Brooklyn Issue

A Spec Office Building Signals W’burg’s Transformation Into a 24-7 Destination

Williamsburg's still-evolving waterfront. (Credit: Mark Stinson)

Williamsburg’s real estate success story has mostly centered on its residential boom—until now. With a new speculative office tower planned for the Brooklyn neighborhood and high-profile retailers preparing to set up shop, the former industrial area and hipster haven is becoming a hotbed of major league commercial activity.

The neighborhood has been abuzz over, and not always happy about, its residential development, which, with many more projects on the horizon, continues to overshadow the commercial market. There are more than 6,100 residential units in the pipeline, according to data compiled by MNS in January.  Read More

Coming Soon

Whole Foods on Track for Mid-2014 Williamsburg Opening

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After securing a $45 million loan from Meridian Capital Group to finance the development of Williamsburg’s first Whole Foods, the healthful grocery Goliath is targeting a mid-2014 debut.

The 35,000-square-foot store at 240-242 Bedford Avenue is part of a 150,000-square-foot development that will take up a full block of North 4th Street between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street. The project will also include a New York Sports Club and luxury rental apartments. Read More

Lease Beat

CVS Inks on Lower East Side

Courtesy of CVS

CVS Pharmacy is the latest tenant to move to the Lower East Side, inking a deal at 42-56 East Houston Street.

The pharmacy chain, whose presence is limited and overshadowed by Walgreens and Duane Reade in the city, will be taking a 10,365-square-foot space that spans the entire block between Mulberry and Mott streets. Read More

Postings

REBNY Retail Deal of the Year Awards, Minute By Minute

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About 200 retail real estate specialists gathered at 101 Park Avenue’s 101 Club last Tuesday for the Real Estate Board of New York’s 15th annual Retail Deal of the Year Awards cocktail party.

Brokers flocked to a bountiful buffet and an open bar with generous pours. In a lonely corner, an ignored PowerPoint presentation summarized the nominees. Here’s what went down as the assembled waited to hear which of the nine submitted transactions would take home the evening’s two big honors. Read More

Awards

REBNY Gives Retail Deal of the Year Honors to David LaPierre, Jacqueline Klinger, Chase Welles

From left to right: David LaPierre, Jacqueline Klinger, Chase Welles

Brokers who brought big name chain retailers to a pair of Jeff Sutton properties won big last night at the Real Estate Board of New York‘s Retail Deal of the Year Awards at 101 Park Avenue.

David LaPierre of CBRE nabbed the prize for  “most ingenious and creative retail deal that demonstrates exceptional broker acumen” for a transaction that brought Express to 1552-1560 Broadway. Jacqueline Klinger and Chase Welles of SCG Retail‘s success in landing Whole Foods in Harlem (at 100 West 125th Street) were deemed the brokers behind “the retail deal which is most significant in its overall characteristics and importance to the New York City Retail Market” Read More

Power Broker

The Grocer’s Daughter: Winick Realty’s Lori Shabtai on Manhattan’s Evolving Retail Landscape

Lori Shabtai (Credit: Sophie Mathewson)

What a difference five years makes. When Winick Realty Group Executive Vice President Lori Shabtai marketed a 13,000-square-foot retail space at 459 Broadway in 2008, she hinged part of the sell on the cachet of the intersection of Broadway and Grand Street.

“I called it the heart of Soho,” Ms. Shabtai, 52, said during an interview in her well-appointed (and well-heated) office. “I remember a broker calling me and saying, ‘That’s more like the colon of Soho.’”

That any doubts persisted so recently about the viability of that block attests to the dizzyingly fast rate of change in New York real estate. The interaction also attests to Ms. Shabtai’s prescience and her quick mastery of the steep learning curve in commercial real estate, a field she entered just eight years ago. Read More

Food & Drink

Harlem Shake Craze Could Boost Business At Harlem Shake Burger Joint

A clip from a video of Harlem residents watching a "Harlem Shake" video.

The owner of an upcoming Harlem burger joint must be hoping that a current YouTube meme has long legs. Jelena Pasic settled on the name Harlem Shake for her restaurant six months ago, well before a series of amateur videos riffing on Brooklyn d.j. Bauer‘s song of the same name went viral, quickly racking up hundreds of millions of views.

The New York Post‘s Steve Cuozzo writes today that the happy coincidence has prompted a big spike in neighborhood interest in the humble eatery, with proprietors telling him they “never [had] in the back of our minds this whole phenomenon.” Ms. Pasic hopes that the enthusiasm lingers when Harlem Shake and its proposed 65-seat sidewalk cafe open in a few months on the corner of Lenox Avenue and 124th Street.  Read More

Lease Beat

American Eagle Joins Whole Foods in Harlem

American Eagle

American Eagle will be expanding in Harlem.

The preppy teen retailer has signed a deal for an 8,500-square-foot lease at 100 West 125th Street, the brand’s most northern location in the city. American Eagle will join Burlington Coat Factory and Whole Foods in the soon-to-be-built development on the corner of Malcolm X Boulevard and 125th Read More

Controversies

Round 2: City Landlords Kick and Scream Back Following Allegations of Broker Leapfrogging

(Photo: The Real Deal)

Some city landlords are kicking and screaming back after an article published in The Commercial Observer yesterday morning cited sources who allege that a new wave of city landlords are leapfrogging brokers to get at retail tenants directly—but many continue to claim that the landlords do just that.

Wharton Properties’ Jeff Sutton, who sources name among several landlords, sought to set the record straight yesterday, claiming that “95 percent of the deals I do have brokers” and calling the implication that he does otherwise “disgusting.”

“Some deals where I’ve had relationships [with] tenants for many years, who don’t have brokers, I do myself, but how could you put me in that category,” he said.  “I’ve never ever gone around anybody.” Read More