Market Report

CompStak Q2 Report: Manhattan Office Market ‘Bullish’

Compstak graphs

The latest quarterly Manhattan office rent report from commercial lease database CompStak details a “bullish” market where new Manhattan office leases represented more than 66 percent of new leasing activity this year, versus only 54 percent in 2013.

Despite a $2.07-per-square-foot decline in Midtown South rents to $52.62, analysts pronounced all three markets healthy, citing large-scale leases at Brookfield Place and the World Trade Center, as well as notable signings like Yelp‘s 152,232-square-foot deal at 11 Madison Avenue. Read More

Real Estate and Politics

Building Congress Prez: Mayor ‘Should Pay More Attention to Office Development’

Richard Anderson

A day after the New York City Building Congress forecasted the largest three-year growth in office space since 1990, the president of the organization, Richard Anderson, called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to do more to foster office construction in the city.

The influential organization of real estate developers, construction firms, union officials and academics predicted Monday that new developments would create 9 million square feet of new space between 2013 and 2015 and a total of 24.4 million square feet between 2010 and 2019. But Mr. Anderson cautioned that emerging trends might threaten new construction and said he wants the mayor to devote more energy to office space. Read More

World Trade Center

Westfield Group Filling World Trade Center Hub With Ease

Sept. 11 Memorial

World Trade Center retail developer Westfield Group has leases either signed or out for signing at roughly 80 percent of its 150 slots at the WTC’s transit hub, the international mall developers told The Wall Street Journal today.

The steel and glass-winged train station, which renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava dubbed “the Oculus,” will open next year with 365,000 square feet of retail space eyeballed by an estimated 200,000 pedestrians per day. Read More

World Trade Center

Slideshow: Inside the World Trade Center

11 Photos

Midtown Manhattan

Silverstein Properties invited Commercial Observer for an exclusive three-hour tour of the ear-popping existing buildings on the World Trade Center site, and the views were stunning. Even after a difficult week in which the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey thwarted Chairman Larry Silverstein‘s effort to get additional construction financing for 3 World Trade Center, Read More

Grand Openings

Fulton Center to Open to the Public on June 26

Renderings of Fulton Center

Fulton Center will open to the public on June 26, according to materials released Monday by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Capital Program Oversight Committee.

First introduced in 2004, the project formerly known as the Fulton Street Transit Center has seen its budget grow from $750 million to $1.4 billion over the past decade. According to the documents released yesterday, the project’s cost is “trending below current budget of $1.4 billion.” Read More

The Sit-Down

JLL’s Downtown Don: John Wheeler

John Wheeler. (Credit: Lea Rubin)

John Wheeler was tapped in March 2012 to run JLL’s lower Manhattan office after returning to the firm in 2009. He is a managing director at the company and has been with JLL for 14 years. He had two stints working on the principle side of the business for Gramercy Capital and Antares Real Estate Partners. Today he directs JLL’s efforts on Gramercy Capital’s 13.5-million-square-foot national portfolio. A couple of his key transactions have been a 500,000-square-foot sublease to Morgan Stanley at 1 New York Plaza and a 450,000-square-foot master lease to the City of New York at 180 Water Street. In his entire career, Mr. Wheeler, 52, has negotiated 13 million square feet of leases for clients. Last week, Commercial Observer sat down with Mr. Wheeler in his office at 140 Broadway and talked about lower Manhattan post-Superstorm Sandy, leasing prices being pushed from the bottom up and the newly distinguished submarket of the Water Street corridor. Read More

Space Search

Soho Properties Shops for Temporary Park51 Space

44 Trinity Place. (Credit: CoStar)

More than three years after developer Sharif El-Gamal faced a firestorm over plans for an Islamic prayer and community center in lower Manhattan, the head of Soho Properties is searching for temporary space for Park51, Commercial Observer has learned.

Yesterday afternoon, Aziz Friedrich from Soho Properties was spotted touring a 2,000-square-foot second-floor space at 44 Trinity Place, being marketed by Eastern Consolidated’s James Famularo and Ravi Idnani. The asking rent for the Trinity Place space is $100 per square foot and the lease term is 10 years, according to the listing. It seems an unusual space for a center since it is above Wogies Bar & Grill. Messrs. Famularo and Idnani declined to comment. Read More

World Trade Center

World Trade Center’s PATH Concourse Unveiled

Platform A Opened on Tuesday. (Credit: Getty Images)

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has officially opened the first platform of the new World Trade Center PATH station.    

The new station, Platform A, will ultimately replace the interim station currently serving riders at the World Trade Center and is the centerpiece of the approximately $4 billion transportation hub project occurring at the site, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Read More

Lease Beat

Wellington Shields Renews at 140 Broadway

WinesComment

Financial services firm Wellington Shields has signed a 10-year lease renewal at its 140 Broadway headquarters in Lower Manhattan.

The 18,579-square-foot covers part of the 51-story building’s 44th floor and sources said asking rents were $55 per square foot.

Studley broker Jason Schwartzenberg, who represented the tenant with Joseph Messina, said in a prepared statement that Read More

World Trade Center

World Trade Center Fence to Come Down, Marking 13 Years of Progress

A portion of the fence that surrounds the World Trade Center site (Photo: AP)

The World Trade Center site experienced numerous milestones last year, and now the blue fence that cordoned the 16-acre site off for the last 13 years will reportedly come down this year to show them all off.

The process of removing the fence, which will begin as early as May, will allow for a free flow of pedestrian traffic between the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and the rest of Lower Manhattan. 

Read More

ICSC 2013

Retail’s Redemption

An interior rendering of the retail space slated for Brookfield Place.

More than a decade ago, with just 30,000 people living south of Chambers Street and the neighborhood largely silent at night and on the weekends, high-end, luxury retail in lower Manhattan was at best a pipedream and at worst a failed enterprise. 

Today, with some $20 billion being spent on new construction between the upper stretches of Battery Park City and Broadway, the residential community has doubled to 60,000 and continues to grow. That affluent community of residents, not to mention increased tourist traffic, has upped the demand for luxury retail.

Burberry, Hermès, Ferragamo, Michael Kors and Zegna are some of the luxury names to have signed on at Brookfield Place, while J. Lindeberg and Tory Burch head the list of names rumored to be in talks for space at Westfield’s World Trade Center retail corridor.

Read More

Controversies

Security “Turf War” at World Trade Center?

WTC

The The tiff was most recently on display as “rival” command center vehicles for the respective police departments pulled up outside of the site, with the NYPD snubbing Port Authority requests to roll off, according to the report. 

While one law enforcement source called the rivalry “childish” and another apparently laughed it off as a “playground Read More