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Thread: NYC Commercial Real Estate

  1. #16
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    Grand Central Building Up for Sale

    June 14, 2004



    Being marketed as Grand Central District’s "hidden jewel," the 575,000 square foot office building at 125 Park Avenue is up for sale.

    Woody Heller, head of Studley’s Capital Transactions Group, has been selected to market the 25-story building located at the southeast corner of Park Avenue at 42nd Street, diagonally across from Grand Central Terminal.

    "There isn’t another office property in Manhattan better suited for repositioning than 125 Park Avenue," said Heller, who said he expects "enormous interest" in the building, which he said has enjoyed a low-profile as a result of long-standing high occupancy (currently 96 percent leased).

    "This is a building that seems to go unnoticed, which is remarkable, considering its extraordinary location in what many consider Manhattan’s most desired business district," added Heller, who will be assisted in the marketing effort by a team that includes Carly Borg, Will Silverman and Meredith Lufkin.

    Built in 1922, the building has undergone $25 million in renovations and upgrades since 1996, and is owned by Watch Associates.

    Copyright 2003-2004 The Real Deal.

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    20 Exchange Place Trades for $152M

    By Barbara Jarvie
    June 14, 2004



    NEW YORK CITY-A lot of developers are stealing the mindset of the film, "Field of Dreams," as yet another deal to convert Lower Manhattan office into residential use is announced. The 800,000-sf 20 Exchange Pl. was traded for $152 million to a joint venture comprised of Nathan Berman, Yaron Bruckner and Eastbridge NV. The bottom of tower will continue to be used for office space, while floors 16 through 57 will be converted to residential.

    The law firm of Herrick, Feinstein LLP put the deal together with senior debt financing provided by Column Financial Inc., which is a division of CS First Boston. Senior mezzanine financing was provided by an affiliate of SL Green and junior mezzanine financing was provided by Prudential Real Estate Investors.

    “The Herrick team closed one of the most complicated financing deals that I’ve seen in my 36 years in the business,” notes Andy Singer, of Singer & Bassuk, which brokered the financing. Tenants at 57-story 20 Exchange Pl., which is located in the heart of the financial district, include the New York Transit Authority.

    Berman and Bruckner closed another downtown deal this week--an enhancement to the Liberty Bond financing of 63 Wall St. Last December, the project received tax-exempt Liberty Bond financing from the New York City Housing Development Corp. for the residential conversion initiative.

    The JV is converting the former headquarters of Brown Brothers Harriman, to a 475-unit residential building. To further enhance the Liberty Bond financing, Herrick conceived of an facility where the World-Wide Group, which is also one of the firm's developer clients, teamed up with Bank of America's Tri-Sale Mezzanine Fund to provide a letter of credit secured by a pledge of membership interests.

    "There's little more satisfying than putting clients together to create a new line of business. This is as good as it gets," points out Carl F. Schwartz, chairman of the real estate department at Herrick, Feinstein. For it's part, the World-Wide Group notes that creating supplemental products contributes to the rebirth of the financial district, accoring to the company's Julia Hodgson.

    © 2004 by GlobeSt.com

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    Virgin has narrowed its HQ search to four downtown sites, although they are not named. One in Chelsea and 3 others downtown.

    One of Virgin's reasons for choosing New York is the highly educated population. Michael Sherman, communication director for the NYC Economic Development Corporation and knowledgable on the deal says "New York has the best educated workforce in the world. We have more people with graduate degrees right here than San Francisco has people."

    This story is from Real Estate Weekly.

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    Dumbo to Downtown: New Office Leases

    June 16, 2004

    East River Media Signs in Dumbo

    East River Media, Inc., a creative design production company that specializes in political advertising, has leased space at 20 Jay Street in Dumbo.

    The company, which launched the Bloomberg mayoral campaign and a number of Brooklyn and Queens city council races from their offices, leased for 4,597 square feet on the fifth floor of the building.

    George Pastor represented owner Two Trees Management in the three-year lease. 20 Jay Street is an eleven-story building with full floors of over 41,000 square feet.

    " This business is representative of just how diverse our community is -- from politics to artists to attorneys to magazines," said Chris Havens, Director of Leasing for Two Trees.

    Hart Sharp Takes Space in Soho

    Cresa Partners has arranged a 7,500-square-foot sublease at 575 Broadway in Soho for Hart Sharp Entertainment/Hart Sharp Video, a film and video production company.

    Hart Sharp, previously located at 380 Lafayette Street, needed to consolidate and expand its operations, according to Michael Smith of Cresa Partners, the broker for Hart Sharp.

    "After an extensive search, a new space in one of Soho’s preeminent buildings became available offering Hart Sharp an excellent opportunity to remain in the same neighborhood," said Smith.

    Jane Roundell of Cresa Partners represented the sublessor, Dreamworks SKG. Garett Varricchio and Chris Strickland of Cresa Partners joined Smith in representing Hart Sharp.

    Rafferty Capital Markets Stays Downtown

    J.J. Kenny Drake, a division of Rafferty Capital Markets, has signed a lease for the entire 16,000 square foot tenth floor at 33 Whitehall Street.

    CB Richard Ellis’ William Iacovelli represented Rafferty in the 11-year transaction, while the CBRE team of Edward Goldman, Jonathan Cope, and Stacey Fabrikant acted for the landlord of 33 Whitehall, Kipp Stawski. Rents in the 30-story building are in the $30 per square foot range.

    Rafferty plans to move into 33 Whitehall in September from another Downtown location, and will join existing tenants including Fitch Investors and US Attorneys offices, among others.

    "Rafferty wanted to remain Downtown, it’s home of 50 years, and 33 Whitehall offers the location, the floor plates, and the economics to suit its requirements," said Iacovelli who added other perks included the building’s above standard technical support plus the fact that Rafferty could be accommodated all on one floor.

    Copyright 2003-2004 The Real Deal.

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    $425M Mortgage for 1515 Broadway

    June 16, 2004



    1515 Broadway – the home of Viacom and MTV – has been mortgaged by owner SL Green Realty Corp. for $425 million.

    Sonnenblick-Goldman Company arranged a LIBOR- based, floating-rate, first mortgage financing on the 1.8 million square foot office building in Times Square.

    The loan was provided by Lehman Brothers and Wachovia Bank.

    Viacom leases over 1.3 million square feet at the property (approximately 89% of the office space). The retail and theatre space of approximately 166,000 square feet includes the Minskoff Theatre, Fleet Bank and MTV.

    Sonnenblick-Goldman’s financing team was led by Morton Holliday and included Mark Ehlinger, Alex Hernandez and Peter Hopkins.

    Copyright 2003-2004 The Real Deal.

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    Investment bankers Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin Financial Advisors

    June 16, 2004

    Investment bankers Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin Financial Advisors is moving from 685 Third Ave. to larger digs at 245 Park Ave. The firm just took an 18-year sublease from JP Morgan Chase for 60,152 square feet, with an option for a 10,000-foot expansion.

    At its old address, the firm was scattered over four floors with 57,000 square feet — 18,000 of which it took on a short-term temporary basis just six months ago. At 245 Park, it will be on just two floors, said CB Richard Ellis's John Maher, who repped Houlihan Lokey along with CBRE's Paul Myers, Anthony Dattoma and John Pavone. Cushman & Wakefield repped the sublandlord.

    The asking rent was $65 per square foot, but sources said Houlihan "got a very good deal."

    Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyo
    Virgin has narrowed its HQ search to four downtown sites, although they are not named. One in Chelsea and 3 others downtown.

    One of Virgin's reasons for choosing New York is the highly educated population. Michael Sherman, communication director for the NYC Economic Development Corporation and knowledgable on the deal says "New York has the best educated workforce in the world. We have more people with graduate degrees right here than San Francisco has people."

    This story is from Real Estate Weekly.
    That is good to hear. I hope they choose the 3 options in downtown. I hope they take space in the freedom tower or 7 world trade center. But anywhere in the city is good. :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by krulltime
    Quote Originally Posted by tonyo
    Virgin has narrowed its HQ search to four downtown sites, although they are not named. One in Chelsea and 3 others downtown.

    One of Virgin's reasons for choosing New York is the highly educated population. Michael Sherman, communication director for the NYC Economic Development Corporation and knowledgable on the deal says "New York has the best educated workforce in the world. We have more people with graduate degrees right here than San Francisco has people."

    This story is from Real Estate Weekly.
    That is good to hear. I hope they choose the 3 options in downtown. I hope they take space in the freedom tower or 7 world trade center. But anywhere in the city is good. :P
    Well, DT still has a lot of incentives, so that will be appelaing to to new, farily high risk business such as this one. But Chelsea has the "hip" factor, which Virgin loves so much. Interesting to see. Maybe 7WTC would be a good fit since it'll be done much sooner than FT.

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    SL Green continues Class A drive


    June 17, 2004

    Continuing its move into Class A properties, SL Green Realty Corp. is buying two midtown office buildings from TIAA-CREF, one of the largest teachers pension funds, in a $480 million deal.

    The two Class A buildings, 750 Third Ave. and 485 Lexington Ave., take up the block between East 46th and East 47th streets and Third and Lexington avenues, and comprise more than 1.7 million square feet.

    The Manhattan-based real estate investment trust, which has been departing from its traditional formula of buying Class B fixer-uppers (Crain's, May 24, 2004) is paying $255 million for 750 Third Ave., a Class A building. It is buying the second building, at 485 Lexington Ave, for $255 million, through a joint venture with the New York City Investment Fund. When the purchase is completed, SL Green will own 37.5% of the building and manage the property.

    The purchase price tops the expected $450 million that the properties were expected to command. TIAA-CREF, which is consolidating some business units and relocating workers amid a financial crunch, will lease the buildings from SL Green until December 2005. It will keep its headquarters at 730 Third Ave.

    Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

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    Architects draft downtown plans
    Want to be close to rebuilding activity; greeting card retailer seals deal for store



    By Christine Haughney
    June 18, 2004

    The constant jangle of jackhammers isn't stopping one type of tenant from moving downtown. In recent months, five architecture firms relocated, signed deals or made plans to move to 11 Park Place to be closer to the action of rebuilding lower Manhattan.

    SHoP Architects moved from 200 E. 37th St. to a 6,000-square-foot office to be near its East River project. Earlier this month, Gary H. Silver Architects relocated from 145 Hudson St., which is being converted to residential use, to a 1,500-square-foot office. Lindsay Newman Architects is about to sign a 10-year lease for 1,500 square feet.

    A fourth architecture firm is negotiating a lease for 2,200 square feet in the building and a fifth is in talks to rent a 12,000-square-foot floor, says Michael Berger, a broker representing GVA Williams, which leads the group of investors that owns the building.

    The distinctive, 78-year-old building offers tenants a grand lobby and attractive offices with 10-foot ceilings. Asking rents are low at $26 a square foot.

    "The rents, the incentives and the revitalization are the pull," says Mr. Berger.

    Lindsay Newman decided to relocate from 35 Pineapple St. in Brooklyn Heights with help from its broker, Winslow & Co. The firm wanted to move closer to its downtown clients, which include Goldman Sachs, Brookfield Properties and Grant's Interest Rate Observer. The firm also wanted to overcome the stigma of a non-Manhattan address.

    "Even though Brooklyn Heights is just over the bridge, people say, `Oh, if you're ever in the city,' which is annoying," says Cat Lindsay, a partner.

    © Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc.

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    "Even though Brooklyn Heights is just over the bridge, people say, `Oh, if you're ever in the city,' which is annoying," says Cat Lindsay, a partner.
    Oh that is funny...I hear people even form the other boroughs saying lets go to the city. They mean Manhattan of course. :roll:

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    $400M TRUMP CARD


    By STEVE CUOZZO
    June 22, 2004

    Donald Trump hopes to make an elephantine profit on a classic downtown skyscraper he bought for peanuts nine years ago.

    Trump, who spent a token $1 million for 40 Wall St. in 1995, now plans to sell the pyramid-crowned, 72-story, 1929 landmark for what marketplace sources said could be $400 million or more.

    The developer has tapped CB Richard Ellis's Darcy Stacom and Bill Shanahan to field offers.

    The iconic, 1.3 million-square-foot tower is Trump's only office building, which he bought without partners at a time when downtown's vacancy rate was much higher than today and when many had given up hope on the area.

    "When I bought it, it was completely empty," Trump said yesterday. "Today's it's completely full. It was the best deal ever made in real estate."

    What Trump actually owns, and what he hopes to sell for a breathtaking profit, is the remaining term on a 500-year leasehold. The ground, or "fee," is owned by what Trump calls a "wonderful" German family.

    What the tower — a signature spire in postcard images of the downtown skyline — will fetch may have consequences both for Trump, whose publicly traded casino company is under pressure from bondholders, and for post-9/11 Lower Manhattan, where every property sale is seen as a barometer of the area's health.

    Trump's Manhattan real estate properties are privately held and entirely separate from Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc. But coincidentally or not, the $400 million Trump hopes to reel in from 40 Wall is the same amount he has been reported as trying to secure in fresh equity for the casino company.

    Trump rejected the idea that there was any linkage. "I shouldn't even be asked that question," he said. "The casinos have nothing to do with this."

    Neither Stacom nor Shanahan would comment. But marketplace sources said $400 million, or about $333 a square foot, was a target price. Asked what number he was looking for, Trump said, "I really don't know what I'm going to get. And it doesn't mean I'm [necessarily] going to sell."

    He wouldn't say how much profit 40 Wall made, but in 1999, his then-executive vice president said it produced $23.5 million in before-tax annual profit after mortgage interest.

    In a robust downtown property-sale market, Germany's DiFA fund recently paid $465 million for the much newer 140 Broadway, or a near-record $387 per square foot. Trump characteristically proclaims 40 Wall a "much better building, all new except for the exterior wall and the frame."

    The $20 million-plus Trump spent to gut, renovate and modernize the tower helped reel in glamorous tenants like Bear Stearns, CNA and American Express.

    Trump also brought in a vast Mangia gourmet food hall that "really put the building back on the map," says Studley investment sale specialist Woody Heller, who brokered 40 Wall's sale to a Hong Kong partnership for $7.5 million in the early 1990s.

    At that time, it had fallen into disrepair under absentee owners, including Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda.

    By the time Trump bought it, "the building had no economic value."

    One problem was that the ground lease required the landowners' approval to do anything.

    "So Trump did the usual Donald thing," Heller said. "He charmed the land owners, who agreed to make changes in the ground lease that made it more leaseable to tenants."


    Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

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    40 Wall St




    The 40 Wall Street as seen from the World Trade Center.
    In the background, from the left: the 60 Wall Street,
    1 Financial Square and City Bank Farmers Trust Building.
    In the foreground the Equitable Building and Bankers Trust.



    Image © e t dankwa 1997

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    It would have been nice if he had taken some of that profit and added some lighting to the top of the building.

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    Such a historical beauty and landmark building deserves some lighting.

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