Real Estate and Politics

Real Estate Leaders Back Universal Pre-K Proposal

Leonard Litwin

Real estate industry leaders have joined a growing group of supporters of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to fund a universal prekindergarten program with tax increases, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. de Blasio’s proposal, which would raise taxes on New York City residents with incomes over $500,000, has received backing from major political donor Leonard Litwin of Glenwood Management, Steve Witkoff of the Witkoff Group, and other business leaders.

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Mortgage Observer

Outlook for 2014: Early Indications Positive

It’s a new year, and experts in the commercial real estate sector are assessing how factors like New York City’s newly inaugurated mayor and elements of financial reform coming online may impact business. Here, Mortgage Observer spoke to several to get their takes on what the year ahead holds for the economy, banking, financing and New York City as a whole. Read More

Sales Beat

Downtown Residential Development Site Sells for $223 Million


A partnership between Fisher Brothers and The Witkoff Group has acquired 101 Murray Street from St. John’s University for $223 million, it was announced today. The sale is the largest residential development site transaction in lower Manhattan.

“101 Murray Street is a development site like no other in Manhattan with the potential to become a truly world-class residence,” said Helen Hwang, executive vice president at Cushman & Wakefield, who represented the seller, in a prepared statement. “We are privileged to have helped St. John’s University successfully realize such an important transaction for its academic mission.” Read More

Lower Manhattan 2013

‘Worth’ the Wait: As Lower Manhattan Population Soars, Alchemy Properties Builds Condos Atop Woolworth Building

The Woolworth Building

The luxury residential real estate market has soared to unprecedented heights in the past year, in terms of both price tags and building heights. But none of today’s $100 million penthouses rest atop a quintessential New York building. That will change next year, when new condominiums at the Woolworth Building hit the market.

Last August, The New York Times reported that Alchemy Properties had paid $68 million in a deal with building owners the Witkoff Group and Cammeby’s International to turn the top 30 floors of the 100-year-old landmark building into 40 luxury apartments—including a trophy penthouse spanning a whopping five stories at the top. Read More

Sales Beat

The ‘King of Greene Street’ Sells for $41.5 Million

72-76 Greene Street sold two weeks ago for $41.5 million--$1,186 per square foot. (photo courtesy of Eastern Consolidated).

BSJ SoHo let go of 72-76 Greene Street last week for a reported sum of $41.5 million. The buyer—a partnership of Chicago-based L3 Capital and Washington, D.C.’s ASB Capital Management—paid $1,186 per square foot for the building known as “The King of Greene Street” because of its French renaissance-Second Empire architectural styling. It contains two Read More

The Sit-Down

David Berkey on How 200 Fifth Avenue Became a Template for Midtown South

David Berkey.

The success of 200 Fifth Avenue has served in many ways as the template for 28-40 West 23rd Street, and no doubt many other buildings in Midtown South. The building’s developer, L&L Holding Co., guessed the popularity of the neighborhood and bet a big reinvention of the property would draw top-shelf tenants, a gamble that paid off when it landed Grey Advertising and Tiffany & Co. Now the landlord of 28-40 West 23rd Street is in the middle of a similar kind of makeover. The Cohen, Roos and Carmel families, who together own the 600,000-square-foot tower, have plans to create a roof deck and have done deals with tech companies that are invading the neighborhood in droves. After the jump, The Commercial Observer talks to Andrew Roos, a Colliers International leasing executive and an owner of 28-40 West 23rd Street. Return at 10:30 today for a second installment with David Berkey, L&L’s director of leasing. Read More

SoHo Properties Buys Chelsea Building for $45.7 M.

SoHo Properties has invested in Chelsea.

Sharif El-Gamal, chairman and CEO of the real estate investment group, has dropped $45.7 million on the property at 31 West 27th Street, which PropertyShark describes as a 12-story, 108,594-square-foot office building.

“We just bought it for the income,” Mr. El-Gamal told The Observer. “It’s got great long-term leases, and Read More