Lease Beat

Ad Tech Company Takes 12,083 SF at 44 West 28th Street

44 West 28th Street.

Yellowhammer Media Group, an advertising technology company, is moving to new digs in NoMad to accommodate the firm’s growth, brokers in the deal told Commercial Observer.

The firm took 12,083 square feet, or the entire fourth floor, at 44 West 28th Street between Broadway and Avenue of the Americas in a 10-year deal, according to a spokeswoman for Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. NGKF’s Bernard Weitzman and Jordan Brustein represented Yellowhammer in the deal. The asking rent was $54 per square foot. Read More

Sales Beat

Jamestown Properties Pays $284 M. for Milk Studios Building

450 West 15th Street

Jamestown Properties has purchased the Milk Studios building at 450 West 15th Street from Stellar Management for more than $284 million, city records show.

The 325,000-square-foot, eight-story office building, home to photography studio Milk Studios and an eclectic mix of tech, fashion and creative tenants, borders the High Line.

It’s a symbolic and strategic move for Jamestown, which owns the Chelsea Market across the street and looks to expand its footprint in the heavily-traveled Meatpacking District.

Ironically, city records show that Stellar provided a $150 million loan to Jamestown, which suggests that the move was perhaps more than a kind gesture, but also a play to complete the deal before the end of 2012, as imminent capital gains taxes loomed (the city record was filed on Friday, but shows the deed was finalized December 21). Read More

Lease Beat

Giorgio Armani Moves to the Milk Studios Building

450 West 15th Street.

Giorgio Armani is getting a view over the High Line. The Italian fashion company has inked a lease for a 60,000-square-foot space at 450 West 15th Street in the Meatpacking District, sources familiar with the transaction confirmed to The Commercial Observer, and is due to move its headquarters and showroom to the space in October 2013. Read More

Sales Beat

Stellar Management Scoops 26 Vandam Street in Air Rights Play

26 Vandam Street

Larry Gluck’s Stellar Management has purchased an apartment building at 26 Vandam Street for $6.1 million in a play to add air rights to its undertaking at One SoHo Square.

Gluck plans to tack the 15,625 square feet of air rights onto the 80,000 square feet of new office penthouse space being added to neighboring 161 Sixth Avenue and 233 Spring Street.

“Because the air rights are essentially unusable towards the immediate property, Stellar Management will use them for the huge redevelopment of the office buildings next door — that will be a huge win for them,” said Peter Von Der Ahe, a first vice president of investments at Marcus & Millichap, who brokered the deal along with Joe Koicim, a vice president of investments, and David Lloyd. Read More

Sales Beat

Apartment Building, Former Church, Music Legend Hangout Nets $42.5M

309 West 57th Street

A property at 309 West 57th Street in Midtown West that once housed a Victorian Gothic church and later saw the likes of John Lennon and Frank Sinatra pass through its doors has changed hands for $42.5 million.

The 16-story, 75,600-square-foot rental property with 102 apartments and nearly 14,000 square feet of commercial space – currently home to night club Providence NYC – was purchased by New York City-based real estate investment firms Imperium Capital and Bronstein Properties.

The property, site of a former church and later a prominent recording studio, is located near a number of popular amenities and development projects, and it’s the latest in a string of high-profile acquisitions made by Imperium Capital. Read More

Power Broker

The Storm Chaser: Alexander Chudnoff on Post-Sandy NYC Recovery Efforts

Alex Chudnoff.

Alexander Chudnoff, a commercial leasing broker who takes pride in strengthening relationships with clients through “impeccable service,” was especially busy in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The Jones Lang LaSalle executive managing director was dividing his time last week between volunteer efforts in the Rockaways, where he provided hot pizza and coffee to storm victims, and getting on the phone to make sure his Downtown Manhattan clients could stay open. Though it was a difficult time, the activity of making connections was just what attracted Mr. Chudnoff to the business in the first place.

“I love to make calls. I love to canvass,” he said. “I like to develop the relationship.”

In some cases, the storm required short-term arrangements, such as lining up space with other clients or in Jones Lang’s own offices, he said. In others, clients were able to proceed with minimal disruption, as when Dentsu Holdings USA returned to work at 32 Avenue of the Americas when Rudin Management opened the building the Monday after the storm. Read More

Sales Beat

Savanna Takes Control at 2 Rector Street

2 Rector Street.

After several years of being affiliated with the building, real estate private equity firm Savanna has acquired a controlling interest in 2 Rector Street, The Commercial Observer has learned exclusively.

Savanna acquired a portion of the first mortgage at a discount in 2007 and then in 2010 provided a mezzanine loan and worked with owner Stellar Management to recap the building. Read More

Lease Beat

Charles Cammack Associates Renews at 2 Rector Street

Courtesy of Stellar Management

Charles W. Cammack Associates has renewed its lease in the Financial District.

The employee benefits and online information management, retirement plan, and financial planning advisory firm will maintain their 19,500 square foot space that spans the entire 23rd floor of 2 Rector Street.

Gabe Marans and Greg Toubin of Studley helped secure the renewal for Read More

Sales Beat

Vornado Closes On Two UWS Buildings In $100 Million Deal

Steve Roth

Vornado has closed on its acquisition of a 50 percent stake in two Upper West Side residential buildings 50 and 70 West 93rd Street in a deal that valued the properties at a little over $100 million.

Vornado is buying the interest from AREA Property Partners, a Manhattan based real estate investment company with interests in several residential and commercial investments both in the city and globally. Read More

Lease of the Week

Water and Stone: How Blackstone Group Lured Waterfall Asset Management to 1140 Avenue of the Americas

1140 Avenue of the Americas.

Even before the Blackstone  Group won a contentious bidding war for 1140 Avenue of the Americas, the prewar office building was in the midst of a multimillion-dollar restoration project in early 2011.

Nearly 30 firms were fighting for the right to own the $116 million nonperforming note held by Laurence Gluck’s Stellar Management and partner Rockpoint Group, which bought 1140 Avenue of the Americas from SL Green Realty Corp. for $97.5 million in 2006. Read More

Legal Matters

Mitchell-Lama Building Wins Right to Convert Units to Market Rate


The State Appellate Court ruled today that Independence Plaza, a large residential rental building that had been in the Mitchell-Lama program had the right to convert its units to market rate when the 1,300-unit property left the program in 2004, despite the fact the building had been in the city’s J-51 program.

The outcome, which overrules a previous decision, is a victory for Stellar Management, owner of the Tribeca complex. Read More

Lease Beat

Goldstein Hill & West Ink at 11 Broadway

11 Broadway.

Apparently when it came time to triple up on the T-squares, architecture firm Goldstein Hill & West decided it was time to commit to its own office in Lower Manhattan.

The firm, which specializes in high-rise residential and hospitality buildings and counts Columbia University and Forest City Ratner Company among its roster of clients, signed a 10-year lease to take 8,500 square feet at 11 Broadway. The firm will be moving out of 4,000 square foot space it had subleased from GACE Consulting Engineers at 31 West 27th Street, Crain’s New York reported last week. Read More