Lease Beat

Ralph Lauren Expands Its Fabric at Starrett-Lehigh

The Starrett-Lehigh Building.

Ralph Lauren is increasing its waist size at RXR Realty’s Starrett-Lehigh Building.

The high-end designer is upping its foothold by 60,000 square feet so it and a subsidiary can spread out in the building, Crain’s New York Business reported. Ralph Lauren and Club Monaco, the offshoot brand, now have more than 100,000 square feet at the 20-story structure officially at 601 West 26th Street at the corner of 11th Avenue. Read More

Lease Beat

Bourdain Market’s NYC Location Revealed: Pier 57

Pier 57.

Food celebrity Anthony Bourdain has zeroed in on a location for his Bourdain Market: Pier 57 in the Meatpacking District, Commercial Observer has learned.

The chef is in negotiations for 100,000 square feet at the long-abandoned former shipping and passenger terminal at Pier 57, and the food hall will comprise nearly the entire retail portion at the 560,000-square-foot Pier 57, renamed “SuperPier,” at West 15th Street and the Hudson River, sources with knowledge of the deal said. Apparently the TV host is negotiating directly with the developers. Read More

Finance

RXR Takes $785M AIG Loan for Helmsley Buy

230 Park Avenue.

RXR Realty closed a $785 million acquisition loan from American International Group for its purchase of the Helmsley Building at 230 Park Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

Meridian Capital Group negotiated the seven-year loan, according to a person with intimate knowledge of the deal. Read More

Finance, Sales Beat

RXR Completes 32 Old Slip Buy With $325M Loan Brokered by Meridian

32 Old Slip. (CoStar)

Scott Rechler’s RXR Realty closed on its purchase of Manhattan’s 32 Old Slip with a $325 million loan from GE Capital, Commercial Observer has learned. New York-based Meridian Capital Group brokered the financing.

RXR bought the 36-story office building between Front and South Streets from Beacon Capital Partners for $675 million in a deal that closed this week. Read More

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