Sunday Summary: Hello, Neumann!


Just like Jerry Seinfeld, WeWork (WE) just can’t get rid of Neumann.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the golden parachute of the coworking giant’s ousted CEO, Adam Neumann, was a little bit shinier than originally known.

SEE ALSO: Engineer Accused of Negligence for Bronx Building Collapse Gets 2-Year Suspension

He was able to nab an enhanced stock award worth nearly $245 million in February. That’s tacked on to the $200 million in cash that was part of his exit package, along with allowing an entity tied to him to sell $578 million in WeWork stock and refinance $432 million in debt.

“Generous would be an understatement,” Conor Callahan, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who studies exit packages, told WSJ. “It’s going to be something people are going to be very upset about.”

Tell me about it.

And while that’s still less than the $1.7 billion originally negotiated, it doesn’t look like Neumann will be hard up for cash anytime soon (especially since he seems to save money not buying shoes).

In other coworking news, female-oriented shared workspace, The Wing, started its comeback tour after pandemic layoffs and allegations of racism and discrimination.

The Wing, now owned largely by a man, reopened its New York City locations and launched a new advisory board to guide the board of directors and management team on operations and diversity.

Hooray, Gateway!

The delayed Gateway project — long called the nation’s most vital infrastructure project — finally has a light at the end of its tunnel.

Federal agencies approved an environmental review for the $11 billion project that includes a new train tunnel underneath the Hudson River. 

The approval allows the project, which also calls for upgrading and fixing a Hurricane Sandy-damaged tunnel between New Jersey and Penn Station, to start pre-construction work that includes final design development and property acquisition. It was previously stalled by President Donald Trump, who said it should be paid for by the states, not the federal government.

Meet Will Blodgett

Commercial Observer took a look at how Will Blodgett went from a kid in the North Side of Chicago to the co-founder of affordable housing juggernaut Fairstead, which has 14,000 apartments across 18 states, including nearly 3,500 in New York City.

Memorial Day sales

Furniture and electronics aren’t the only things on sale for Memorial Day, with New York City seeing a host of deals closed last week.

In the largest deal, Boston Properties is buying the leasehold interest in Enterprise Asset Management’s soon-to-be-vacant office building at 360 Park Avenue South for more than $300 million.

Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo joined the growing number of retailers buying buildings during the coronavirus pandemic with the purchase of its longtime SoHo flagship at 546 Broadway for between $160 to $200 million.

Amir Loloi, the owner of rug manufacturer Loloi Rugs, bought the office building at 260 Fifth Avenue from Israeli billionaire Boris Kuzinez for $52.5 million

Kuzinez picked up the property with two others on the block in 2016 and demolished 262 Fifth Avenue with plans to build NoMad’s first supertall. That project seems to have stalled and Kuzinez never filed plans for the other buildings.

And Taconic Capital Advisors acquired a former Long Island City, Queens, hotel building for $38.4 million, just three years after Merchants Hospitality purchased the property with plans to turn it into a mixed-use development.

Don’t worry, we got leases, too

Latham & Watkins inked one of the biggest deals last week, when it expanded its footprint at the Rockefeller Group’s 1271 Avenue of the Americas by about 20,000 square feet.

The deal brought the law firm’s presence to 435,000 square feet and made the building reach full occupancy, more than five years after it was left vacant once Time Inc. departed for Brookfield Place.

Investment management firm Ellington Management Group signed a five-year lease for 19,587 square feet at SL Green Realty Corp.’s 711 Third Avenue, while across the river in Brooklyn, Fundraise Up inked a deal for 15,000 square feet at Industry City.

On the retail end, Eastern European chain Wolkonsky Bakery & Cafe will open up its first U.S. location with 8,100 square feet in 8 West 40th Street, while Orangetheory Fitness will bring its high-intensity interval training classes to Greenwich Village with a 6,600-square-foot outpost at 391 Avenue of the Americas.

Speaking of retail…

Amazon is reportedly in talks to open retail pharmacies across the country, continuing its push into physical locations after it helped drive the stake in many brands’ hearts.

But physical retail isn’t all dead. Authentic Brands Group, which has been buying up bankrupt retailers at a rapid clip during the pandemic, plans to go public at a $10 billion valuation later this year.

CO also took a look at the plans of New York’s mayoral candidates to rejuvenate retail around the city and if any of them will work, or even be needed.


The smell of lox will continue to waft through Greenpoint, Brooklyn’s streets as the New York City Council approved an expansion of a new, 95,400-square-foot fish smoking and packaging plant.

The plant is part of a $500 million mixed-use development that includes a nine-story, 454,600-square-foot office development.

While that’s welcome news for the citizens of Greenpoint, some residents of Billionaires’ Row got what they perceive as bad news last week.

The state’s highest court tossed out a suit from a local group aiming to stop the city from opening a homeless shelter at the former Park Savoy Hotel at 158 West 58th Street, which backs against the One57 luxury tower that boasts $100 million condos.

Residents have complained the shelter would cause an increase in crime and lower the value of their homes, but the group behind the suit said the issue was about fire safety in the building since it only has one way in and out of the property.

That’s all for this Sunday. Have a good Memorial Day!