The Sit-Down

Stephen Ross’ West Side Story

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Time Warner Inc. was rumored to be eyeing space at Hudson Yards as early as last spring, but only this month did the company confirm it would anchor Related Companies’ 30 Hudson Yards, an 80-story tower on the Far West Side. Concurrently, Related agreed to a deal to buy back the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle for $1.3 billion and will market space there for the first time since the building came online a decade ago. The complex deals, which include a significant financial commitment to Hudson Yards by Time Warner, are vital for the ambitious development and another victory for Related Chairman Stephen Ross, who has long championed the viability of his plans for the once-barren pocket of Manhattan. Read More

Sales Beat

Time Warner Sells Headquarters Space, Will Move to Hudson Yards

Time Warner Center. (Courtesy Property Shark)

A venture of the Related Companies, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Singapore’s GIC has purchased the office space of Time Warner Inc. at the Time Warner Center for $1.3 billion, the seller announced today.

Time Warner will relocate its corporate headquarters and New York City employees from Columbus Circle to Related’s Hudson Yards. The company has made an “initial financial commitment” to the development, according to a press release. Time Warner has agreed to lease back office space in the Time Warner Center until 2019, when the development at Hudson Yards is expected to be complete. Read More

Year in Real Estate

The House That L’Oreal Built

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Back in 2011, Coach agreed to pay a reported $750 million for its 740,000-square-foot global corporate headquarters in Related’s South Tower at Hudson Yards. 

That deal may have been the official stamp of approval for the massive project rising on the city’s west side, but the announcements in April that SAP America, Inc. and L’Oréal Read More

Postings

Fourth and Long on Real Estate

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Stephen Ross, chairman of Related Companies, has come under fire in recent weeks due to his ownership of the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins, a franchise that is embroiled in a bullying scandal that has grabbed headlines far beyond the sports pages.

Mr. Ross’s ownership of the Dolphins is largely overshadowed in New York by his real estate dealings, but it is those deals that allowed him to spend more than $1 billion on the team in the first place. He’s not, however, the only billionaire with ties to the real estate industry who has chosen to spend lavish wealth on an NFL team.

Below, The Commercial Observer takes a look at those NFL owners, including Mr. Ross, who owe at least some of their wealth to wheeling and dealing in real estate.

Read More

Related's Hudson Yards

Related Taps Artist Thomas Heatherwork for Hudson Yards Centerpiece

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Related CompaniesStephen Ross has reportedly selected British artist and designer Thomas Heatherwick to create the artistic center piece for the new public space at Hudson Yards.

Mr. Heatherwick, know for the Olympic cauldron at the 2012 London Games, will team with landscape architect Thomas Woltz to design the four-acre space with a large-scale artwork – Read More

Lease Beat

Designer Kara Ross, Wife of Stephen Ross, Leases Flagship Retail Store

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The jewelery and handbag designer Kara Ross signed a lease at 655 Madison Avenue for its first standalone store. The flagship, which the label’s website says will open in November, will take up 600 square feet of sought after retail real estate near the intersection of Madison and 60th Street.

Ms. Ross, who is married to Related Companies chief Stephen Ross, currently sells her wares at Bergdorf Goodman, Carolina Herrera and Henri Bendel, among other blue chip stores. Read More

Postings

Real Estate’s Biggest Philanthropists, Annotated

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Last week, Stephen Ross, chairman of Related Companies, became the latest signatory of the Giving Pledge. The campaign, an effort to invite the world’s wealthiest individuals to pledge to donate half of their wealth—or more—to philanthropic causes, was started by two of America’s richest men: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

Mr. Ross, worth $4.4 billion according to Forbes, is perhaps best known in philanthropic circles for his $100 million donation to the business school at the University of Michigan, his alma mater.

The donation, the largest ever to an American business school, resulted in its renaming as the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. Inspired by Mr. Ross’s pledge, The Commercial Observer checked in on the philanthropic efforts of other real estate titans. Read More

Postings

Changing of the Guard, Real Estate Style

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T he turnover of leadership at New York’s venerable real estate organizations has been staggering. Since September, Stephen Ross of Related Companies, Michael Fascitelli of Vornado Realty Trust, Mort Zuckerman of Boston Properties, Larry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties and Bruce Ratner of Forest City Ratner have all announced their resignations from their current roles.

While all will stay involved with their respective companies in one form or another, the changing of the guard in New York real estate has been in full swing.

Below, The Commercial Observer highlights each of these men—and their replacements—along with the one that started the recent trend, Douglas Durst. Read More

Lease Beat

SAP Inks 115,000 SF Lease at Hudson Yards

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SAP has inked a lease for 115,000 square feet of space at the South Tower of Hudson Yards, the developers of the 15-million-square-foot project on the far west side of Manhattan announced yesterday.

The announcement came along with news that L’Oréal leased 402,000 square feet for their U.S. corporate headquarters at the building, bringing the LEED Gold South Tower to more than 80 percent occupancy. Sources said the deals are for 15 years.

The companies join Coach, which agreed to pay a reported $750 million for its 740,000-square-foot global corporate headquarters in the tower in late 2011, after what Related’s president on the project, Jay Cross, called a three-year negation process.

“We are thrilled that global beauty and software powerhouses L’Oréal and SAP, along with Coach, Inc., will be locating at Hudson Yards,” said Stephen Ross, Related Companies’ Chairman, in a prepared statement.  “With construction already underway, we look forward to continuing to implement our ambitious vision for the defining development of the 21st Century and the new heart of New York.” Read More

Lease Beat

L’Oréal USA Inks 402,000 SF Lease at Hudson Yards

(Credit: VISUALHOUSE)

L’Oréal USA has inked a 402,000-square-foot of space at the South Tower of Hudson Yards, the developers of the 15-million-square-foot project on the far west side of Manhattan announced yesterday.

Along with that announcement came news that SAP also leased 115,000 square feet on the top four floors of the building, bringing the LEED Gold South Tower to more than 80 percent occupancy.  Sources said the deals are for 15 years.

The companies join Coach, which agreed to pay a reported $750 million for its 740,000-square-foot global corporate headquarters in the tower in late 2011, after what Related’s president on the project, Jay Cross, called a three-year negotiation process.

“The confluence of three significant tenants committing to the building almost simultaneously is a testimonial to the belief in this project and its future,” said CBRE’s Stephen Siegel, who represented L’Oréal with Mike Geoghegan, Bill Hedman and Lauren Crowley Corrinet. Read More

The Sit-Down

King of the Yard: Related’s Jay Cross on Reimagining the Far West Side

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As president of the New York Jets, Jay Cross spent the first half of the 2000s immersed in the plans for the New York Sports and Convention Center on the Far West Side. The plan collapsed and the Jets’ focus shifted to the Meadowlands, but Mr. Cross kept eager watch on the Mass Transit Authority’s bid to find a new developer.

After Stephen Ross purchased the Miami Dolphins in 2008, Mr. Cross found himself fatefully reacquainted with Related’s founder and chairman through an assigned seating arrangement at an NFL owners’ meeting, setting the stage for Mr. Cross’s eventual role as president of Related Hudson Yards.

“The Jets always sat beside the Dolphins at these meetings, so I was sitting beside Stephen,” Mr. Cross said. “He asked me how I was getting home. He flew me home and said, ‘You should come and run this project for us.’”

Here’s what Mr. Cross had to say about the 26-acre, 15-million-square-foot mixed-use project that he began orchestrating on Manhattan’s Far West Side in the summer of 2008.  Read More

Tantrums

Christine Quinn Decries “Sick, Sexist” Hudson Yards Critic in 2002 Phone Messages

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As a page one New York Times story about Christine Quinn‘s short temper made the rounds yesterday, a recording of the mayoral candidate’s feisty voice mails from 2002 was uploaded to YouTube.

Ms. Quinn left the messages for a Hell’s Kitchen resident who opposed area developments including Hudson Yards (now under construction) and the West Side Stadium (long since jettisoned). The recipient spread his criticism to Ms. Quinn, who as district three representative did not personally attend a December 17, 2002 press conference condemning the projects. Read More