Lease Beat

Toll Brothers Moving Manhattan HQ to 75 Broad Street

The lobby at 75 Broad Street.

Horsham, Pa.-based Fortune 100 home builder Toll Brothers is relocating its Manhattan headquarters from 99 Wall Street to 75 Broad Street, JEMB Realty announced.

Toll signed a lease for 8,100 square feet on the 21st floor at the building between Beaver and South William Streets, and is slated to move in by the end of the year, according to a spokeswoman for JEMB, the building’s owner. Read More

Hotel Beat

Brooklyn Hotel Pipeline Expands

EVEN Hotels rendering for Downtown Brooklyn (source: Gene Kaufman)

There are 22 hotel projects with 2,208 rooms in the pipeline in Brooklyn as of January, according to data provided by lodging industry benchmarking services firm STR to Commercial Observer. That represents a spike in room count year-over-year from 1,370, and an uptick in the number of hotels from 14.

Of the 22 current projects, four (with 212 rooms) are in the planning stages, six (with 609 rooms) are in the final planning stages and 12 (with 1,387 rooms) are in construction. Read More

East 23rd Street

Flatiron BID Looks to Draw High-Profile Tenants to East 23rd Street [Updated]

View of 23rd Street facing west from Park Avenue South

Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership is hoping to raise the profile of one stretch of its district that has been under the radar, in part due to scaffolding that has been up for years: East 23rd Street between Third Avenue and Avenue of the Americas.

With streetscape and free public wireless network projects underway, the BID’s executive director, Jennifer Brown, told Commercial Observer that she hopes sprucing up East 23rd Street will help “attract” high-quality tenants. Read More

Sales Beat

Nonprofit Sells 154 East 23rd Street for $9M


The Xavier Society for the Blind has sold its former headquarters at 154 East 23rd Street for $9 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The decision to sell was motivated in part by the burgeoning real estate market in Midtown South but also by changes in Xavier’s mission. The organization previously produced Braille and large-print books and had several libraries at the property that were open to the public. Technology innovations such as tablets and e-readers have since reduced the need for those types of physical materials.

Read More

Market Reports

Commercial Space Tight as Tech Continues to Surge in Flatiron: Report

One Madison

Buoyed by the area’s burgeoning tech scene and growing residential market, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District this morning presented its third annual report to a room of brokers and indicated available commercial space in the district is sparse.

With more than 200 commercial office buildings offering upwards of 22 million square feet of rentable space, Flatiron’s overall vacancy rate sits at just 6.96 percent, with only 1.55 million square feet available for lease. The average price per square foot of that space hovers just below $50 at $49.10. Read More

On the Market

Retail Condo Hits the Block at Toll Brothers’ Gramercy Condo Building


Toll Brothers has appointed Massey Knakal to exclusively market a retail condominium at its 21-story luxury condo development at 160 East 22nd Street in Gramercy, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The asking price for the 2,560-square-foot ground floor corner condo unit is $8.5 million and will be delivered for occupancy in the summer of 2014.

“Toll Brothers has Read More

Lease Beat

Mount Sinai Expansion Tops 20,000 Square Feet of Leasing at 1556 Third Avenue


The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has signed a 10-year, 3,616-square-foot expansion on the fifth floor of Muss Development’s 1556 Third Avenue, known as the Agora Building, The Commercial Observer has learned. Asking rents were not disclosed.

The medical tenant’s lease, which brings its total footprint to 8,424 square feet, is the largest of 20,000 square feet of new leases and renewals at the Upper East Side property.

“The Agora Building at 1556 Third Avenue is meticulously maintained, providing Upper East Side tenants a high-end leasing option in an area with few comparable alternatives,” said Jason Muss, principal at Muss Development, in a prepared statement. “We continue to see strong demand for space.” Read More

Sales Beat

Toll Brothers Pays $64M for Residential Development Site

Toll Brothers' The Touraine in Lenox Hill

It looks like luxury home builder Toll Brothers may have yet another New York City residential development project on the drawing board after scooping up a financially troubled and stalled development site – once dubbed the Oliver – from Alexico Group for $64 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.

Owner of the high-end boutique condominium building The Touraine in Lenox Hill, Toll Brothers purchased 953, 957, 959 and 961 First Avenue (or 953-961 First Avenue) in Midtown East after years of financial turmoil bogged down and eventually killed Alexico Group’s original plans to build a 161-unit luxury rental building at the site. Read More

Lower Manhattan

Sale of City Hall Buildings Snagged

City Hall submarket.

A city proposal to sell three lower Manhattan buildings, potentially converting 750,000 square feet of outmoded office space into luxury housing or hotels, has run into objections from community representatives in the City Hall area, who argue that the plan should have included provisions for a school, community center or affordable housing.

The City Council’s subcommittee on planning, dispositions and concessions plans a hearing next week on the disposal of the properties at 22 Reade Street and 49-51 Chambers Street. Disposition of the third building in the package, at 346 Broadway, was approved in 1998. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the sale in January as part of a drive to make the city more efficient by consolidating its office spaces. Read More