Cover Story, Feature

Transformed Factories Prosper in LIC’s Development Boom

Brandon Medieros

The renowned Scalamandre Silks company once dyed silks for the Kennedy White House and the Hearst Castle where Scott Kushner and his 10 employees now produce videos and reality shows. At the start of this year, after working out of Manhattan for 20 years, Mr. Kushner moved MediaPlace into a section of the bottom floor of the industrial warehouse developer Time Equities has fashioned into today’s Silks Building in Long Island City.

And his company boasts enough floor area in three spaces at the property for soundproof labs, cubicles, stages, collaborative desks where staffers edit videos at computers, and a spacious office where Mr. Kushner, 55, the chief executive officer of MediaPlace, displays pictures of his younger days in the music industry working with bands like Hall & Oates and Judas Priest. (Mr. Kushner has no relation to Jared Kushner, owner of Observer Media Group, parent company of Commercial Observer.) Read More

Lease Beat

Newspaper Delivery Service Relocates LIC HQ

47-11 and 47-51 Austell Place.

Mitchell’s NY, a family-owned publication delivery business, is relocating its Long Island City headquarters and distribution center within the neighborhood to Time Equities47-11 and 47-51 Austell Place between Skillman Avenue and 27th Street.

Faith Hope Consolo and Joseph Aquino of Douglas Elliman‘s retail group negotiated the 40,000-square-foot deal on behalf of Mitchell’s NY in a direct deal with Time Equities‘ senior acquisitions and asset manager, Brad Gordon. Read More

Tech Beat

Honest Buildings Launches iPad App

Screenshot of the new Honest Buildings app

Connection engine Honest Buildings has launched a free iPad app for real estate service pros who have submitted projects on the website so they can share their work in real-time on-the-go to prospective clients, Commercial Observer has learned.

“We kept getting examples of people’s work in the PDF two-page document that every vendor in the real estate industry has to showcase what they have,” said Riggs Kubiak, the company’s CEO. “We thought we could drastically improve that experience.” Read More

Five-year anniversary

Five Years Post-Stock Market Crash, How are CRE Pros Faring?

NYSE And Deutsche Boerse To Possibly Merge

This past Sunday marked the five-year anniversary of the lowest point in the stock market crash which sent everyone, including New York City’s real estate market pros, reeling. In late 2010 and early 2011, New York City essentially recovered from the economic meltdown but business hasn’t always been rosy since. Commercial Observer checked in to see how the city’s commercial real estate brokers were doing five years ago and how they are faring today.  Read More


Greenburger Set to Construct A ‘Legacy’

(Photo: Time Equities)

Developer Francis Greenburger of Time Equities has secured $400 million in financing to move forward with a Helmut Jahn-designed downtown Manhattan residential tower at 50 West Street.

The Wall Street Journal reported last night that the financing gives the developer the go to begin construction on the long-stalled 63-story residential project, which will overlook Battery Park and the Hudson River, in the fall. Read More

Lease Beat

Governor’s Office Renews at 633 Third Avenue


Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office negotiated a 10-year renewal for its 39,254-square-foot space on the 38th and 39th floors at Time Equities633 Third Avenue. Starting rent was in the low-$60s per square foot, according to CompStak data.

A simultaneous 10-year lease renewal signed by Empire State Development stands to save the agency $2.5 million. In the 104,200-square-foot deal for floors 33 to 37, Empire State Development will pay rents in the low-$60s per square foot, according to data from CompStak, down from rent in the mid-$80s per square foot. Read More

Lease Beat

Empire State Development to Save Millions in Lease Renewal


A 10-year lease renewal signed by Empire State Development at Time Equities633 Third Avenue stands to save the agency $2.5 million. The 104,200-square-foot deal for floors 33 to 37 will see Empire State Development pay rents in the low-$60s per square foot, according to data from CompStak, down from rent in the mid-$80s per square foot.

The reduction in rent of approximately $24 per square foot will reduce Empire State Development’s yearly rent to $6.5 million through June 2016 from the previous annual rent of nearly $9 million, according to notes from an April directors meeting. Rents will increase to $68.50 per square foot, or just over $7 million per year, from July 2020 until the termination of the lease, but still represent considerable cost savings for the urban development corporation. Read More


ICSC 2012: A Walk on the Wild Side


The International Council of Shopping Centers landed in New York at the Hilton yesterday morning for Day 1 of its two-day New York National Conferences. Keynote addresses were made, palms were greased and rubbery chicken was endured, as attendees shuffled between booths set up by retailers and brokerage firms ranging from A&G Realty Partners to Zinburger Frozen Yogurt.

After the jump, The Commercial Observer’s Billy Gray joins, and attempts to stay above, the fray.
Read More