Mortgage Observer

Starwood Loans $480M For Giant San Francisco Mixed-use Project

181 Fremont Street

San Francisco-based developer Jay Paul Company grabbed a whopping $480 million in construction funds from Starwood Property Trust to continue building 181 Fremont Street, a mixed-use project in San Francisco’s uber-trendy South of Market neighborhood.

The building will have 400,000 square feet of office space, 65 residential condominiums and a retail component, according to Starwood executives. Construction began last November, according to published reports. At the time, Jay Paul estimated the cost of the project to be $500 million. Read More

Wired City

Does Wifi Actually Add Lease Appeal?

WIFI

It was announced last week that Google donated $600,000 to fund a San Francisco Wifi network.

New York City should be so lucky—sadly, we aren’t far enough behind to warrant such a charitable act. Therefore, it’s up to landlords to foot the bill for wireless. Read More

The Sit-Down

ABS Partners’ Ashkán Zandieh on the Sociology of Tech and NYC’s Race Against San Francisco

Ashkán Zandieh

“The ability to socialize and collaborate is one of the founding blocks of creating a tech community,” writes Ashkán Zandieh, director of the creative and start-up advisory division at ABS Partners Real Estate, in the latest edition of his quarter TechStarter report. Mr. Zandieh has been involved with the technology sector for seven years. He created and sold a start-up, has advised several fledgling companies and tracked the field’s real estate activity for the past year. From ABS Partner’s Union Square area office, Mr. Zandieh is well-positioned to observe and dissect the red hot Midtown South tech real estate market and, if he looks south, the growth of the Financial District as a tech and new media contender.

Mr Zandieh spoke by phone with The Commercial Observer.

The Commercial Observer: How is the tech-fueled Midtown South commercial real estate market holding up?

Mr. Zandieh: The average asking rental price per square foot increased from an estimated $38 per-square-foot in 2011 and 2012 to nearly $60 per square foot for Class B buildings in Midtown South in the first quarter of 2013. What’s pretty interesting is that we’re seeing a Class B transition–there’s a fuzzy line between Class B and Class C.

So young companies are still drawn to, and able to afford, the neighborhood?

A lot of the start-ups I’m working with now are down in Soho and expanding by 20 or 30 employees. They’re moving out of Soho and to NoMad, where they can get larger floor plates. By NoMad, I mean 23rd Street to 28th Street between Park and Seventh Avenues. Read More

The World’s Most Expensive Retail & Office Space–CBRE Study

Hong Kong boasts the most expensive shopping and office space in the world, according to a report by CBRE (photo by Xopherlance on flickr)

CBRE released a study today, showing that top tier retail areas in New York have held value, with Fifth Avenue’s rents increasing significantly. The new study lists the top shopping destinations on the planet, as well as the most valuable office space markets, and Hong Kong tops both categories.

“In simplest terms, globally the retail Read More