Lease Beat

Samuel A. Ramirez & Co. Extends and Expands Lease Downtown

61 Broadway.

Samuel A. Ramirez & Co. has extended its lease at 61 Broadway between Rector and Morris Streets, Commercial Observer has learned. According to a source familiar with the deal, the securities broker that has been a building tenant since the 1970s extended its lease through 2027. It was set to expire in 2017.

At the end of last month, the firm expanded its 18,000-square-foot lease to 24,000 square feet, Crain’s New York Business reported. The firm will occupy the entire 29th floor of the 33-story building. Another tenant relocated within the building to make the space available, according to a source familiar with the deal. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Old New York: 32 Old Slip

32 Old Slip.

A look at the history of 32 Old Slip in Lower Manhattan, originally the site of a building held by the United States Assay Office—the last public gold refinery in the country. Since then the 1.2-million-square-foot property has been through multiple sales and a big turnaround following Hurricane Sandy. Read More

Power Broker

Ambassador Rechler of RXR Realty

RXR Realty's Seth Pinsky and Scott Rechler, from left. (Aaron Adler)

It’s not often that the top real estate honchos are willing, dare we say eager, to call a reporter from the mountains of North Africa to talk about one of their colleagues.

But when it came to talking about Scott Rechler, they called from far and wide over the holidays to heap praise on the chief executive officer and chairman of RXR Realty. Developer Joseph Sitt, the head of Thor Equities, for one, phoned Commercial Observer last week from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.  Read More

Sales Beat

RXR in Contract to Buy 32 Old Slip for $675M

32 Old Slip. (CoStar)

RXR Realty is in contract to purchase the 1.2-million-square-foot Class A commercial building at 32 Old Slip from Beacon Capital Partners for $675 million, a source with intimate knowledge of the deal told Commercial Observer.

One of the 36-story building’s biggest tenants is American International Group, whose 260,000-square-foot lease expires at the end of 2017.  Read More

Lease Beat

Martha Stewart Cafe Isn’t So Much a Cafe as It Is a Kiosk

601 West 26th Street.

Martha Stewart is opening Martha Stewart Cafe inside RXR Realty‘s Starrett-Lehigh Building, as Bloomberg News reported two days ago, but Commercial Observer has learned that the cafe is really a kiosk occupying a mere 150 square feet.

The kiosk, which will replace a seating area on the first floor in the building at 601 West 26th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues, is not enclosed and won’t have any seats, said a source with intimate knowledge of the long-term deal, which was signed within the last 30 days. There were no brokers involved in the deal. Read More

Real Estate and Politics

Rechler Weighs in on New Port Authority Chairman

Scott Rechler.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has elected former New Jersey Attorney General John Degnan as chairman of the bi-state agency’s Board of Commissioners. Scott Rechler, the CEO of RXR Realty and vice chairman of the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners, assumed the chairmanship following David Samson‘s resignation from the position in March. Along with Wednesday’s announcement of Mr. Degnan’s swearing in, the Port Authority indicated the board’s authorization of $90 million in improvements for its 64-year-old bus terminal. Commercial Observer checked in with Mr. Rechler to see how he felt about giving up the temporary chairman post, his greatest accomplishment while serving as chairman and his feelings about his replacement. Read More

Lease Beat

Jennison Associates Renews, Expands at 237 Park Avenue

Rendering of the entrance to 237 Park Avenue.

Jennison Associates has renewed its lease at 237 Park Avenue and expanded by 20,000 square feet.The investment firm’s existing 146,000-square-foot space will be increased to 166,000 square feet across three floors of the building.

The tenant, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prudential Financial, has renewed its lease for 10 years, according to Crain’s New York Business, which first reported the deal. Asking rent for the space was in the $80s per square foot. Read More

Healthy Debate

Rechler: 3 World Trade Center Wrangling Is ‘Healthy’

Scott Rechler.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s fracas over construction financing for 3 World Trade Center has been a positive development in the scrutinized public agency’s quest for greater transparency, the vice chairman of the Port’s board claims.

RXR Realty CEO Scott Rechler, who has led the agency’s board of commissioners since former Chairman David Samson resigned over the fallout from the George Washington Bridge scandal in March, praised the three-month debate over the Port’s potential backing of a loan that would help Silverstein Properties finish 3 World Trade Center. Read More

Renderings

Renderings Revealed for 237 Park Avenue

Rendering of the entrance to 237 Park Avenue.

RXR Realty has released renderings of the revamped 237 Park Avenue after the recent open of the marketing office in the Class A office building.

To create the office, RXR, along with Walton Street Capital, gutted a floor and rebuilt the space at the 21-story building, between 45th and 46th Streets, to highlight the full potential of the 60,000-square-foot floor plate.  Read More

Building Sale

RXR Closes $330M 61 Bway Buy

61 Broadway.

Last Friday, RXR Realty closed on its $330 million purchase of 61 Broadway at Exchange Place, Commercial Observer has learned.

The deal marks RXR’s entree into the lower Manhattan market. RXR wanted the 33-story building because “the building itself has a tremendous amount of character,” it’s a great block with “lots of air and light” and one of RXR’s tenants took a lease there, said Scott Rechler, chairman and chief executive officer at RXR. Read More

PABT

Port Authority Newsstand Lease Renewal Approved with Wage Requirement [Updated]

Port Authority Bus Terminal

Port Authority of New York & New Jersey commissioners approved a $21.3 million lease renewal for Hudson Group Retail’s 17 spaces on six floors of the Port Authority Bus Terminal after tacking on a living wage requirement Wednesday.

The newsstands, office and storage spaces for the New Jersey-based retailer add up to 14,065 square feet. The leases, which have been expired since 2005, would last up to 11.5 years, Michael Francois, the agency’s chief of real estate and development, said during a presentation at the agency’s offices at 225 Park Avenue South. Read More