Wired City

Upgrading NYC: Rockefeller Center

THE ROCK: AT&T hopes to banish spotty cell phone service

“Upgrading NYC” is a series sponsored by AT&T in which we interview owners of and tenants in Manhattan commercial buildings that have recently upgraded their wireless connectivity. This week we look at Rockefeller Center.”

In 1996, a partnership including Tishman Speyer paid $1.2 billion to purchase Rockefeller Center from Mitsubishi. The new landlord renovated the Read More


Retailers Ring in Holidays While Trotting Out the New

Rockefeller Center

Like visions of sugarplums dancing before a retailer’s eyes, cash-dripping tourists are streaming into the city this holiday season. And these shopkeepers are offering the tourists a few visions of their own.

From the window displays of the big-name department stores to the Union Square Holiday Market and the latest new offerings in Soho, ‘tis the season to be jolly for New York City retailers. Read More

Food & Drink

Rainbow Room Reopens to Public for Brunch This Sunday

The new Rainbow Room at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. (Bart Barlow)

The historic Rainbow Room will be reopening to the public for brunch on Sunday after a private opening party on Wednesday. Then on Monday night the Rainbow Room, on the 65th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, will be open for dinner.

Owner and operator Tishman Speyer oversaw the renovations which included an updated dining room, two new lounge spaces, one of which will be open to the public, and a 950-foot wraparound terrace. The company declined to indicate the price tag through a spokeswoman. Gabellini Sheppard Architects, the architecture firm which reimagined Rockefeller Center‘s observation deck, Top of the Rock, designed the Rainbow Room’s public spaces. Read More

On the Market

NGKF Shows Off 1251 Avenue of the Americas

David Falk and Christopher Perez

Fresh off of closing on a law firm lease at the Rockefeller Center area building once known as the headquarters of Exxon, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and Mitsui Fudosan invited brokers to view 1251 Avenue of the Americas and visualize filling the five available floors with new tenants.

The Japan-based landlord and its longtime representatives from NGKF showcased the 100-yard-long, column-free space available on the 51st floor of the 2.3-million-square-foot structure with breathtaking views in order to woo prospective tenants. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Hidrock Scores $45M in Acquisition Funds From Bank of Ozarks, Ladder

12 East 48th Street

Bank of the Ozarks and Ladder Capital lent $45.5 million in funds for a seasoned New York City investor to buy a three-lot land assemblage in the Rockefeller Center area for $47 million, Mortgage Observer has learned. The buyer, HID Acquisition Group LLC, a subsidiary of Hidrock Realty, closed on the parcels last month and plans to build a residential condominium, Hidrock’s CEO said.

Bank of the Ozarks provided $26 million in a senior mortgage, while Ladder Capital lent $19.5 million in mezzanine funds, a source told MO. Read More

The Sit-Down

JLL’s Downtown Don: John Wheeler

John Wheeler. (Credit: Lea Rubin)

John Wheeler was tapped in March 2012 to run JLL’s lower Manhattan office after returning to the firm in 2009. He is a managing director at the company and has been with JLL for 14 years. He had two stints working on the principle side of the business for Gramercy Capital and Antares Real Estate Partners. Today he directs JLL’s efforts on Gramercy Capital’s 13.5-million-square-foot national portfolio. A couple of his key transactions have been a 500,000-square-foot sublease to Morgan Stanley at 1 New York Plaza and a 450,000-square-foot master lease to the City of New York at 180 Water Street. In his entire career, Mr. Wheeler, 52, has negotiated 13 million square feet of leases for clients. Last week, Commercial Observer sat down with Mr. Wheeler in his office at 140 Broadway and talked about lower Manhattan post-Superstorm Sandy, leasing prices being pushed from the bottom up and the newly distinguished submarket of the Water Street corridor. 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

Behind the turnstile

A Look Inside Columbus Circle’s Turn-Style

Rendering of the Turn-Style marketplace

Get ready for a dynamic 14,750-square-foot transit marketplace just outside of the Columbus Circle subway station. Called Turn-Style, the underground concourse will comprise 34 stores ranging from 153 to 662 square feet when it opens in the spring of 2015. The rents are $300 to $400 per square foot for five- to 10-year terms, according to the Lansco retail team of Lisa Rosenthal, Ryan Bergman and Robin Abrams that is marketing the space.

Commercial Observer got its hands on the marketing flyer for Turn-Style, which includes some cool renderings and interesting details about the project. Read More

Lease Beat

Law firm Signs Dotted Line for Space at Rock Center

Atlas Statue at Rockefeller Center

Law firm Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady is moving to bigger digs at Rockefeller Center, Commercial Observer has learned.

The firm, which has an active commercial and real estate litigation practice, is expanding its office space by more than 4,000 square feet to 16,163 square feet comprising the entire 10th floor at 600 Fifth Avenue near 48th Street. Read More

Transwestern to Lease Olympic Tower, Home to the NBA


Transwestern has been awarded the exclusive office leasing assignment for Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue, home to the National Basketball Association

The 18-floor, 400,000-square-foot office building along Fifth Avenue, between 51st and 52nd Streets, in the Plaza District offers expansive views of Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center and the spires of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Read More

Lease Beat

TAG Associates Leaving Rock Center for SL Green Building


Multi-family office and portfolio management firm TAG Associates is relocating its corporate headquarters to SL Green’s 810 Seventh Avenue after spending nearly three decades at Rockefeller Center.

810 TAG Associates Leaving Rock Center for SL Green Building The firm signed a 10-year, 22,437-square-foot lease for the 7th floor of the 41-story, 694,000-square-foot office tower. Read More

Mortgage Observer

HFF’s New York Office Still in Growth Mode as Michael Tepedino Starts Seventh Year at the Helm

Michael Tepedino (Photo by  Michael Nagle)

When HFF’s New York office negotiated its first major deal in 1998, Michael Tepedino, a recently hired broker at the time, and his colleagues called on Cigna, an “old-line relationship” that one of them knew on the life insurance side of the business.

The borrower, SL Green Realty Corp., was by no means desperate to find a lender. Read More

Related's Hudson Yards

Related Taps Artist Thomas Heatherwork for Hudson Yards Centerpiece


Related CompaniesStephen Ross has reportedly selected British artist and designer Thomas Heatherwick to create the artistic center piece for the new public space at Hudson Yards.

Mr. Heatherwick, know for the Olympic cauldron at the 2012 London Games, will team with landscape architect Thomas Woltz to design the four-acre space with a large-scale artwork – Read More

The Sit-Down

Rise of the Machines: Robot Garage Will Be North America’s Largest


Perry Finkelman at times sounds like he’s describing something from a science-fiction movie. The CEO of Automotion Parking Systems talks of designing machines, manipulating machines—even machines that send text messages. It’s not Rise of the Machines he speaks of … not exactly. But the technology that will control the 697-car underground parking garage that Automation plans to Read More