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

Construction

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

650-fifth

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

Power Broker

On Top of the World: SL Green’s Steve Durels on Last Year’s Viacom Deal and the Projects Reshaping Manhattan

IMG_3598

When Viacom pulled the trigger on its 1.6-million-square-foot renewal and expansion at 1515 Broadway last year, SL Green Realty served up a stinging rebuke to swirling rumors that the media giant would relocate.

But company executives with the city’s largest landlord were well aware that the firm’s most coveted tenant had toyed with the idea Read More

Sales Beat

SL Green $122 M. Retail Purchase Highlights Metered Q4 Growth

131-137 Spring Street

City records confirm real estate powerhouse SL Green Realty’s acquisition of a six-story retail, office and residential building at 131-137 Spring Street for $122.3 million late last year.

The acquisition of the prime retail location, adjacent to Chanel‘s Soho Flagship store, capped off what company executives lauded as a stellar fourth quarter given the economic uncertainty that permeated the industry in 2012.

“It was an excellent, excellent quarter as a standalone, and particularly in light of the headwinds,” SL Green CEO Marc Holliday said during the firm’s fourth quarter earnings call, referring specifically to the impacts of Hurricane Sandy, the uncertain election and the fiscal cliff crisis. Read More

Midtown

Among Developers, City Midtown Zoning Push Draws Fans, Foes

Grand Central Boundaries.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to spur development in the Grand Central area, Manhattan’s biggest office submarket with almost 44 million square feet of inventory, is winning mixed praise from real estate executives, who say New York may be at risk of losing its preeminence over such business hubs as London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai.

“I think Mayor Bloomberg has this right,” said Stuart Eisenkraft, vice chairman at CBRE and co-chairman of the firm’s global cities practice. “It’s sort of a no-brainer the global economy is here and it’s here to stay.” Developers in Asia, he said, “don’t have the challenge of site logistics or governance that prevents them from building magnificent Class A buildings.”

The new Midtown East district would loosen restrictions in a 78-block area between Fifth and Second Avenues and East 57th and East 39th Streets, where buildings are more than 70 years old on average and have low ceilings and interior columns that are undesirable to Class A tenants, the Department of City Planning said in an overview. Most of the new development would be focused on the area around Grand Central Terminal, because it has the best transportation access and largest concentration of aging office stock, according to the department’s Midtown East study.

Some urban planners, community boards and City Council members have expressed concern that the addition of towers that may be taller than the 77-story Chrysler Building would worsen crowding, The New York Times reported.

Read More