Cover Story, Feature

Why a Merger Wave Washed Over Manhattan CRE in 2014

TOP DOGS: Savills Studley’s Mitchell Steir; Massey Knakal Realty Services’ founders Paul Massey and Robert Knakal; 
and Peter Hennessy, the president of the New York Tri-State Region at Cassidy Turley (from left).

On New Year’s Eve, Cushman & Wakefield closed on its acquisition of Massey Knakal Realty Services, thereby finishing the last big commercial real estate merger in a 2014 full of them.

Other large-scale takeovers included DTZ’s acquisition of brokerage Cassidy Turley (which followed private-equity firm TPG Capital’s takeover of DTZ, a property services firm); and London-based brokerage Savills’ acquisition of New York tenant-rep brokerage Studley. CBRE, the city’s biggest commercial brokerage, also acquired 10 different firms worldwide, including real estate consultancy IVI International, which is based in White Plains. Read More

The Lobby

Pat Breslin Heads to Colliers from Studley

Pat Breslin.

The global head of Studley’s retail practice, Pat Breslin, has joined Colliers International as an executive managing director, Commercial Observer has learned.

The son of famed reporter Jimmy Breslin, Mr. Breslin has been in the industry for 28 years and even served as retail group president of GVA Williams, the predecessor firm to Colliers. He is focusing on retail transaction in New York City and globally at Colliers. Read More

Lease Beat

Time Inc. to Move to Brookfield Place

Brookfield Place. (Brookfield Properties)

Time Inc. will relocate its headquarters to 225 Liberty Street at Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan, the company announced today. The media conglomerate has signed a long-term lease for 700,000 square feet across six floors at the property and will move to the Brookfield Office Properties‘ development from the Time & Life Building in late 2015.

The media company evaluated relocation options in New York City and New Jersey but was persuaded by both the location of Brookfield Place and an incentive package offered by Empire State Development, according a statement by Joe Ripp, the chairman and chief executive of Time Inc. Read More

Lease Beat

Consulting Firm Expands at Rudin’s 845 Third Avenue

845 Third Avenue.

International consulting firm K2 Intelligence will be spreading into more than 55,000 square feet on three floors at 845 Third Avenue between 51st and 52nd Streets.

The nine-year deal includes a lease of 15,440 square feet on the 15th floor and a sublease of 15,000 on the 13th floor, Crain’s reported. In addition, the firm already sublets the entire 25,506 square feet on the fourth floor of the Conference Board Inc.’s lease, as Commercial Observer previously reported. Read More

Lease Beat

Four Leases Signed at 360 Lexington Avenue

360 Lexington Avenue.

An expansion deal for Analytics Partners is among a set of four leases recently signed at AEW Capital Management’s 360 Lexington Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned. The marketing consulting firm, which previously occupied space on the building’s 17th floor, has signed a four-year lease for 4,739 square feet on the 16th floor.

The lease was announced concurrently with a 4,225-square-foot deal for ACCIÓ, the Agency for Competitiveness for Companies in Catalonia, and a 4,218-square-foot lease for Corporate Risk Solutions. The tenant in the fourth deal, an electrical contractor, signed a a 7,986-square-foot lease on the sixth floor and declined to be identified. Read More

Lease Beat

York Capital Management Renews, Expands at GM Building

GM Building.

York Capital Management has signed a long-term renewal and expansion at the General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Avenue.

The investment management firm, a 10-year tenant in the building, occupies the entire 17th floor and a portion of the 21st floor and will supplement its existing footprint with a 7,179-square-foot sublease from law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges on 23rd floor. The firm will now occupy a total of to 53,445 square feet at the trophy tower.  Read More

Lease Beat

Life Insurance Company Renews Early at 460 West 34th Street

460 West 34th Street.

SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company has signed an eight-year renewal for the entire 33,000-square-foot eighth floor of 460 West 34th Street, Commercial Observer has learned. Asking rent for the space was in the mid-$40s per square foot.

The tenant, formerly known as the Savings Bank Life Insurance Fund, has occupied space in the building since 1987. As previously reported, the New York-based insurance provider had signed a five-year renewal at the building as recently as 2012. Read More

Lease Beat

Kanematsu USA Signs 500 Fifth Avenue Lease

500 Fifth Avenue.

Kanematsu USA, the U.S. subsidiary of the Kanematsu Corporation of Japan, has signed a lease for the entire 10,914-square-foot 29th floor at 500 Fifth Avenue, the landlord’s broker announced today.

The tenant, a large trading company, operates a number of business areas including electronics, steel and metals, food products, chemicals, textiles, and aerospace. The company signed a 10-year lease at 500 Fifth Avenue, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the deal. Read More

Lease Beat

Library Journal Signs Lease at 123 William Street

123 William Street. (Credit:

Library Journal, a trade publication for library professionals, reportedly signed a 10-year, 11,521-square-foot lease for a portion of the 10th floor at East End Capital’s 123 William Street

East End Capital acquired the building last year and plans to update the 27-story, 500,000-square-foot downtown property, but asking rents still came in at just $36 per square foot. Read More

Lease Beat

Law firm Signs Dotted Line for Space at Rock Center

Atlas Statue at Rockefeller Center

Law firm Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady is moving to bigger digs at Rockefeller Center, Commercial Observer has learned.

The firm, which has an active commercial and real estate litigation practice, is expanding its office space by more than 4,000 square feet to 16,163 square feet comprising the entire 10th floor at 600 Fifth Avenue near 48th Street. Read More

Trading CRE

ETRE Financial Files for IPO


On Monday, ETRE Financial filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of ETRE REIT (proposed ticker is ECAV) on the NASDAQ exchange. Operating as a limited liability corporation, ETRE REIT would allow public investment in individual commercial real estate properties with the properties held as separate real estate investment trusts. Read More

Lease Beat

Publicis Takes 114,000 SF at 1 Penn Plaza

1 Penn Plaza

Advertising firm Publicis, while in the process of merging with Omnicom to form what will reportedly become the largest media conglomerate in the world, has signed a temporary five-year lease for 113,947 square feet at 1 Penn Plaza.

Publicis, expected to take occupancy in April, will take over space occupied by media firm Direct Brands. Read More