In a vault in the middle of the stretch of West 47th Street between Avenue of the Americas and Fifth Avenue that’s known as the Diamond District, a longtime merchant keeps his literal crown jewels: a set designed in the 18th century for the French royal family. The jewelry salesman and collector places the value of the tiara, bracelet, necklace and earrings with origins in the Bourbon-Medici clan at $1 million, but those jewels are not for sale, he says. He says he plans to donate the piece to a museum someday, and his employees show off less pricey merchandise like a $650,000 choker and a $565,000 necklace. If those items seem too expensive, a store employee tells Commercial Observer, he’s happy to point out items that sell for closer to $500,000. Read More
Near the end of Commercial Observer’s visit to the Center for Architecture in the South Village, Lance Jay Brown of the American Institute of Architects’ New York Chapter excused himself for a moment to approach a group of students. The teenagers were in front of a picture of the Occupy Wall Street crowds of 2011 at Zuccotti Park discussing how to create public spaces as part of one of the museum’s hundreds of annual programs for local students and residents. Far from interjecting to discuss his local, national or international urban design experience, Mr. Brown grinned and tiptoed toward the powwow to snap a picture of the engaged youngsters with his cell phone without disturbing the conversation. Then the 71-year-old president of the influential founding chapter of AIA shook hands with one of the group’s leaders, and, a few moments later, pedaled away from the center on a bicycle. Read More
As the son of a doctor and a nurse, broker John Cahill may have been predestined to work in the medical field in one form or another. Fresh out of Syracuse University, the New York native first chose pharmaceutical sales as his field of choice.
Initially lacking the required experience, Mr. Cahill spent one year at ADP learning the ropes of a sales role and in the process picking up both his employer’s Rookie of the Year award and an expense-paid trip to Hawaii. Read More
Robert Dankner’s PR person calls him the “nonbroker broker.”
That moniker seems fitting for the 53-year-old co-founder and president of Prime Manhattan Residential, who looks more like an artist than a broker and whose real estate business really is a commercial-residential hybrid. Read More
To the untrained eye, last year’s City Council hearing on the Howard Hughes Corporation’s plans to tear down and replace the mall on Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport revealed the Lower Manhattan community and its elected officials’ deep reservations with the idea. But to the company’s counsel, Paul Selver, the hearing played out Read More
James Famularo is so much a part of the restaurant world’s fabric that chef Michael Guerrieri named a sandwich after him.
Mr. Famularo’s namesake hero, James, is served at City Sandwich for $9.95. Sadly, Mr. Famularo has never tried it since he’s not a fan of roast beef. But last week he ticked off a number of other sandwiches he loves at the eatery, which has a special place in his heart. Read More
It would seem that Ed Hogan’s job at Brookfield Place is nearly complete, but the national director of retail leasing for Brookfield Office Properties told Commercial Observer last week that a new phase is just beginning.
The 35,000-square-foot, 600-seat food hall Hudson Eats is open and nearly leased up, with counters taken by Blue Ribbon Sushi, Sprinkles cupcakes and others. The 25,000-square-foot (plus 10,000-square-foot outdoor area) Le District marketplace is fully leased by HPH restaurant group partners Peter Poulakakos and Paul Lamas. And the 250,000-square-foot retail center is 90 percent spoken for. Read More
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
To say Massey Knakal’s Tom Donovan knows Queens like the back of his hand might be an understatement–so much so that his colleagues call him “MapQuest” when it comes to the borough.
He derived his GPS-like abilities from delivering pizzas across Queens as a youth, and later as an NYPD cop patrolling the borough’s streets. Read More
Mr. Goldfarb grew up on Rivington Street on the Lower East Side back when people sat on their stoops for entertainment, when you knew everyone in the neighborhood by name, and before the cramped, railroad-style tenements stretching from South to 15th Streets were razed and turned into projects. Read More
Charles Cohen, the president and chief executive of Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation, knows he can parachute Marc Horowitz into the middle of a leasing nightmare and Mr. Horowitz will turn the situation around.
“Marc is the most creative, instinctive and resourceful in-house commercial leasing broker I’ve ever been associated with, hands down,” said Mr. Cohen.
Deep in the midst of the market downturn, Samvir Sidhu, a veteran of Goldman Sachs and Providence Equity, was thinking about where he could capitalize once the market inevitably turned. Examining real estate, the native Pennsylvanian identified the residential and multifamily sectors as areas of opportunity.
With his strategy in mind, Mr. Sidhu, who goes by Sam, began raising money from family offices and other high-net-worth investors for a real estate investment fund shortly after leaving Providence Equity. In 2009, Megalith Capital Management was born. Read More
A lot has happened since Brett Maslin of Adams & Co. made Commercial Observer’s 30 Under 30 list in 2012. He’s fully blossomed into one of the firm’s top-producing brokers. He also got married, so after eight grueling years climbing the company ladder, he finally got a break with a skiing trip in Vermont at the end of January—the first of two trips he and his wife would take to celebrate their vows. Read More
Earlier this year, a machine known as The Launcher got to work on the foundation upon which Brookfield Office Properties’ 7.2-million-square-foot mixed-use Manhattan West project will rise.
So far, the metallic-yellow workhorse has methodically placed three of 16 concrete bridge spans atop a set of uncovered Amtrak tracks that lead to Penn Station, the rest of which are expected to be in place by year’s end.
As The Launcher continues to work ahead of schedule at the task, the “neighborhood of the future” is becoming more and more of a reality, as marketing efforts to land an anchor tenant for the development’s first commercial tower intensify. Read More
Ira Fishman is walking around his office with carpet and base molding samples in his hand. EVO Real Estate Group President Dana Moskowitz wants his input on the color scheme for the company’s new offices. He says Ms. Moskowitz has better taste than him, but she wants him to weigh in on the color scheme anyway. He is her father after all.
In the end, he agrees with Ms. Moskowitz: White walls and light gray tones (including gray base) with blue accents are the way to go. Read More