In Negotiations

The Four Seasons Restaurant Seriously Considers Move

280 Park Avenue.

Oh, the seasons have changed. Following a legal dispute that resulted in the fall removal of a Pablo Picasso canvas that hung on the wall in The Four Seasons Restaurant, the famed eatery is considering a move a bit south, sources with intimate knowledge of the situation told Commercial Observer.

The restaurant, at 99 East 52nd Street in Aby Rosen‘s Seagram Building between Park and Lexington Avenues, has a lease through July 2016, said Four Seasons co-owner Julian Niccolini, and while the eatery is in talks with Mr. Rosen’s firm to stay put, he acknowledged, “we’re considering every opportunity available to us.” Those include 280 Park Avenue and other locations within walking distance from the Seagram Building. Read More

Lease Beat

End Point, Pixel Projects Partner in Park Avenue South Lease

304 Park Avenue South.

End Point Corp. and Pixel Projects have together signed a five-year, 2,755-square-foot lease at 304 Park Avenue South for executive offices, Commercial Observer has learned.

The asking rent in the 12-story SL Green Realty building on the corner of 23rd Street was $65 per square foot, according to a spokeswoman for ABS Partners. End Point, the leading provider of Google’s Liquid Galaxy open source project, and Pixel Projects, which provides AV installations, are slated to move in to their new digs on the second floor tomorrow. The lease was signed on Sept. 30. Read More

Lease Beat

Napier Park Leaves Citigroup HQ for 280 Park Avenue

280 Park Avenue.

Napier Park Global Capital, an independent alternative asset management firm, has signed a new lease at 280 Park Avenue.

Napier took  a 10-year lease for 25,000 square feet in the 43-story Class A building located between 48th and 49th Streets, according to Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, which represented the tenant in the deal. Read More

Food & Drink

Panera Bread Coming to Hallmark’s Old Space on PAS

304 Park Avenue South.

A Panera Bread bakery and cafe is under construction at SL Green Realty‘s 304 Park Avenue South at the corner of 23rd Street, in a space partly previously occupied by a Hallmark store.

“I think that area is light on food offerings,” said Jeffrey Roseman of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Retail, who represented SL Green in the deal. “Now with Eataly there, it’s become such an incredibly busy hub. The Madison Square market is a changed market from what it was a few years ago. It’s on people’s radar screen now.” Read More


Pace Dorm at 33 Beekman Reaches 65 Percent Built [Updated]

Rendering of the Pace dorm and public space at 33 Beekman Street. (Credit: Naftali Groups website)

Construction of the 178,500-square-foot Pace University dormitory at 33 Beekman Street in the Financial District has reached 22 stories, leaving 12 more to go, Commercial Observer has learned.

The dorm, being developed between William and Nassau Streets by a joint venture of Naftali Group, SL Green Realty and Harel Insurance and Finance, will have 378 housing rooms with 725 beds, said Miki Naftali, chairman and CEO of Naftali Group. Read More

Mortgage Observer

MetLife’s Robert Merck Poised for Another Good Year as Competition Heats Up for Life Insurance Lenders

Robert Merck

Robert Merck is still trying to score his first hole in one in golf, he told Mortgage Observer one recent afternoon, half in jest. In addition to this more leisurely goal is another involving slightly higher stakes: to maintain MetLife’s position as the top life insurance lender in the U.S., while growing the company’s dealings overseas.

To that effect, 2013 has been a solid year for Mr. Merck, with several more multihundred-million-dollar deals under his belt. The senior managing director and head of MetLife’s real estate debt and equity businesses is on track to see his team’s origination performance meet or exceed 2012’s $9.6 billion as he spends his 31st year with the New York-based life insurance company. Read More

Sales Beat

SL Green, Jeff Sutton Acquire Retail Leasehold at Controversial 650 Fifth Ave


The court-appointed federal monitor and interim trustee of the controversial commercial tower at 650 Fifth Avenue has negotiated a deal for the retail space at the building.

SL Green Realty has partnered with Jeff Sutton to acquire a 49-year leasehold interest in the retail portion of the Midtown property which has previously been linked to the Iranian government. Read More

Wired City

City Launches Wireless Corridor Challenge and WiredNYC

(Photo: Celeste Sloman)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced two new tech initiatives to expand the city’s access to wireless and broadband connectivity, one of which encourages the deployment of leading broadband technologies across its commercial real estate buildings.

The Wireless Corridor Challenge will establish free public WiFi corridors in each of the five boroughs, while WiredNYC, described as LEED Read More