Cover Story

Cover Story

Midtown Caters to Hungry Office Workers, Shoppers with Proliferation of Gourmet Food Courts

Gotham West Market

Come next spring, Columbus Circle will be home to a 14,750-square-foot food market lined by 10- to 20-foot-wide open storefronts just outside of the busy subway station. On the East Side, Urban Space, the food hall manager behind Mad. Sq. Eats, Broadway Bites and Dekalb Market, recently signed a long-term lease for 10,000 square feet of retail space at the Helmsley Building at 230 Park Avenue. And late last year, Gotham Organization opened Gotham West Market, a 10,000-square-foot Chelsea Market-like food hall in Hell’s Kitchen, to considerable fanfare.

Why are so many food courts—once synonymous with suburban shopping malls and dreary office atriums—not only popping up in Midtown, but luring forward-thinking chefs and adventurous diners? Read More

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285 Madison Transformed


In December 2011, 41-year-old advertising executive Suzanne Hart began an average Wednesday by entering the elevator in the lobby of her firm’s 285 Madison Avenue headquarters. As she stepped inside, the elevator suddenly leaped upward, tragically trapping Ms. Hart between the elevator and the wall of the now 88-year-old building. Two other elevator passengers, powerless to help, could only look on. Read More

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As Cornell begins to rise on Roosevelt Island, tech industry ponders future

Aerial  rendering of Cornell NYC Tech (source: Kilograph)

Even as the construction process commences on a marquee Roosevelt Island technology project, some tech companies are uncertain about how the industry will fare now that Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a staunch advocate for tech, is out of office. 

As Cornell NYC Tech, the engineering school slated for Roosevelt Island, makes its way through the development process and the city welcomes a new administration, it prompts a question: Will the sustainable applied science and engineering campus—and tech in general—get the same level of attention from Mayor Bill de Blasio as it did from his predecessor, Mr. Bloomberg? Read More

Cover Story

When Tribeca Rocked: Remembering the Wetlands Preserve


By 2001, the Spin Doctors had all but broken up. The New York alt-rock band that earned Top 40 fame with the hits “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” and “Two Princes” had been inactive for nearly two years.

Then news broke that the Wetlands Preserve, the hometown venue where the band first made its mark, was closing. Shortly thereafter, a request came in to reunite the band for one last show at the club.

“If anything was going to bring us back together it was going to be the Wetlands, because we had such a history there,” said Aaron Comess, the band’s drummer, adding that the reunion helped to revive the band. 

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Grand Opening: Behind the Scenes of 4 WTC Debut

Image 1 - 4WTC

Less than two weeks after a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony held to mark the official opening of 4 World Trade Center, the scene at the building was comparatively muted. Instead of welcoming tenants and checking in guests, security officers manned their posts as construction workers put the finishing touches on the building’s lobby.

That’s all about to change.

Within 12 months, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and New York City, the two tenants that have committed to space at tower, will complete their respective build-outs and commence moving in. Other tenants, it is hoped, won’t be far behind.

“The fact that [4 World Trade Center] is open brings another level of reality to the project,” said Adam Foster, senior vice present at CBRE, who is part of the leasing team at the Silverstein Properties-owned building. “It demystifies everything.”

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FIRPTA: Flagged for Review


In the early 1980s, with overseas investors hovering over American farmland and commercial properties, Congress set in motion the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act in an attempt to limit foreign acquisition of U.S. real estate.

Over 30 years later, FIRPTA, as it is known, is under the spotlight again, with the nation’s real estate industry eager to reform the legislation that requires of foreign investors a 10 percent withholding on the sale price of a property to ensure payment of taxes owed. Reforming the law, which also imposes a 35 percent capital gains tax on some property sales, it is argued, will further open up the U.S. real estate market to foreign investors. Read More

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The Agony and the Ecstasy of Opening a NYC Nightclub

DiscoBallBYTambako The Jaguar

The nightclub Sankeys NYC opened on Halloween night last week, a well-timed debut that took advantage of adult New Yorkers’ embrace of the children’s holiday as an excuse to drink lots of booze in little clothing. 

But the timing did not go as planned. In fact, Sankeys, a dance club franchise that began 19 years ago in Manchester, England, had at one point been expected to open closer to New Year’s Eve—of 2010. The Sankeys team announced plans for a New York offshoot in the summer of that year (a third operates seasonally in Ibiza, Spain). It would be located on West 50th Street near 12th Avenue. The delayed Halloween launch took over the club’s 14,800-square-foot home at 29 West 36th Street between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas.  Read More

Cover Story

Times Square Marches On

New York''s Times Square

Lisa Steinberg was just a few months out of college when she was bound, gagged and stabbed to death in the office of a Gap store on West 57th Street near Broadway. It was January of 1992, halfway through David Dinkin’s only term as mayor of an increasingly anarchic and crime-plagued New York. 

The murder rate had peaked at 2,245 in 1990. But the number of homicides climbed in the Midtown South precinct—which includes Times Square—reaching 11 in 1993. East New York’s 75th precinct broke the record that year for the most murders in a single precinct: 126.   Read More

Cover Story

Midtown South: Hitting the Ceiling

51 Astor Place

“I’ll be honest with you,” Gregg Weisser said. “It caught me by surprise.”

Mr. Weisser, the senior vice president and director of commercial real estate at the Moinian Group, was discussing the dramatic rise of Midtown South as a real estate, tech, media and fashion powerhouse. But he likens the fast-paced big-city success story to a leisurely drive upstate.  Read More

Cover Story

Downtown Manhattan, Uptown Chic


Burberry. Salvatore Ferragamo. Ermenegildo Zegna. Michael Kors. Scoop. Hermes. Judith & Charles. Calypso St. Barth.

It’s an impressive list of retailers. What’s more striking is that Brookfield Office Properties cut deals with all of them this year, and they’ll be sharing a home at the revamped Brookfield Place beginning next year, forming an unprecedented shopping destination Downtown. Read More

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The Sheik and I

Tea Room

Though the likelihood of an imminent American strike on Syria receded last week, nerves in the Middle East rattled on.

Hotel designer Jeff Ornstein of global interior design firm J/Brice Design was making final preparations to fly out to Daha, Qatar, to speak at an architecture conference, when on Sept. 9 he received an email alert from Bond Events President Oliver Needs. Read More

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The Great Wall: The Hurdles U.S. Brokers Face in China


Shortly after a Chinese business tapped Studley’s newly opened Shanghai office to help it expand beyond the city and country and procure space in New York earlier this year, Yin Li, head of the brokerage firm’s China operations, hit a roadblock.

In line with standards in China, Ms. Li’s client was looking to sign a short-term two- or three-year lease, which New York landlords were reluctant to accommodate. Instead, Ms. Li convinced her client to seek out an alternative—a sublease deal.

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LeFrak City at 50


Prodigy was sitting in a first-class airplane cabin somewhere over the Pacific Ocean when he first put a face to the name of the New York real estate dynasty that shaped his childhood.

The rapper, one half of hip-hop group Mobb Deep, was en route to a show in Brisbane when he met a fellow Read More

Cover Story

The Art of the Deal: Brokers Look to Arts to Draw Tenants

Barbara Kaz Paley (Credit: Fernando Gomes)

New York City real estate is typically focused on the new. Ascendant tenants. Emerging neighborhoods. Fresh construction and radical renovation.

Barbara Koz Paley appreciates the new. But the founder and chief executive officer of Art Assets also trains her well-practiced eye on the old. “I’m a recycler,” Ms. Paley said. “The old and tired excite me.”

She’s referring to the commercial spaces that her 21-year-old art consulting firm helps reinvigorate with sculptures, paintings, installations and performances. Art Assets injects culture into what might have been antiseptic corporate lobbies and retail rooms, drawing in passersby (and prospective tenants) and defining the visual environment for existing users. Read More