ron Cohen, Scott Latham and Glenn Tolchin, JLL’s investment sales group. The move will reunite Mr. Oelsner with the team, who he had previously worked with at Cushman & Wakefield over two years ago before leaving for Grubb & Ellis to join a sales group led by Vincent Carrega and Neil Helman. Months after Mr. Oelsner departed C&W, Mr. Baxter and the rest of the sales team separately left C&W in 2010 to go to JLL. Read More

Bulding sales

$26.5 Million Sale of Daytop Building May be Stymied by Bankrupcy

54 West 40th Street

Daytop Village’s bankruptcy earlier this month may stymie a nearly two-year old deal to sell its Bryant Park headquarters a source told The Commercial Observer.

In 2010, the drug and alcohol treatment facility reached an agreement to hand the 50,000-square-foot building, 54 West 40th Street, to investor Eric Hadar for $26.5 million. The transaction was arranged to close however only after Daytop found space to lease so it could relocate – a deal it never secured. Read More

Mortgage Beat

JLL Brokers $120 Million Sale of 10-14 West 57th Street

10-14 West 57th Street

An affiliate of the Solow Organization has purchased 10-14 West 57th Street, the former Henri Bendel building, for $120 million according to the seller’s law firm. Jones Lang LaSalle brokered the sale.

Trigon 57 LLC, an affiliate of Trigon Equities, sold the building and was represented by David Mandel, Christine McGuinness and Marina Rabinovich at law firm Schiff Hardin LLP. Nixon Peabody represented the buyer. Read More

Sales Beat

Thor Closes on $130 Million 5th Avenue Buy

520 Fifth

Real estate investor Joe Sitt, chief executive of Thor Equities, has closed on the purchase 516, 518 and 520 Fifth Avenue, three office and retail buildings on the corner of 43rd Street, for $130 million from RFR Realty.

Thor Equities went into contract on the buildings in December last year, unveiling plans to demolish them and build a 290,000 square foot glass property in their place that would house 30,000-40,000 square feet of retail on its lower floors and a hotel upstairs. Read More

Investment Sales 2012

Jones Lang LaSalle’s Richard Baxter on 75 Rockefeller Plaza and 10 East 53rd

Richard Baxter. (Illustration by Joao Maio Pinto)

The investment sales market, most brokers agree, has been heating up over the past 12 months. Approximately $25.8 billion in commercial properties changed hands last year, a turnaround that represented an 88 percent increase over 2010. But while the positive uptick is easily verifiable, what happens next for Manhattan’s investment sales market is still up in the air.

Accordingly, The Commercial Observer set out to speak with the real estate industry’s most accomplished capital markets and sales practitioners to learn what’s in store for 2012. Over the next several days, we’ll post interviews with heavy hitters like Darcy Stacom and William Shanahan of CBRE, J.D. Parker of Marcus & Millichap, Woody Heller of Studley and Peter Hausperg of Eastern Consolidated. But, first, after the jump, none other than Richard Baxter of Jones Lang LaSalle. Read More

Power Broker

Richard Baxter Dishes on the Drama Behind the Deals at Casa Lever


It was lunchtime at Casa Lever, the high-end restaurant in the iconic Lever House, and Richard Baxter was on his BlackBerry negotiating.

It was a busy year for Mr. Baxter and his colleagues at Jones Lang LaSalle. His four-man team comprised some of the city’s most prominent brokers of large-scale commercial office buildings, and as the Manhattan sales market’s post-recessionary thaw continues, Mr. Baxter estimated that the group had tallied an impressive $1.3 billion in deals this year.

Three days before Christmas, however, it wasn’t one particular skyscraper Mr. Baxter was bargaining over from his plum seat at Casa Lever. In a year-end rush, his group had loose ends to tie up, deals to close and transactions still in the works. And so, on this particular Thursday amid a bustling lunch crowd, Mr. Baxter was not negotiating with a buyer or a building owner, but rather one of his own assistants, whom he was asking to stay late to receive critical documents and to help get the team through the rest of the day. Read More