Once little more than a manufacturing district, Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood has evolved in to one of most popular neighborhoods in New York. Populated first by artists and today by Brooklyn’s loft and stroller set, Dumbo is also emerging into a prominent office location. The Watchtower portfolio, a group of buildings once owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, is being transformed into an office destination for tech and creative companies. Rebranded Dumbo Heights, the development’s landlords have already signed online retailer Etsy to a lease. Below, Commercial Observer maps out Dumbo Heights and other prominent developments in the neighborhood. Read More
The Real Estate Board of New York doled out prizes for the Most Ingenious and Most Significant Retail Deals of 2013 in a ceremony at Club 101 at 101 Park Avenue last Tuesday night, and Commercial Observer came out to sample the open bar, scope the 18 nominees and gather snippets from the 250 brokers and insiders who showed up for the event. Read More
The odds makers in Vegas traded Seattle for Denver as Super Bowl favorites just hours after the conference championship games ended. And the Broncos remain a tenuous two-point favorite for the big game at the time of writing. The New York real estate industry doesn’t like an underdog story, it seems, as all but one respondent to The Commercial Observer’s request for picks opted for the Broncos. Read More
In the lead-up to New Year’s Eve last week, The New Yorker reported that the largely vacant 1 Times Square—the home of the ball drop—makes $23 million, or 85 percent of its annual revenue, from advertising signage that bathes Times Square in a neon commercial glow. Signage is a sought-after prize of the New York skyline. Here are a few of the most famous illuminated signs around town. Read More
Last week, just ahead of the Thanksgiving travel rush, the Global Gateway Alliance, an advocate for airport infrastructure improvement chaired by real estate developer Joseph Sitt of Thor Equities, released an economic impact report on the New York metro area’s major airports: J.F.K., LaGuardia and Newark-Liberty. The findings were promising. Over the past decade, jobs created by the region’s airports increased by nearly 100 percent, with the three hubs collectively employing close to 500,000 jobs in the region.
“These numbers confirm what we’ve long know to be true: New York’s metropolitan airports are incredible economic drivers,” said Mr. Sitt. “When studies like this are released, it is clear to everyone the role the airports play in supporting the region economically.”
Below, The Commercial Observer lays out some of the key facts and figures from the report.
There’s now a reason to walk as far west as 44th Street and 11th Avenue.
That barren stretch of Midtown Manhattan last week welcomed Gotham West Market, a 10,000-square-foot food hall with a strong nod to Brooklyn. Developed by the Gotham Organization as a component of its Gotham West residential building, the market boasts options ranging from tapas at El Colmado to burgers at Genuine Roadside—not to mention the much-hyped Ivan Ramen, a ramen noodle hot spot that launched in Japan.
Following a seven-month wait that had food bloggers salivating, the Chelsea Market-like venue opened Wednesday to generally rave reviews. Below, a minute-by-minute chronicle of the lunch rush on its first day in business.
Stephen Ross, chairman of Related Companies, has come under fire in recent weeks due to his ownership of the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins, a franchise that is embroiled in a bullying scandal that has grabbed headlines far beyond the sports pages.
Mr. Ross’s ownership of the Dolphins is largely overshadowed in New York by his real estate dealings, but it is those deals that allowed him to spend more than $1 billion on the team in the first place. He’s not, however, the only billionaire with ties to the real estate industry who has chosen to spend lavish wealth on an NFL team.
Below, The Commercial Observer takes a look at those NFL owners, including Mr. Ross, who owe at least some of their wealth to wheeling and dealing in real estate.
With foreign capital pouring into the U.S. real estate market and continued controversy over prohibitive tax initiatives, it’s a wonder any of the accountants The Commercial Observer contacted had time to speak with us for our semiannual accounting issue.
But the experts were happy to chime in about a range of accounting matters currently affecting the real estate industry.
Below, a breakdown of firms making the biggest moves.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission held a public hearing last week in preparation for a vote that could add an additional 287 buildings to the Park Slope Historic District. The proposal, being considered the second piece of a 600-building extension approved last year, would bring the largest swath of landmarks in the city to 2,862 buildings.
On hand at the hearing was City Council Member Steve Levin, who presides over parts of Park Slope and, according to a spokesperson for the commission, offered support for the new extension. The commission has not yet set a date for the vote.
Swaths of residential brownstones would be protected under the new measure, as would a number of commercial spaces, some of which are currently home to retailers, organizations and churches.
Below, a look at several of the most significant mixed-use properties that would be protected in the proposed historic district.
Last week, Madison Square Garden unveiled the final stage of its massive $1 billion renovation project to the media and special guests. The following night, the arena reopened to fans for the Knicks final preseason game.
The three-year process has yielded a number of unique new features for the iconic venue, which was beginning to show its age, a ripe 45 years.
Below are some key facts and figures about the newly renovated arena and what fans have to look forward to this season.
First proposed in 1999 with the establishment of the nonprofit organization Friends of the High Line, the preservation and reuse of the New York Central Railroad’s West Side Line has been criticized by some as sanitizing the once gritty Meatpacking District.
First opened in 2009, the High Line stretches as far north as 30th Street and will eventually terminate at the Hudson Yards site. Though the High Line can boast a significant role in popularizing the neighborhood both with tourists and New Yorkers, it is neither the first nor only attraction to boost real estate values in the area.
Below, The Commercial Observer looks at some of the real estate landmarks and popular attractions in the vicinity.
The summer doldrums didn’t hit Manhattan during the third quarter, as leasing activity continued to tick upward in much of the market. Downtown Manhattan was the strongest performer of the city’s three major submarkets during that period, buoyed by healthy leasing in Class B stock and spillover from Midtown South. Tech continues to be a major driver in all sectors of the market, as growing industry diversification is making up for lack of growth in the financial services sector.
“Overall, Manhattan had a pretty good quarter, and that’s despite the fact it is the summer months and the third quarter is not high volume historically,” summarized Don Noland, managing director of research at Cushman & Wakefield. With the help of Mr. Noland and Jim Delmonte, director of research, The Commercial Observer sheds some light on the third-quarter office market.
Two weeks ago, the Landmarks Preservation Commission reviewed five buildings in Midtown East for landmark consideration in what was another chapter in the debate between the real estate industry and preservationists over the area’s historic real estate assets.
Seen as a roadblock in the Midtown East rezoning plan by many real estate professionals and a vital step in historic preservation by preservationists, the debate has raged on for months—even some of the buildings’ owners oppose preservation status.
Spearheaded by the Municipal Art Society, the preservation process began with the submission of a list of 17 candidate buildings. Four of the five buildings reviewed by LPC were on that preliminary list, and all five have been pinpointed below by The Commercial Observer.
For the first time in the firm’s nearly 100-year history, Cushman & Wakefield has initiated its first global brand refresh.
The global company—15,000 employees strong—redefined the company’s culture and elected to change its global branding to better align with Cushman & Wakefield’s overall vision. “Our visual identity change was a direct result of defining our culture,” Celine Clarke, global head of corporate communications and marketing, told The Commercial Observer. “We took the business approach of being simple and disciplined and applied it to our visual identity.”
Changes to the brand include a complete refresh of the company website, an expanded color palette for use in company communications and a new globally licensed font. Ms. Clarke spoke with The Commercial Observer about the changes and what, specifically, motivated each of them.
Basque interior designer Iñaki Aliste Lizarralde has developed a second career illustrating the floor plans of popular films and television shows. After testing his skills on the fictional floor plan from Frasier five years ago, Mr. Lizarralde was asked by a friend to illustrate the floor plan of Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment from Sex & the Read More