Lease Beat

Law Firm Grows Indoors and Outdoors at Durst Property

733 Third Avenue

Real estate law firm Rosenberg & Estis has expanded to the 7,442-square-foot 19th floor and a 4,800-square-foot terrace below at the Durst Organization‘s 733 Third AvenueCommercial Observer has learned.

The firm that provides representation in all types of commercial and residential transactions now occupies 42,764 square feet on the entire 12th, 14th and 19th floors. But that footprint doesn’t include the new outdoor space on a previously inaccessible green roof of the 24-story tower where asking rents run for $62 per square foot, officials with Durst said. Read More

Lease Beat

Video Game Developer Signs at 1 WTC

1 World Trade Center. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

In the 12th lease to be signed at 1 World Trade Center, High 5 Games, a digital game creator, has signed a 87,663-square-foot deal spanning the entire 58th and 59th floors of the office tower, according to a press release about the deal.

The game developer is relocating to larger digs from 770 Broadway in the second quarter of 2015. Its offices are being designed by Gensler and built by The Durst Organization. Durst and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey own the building. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Wells Fargo and BNY Mellon Lead $412M Loan for Durst West Side Rental

A rendering of 625 West 57th Street. (Durst Fetner)

The Durst Organization scored a $411.5 million construction loan from a group of lenders led by Wells Fargo and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. to finance the development of its tetrahedron-shaped rental tower at 625 West 57th Street, sources familiar with the deal told Mortgage Observer.

The loan, which closed last week, carries a term of four years with a one-year extension option and “smoking interest rates,” one person familiar with the transaction said on the condition of anonymity. Read More

Lease Beat

Westfield Corp. To Move Into 1 WTC

Base of One World Trade Center

Australia-based retail company and World Trade Center Transportation Hub retail developer Westfield Corp. will move its New York City corporate office from 7 WTC to the 46th floor of 1 World Trade Center through a five-year, 12,000-square-foot lease, the New York Post reported this morning.

The company that’s working with the building’s primary owner Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to develop a 365,000-square-foot shopping and dining complex called Westfield World Trade Center slated to open next year inside the Santiago Calatrava-designed transit hub will move into a pre-built space with asking rents of $75 per square foot, said officials with the Durst Organization. Read More

Lease Beat

Servcorp Takes 35K SF at 1 WTC

One World Trade Center

Servcorp, a global provider of equipped executive offices and virtual office space, has signed a 15-year lease for 34,775 square feet on the 85th floor at 1 World Trade Center. The lease marks the fourth Manhattan location for the Australia-based company. Servcorp represented itself in yesterday’s transaction and The Durst Organization‘s Robert Becker represented Durst, according to the New York Post, which first reported the deal.

Featuring boardrooms, private offices and private workstations, Servcorp’s 1 World Trade Center location will open in the first quarter of next year, Durst and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in a release. The Port Authority developed the 1,776-square-foot tall, 3-million-square-foot office building and Durst operates and leases it. Read More

Office Deals

FedCap Makes Condo Deal at Durst’s 205 East 42nd Street

205 East 42nd Street. (The Durst Organization)

Just over a month after exchanging its 14th Street headquarters for a Midtown office condo, FedCap has made another condo deal, this time at the Durst Organization’s 205 East 42nd Street property.

The nonprofit has purchased a leasehold condo in the building, Durst announced today. The 64,303-square-foot deal consists of a portion of the ground floor, as well as the entire second and third floors of the building. FedCap will have a dedicated entrance on 43rd Street and a private elevator and staircase. Read More

Lease Beat

Two Tenants Lease 1 WTC Pre-Built Spaces [Updated]

1 WTC pre-built space

The Durst Organization and The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey have signed two 10-year leases for a total of 6,950 square feet of pre-built space at 1 World Trade Center.

Legends Hospitality Group has taken 4,759 square feet on the 45th floor of 1 World Trade to house its team developing the One World Observatory on the building’s 101st and 102nd floors. Legends Hospitality is a division of Legends, the sports and entertainment company. Read More

Lease Beat

Ad Agency KiDS Signs 1 World Trade Center Lease

(Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

KiDS Creative has signed a 15-year lease for the entire 34,775-square-foot 87th floor of 1 World Trade Center. The ad agency’s deal is the first new lease at the downtown tower for nearly three years.

“KiDS and 1 World Trade Center make a perfect match,” said Eric Engelhardt, the director of leasing at 1 World Trade Center for The Durst Organization, in a prepared statement. “KiDS is destined to a bright future at the top of 1 World Trade Center, the world’s most prestigious business address.” Read More

1 WTC

Asking Rents Reduced at 1 World Trade Center

(Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The Durst Organization and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are reducing asking rents at 1 World Trade Center by nearly 10 percent, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. Asking rent for larger tenants on the building’s middle floors now stands at $69 per square foot, down from $75 per square foot.

The tower’s owner has struggled to attract private tenants to the development. Publisher Conde Nast’s 1-million-square-foot deal signed in 2011 remains the only major lease done at 1 World Trade Center. The building is 55 percent leased. Read More

Legal Disputes

Durst Organization Sued by U.S. Attorney’s Office Over Inaccessible Buildings

The Helena, which the federal government claims is inaccessible.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has filed suit against The Durst Organization, the second major New York developer to come within the cross hairs of the federal government in a dispute over what does and should constitute accessible housing. The federal government alleges that Durst “has engaged in a pattern and practice of developing rental apartment buildings that are inaccessible to persons with disabilities.” Also named in the suit are The Helena Associates and FXFOWLE Architects, who designed the Helena, a 595-unit rental building in Hell’s Kitchen that is at the center of the lawsuit. Read More

Lease Beat

Big East Conference Moving to Big Apple

Providence forward Kadeem Batts (10) dunks on Xavier's Matt Stainbrook (40). (Credit: Frank Victores, USA TODAY)

The Big East Conference is betting on the Big Apple to help usher in a new era.

The reconfigured conference has chosen The Durst Organization’s 655 Third Avenue in Midtown as its official headquarters after cutting a 10-year, 13,742-square-foot lease across the seventh floor of the 30-story property. Read More

1 WTC

Top 1WTC Security Officer Resigns

245px-OneWorldTradeCenter

The Durst Organization is reportedly looking for a successor to replace a top security official who resigned following a series of incidents that exposed seemingly gaping holes in security at 1 World Trade Center.

David Velazquez, assistant security director at the site, will not leave the firm until The Durst Organization has found a replacement. Read More

Year in Real Estate

How 1 World Trade Center Officially Became the Tallest Building in the U.S.

1WTC_1CO3400A1217

When construction workers hoisted the final crown atop 1 World Trade Center back in May, it reached its symbolic 1,776 feet. Flags
waved, onlookers cheered, and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey proclaimed it the “tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.”

But great controversy regarding whether the tower would in fact dethrone Chicago’s Willis Tower ensued. The looming question: antennae or spire? The latter would solidify the accolade the Port Authority already touted, but the former would not. Last month, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat official ruled that a spire—not an antennae—sits atop the 104-story tower.

After the jump, a step-by-step guide to measuring a tall building and some key factors that played into the ruling at 1 WTC, as told to The Commercial Observer’s Al Barbarino by officials with the Council on Tall Buildings.

Read More

1 WTC

World Gets First View of 1 World Trade Center Model Offices

1WTC_EveningViewfromWHotel_Small

For the first time since construction workers topped off 1 World Trade Center in May, the Durst Organization this morning unveiled a crisp, white-walled model office space that tenants could be replicating as early as next year. Replete with floor-to-ceiling windows and unobstructed views of the city, office spaces below the 64th floor will command $75 per square foot.

“This is the beginning of a big year for us as we begin our transformation from a construction site to an office building,” said Jordan Barowitz, director of external affairs for Durst, before introducing the project’s director of leasing, Eric Engelhardt.

“What we’ve done here is taken the first and biggest step in being able to showcase what the office space can look like for tenants,” Mr. Engelhardt added. Read More