East New York’s Livonia Commons: Affordable Housing Vision Gets Visual Aids

Usually, living down by the tracks is bad thing, but after looking at the renderings of an affordable apartment complex in East New York, all we could think was, “how can we sign up?”

Dunn Development Corp. will develop four buildings in East New York, the department of Housing Preservation and Development recently announced, an announcement that came with some lovely colored renderings of the project. The developments, collectively known as Livonia Commons, will include 270 new units of low-income housing as well as 11,000 square-feet of ground floor retail space.
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Miraclebody and Mainstream Swimsuits Join Fashionable Crowd at 250 West 39th Street

Mainstream Swimsuits and sister-company Miraclebody, the denim manufacturer that claims weight loss as a virtue, have inked a 7,500-square-foot deal for two spaces at 39 Street Fashion Center.

Miraclebody will renew its lease on the 11th floor of 250 West 39th Street, the asset’s formal address, and Mainstream Swimsuits will relocate the design department to the building’s third floor, brokers told The Commercial Observer.

Continue reading “Miraclebody and Mainstream Swimsuits Join Fashionable Crowd at 250 West 39th Street”

421 Kent Avenue Sells for $40 Million

421 Kent Avenue, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, has sold for around $40 million, sources have revealed to The Commercial Observer.

bob knakal 421 Kent Avenue Sells for $40 Million
Bob Knakal

It wasn’t clear immediately who the identity of the buyer was, though speculation has swirled whether it is a member of that area’s Hasidic community. The site can accommodate about 400,000 square feet of residential space, but has a restriction penciled into its deed that disallows more than 216 apartments to built on the site, a relatively sparse number of units considering the size of a potential project – the parcel is about two acres in size. Continue reading “421 Kent Avenue Sells for $40 Million”

After Success at 645 Madison, TF Cornerstone Has Similar Plans for 387 Park Avenue South

CBM Capital has renewed its lease at 645 Madison Avenue, a 2,500-square-foot space on the building’s sixth floor, for rents in the mid $80s per square foot. The renewal, which is for a portion of the floor, will stretch for three years and is the latest in a string of high priced deals at the tower.

Earlier in September, the financial firm Marble Arch Investments, took the building entire 17th floor, a nearly 7,000-square-foot space in a seven-year deal with asking rents that topped $100 per square foot. Before that, Banco Pine, a Brazil-based bank, took 3,000 square feet on the 22-story building’s ninth floor for rents in the high $70s per square foot.

Continue reading “After Success at 645 Madison, TF Cornerstone Has Similar Plans for 387 Park Avenue South”

Blah-za District! Submarket Struggling to Fill Vacancies

The Plaza district submarket is struggling with a 12.3 percent vacancy rate, its highest in two years, as the area is losing financial services firms while also being passed over by tenants for much hipper alternatives in the Downtown and Midtown South markets.

“Right now, Midtown just isn’t cool,” Jason Pizer, president of Trinity Real Estate, said during a Bisnow forum that was featured in Bloomberg’s report on the Plaza district.  Continue reading “Blah-za District! Submarket Struggling to Fill Vacancies”

Chrysler Gets a View from the West Side Highway

Next spring, drivers coursing down the West Side Highway will have easy access to FIAT and Chrysler vehicles, which will be on display at Chrysler Group LLC’s new Manhattan showroom at 629 West 54th Street.

FIAT of Manhattan and the service operations of Manhattan Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, each of which are operated by the same family, have inked a deal for a 110,000-square-foot building that fronts one of Manhattan’s busiest thoroughfares along the Hudson River.

Continue reading “Chrysler Gets a View from the West Side Highway”

Atelier Charles Jouffre Leases Artsy Space in Chelsea

Two floors of a Chelsea condo—formerly home to the art gallery Taxter & Spengemann—have been taken over by French company Atelier Charles Jouffre, a specialist in wall décor, custom upholstery and window treatments.

The Paris-based Atelier Charles Jouffre has inked a deal for a 2,000-square-foot space at 459 West 18th Street, located between Ninth and Tenth Avenues near the High Line.

Continue reading “Atelier Charles Jouffre Leases Artsy Space in Chelsea”

Hennessy Walking Tall, Bernanke and the Fed

New York Plaza district offices empty as banks cut space – [Bloomberg]

Solid Midtown South market helping tenants make the call – [Real Estate Weekly]

Hennessy walking tall after two years at Cassidy Turley – [Real Estate Weekly]

Continue reading “Hennessy Walking Tall, Bernanke and the Fed”

FSH Shipping Moves to Bushwick Warehouse

The Bushwick section of Brooklyn grew into an enclave of young artists long ago. But the neighborhood once known as a hub for manufacturing apparently still draws interest from tenants who wear their trucker hats unironically.

FSH Shipping, a company specializing the importing and exporting of merchandise for 99-cents retail stores, has inked a deal for a 2,500-square-foot space at 301 Ten Eyck Street. It will occupy half of a one-story warehouse located between Waterbury Street and Morgan Avenue, according to brokers involved in the deal.

Continue reading “FSH Shipping Moves to Bushwick Warehouse”

Times Readers Think the Barclays Center Looks Like a Grilled Cheese Sandwich and a Burping Clam

We know a lot of things about the exterior of the new Barclay’s Arena: that it was designed by SHoP Architects, that its rusty shell is no accident, but the result of a labor-intensive process to produce what is known as “weathering steel,” and that no matter what it looks like, the arena’s very existence will invariably cause some Brooklynites’  faces to contort with pain.

But what do New Yorkers—aside from the question of eminent domain and the as-yet unbuilt affordable housing component and the hordes of drunken tourists expected to start puking behind parked cars any day now, and all the other things that can cloud one’s vision—think about the aesthetics of the place? The New York Times, in one of its charming, “ask the readers” segments, has compiled the best answers.
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Ratner: ‘We’ve Kept Every Single Promise We’ve Ever Made’

So Barclays’s Bruce Ratner told Charles Bagli today. “We’ve kept every single promise we’ve ever made,” he insists. So be it.  In typical fashion, the Times scribe cut the Brooklyn developer down to size without so much as uttering a nasty word against him, as he has done to so many big builders and outsized egos over the years.
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Whiskey Bar to Open Within a Block of Barclays Center

The rust-and-controversy-covered Barclays Center is set to have a fancy new scotch whiskey bar within a block of the Brooklyn Nets’ fancy new digs.

Soon to be opening at 47 Fifth Avenue, the Duke of Montrose signed a 10-year lease to become one of the few, and closest, whiskey watering holes near the new Forest City Ratner-built arena.  Continue reading “Whiskey Bar to Open Within a Block of Barclays Center”

Hip Hip SPURA! Land-Use Committee Approves LES Development After 40-Year Slog

It took 40 years, but the transformation of the Seward Park urban Renewal Area, better known as SPURA, may finally be here. While everyone seemed excited at the prospect of this finally happening, the opinions were far from unanimous about what the city came up with for its plan for the seven undeveloped acres south of Delancy Street on four forlorn parking lots.

But there was unanimity today, when the City Council’s land-use committee approved the 1.65 million-square-foot plan for SPURA by a vote of 16-0. Attendees of last week’s public hearing on the development south of the Williamsburg Bridge will be relieved to hear that 50 additional affordable housing units (offset by another 50 at market rate prices) have been added to the project, for a total of 1,000 units, half of which will be affordable, half not. The administration also agreed to that now de rigueur piece of rezoning negotiations, a new public school.

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I Didn’t Actually Have the Chance to Eat Horse Meat: A Review of M. Wells Dinette

Listen, dearest reader, I’m a simple man. I like meat and potatoes and burritos. I like my cheese grilled and  I want bacon on most things. I could get used to the beef tartare at M. Wells, the restaurant inside MoMA PS1 that opened Thursday afternoon. It makes my uncomplicated palate sing and it’s served as a sandwich on a roll with mayonnaise (another thing I pretty much unconditionally love) and lettuce (about which I really have nothing to say). The whole menu follows this mix of fancy and casual, so it’s like gourmet comfort food.
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No Vacancies: Union, Pols Push for Hotel Restrictions in Midtown East Rezoning

Everyone has been praying for the inclusion of churches and synagogues in the Midtown East rezoning, but no one has checked in on the situation of hotels yet.

The religious institutions fear they will not be able to profit from the rezoning the same way their private neighbors will. Now, the hotel union and its political backers are worrying that hoteliers might be in the opposite position, of profiting too much from the rezoning. They are requesting that the Department of City Planning require special permits for new hotel development within the rezoning area. So far, the Department of City Planning has reservations about the proposal.
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Leasehold for 119 Madison Avenue and 27-29 East 30th Street Sold for $18.45 million

Investor David Magier has acquired the leasehold to 119 Madison Avenue and 27-29 East 30th Street for $18.45 million sources have revealed to The Commercial Observer.

Mr. Magier already owns the land under the two adjacent residential buildings and exercised a right of first refusal to match an offer by another prospective buyer the source said. An entity called One Liberty Properties owned the leasehold and is the seller in the deal.

Continue reading “Leasehold for 119 Madison Avenue and 27-29 East 30th Street Sold for $18.45 million”

Stick It In Your Eye, London: Staten Island to Get 625-Foot Ferris Wheel, World’s Largest

Finally, a reason for tourists to get off the Staten Island Ferry after taking their free site-seeing cruise. Today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg will travel to St. George to finalized plans to construct the world’s largest ferris wheel at the northern tip of Richmond County. The oversized amusement is part of a larger hotel and retail complex to be developed by BFC Partners, a local real estate concern.

Mayor Bloomberg touted the new ferris wheel as yet another investment by his administration in the North Shore of Staten Island.
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