Midtown East Rezoning

1 Vanderbilt Gets the Go-Ahead from City Council

A rendering of 1 Vanderbilt (image: Kohn Pedersen Fox)

The New York City Council this afternoon unanimously approved SL Green Realty Corp.’s proposal for a new office tower, 1 Vanderbilt, in the heart of Midtown East. The Council also gave the green light for the rezoning of the Vanderbilt Corridor, the five-block stretch that spans from East 42nd to East 47th Streets.

“It is time to unlock the economic development potential in East Midtown,” said Council Member Daniel R. Garodnick in prepared remarks. “The area has gotten stuck in outdated rules, and has lost some of its competitiveness over time. That is going to change today, starting with the Vanderbilt Corridor—where we will open the door to additional density in exchange for much-needed improvements to our transit system.” Read More

Sales Beat

SL Green To Buy Eleven Madison Avenue

Eleven Madison Avenue.

In one of the largest real estate transactions in New York City history, SL Green Realty Corp. will acquire Eleven Madison Avenue for $2.285 billion, according to a press release issued by the company.

First reported by Bloomberg Business, the company will buy the 29-story, 2.3 million square-foot trophy property from The Sapir Organization and CIM Group. The building sits between East 24th and East 25th Streets and serves as Credit Suisse Group’s U.S. headquarters. Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

Vanderbilt Rezoning Takes Giant Leap Forward

Today's press conference outside of City Hall.

In a display of synergy between government and real estate, the New York City Council’s zoning subcommittee, which is part of the land use committee, approved the creation of a special permit to increase the density of the buildings along the five-block Vanderbilt Corridor.

“We are here today to say that East Midtown is back,” said City Council Member Dan Garodnick at a press conference this morning on the steps of City Hall preceding the 7 to 0 vote. “For too long, this area has been stuck.” Read More

Lease Beat

Blink Fitness Stretching Into SL Green’s 125 Park Avenue

125 Park Avenue (Photo: CoStar).

Blink Fitness has taken 17,000 square feet in the basement level of SL Green Realty Corp.‘s 125 Park Avenue, sources with knowledge of the deal told Commercial Observer. The gym will open by the end of the year.

Equinox Fitness’ discount gym chain is paying $70 per square foot at the 26-story, 572,705-square-foot tower, between East 41st and 42nd Streets, the sources said. Read More

Power 100

NYC’s Top 10 Biggest Landlords

Brookfield Place.

Any look at a power list should include a glance at the raw data. The city’s four biggest landlords control nearly 20 percent of the market, blowing away the rest of the building owners, according to data compiled by CoStar Group for Commercial Observer. The list includes existing office buildings, as well as those under construction and under renovation.

Brookfield Asset Management has the biggest market share of property in New York City (4.98 percent) with 27.5 million square feet, as ranked by rentable building area, followed closely behind by SL Green Realty Corp. (4.93 percent) with 27.2 million square feet. Vornado Realty Trust ranked third (4.46 percent) with 24.7 million square feet. Read More

Lease Beat

Bloomberg, WeWork Sign Deals at SL Green Properties

315 West 36th Street.

Both Bloomberg LP and WeWork have signed enormous leases for space at two SL Green Realty Corp. properties, according to a press release issued today by the real estate firm.

Bloomberg has expanded its presence at 919 Third Avenue between East 55th and East 56 Streets. In a 15-year lease, it has taken eight floors, or 254,556 square feet, at the 47-story, 1.5-million-square-foot building. In February, Commercial Observer reported that the firm had taken 150,000 square feet at the property, which is near its headquarters at 731 Lexington Avenue. For this deal, Crain’s New York Business reported that Bloomberg was paying in the mid-$50s per square foot. Read More

Lease Beat

Children’s Aid Society Signs 29K-SF Sublease With Condé Nast

711 Third Avenue (Photo: CoStar).

Nonprofit Children’s Aid Society has signed a 29,240-square-foot deal with sublandlord Condé Nast at office building 711 Third Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

“The Children’s Aid Society sought new headquarters space following the sale of its long-term home at the United Charities Building on Charity Row in Manhattan,” said JLL‘s Ellen Herman in prepared remarks. “The nonprofit was able to achieve exceptional value from the sale of the property and is relocating to newer space at 711 Third Avenue. The transaction puts the organization one block away from Grand Central Terminal and down the street from another of its locations.” Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

Planning Commission Approves 1 Vanderbilt Application

A rendering of 1 Vanderbilt (image: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates).

The City Planning Commission today unanimously approved the 1 Vanderbilt application for SL Green Realty Corp.’s proposed 64-story office tower and the rezoning of the Vanderbilt corridor in Midtown. This brings the high-profile property, which is setting out to reinvigorate the Grand Central Terminal area, one step closer to life.

The vote, which reportedly went fairly swiftly, was an opportunity for commissioners to stress this is the type of development that should be materializing in Midtown. Read More


Market Share: With Companies Looking to Cut Costs, Office Shares Are All the Rage

One of the shared space companies taking NYC is PivotDesk.

The powers that be in New York City have done a great job of attracting startups—keeping them, however, is another issue.

But an up-close view of the Empire State Building is increasingly becoming a viable option for young businesses. Why? Co-working companies—which offer cut-rate office space so long as tenants are willing to share—are rushing into the Midtown South market, and beyond. Read More

Lease Beat

Swatch Signs Lease for Balance of 1515 Broadway Retail Space

1515 Broadway.

Swatch last Friday signed a 15-year lease for 2,113 square feet in SL Green Realty Corp. and SITQ’s 1515 Broadway with an asking rent of $2,400 per square foot, said Jeffrey Roseman at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, who acted on behalf of the owners in the deal. Marc Leber of NGKF also worked on the transaction.

The multinational watch and jewelry company joins footwear company Skechers USA in the ground-floor space. In December, Skechers signed a 10-year lease with a five-year option for approximately 3,700 square feet, according to a press release from SL Green and Mr. Roseman. Read More

Lease Beat

Bloomberg LP Inks Deal for 150K SF in Midtown

919 Third Avenue.

Bloomberg LP has signed a lease for 150,000 square feet at 919 Third Avenue between East 55th and East 56th Streets, close to its Lexington Avenue headquarters.

The company, founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 1981, is paying rents in the mid-$50s per square foot, according to Crain’s New York Business, which reported the deal. Bloomberg LP declined to comment.  Read More

Lease Beat

Asset Manager Expands to 26K SF at 1350 Avenue of the Americas

1350 Avenue of the Americas.

A global alternative asset manager focused on event-driven investment opportunities has signed an early renewal and expansion at 1350 Avenue of the Americas, a source with intimate knowledge of the deal told Commercial Observer.

P. Schoenfeld Asset Management occupies 20,000 square feet on the 20th and 21st floors at SL Green Realty Corp.‘s building between West 54th and West 55th Streets, and signed a 10-year lease to grow its space to 25,854 square feet amassing those two floors in their entirety, the source said. Read More

Lease Beat

Biz Finance Lender Subleases 16K SF From DeVry in Midtown

120 West 45th Street (SL Green Realty Corp.'s website).

A business finance lender specializing in small businesses has sealed a deal to sublease nearly 16,000 square feet at a Midtown tower from DeVry University, a source with intimate knowledge of the deal told Commercial Observer.

Strategic Funding Source will move into 15,667 square feet on the entire second floor and a part of the sixth floor through a seven-year sublease at SL Green Realty Corp.‘s 120 West 45th Street, also called Tower 45, into space DeVry was using for classrooms and offices, the source said. The asking rent in the building, which is between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue, is $70 per square foot. Read More

Lease Beat

Crystal Designer Swarovski Takes 18,000 SF in Midtown East

10 East 53rd Street.

Austrian crystal maker Swarovski signed an 11-year-deal for 17,850 square feet at SL Greene Realty Corp.‘s 10 East 53rd Street, according to a press release from SL Greene. The lease is for the entire 26th and 27th floors of the 37-story tower between Fifth and Madison Avenues, according to the landlord. The 354,046-square-foot-building is currently undergoing a $64 million renovation.

Mark Mandell of Cushman & Wakefield represented Swarovski in the transaction, while JLL‘s Paul Glickman, Cynthia Wasserberger, Alexander Chudnoff, Frank Doyle, Mitti Liebersohn and Benjamin Bass represented the landlord. Representatives from Cushman & Wakefield and JLL were not immediately available for comment. Read More