Sales Beat

Vornado, Crown to Buy St. Regis Retail for $700M

St. Regis. (PropertyShark)

Vornado Realty Trust and Crown Acquisitions have agreed to acquire the retail condominium at the St. Regis hotel and the adjacent retail townhouse for $700 million.

The property, located on the southeast corner of 55th Street, features 100 feet of frontage. The space is leased to Kering’s Gucci division for the Bottega Veneta brand and to LVMH for a De Beers location, according to a press release announcing the deal. The 17,100-square-foot Kering lease expires in January 2016, while LVMH’s 7,600-square-foot deal expires in January 2019. Read More

Industry Events

Female Power Brokers Hail Changed Real Estate World

Panelists

A trio of prominent female real estate professionals hailed changes in the real estate industry that have turned women power brokers into nothing out of the ordinary, something they said was not the case when they started in the business decades ago.

Sherri White of Vornado Realty Trust, Laurie Golub of HFZ Capital and Jane Gol of Continental Ventures Capital participated in a wide-ranging panel discussion last night at a benefit for the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces on the top-floor terrace of the Olivia Building at 315 West 33rd Street, and, while they dished with moderator Peter Ripka of Ripco Real Estate on their thoughts about the city’s eye-popping development, the state of its housing market and its dramatic turnaround from the recession, the three women made striking comments about the status of women in the industry. Read More

Lease Beat

Napier Park Leaves Citigroup HQ for 280 Park Avenue

280 Park Avenue.

Napier Park Global Capital, an independent alternative asset management firm, has signed a new lease at 280 Park Avenue.

Napier took  a 10-year lease for 25,000 square feet in the 43-story Class A building located between 48th and 49th Streets, according to Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, which represented the tenant in the deal. Read More

Lease Beat

Rocket Fuel Takes 90K SF at 100 West 33rd Street

100 West 33rd Street (Credit: Arthur G. Cohen)

Rocket Fuel has signed a 10-year lease for 90,000 square feet at Vornado Realty Trust’s 100 West 33rd Street. The advertising technology company expects to relocate from its current office at 129 West 29th Street next month.

“Rocket Fuel definitely wanted to stay in the Midtown/Chelsea area as this is where most of its customers and partners are located,” Scott Brown, a managing director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, who represented the tenant, told Commercial Observer in an emailed statement. “The decision to take a full floor at 100 West 33rd Street was driven by efficiency and company projections to expand in the short-term.” Read More

Power Broker

Staying Power: Bruce Mosler of Cushman & Wakefield

Bruce Mosler. (Lea Rubin)

The list of chief executives who have stayed involved with a company for a significant period of time after leaving the CEO role is a short one. According to consulting firm RHR International, just 50 percent of departing CEOs stay involved with a company as a member of the board, and even then only for an average period of eight months.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Bruce Mosler has defied those statistics. The real estate firm’s chairman of global brokerage is still at C&W four years after stepping down as chief executive. Read More

Lease Beat

Research Firm Expands at 330 Madison Avenue

330 Madison Avenue (photo courtesy of CoStar)

Research firm Zelman & Associates has nearly doubled its space at Vornado Realty Trust‘s 330 Madison Avenue, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The firm has signed a 9,822-square-foot lease on the building’s 34th floor, trading up from its current 5,232-square-foot space on the 20th floor, the Journal reported. Asking rent for the space, which will be built out by Vornado, was $80 per square foot. Read More

Wrecking Ball

Vornado Seeks Demo Permit for Rizzoli Bookstore Building

Rizzoli Bookstore before it shuttered last month.

Vornado Realty Trust is taking steps to demolish the building that housed the beloved Rizzoli Bookstore as well as a vacant adjacent structure on West 57th Street.

According to Department of Building records, Vornado is seeking permits to demolish 31 West 57th Street as well as 33 West 57th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Vornado and the LeFrak Organization‘s 31 West 57th Street was home to Rizzoli Bookstore for 29 years until last month. Read More

Lease Beat

Neuberger Berman Relocating to 1290 Avenue of the Americas

A rendering of 1290 Avenue of the Americas with Neuberger Berman branding.

Investment manager Neuberger Berman will relocate its global headquarters from 605 Third Avenue to Vornado’s 1290 Avenue of the Americas during the fourth quarter of 2016, the company announced today.

The private financial services firm has signed a 20-year lease for approximately 355,000 square feet at the Midtown office building. As part of the deal, the building will feature extensive Neuberger Berman branding and a dedicated lobby visitor center. Read More

Lease Beat

Financial Data Firm Consolidates at 90 Park [Updated]

90 Park Avenue

FactSet Research Systems, which provides analytics and content to the financial industry, has consolidated its space and renewed its lease at 90 Park Avenue between 39th and 40th Streets.

The financial data firm will now have 102,000 square feet spanning the entire 7th, 10th and 11th floors of the 1 million-square-foot tower, according to Crain’s, rather than be spread throughout the building. Read More

Preservation

Borough President Calls for Landmarks Reform

Rizzoli Bookstore. (Credit: PropertyShark)

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and city preservationists today called for reforms to the landmarking process following the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s refusal to consider landmark status for the Rizzoli Bookstore building at 31 West 57th Street.

“The landmarks process requires reform; we must avoid more Rizzoli-like ambushes on our history. We are here today to ask that the LPC immediately study those remaining buildings on West 57th Street to identify and landmark those that represent the best of their eras, and I will introduce legislation which will require the LPC to follow transparent and consistent time frames in responding to future designation requests,” Ms. Brewer said in a prepared statement. 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

Lease Beat

New York & Co. Carves Out New 185,000SF Headquarters

330 West 34th Street

Women’s apparel retailer New York & Co. has inked a deal for its new headquarters space at Vornado Realty Trust’s 330 West 34th Street

The fashion company signed a new lease for roughly 180,000 square feet across four floors at the 18-floor building, relocating from the space it occupied for more than two decades at nearby 450 West 33rd Street.  

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