Confidence among New York real estate brokers dipped in the third quarter thanks to political disarray in Washington and a relentless push toward super-luxury residential development that has dimmed the prospect of middle-class housing creation.
Within days, the City Council will vote on the plan to rezone the Midtown East area of Manhattan. Like most major rezoning, there has been no shortage of opinions and ideas from many quarters. However, there are a few points on which everyone should be able to agree.
First, the building stock in Midtown East Read More
Midtown East Rezoning
Hundreds of opponents and supporters of Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s controversial plan to rezone a 73-block area in Midtown East descended on the City Council Tuesday for a public hearing leading up to a final vote on the proposal scheduled for next month.
The rezoning, brought before the packed house for a final hearing before the vote, could Read More
Midtown East Rezoning
Andrew Penson, president and founder of Argent Ventures, owner of Grand Central Terminal, is fighting back against the Midtown East rezoning plan, which Mr. Penson argues undervalues the 1.3 million square feet of transferable development rights acquired along with the rail station, Crain’s New York reported.
As part of the rezoning proposal, the city is planning to charge $250 per square foot for development rights allowing developers to build larger towers in the Midtown East submarket. The city’s price, Mr. Penson argues, is half of what Argent values the air rights at.
The Newmark Grubb Knight Frank team of Barry Gosin, Brian Waterman and Romel Canete was awarded the Real Estate Board of New York’s Henry Hart Rice Award for the Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Award at the trade association’s 69th annual cocktail reception yesterday evening. The deal, which was a lease for Morgan Stanley at One New York Plaza, closed in April of last year.
The judging committee evaluated 37 dealmakers across sales, lease and finance transactions over the last year. So impressive were the submissions, that a presenter at last night’s event at the 101 Club wondered aloud whether the authors of the submissions had advanced degrees in creative writing.
Midtown East Rezoning
New York City is beginning the public review process for the proposed rezoning of Midtown East, it was announced yesterday.
“Our East Midtown plan provides zoning incentives for the development of a handful of new, state-of-the-art sustainable commercial buildings over the next 20 years,” said Amanda Burden, city planning commissioner, in a prepared statement. “This will enable this iconic district to build on its distinguished building stock and maintain a spectrum of commercial space for different business needs, including tenants seeking modern Class A offices.
The Real Estate Board of New York has opened the submission process for the Retail Deal of the Year Awards, it was announced yesterday. The awards recognize the most creative and significant retail deals in New York City.
Submissions for the awards are due April 25. Winners will be announced at the REBNY Retail Committee’s Deal of the Year cocktail party on June 11.
“It’s certainly the most prestigious award given in our business,” Peter Braus, retail committee chair at REBNY, told The Commercial Observer. “As retail has gotten to be more of a factor in New York real estate, it has gotten to be quite the market prestige to win the award.”
Midtown East Rezoning
Midtown 21C, a coalition heavy on construction companies and labor organizations advocating for the rezoning of Midtown East, yesterday released a study evaluating the area’s historic assets and development history. The focus of the study was structures targeted by preservation groups for landmark status, which could hinder rezoning proposals.
Members of the coalition include the New York Building Congress, the Building Trades Employers Association, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, the Hotel Trades Council, 32BJ Service Employees Union and the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).
According to the study, prepared for Midtown 21C by CivicVisions LP of Philadelphia, “New York runs the risk of undermining its competitive edge by revisiting issues that were covered 30 years ago when truly iconic buildings were landmarked. If landmarks are created solely for the purpose of opposing redevelopment, they jeopardize New York’s future.”
Thursday’s Real Estate Board of New York gala packed an estimated 2,400 guests into the Hilton New York’s overstuffed Grand Ballroom—an increase from last year by about 200. The Commercial Observer walked the room, hobnobbed with brokers and landlords and taste-tested a dinner of steak and potatoes while washing it all down with a few stiff drinks. Staff Reporters Karsten Strauss and Al Barbarino get the inside dish.
As forecasters became more and more certain that a monster storm named Sandy was barreling toward Manhattan in the 48 hours leading up to its landfall on Monday, October 29, Real Estate Board of New York President Steven Spinola lay in a hospital bed recovering from a sudden medical emergency.
But the hospital stay didn’t Read More
Since 1986, Steven Spinola has served as president of the Real Estate Board of New York. With his organization’s annual gala approaching next week, Mr. Spinola is saying goodbye to outgoing chair Mary Ann Tighe and welcoming Rob Speyer, president and co-chief executive officer of Tishman Speyer, while also guiding REBNY’s agenda for 2013. The Read More
If you are a regular reader of Concrete Thoughts, you know that I think networking is extremely valuable for participants in our commercial real estate market.
One of the main benefits of networking is getting to meet people face-to-face and developing relationships that are lasting and lead to business opportunities. One of the best trade organizations through which to network is the Real Estate Board of New York.
This week, REBNY is holding its 117th annual banquet, so I thought it appropriate to recognize the tremendous work that the board does on behalf of our industry. Not only does REBNY provide tremendous networking opportunities, it’s also a leading advocate for our industry.
The new year ushered in a shaken-up hierarchy to the Real Estate Board of New York.
Tishman Speyer President Rob Speyer has replaced Mary Ann Tighe as chairman. Mr. Speyer, 43, is the youngest chairman in the board’s 117-year history, and will inherit the position from the first female to ever hold it. Despite his youth, Mr. Speyer has history on his side: he’s the third generation of his family to be named REBNY chair.
Mr. Speyer’s combination of youth and lineage is well-suited to an organization that in 2012 faced fresh, modern challenges whose resolutions required the full weight of the influence REBNY has accrued over the past century. Hurricane Sandy caused unprecedented damage to coastal areas of the city and its transportation system, not to mention the related electric grid failure. And while major storms are nothing new, they seem on course to increase in size and frequency.
Broker confidence levels have been restored after a dip caused by Hurricane Sandy, but commercial brokers remain less optimistic than their residential counterparts, according to data from REBNY’s Broker Confidence Index released last week.
At 8.12 in December 2012, based on a scale of zero to ten, the average confidence rating for commercial and residential brokers combined was the second highest since REBNY began tracking the data in June 2012 (with the record of 8.55 set in September 2012).
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the rating had dipped to 7.55 in November.
Year in Real Estate
FEMA spokesperson William Rukeyser described the ad-hoc, jumbled feel of the company’s impromptu space in the Forest Hills Tower like a scene from a hard-hit neighborhood, with hanging wires, antennas strapped to the ceiling, Post-It notes and sheets of paper with various instructions scattered about, and impromptu folding tables holding printers and other office equipment. Most seemed at a loss for words when assessing damages.
“It’s—It’s—It’s just a mess,” Durst Organization spokesperson Jordan Barowitz told The Commercial Observer less than a week after the storm hit, struggling to describe the destruction in Lower Manhattan.