Mortgage Observer

Doing Deals in Any Economic Climate: TF Cornerstone

From left: Jeremy Shell and Tom Elghanayan of TF Cornerstone

On September 10, 2001, the Elghanayan brothers, then operating as Rockrose Development, closed a loan for a luxury rental building in Battery Park City. However, the loan had not funded. The following day was, obviously, a devastating one for New York City. The damage left much in doubt—especially real estate developments in the immediate area of the World Trade Center. But the lenders, the New York Common Fund and New York Life, who could easily have opted not to provide the money in light of the terrorist attacks, decided to go ahead and fund the loan anyway. And that was because they knew the borrowers so well.

“They did it as a sign of faith in Elghanayan and in New York,” said Andrew Singer, chairman and CEO of The Singer & Bassuk Organization, who has worked with K. Thomas and Frederick Elghanayan—the founders and principals of TF Cornerstone—since 1975. He also brokered the loan for that development, at 2 River Terrace. Read More

Lease Beat

David Barton Gym Opens in West Village

Courtesy of GVSHP

Known for its unique blend of grit and glamour, David Barton Gym will be opening a new location at The Archive at 666 Greenwich Street in the West Village.

The gym will take approximately 12,950-square-feet of Rockrose Development‘s 10-story residential building. Formerly a US Appraiser’s warehouse, the building was converted to nearly 500 loft-like apartments in the late 1980s. Read More


Ballroom Waltz: A Minute-By-Minute Account of Last Night’s REBNY Gala

REBNY Ballroom final

Thursday’s Real Estate Board of New York gala packed an estimated 2,400 guests into the Hilton New York’s overstuffed Grand Ballroom—an increase from last year by about 200. The Commercial Observer walked the room, hobnobbed with brokers and landlords and taste-tested a dinner of steak and potatoes while washing it all down with a few stiff drinks. Staff Reporters Karsten Strauss and Al Barbarino get the inside dish.

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The Sit-Down

Anita’s Way: Douglas Durst’s Eldest Daughter Merges Art with Real Estate

Anita Durst and colleague Kim Schnaubert, development director of Chashama. (Photo courtesy Kiki Conway)

Since launching Chashama 17 years ago out of her father Douglas Durst’s building on 44th Street in Times Square, Anita Durst has helped locate affordable or free studio and gallery space for hundreds of artists in all five boroughs. With a portfolio of 17 spaces, donated by the likes of Rockrose Development and New York City, Chashama currently manages an estimated $2 million in real estate. On the eve of the group’s Gala Monday, Mr. Durst’s eldest daughter spoke to The Commercial Observer about lessons learned from her famous family, what’s in store for her arts program in the upcoming months, and how dad helped her land a role on the sitcom 30 Rock. Read More

The Sit-Down


Thomas Elghanayan

With three dozen projects underway in Long Island City, the brothers behind Rockrose Development—two of whom split to form TF Cornerstone in 2009—are poised to compete against one another for prize renters and retailers in what is rapidly becoming Queens’s answer to Williamsburg and Dumbo. TF Cornerstone chairman Thomas Elghanayan spoke to The Commercial Observer about the EastCoast, his firm’s waterfront rental complex, the infamous Rockrose Development coin toss, and his tense relationship with brother Henry Elghanayan, chief executive of Rockrose Development. Read More