Wrecking Ball

Silverstein Seeks Demo Permit for Hudson Yards Tower [Updated]

Rendering of 520 West 41st Street

Larry Silverstein‘s Silverstein Properties is seeking a permit to demolish a Hudson Yards building, according to a Department of Buildings document. That would pave the way for the developer’s planned mixed-use tower, which would soar 1,100 feet into the sky.

Attorneys for Silverstein Properties presented their case for changing the zoning of the Hudson Yards site at 520 West 41st Street in the proposal’s first public hearing at the Department of City Planning at the end of last month, as Commercial Observer previously reported.  Read More

Lease Beat

Three-Way Deal Moves Jewelers to Fifth Avenue Showroom [Updated]

529 Fifth Avenue.

Jewelry manufacturer Sasha Primak will move three blocks south of its current Diamond District offices by the end of the year through a 15-year, 12,455-square-feet lease at Silverstein Properties529 Fifth AvenueCommercial Obsever has learned.

The move coincides with a relocation by the previous occupant, Leo Schachter Diamonds, to a company-owned commercial condo in the District’s International Gem Tower at 50 West 47th Street, an arrangement that didn’t jibe with the other diamond manufacturing company’s existing lease through 2017 at the Fifth Avenue building and caused Schachter to enlist TOWN Fifth Avenue associate broker Leah Rubin to find a new tenant for their former space, Ms. Rubin said. Read More

Real Estate and Politics

Three of Five Developers Haven’t Cashed In Controversial Tax Exemption

99 Church Street

The five controversial tax break eligibilities for luxury housing developers that state lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo carved out for five developers in January 2013 legislation have sparked controversy, speculation and investigation, but only two of the developers have actually applied for and received the 421-a exemptions thus far.

The eligibilities for Silverstein Properties at 99 Church Street, Thor Equities at 520 Fifth Avenue, Friedman Management at 113 Nassau Street, Fisher Brothers at 78-86 Trinity Place and Extell Development Company at 157 West 57th Street reportedly showed up on a subpoena for the Real Estate Board of New York drafted by investigators with the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption before the governor’s office intervened. But three of the developers have yet to apply to the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and the other two received the exemption in exchange for building affordable housing. Read More

Zoning

Silverstein Will Roll Out Case for Hudson Yards Mega-High Rise

Rendering of 520 West 41st Street

Attorneys for Silverstein Properties will present their case for turning a two-acre Hudson Yards site at 520 West 41st Street into a 1,100-foot-tall residential and commercial tower in the proposal’s first public hearing at the Department of City Planning tomorrow morning.

The plan would turn “Projected Development Site 46” of the 2005 rezoning from a potential office tower to a mega-high rise with 1,400 residential units, 175 units of corporate housing, 300,000 square feet of retail space and a 10,000-square-foot covered public open space; and the Silverstein team will argue with Chairman Larry Silverstein‘s signature vehemence on Thursday that only residential development would unlock the potential of the site that’s adjacent to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and approaches to the Lincoln Tunnel. Read More

Lease Beat

MediaMath Seals 4 WTC Deal This Morning [Updated]

4 World Trade Center. (Silverstein Properties)

Digital media buying platform MediaMath has sealed a 15-year deal to move from Midtown to 106,000 square feet at 4 World Trade Center. It is the first private-sector tenant for the Financial District building.

The deal was signed this morning in the mid-$70s per square foot and MediaMath scored $5.8 million in incentives through the federally funded Job Creation and Retention Program offered jointly by Empire State Development and Economic Development Corporation. Plus the company will get as-of-right incentives in place at the building for all tenants, according to the 4 WTC website. Read More

Mortgage Observer

PA Board Votes Down Guarantee for 3WTC, But Paves Way For Tower To Rise

A rendering of 3 World Trade Center

The Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey voted unanimously today for a new financing scheme for the completion of office tower 3 World Trade Center, but stopped short of issuing a $1.2 billion loan guarantee.

The plan retains most of the funding provisions in the original 2010 agreement between the Port Authority, which owns the 16-acre site, and Silverstein Properties, which is developing it. Read More

World Trade Center

Slideshow: Inside the World Trade Center

11 Photos

Midtown Manhattan

Silverstein Properties invited Commercial Observer for an exclusive three-hour tour of the ear-popping existing buildings on the World Trade Center site, and the views were stunning. Even after a difficult week in which the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey thwarted Chairman Larry Silverstein‘s effort to get additional construction financing for 3 World Trade Center, Read More

Cover Story

Tower Power Play: Up Close and Personal with the World Trade Center Amid Roiling Debate

4 WTC

The springtime breeze is nice on the 57th-floor outdoor terrace of 4 World Trade Center. With a vista stretching from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building and across the East River to Queens, the building will reward employees of whatever company snaps up the available 34,000-square-foot floor with a break room in the clouds.

But far down below that rarefied air, there’s intense scrutiny of a potential construction loan to complete one of the six new towers at the site. The same goes for the memorial park, the transit hub, the retail center and the performing arts center that will also one day adorn the spot where the 9/11 tragedy destroyed the twin towers and their surroundings 13 years ago. 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

World Trade Center

Port Authority Delays Vote on 3 World Trade Center

World Trade Center

Port Authority commissioners expressed confidence they would reach agreement on a potential $1.2 billion loan guarantee for 3 World Trade Center Wednesday despite another delay in the vote on the contentious financing package.

Agency leaders are negotiating with Silverstein Properties, the developer of the proposed 80-story tower, to use more private capital and expose the Port Authority to less risk. But officials shared no timeline on a vote for the financing scheme and gave few details on the prospective capital providers. Read More

World Trade Center

Port Authority Delays Vote on 3 WTC Subsidies

A rendering of 3 World Trade Center

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has postponed its vote on subsidies for Silverstein Properties3 World Trade Center until at least next month, according to published reports.

As previously reported, Scott Rechler, the vice chairman of the board of commissioners, is advocating a revised financing deal for the office tower. Under the latest proposal, the Port Authority would guarantee Silverstein Properties a $1.2 billion construction loan. At a meeting on Wednesday, Mr. Rechler explained the proposal to the board’s commissioners, which will vote next month, according to Bloomberg News. Read More

Hotel Beat

Manhattan’s Hotel Project Pipeline Climbs

Rendering of the Four Seasons entrance at 30 Park Place. (Credit: Silverstein Properties website)

The number of hotels in Manhattan’s pipeline has gone up this year compared with last year, while the room count has dropped, according to new data.

Manhattan has 79 hotels with 15,071 rooms in the planning stages, final planning stages or construction as of February, according to statistics provided by lodging industry benchmarking services firm STR to Commercial Observer. That includes 43 that are in construction. Meanwhile, the number of active hotels in February 2013 was 71, but the number of hotel rooms was 15,133. Read More

World Trade Center

Port Authority Debates 3 World Trade Center Subsidies

A rendering of 3 World Trade Center

Members of the board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are at odds over whether to double the amount of subsidies available for Silverstein Properties3 World Trade Center to $1.2 billion, according to The New York Times.

Scott Rechler, the vice chairman of the Port Authority and chief executive of RXR Realty, is spearheading the proposal, arguing that construction of the tower would mark the completion of the new World Trade Center site. Read More

Tech Beat

View the Space to Launch Mobile Platform

View the Space's Andrew Flint (left), the head of business development, and Ryan Massiello, the chief revenue officer with the new mobile app on his phone

Commercial real estate leasing startup View the Space is preparing to introduce a mobile reporting platform, Commercial Observer has learned.

Next week, the real-time data provider, which aims to streamline the leasing process for brokers and landlords, will introduce the mobile platform for iPhone and iPad after beta testing the product for the last couple of weeks. Read More

World Trade Center

REBNY President Steven Spinola Honors Larry Silverstein

L to R: Larry Silverstein, Steven Spinola

REBNY President Steven Spinola is praising friend and Silverstein Properties, Inc. Chairman Larry Silverstein for the progress made at the World Trade Center site and his various contributions to New York City real estate.

Mr. Spinola published an article in Real Estate Weekly yesterday highlighting and lauding Mr. Silverstein’s accomplishments encompassing “more than a lifetime’s worth of success” following the 82-year-old’s recent announcement that he would step down as co-CEO of SPI.

Read More