Last week, just ahead of the Thanksgiving travel rush, the Global Gateway Alliance, an advocate for airport infrastructure improvement chaired by real estate developer Joseph Sitt of Thor Equities, released an economic impact report on the New York metro area’s major airports: J.F.K., LaGuardia and Newark-Liberty. The findings were promising. Over the past decade, jobs created by the region’s airports increased by nearly 100 percent, with the three hubs collectively employing close to 500,000 jobs in the region.
“These numbers confirm what we’ve long know to be true: New York’s metropolitan airports are incredible economic drivers,” said Mr. Sitt. “When studies like this are released, it is clear to everyone the role the airports play in supporting the region economically.”
Below, The Commercial Observer lays out some of the key facts and figures from the report.
The Malkins may have shrugged off Joe Sitt’s attempts to buy the Empire State Building, which would have effectively dammed today’s “The New York Post reports that the prolific buyer of city real estate is in contract to buy two adjacent buildings at 562-564 Fifth Avenue for roughly $105 million.
Bank Leumi is Read More
Empire State Building
Following Anthony Malkin and Malkin Holdings’ A letter sent yesterday by attorney Stephen Meister, who represents a group of investors opposed to a plan to create a REIT that includes the Empire State Building as an asset, states that the $1.4 billion offer is viable because it is “materially greater” than the appraised value of Read More
Law & Order
Three of New York’s biggest real estate developers received subpoenas from a state commission investigating corruption and after information regarding controversial tax breaks.
The Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption sent the subpoenas to Extell Development Co., Silverstein Properties Inc. and Thor Equities. The 25-person commission is seeking emails and other records of dealings with lobbyists concerning the 421a program, which ostensibly slashes taxes on residential developments in unused or underused areas.
Empire State Building
Months of wrangling with dissenting investors finally earned Malkin Holdings the number of votes necessary to launch a REIT that would include the Empire State Building as an asset, but now the company says it is reviewing multiple offers that could lead to its sale.
The latest offer comes from one of the Read More
Thor Equities has closed on the $23 million off-market purchase of Atlantic Gardens, a mixed-use development abutting the Barclays Center.
Atlantic Gardens consists of 24 rental units and nine retail spaces at 525-541 Atlantic Avenue between Third and Fourth Avenues. The seller, Bennat Berger of BCB Properties, bought the assets for $10.93 million just two years ago.
Midtown South is starting to look a little like Downtown North.
In the latest sign of the evolution of Manhattan’s former no-man’s land between Midtown and Downtown into the hottest office submarket in the U.S., Cushman & Wakefield last week noted a migration of financial firms into Midtown South and a corresponding overflow of technology and media firms into the Financial District over the past 10 years.
“We’ve never seen such an intertwining of the Midtown South market and Downtown,” Andrew Peretz, executive vice president at C&W, said in an interview.
Thor Equities has hired Richard Farley to lead their leasing department as Vice President of Office Leasing. Mr. Farley will be joining in light of Thor Equities’ New York City portfolio expansion.
Andiamond LLC will be relocating their headquarters office in New York.
The fine diamond company has signed a deal for 5,063 square feet at Thor Equities‘ 590 Fifth Avenue.
Club Monaco is moving on up to the northeast side of Broadway and Spring Street.
The mid-price casual apparel company signed a 15-year, 5,100-square-foot lease at Thor Equities‘ 532 Broadway in Soho and will move there from its current 14,500-square-foot location at 520 Broadway.
Robert Cohen of RKF represented the tenant. Joseph Sitt‘s Thor Equities represented the landlord in-house. Asking rents were $800 per square foot.
Some commercial real estate brokers are “kicking and screaming” about the audacity of some city landlords who they claim are disregarding their “exclusives” with retailers by attempting to land tenants on their own.
The idea of “skipping the middle man,” once thought of as a tool for efficiency, is enraging some brokers, who tell The Commercial Observer that large retail owners including Joe Sitt, Jeff Sutton and Joe Moinian, are steering out of their way – but digging deep under their skin.
“Totally not kosher,” one perturbed president of a top city brokerage wrote in an email to The Commercial Observer. “It puts the retail brokers in a difficult spot and it is morally incorrect.”
Video game developer Avalanche Studios has completed a transaction to expand its office space at 536 Broadway. Avalanche picked up an additional 8,655 square feet in the recent transaction, Ira Rovitz, managing director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, who represented the tenant, told The Commercial Observer.
The deal is a 10 year lease, according to David Grijns, general manager of Avalanche Studios’ New York office. Mr. Rovitz declined to provide financial details of the transaction.
Avalanche took occupancy at the building in early 2012 with original square footage of 9,705, Mr. Rovitz said. Avalanche quickly outgrew its original office space, but there was never a search for a new location, since the company knew space was coming available, he noted. “It was an opportunity when we originally did the lease,” he said.
Thor Equities and ASB Real Estate Investments’ Allegiance Real Estate Fund have purchased 875 Washington Street in the Meatpacking District for $96.5 million.
The 60,000-square-foot, five-story building, between 13th and 14th Streets, features office and retail space and is located across the street from the High Line Park, a main driver in the neighborhood’s assent as one of the city’s most-travelled retail destinations.
“The Meatpacking District is the place to be in the fashion world, and as purveyors of high-end retail real estate, it is only fitting that we continue to expand our presence here,” said Joseph Sitt, CEO at Thor Equities, in a statement. “Situated among many of the world’s best nightlife, dining, and shopping outposts, 875 Washington is truly in the heart of the excitement and growth of Manhattan.”
The Power Broker
The mere mention of “the need for creativity in real estate” sparks a sudden shift in Christel Engel’s otherwise stoic demeanor, as a wide smile overtakes her face. It’s a necessity in today’s real estate world, she says, raising a finger.
“You want to see? I’ll be right back,” says the Colliers International team leader, who oversees a portfolio comprising 1.5 million square feet, springing up from her chair, dashing from the room and returning in a matter of seconds with a large black scrapbook.
Fifth Avenue’s drop from the top spot of Cushman & Wakefield’s list of the world’s most valuable shopping destination has more to do with surging rental rates in Hong Kong than it does a loss of value here in New York. That city’s Causeway Bay now holds the distinction of being the most expensive strip Read More