Real Estate and Politics

Campaign Finance Board Details Jobs for New York Funders

2013 CFB report

The New York City Campaign Finance Board decried the influence of the real estate industry-backed entity Jobs for New York during the 2013 election in the review of last year’s campaign the agency released Tuesday.

While the board’s regular review of city elections pointed out several City Council races in which the financial clout of Jobs for New York failed to deliver its preferred candidates to victory, the report calls for greater transparency of the contributors whose largesse allowed the Super PAC-like entity that wasn’t connected to any candidate to raise $6.9 million and spend $4.9 million on last year’s City Council elections. Read More

The Lobby

Spinola Retiring From REBNY After 2015

Steven Spinola

Longtime Real Estate Board of New York President Steven Spinola will retire at the end of 2015, the Financial Times reported today.

Mr. Spinola, 65, has led the trade group and influential real estate advocacy organization since 1986, and he called the reports of his departure “premature” in a message to the organization’s board of governors while acknowledging that the recent extension he signed through the end of next year will be his last. Read More

New Developments

H&R REIT Partners with Tishman Speyer in LIC Development

2 Gotham Center. (NYCEDC)

H&R Real Estate Investment Trust has joined Tishman Speyer as a 50 percent joint venture partner in the development of a luxury residential project in Long Island City, Queens.

The development site, located adjacent to H&R-owned 2 Gotham Center, is zoned for 1.2 million square feet of mixed-use development. The plot can accommodate up to 1,600 rental units and approximately 30,000 square feet of retail space, according to a statement. 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

Lease Beat

Law Firm Expands at 30 Rock

30 Rockefeller Plaza

Haynes and Boone LLP has expanded by 38,193 square feet at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, taking the entire 24th floor at the Tishman Speyer property, Commercial Observer has learned.

The law firm now occupies the entire 24th, 25th and 26th floors for a total of 112,793 square feet and is now the third largest tenant in the building, according to a spokesperson who confirmed the deal. The tenant will pay rent starting in the high-$70s, according to data from CompStak. Read More

MO's Top 50

Jonathan Pollack Takes Top Spot On This Year’s 50 Most Important People in CREF

Jonathan Pollack

Deutsche Bank’s CMBS guru and real estate financing head honcho, Jonathan Pollack, took the No. 1 spot on this year’s 50 Most Important People list due to several colossal deals and his team’s top ranking in the global and U.S. securitized debt markets.

While the German global banking and financial services company reported an unexpected overall loss of 965 million euros, or $1.3 billion, for the fourth quarter of 2013, its real estate debt operations have continued to show clear gains. Read More

The Sit-Down

Kevin Hoo’s Tweet Victory

Kevin Hoo

Kevin Hoo’s prior experience with UBS AG and later Tishman Speyer allowed him to slip seamlessly into a role as a vice president at Savanna in 2011, where as an asset manager he handles everything from financing acquisitions to choosing building finishes, leasing them up and handling day-to-day operations. “We run a fairly lean team here,” he said. “My role has been to play the jack of all trades.” At Tishman Speyer, Mr. Hoo’s acquisition, development, design and construction roles saw him focusing on properties as iconic as Rockefeller Center and the MetLife Building, but as he tells it, Savanna’s recent repositioning of 245 and 249 West 17th Street, now home to Twitter’s New York City headquarters, is the most exciting endeavor he has been a part of. Read More

Lease Beat

Baker Botts Clamps Down on 30 Rock, Enters Brazil

30 Rockefeller Plaza

Houston-based global law firm Baker Botts has signed a 10-year, 104,000-square-foot renewal for its space at Tishman Speyer’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

The move comes on the same day that the firm, the fourth-biggest adviser on North American oil and natural gas deals this year, announced it will expand to Brazil as Petroleo Brasileiro SA – its Read More

Wired City

The World According to Riggs Kubiak, Honest Buildings’ Visionary CEO

Riggs Power Broker_Fernando Pereira Gomes-3

For Riggs Kubiak, the appeal of real estate lay in its tangibility.

“Working with things that you can touch, feel, walk into and experience,” he said, “was more exciting to me than dealing with synthetic collateralized debt obligations.”

Mr. Kubiak, 32, got his start in the industry renting apartments while he was an undergraduate at Boston College. And, following stints at Ernst & Young and Granite Partners, he rose to become the global head of sustainability at Tishman Speyer, where he worked for five years.

Now he’s the chief executive officer of Honest Buildings, a website he co-founded with his sister, Garrett Kubiak, and Cody Roberts that connects building owners and tenants with brokers, contractors and other real estate professionals in a bid to bolster transparency and hasten innovation in construction, design and other fields. Read More

Lease Beat

Consignment Shop Second Time Around Leases 1,213 Square Feet in Stuy Town

Stuy Town as seen from First Avenue

The consignment store Second Time Around signed a long-term lease for 1,213 square feet of Stuyvesant Town real estate at 334 First Avenue.

Scott Galin and Darell Handler of Handler Real Estate Organization represented the tenant. Bruce Spiegel and William Bergman of Rose Associates, Inc. represented the landlord, ST Owner, LP. Messrs. Galin and Handler said asking rent was $120 per square foot. Read More