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 Linda 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

Leasing Assignments

Transwestern to Lease Olympic Tower, Home to the NBA

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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

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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 Begins His Seventh Year at the Helm

Mike 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

Heatherwick

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

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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

Lease Beat

DZ Bank Renews Nearly 30,000 SF at 609 Fifth Avenue

609 Fifth Avenue

DZ Bank has signed a 10-year extension of its 29,524-square-foot lease at SL Green Realty Corp.’s 609 Fifth Avenue, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The bank, one of Germany’s largest leading international commercial financial institutions, will continue to occupy the entire 7th and 8th floors of the 13-story, 156,700-square-foot boutique office building.

“We are delighted Read More

Lease Beat

Metropolitan Real Estate Relocating to 650 Fifth Avenue

650 Fifth Avenue

International investment advisory firm Metropolitan Real Estate is moving its New York headquarters from 135 East 57th Street to 650 Fifth Avenue, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The firm signed an 11-year lease for 11,289 square feet, taking the entire 29th floor of the 36-story, 382,500-square-foot office building located in the Plaza District on 52nd Street, on the northern edge of Rockefeller Center. 

“We are excited to add Metropolitan Real Estate to the growing list of excellent tenants at 650 Fifth Avenue,” said Dr. Houshang Ahmadi, president of the not-for-profit Alavi Foundation, the majority owner and managing partner of 650 Fifth Avenue Company. Read More

Lease Beat

Schnipper’s Signs Lease at 570 Lexington

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Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen has signed a lease to occupy 3,021 square feet of ground level retail and storage space at 570 Lexington Avenue, The Feil Organization announced today, confirming previous published reports that the fast-casual restaurant was eyeing the space.

Known for its burgers, fries, shakes and other old-fashioned American-style offerings, the restaurant will open in the fourth quarter of 2013, joining upscale restaurant Mr. K’s at the property.

“We wanted a tenant that would be an amenity for the building and the area,” said Brian Feil, VP of Leasing at the firm, in a statement.  “There are not a lot of fast-casual restaurants in the area and Schnipper’s will be perfectly situated to serve this prestigious Lexington Avenue corporate corridor.” Read More

Tonight Moves

Once Johnny Carson’s Punchline, Seventh Floor 30 Rock Commissary to Be Home for Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show

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The drama engulfing NBC’s morning programming is, for the moment, drowning out the beleaguered network’s late night personnel shift. But The Tonight Show’s move back to New York could set up where 30 Rockefeller Center employees ate lunch.

Sources within NBC’s 30 Rock headquarters tell The Commercial Observer that when Jimmy Fallon replaces Jay Leno as Tonight Show host—and returns the gabfest to Midtown after four decades in Burbank, California—the program will film in a studio constructed on the seventh floor, where an NBC commissary once made famous as a routine punchline for Johnny Carson was located until a few month ago. Read More

Sales Beat

Comcast Seals its $1.3 B. Piece of 30 Rock

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Comcast has closed on its $1.3 billion purchase of 1.3 million square feet of office and studio space at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, city records confirm.

The transaction was part of the media and communications giant’s $16.7 billion purchase of a 49 percent stake in NBCUniversal from General Electric, announced last month.

The location, the centerpiece of Rockefeller Center, is host to the property’s annual Christmas tree lighting and inspiration for the title of NBC’s television series “30 Rock.” Read More

Lease Beat

Real Estate Firm TGM Associates Renews at 650 Fifth Avenue

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TGM Associates, a New York-based investment advisory firm focused on multifamily properties, has renewed its 11,280 square-foot lease at 650 Fifth Avenue, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The firm takes the entire 28th floor of the 36-story, 382,500-square-foot office building located in the Plaza District on 52nd Street, on the northern edge of Rockefeller Center.

“The fact that an entity immersed in the real estate industry has continued its commitment in this building speaks volumes about the ownership and the manner in which business is conducted at 650 Fifth Avenue,” said CBRE’s Paul Haskin, who represented the landlord, 650 Fifth Avenue Company, with Robert Stillman and Zachary Freeman.  CBRE is the exclusive office leasing agent and property manager at the building. Read More