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Thread: NYC Commercial Real Estate

  1. #991

    Default Chase sells Rockefeller Center bank site for $28M

    Updated On 10/02/08 at 12:14PM

    Chase sells Rockefeller Center bank site for $28M

    11 West 51st Street

    By Adam Pincus

    JPMorgan Chase sold a Rockefeller Center banking location for $28 million to an entity that may turn the 18,598-square-foot building into a hotel.

    Chase sold the four-story building at 11 West 51st Street, now occupied by Venezuelan Mercantil Banco Universal, to a real estate investment trust on August 14, according to city property records posted today.

    The next day, the new owner, called 11 West 51 Realty, inked an option agreement with a limited liability company controlled by Rockwood VI REIT, whose vice president is Peter Falco, public records showed. Falco also serves as senior managing director of White Plains-based Rockwood Capital, a private real estate investment company.

    The agreement gives the Rockwood entity called RCQ Hotel RC-ANX the option to buy the property.

    The owner, 11 West 51 Realty, applied for permits to build a 14-story hotel structure at the site with first-floor commercial space, but the plans were disapproved September 19, according to the city's Department of Buildings Web site.

    Rockwood did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for Chase declined to comment on the sale.

    © 2008 The Real Deal

  2. #992


    I don't care how small or ugly it is....
    they better leave the meat market alone!
    I've been shopping there for years and years.
    It's a neighborhood flavor that Hells kitchen
    needs to hold onto.
    We have enough Food Emporiums and chains
    in this city.

  3. #993
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    I don't think they paid $36 million to keep that market around. Best you can hope for is that they find another dig in the nabe.

  4. #994


    I'm sure your right....
    If that market goes a lot of elderly and low income
    people in the nabe will be effed
    Hopefully the $ crises will help keep it around for a bit longer?!

  5. #995
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Two Tiny Hell's Kitchen Buildings Trade for $36.6 M.

    For 571 Ninth DOB shows an Alt 2 Permit (7.31.08):
    No other building applications / permits.

    For 573 Ninth (actually 573 - 575 Ninth) DOB shows an Alt 2 Permit (8.06.08):
    No other recent building applications / permits.

    Both jobs are being performed by Michael Even, RA / EM DESIGN GROUP

    Both 571 and 573-575 are shown on the Permits to be owned by:
    745 5TH AVENUE NEW YORK NY 10151

    Two partners listed: Alan Landis & Keith Gormisky

  6. #996
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Digging through the Department of Finance documents reveals that the Deed for this sale actually covers FOUR lots;

    571 Ninth
    573 - 575 Ninth
    406 W 42nd
    408 W 42nd

    A 99 year lease for all the combined lots was registered (dated 8.14.08) between the owner and an entity called "Cactus on Ninth."

    The combined lots are in the shape of an "L", encompassing a frontage of 58' on Ninth and 45' on W 42nd; there are existing buildings at the corner of Ninth / W 42nd which are not included in the registered sale documents (the plot there measures ~ 59' x 79').

    The "L" wraps around those corner buildings and reaches into the center of the block so the long sides of the "L" are ~ 100' x 120' (with a nothced cut-out at the SW corner at mid-block).

    The Gross Square Footage of the newly purchased lots = ~ 7,900 sf.

    However, a separate doucment at DOF reveals even more: There is an registered "Agreement" which shows that the corner buildiings at 579 Ninth / 581 Ninth / 400 W 42nd are also included in the package, but there is no Deed yet shown at DOF.

    If the entire package of corner lots has been sold then that raises the Gross Square Feet of buildable area = ~ 14,750 sf.

    It seems more documents are to come. Hopefully they will reveal what is in store for this corner.

  7. #997


    Industry All Atwitter as NBC Universal Mulls Midtown Options

    by Dana Rubinstein
    October 8, 2008

    Floridapfe via flickr.

    Oh, NBC Universal! When ever will you make up your mind?
    At this morning's CB Richard Ellis third quarter breakfast, Global Chairman Steve Siegel ticked off a bunch of pending deals, including NBC Universal's negotiations to take 200,000 square feet of space in Midtown. Reporters took note. What a tantalizing hint!

    Turns out, Mr. Siegel wasn't far from the truth.

    NBC Universal, which recently took two floors of "swing space" at 75 Rockefeller Center, is also in talks with reps from 1633 Broadway and 1271 Avenue of the Americas to take a short-term, 200,000-square-foot lease at either, according to two knowledgeable sources. NBC may also take more temporary space at 75 Rock.

    All of this shuffling around would be in preparation for NBC Universal's consolidation of its business operations into one, over 600,000-square-foot, permanent location (possibly at Worldwide Plaza).

    We know this is confusing. NBC's internal memo from last week explains it well:
    As you know, this past spring we announced we would be consolidating many of our rooftops across the city into a new location in Midtown Manhattan. As I noted in our initial communication, 30 Rock will still be the home of NBC News, NBC Sports, NBC Entertainment (SNL and Late Night with Conan O’Brien) and WNBC. All other business operations will move to the new facility, as will employees currently at 437 Madison Ave., 2 Park Ave. and the Chelsea Market, but this will take time. Today, I want to give you an update on our progress.

    Our mission has been to find a location that will create the kind of collaborative environment that is so important to our ongoing success and continued growth. A cross-functional team has helped us carefully evaluate many locations and we will soon be finalizing and announcing our choice. We now estimate that this move will take about two years to complete and will happen in two phases, the first of which will include a necessary move to interim spaces in Midtown.

    This decision is a result of several factors, including space restraints at 30 Rock as well as the need for time to secure an appropriate lease and properly prepare a new facility. Moves to these interim locations will begin in mid-October and will be completed in March of next year. The Advertising Sales Organization will be the first to move to an interim space and, as of Monday, October 27, they will be occupying floors in 75 Rockefeller Plaza. We expect to finalize additional swing locations in the coming weeks and will let you know when and where in Midtown your team will be moving as soon as possible.

    © 2008 Observer Media Group

  8. #998


    Ugly Little Herald Square Building Trades for $10.5 M.

    by Dana Rubinstein
    October 20, 2008

    49 West 33rd Street.

    An ugly little Herald Square office building has traded for $10.5 million, according to city records.

    The four-story building in question squats at 49 West 33rd Street, between Fifth Avenue and Broadway. An obscurely named entity called KC129-09 LLC bought the building from another obscurely named entity, 4933 Realty LLC, on Oct. 3. The latter turned a tidy, $3.5 million gross profit, despite the economic downturn, having purchased the building in June 2007 for $7 million.

    © 2008 Observer Media Group,

  9. #999


    NY Post


    Posted: 4:08 am
    October 22, 2008

    WALL Street isn't the only place getting whipsawed by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.

    Several commercial real-estate projects in the city now find themselves under clouds of uncertainty as borrowers holding thousands of loans provided by Lehman discover the spigot has been turned off now that the once-venerable Wall Street firm's future rests in the hands of a bankruptcy judge.

    Among the projects affected is the Nobu Hotel project at 50 Broad Street, whose investors include Robert De Niro.

    "We're one of 2,000 loans for $32 billion," said Kent Swig, president of developer Swig Burris Equities, which has a $37.7 million mortgage with Lehman.

    Swig said no one knows when the mess will be unraveled.

    "It's a bloodbath," he said. "It's extraordinary."

    Because the accounts are frozen, Swig can't draw on the loan to pay contractors or anyone else.

    His nearby residential condominium conversion project at 25 Broad St. has also been shut down because of the Lehman bankruptcy. And at least one vendor has filed a lawsuit against the project in order to be in line if and when the money starts flowing again.

    Swig isn't alone. RFR Holdings' fabulous Shangri-La Hotel project at 610 Lexington Ave., which still has foundation work underway by Turner Construction, faces uncertainty.

    RFR has $145 million in combined acquisition and construction loans from Lehman on the site where Hines Interests is the owner's rep overseeing the daily work on the 712-foot high, 65-story glass tower designed by Lord Norman Foster.

    No one affiliated with the project would discuss whether there is equity or other funds on hand to cover ongoing costs, or if further draw-downs will also be frozen in the Lehman mess.

    RFR declined comment on the situation.

    While spokespeople were unavailable, a person familiar with the Lehman situation concurred that things are moving slowly in the bankruptcy court and that no money on any Lehman loan is allowed to be drawn out.

    Others impacted by the bankruptcy include developer Alexander Gurevich, who has one residential condo at 250 E. 49th St. that will be topping out its 25th floor in a few weeks. Architect Jeffries Sydness said work there has slowed but has not stopped.

    Another condo at 315 E. 46th St. has "slowed down more," Sydness added. Both have Lehman construction loans.

    Gurevich did not return a call by presstime.

    Eric Anton, an investment broker with Eastern Consolidated who handles many development sites, said lenders typically parse out the construction money on request from the developer and show up on-site every few weeks to take photos and make sure the money is going toward the project.

    "There is tremendous uncertainty," Anton said. "The court, the bankruptcy judge and the consultants need to decide what to do."

    With Lehman loan liens on file, the developers also can't simply take out a loan from another lender. And even if such mortgages were available - and lending has loosened in the last week or so - Anton said new loans would cost developers dearly.

    Borrowers who bought office buildings with Lehman money have varied situations. Some might have already spent some of the money on the original purchase but provided extra borrowing capacity based on leasing, so it wouldn't be sitting in their pockets.

    Or additional money may be funded into an interest-bearing escrow reserve account held by the borrower's attorney and released from time to time.

    "But you pay the interest whether or not you use it," advised one major owner.

    If all the owner/developer has is a future funding obligation from Lehman, chances are they won't get that money, advised one senior real estate attorney.

    "Most of these future funding obligations are under water," he said. "If I was [new Lehman owner] Barclays, I wouldn't want to make the loans.

    They can wiggle out of the loan. The world has changed."

    On Sept. 17, Deutsche Bank finally split a $1.6 billion mortgage into separate amounts to cover each of four Macklowe Properties buildings now being sold.

    Mitsui Fudosan closed that day on 527 Madison Ave. for $225 million, while taking over a $100.2 million mortgage.

    Tower 56 at 126 E. 56th St. has a $102.7 million mortgage and was sold that on that day for $158 million to a unit of Transwestern.

    The buyers of the office portion of 1540 Broadway will be responsible for a nearly $485 million mortgage with another $912 million for Worldwide Plaza.

    Copyright 2008 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. #1000


    Last updated: October 24, 2008 12:03pm
    Leasing Panel: No Quick Recovery

    By Paul Bubny

    NEW YORK CITY-Don’t expect the office leasing market to get back to normal in the immediate future. At a Real Estate Board of New York panel discussion Thursday evening, predictions on how long the downturn will last ranged from 2010 to 2015.

    The forecast of a five-to-seven-year drought came from Cushman & Wakefield EVP Augustus B. Field IV, who based his prediction on both a historic precedent and the global nature of the current economic downturn. That precedent was the slump in leasing that set in after the October 1987 stock market crash, from which the New York market didn’t fully recover until 1995, Field said.

    At the other end of the time spectrum, Glen J. Weiss, SVP at Vornado Realty Trust, predicted that "we’ll start getting back to life sometime in 2010," while Studley EVP David Goldstein and Durst Organization SVP Thomas Bow both foresaw a downturn lasting two to three years.

    Goldstein observed that the price of oil is dropping and consumer credit has loosened somewhat, but added, "this will take time to work through." Meanwhile, he said, the current economic picture is continuing to deterioriate.

    The four leasing experts--convened for a REBNY "Commercial Crossfire" panel at the board’s Mendik Education Center--did agree on a number of things. One was that while each had experienced his share of cycles, the current one was unprecedented in the unbroken series of financial upheavals that lay behind it. "I don’t remember ever being hit in the head so many times," commented moderator Frederick Marek, president of the Vortex Group. Another concurrence was that credit will remain tight as lenders cast a warier eye on potential deals. "It goes without saying that you’re going to see a great deal of additional scrutiny," said Goldstein.

    On the other hand, the panelists pointed to a number of advantages that the New York market has this time around. Among these is a lack of oversupply. "The good news is that no one has space," Weiss said. Marek noted that only seven million sf of new office space is under way at present, and Bow noted that by and large, spec building is out of the question, although a build-to-suit for a credit tenant is still a viable scenario.

    In contrast to downturns of the past that occurred when "everyone was fleeing the city," Marek said, New York is now a place where everyone wants to be, from both a residential and business standpoint. Bow noted that the condo-conversion boom of recent years was both a reflection of the city’s attractiveness and a factor in constraining the supply of office space. Field, however, expressed concern about the effect that budget constraints will have on the city’s infrastructure and livability.

    "Everything’s been so good in New York for so long and you hope it doesn’t reverse," he said. "There are no guarantees."

    The panelists identified some trends that could bode well for the future. Weiss noted that some of the Wall Street employees that have been downsized recently could migrate to boutique investment houses, thus potentially boosting the space requirements of this burgeoning tenant class. However, he said, this will result in a greater volume of smaller leases rather than bringing the boutique firms up to the space requirements of the now-defunct investment bank giants. Goldstein suggested that as smaller companies join forces to survive, the resulting M&A activity could boost the financial services sector.

    Although he observed that "in a word, the market is frozen," Weiss also saw room for growth in the present climate. "I think we’re going to see some expansions," he said. "There are still some tenants saying, 'if that piece of space comes up, I want it.'"

    Copyright 2008 ALM Properties, Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. #1001

    Default Burberry’s Name in Lights on the New York Skyline

    Burberry’s Name in Lights on the New York Skyline

    Published: October 28, 2008

    The Manhattan skyline will lose a bit of New York and gain a touch of London in coming months.

    G. Paul Burnett/The New York Times
    Burberry, which is moving its American headquarters to 444 Madison, will replace the New York magazine sign with its own.

    Burberry/Westbrook Partners
    A rendering of what the new Burberry sign will look like.

    Next March, Burberry, the British luxury goods brand, will move its United States headquarters to 444 Madison Avenue, between 49th and 50th Streets, and will top off the 42-story tower with three glowing Burberry signs, which will also show the time and temperature.

    The new displays will replace signs for New York magazine. Illuminated signs are prohibited on new skyscrapers in Manhattan, but 444 Madison’s displays are permitted under a grandfather clause.

    “Being able to have a building that’s going to say ‘Burberry’ in lights is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Eugenia Ulasewicz, Burberry’s president for the Americas. “Remember, Thomas Burberry founded gabardine fabric, and outerwear is a cornerstone of our brand, so to have it say ‘Burberry’ and, by the way, here’s the temperature — that’s very unique.”

    Burberry’s new lease is for 68,348 square feet on floors 13 through 16 at 444 Madison for 15 years. The fashion company, which currently occupies about 61,000 square feet on five noncontiguous floors at 1350 Avenue of the Americas, between 54th and 55th Streets, needed to expand and to renovate, so it decided to move, Ms. Ulasewicz said.

    The space at 444 Madison, with four floors connected by staircases, open floor plans and terraces on two floors, was perfect for Burberry, she said.

    New York magazine departed more than a year ago to 1 Hudson Square in the Midtown South area.

    “We have wholesale clients coming to our office space,” Ms. Ulasewicz said. “We’re expanding our showroom space from 8,500 to 14,000 square feet. The floor with the showrooms has a wraparound terrace. Christopher Bailey, our creative head, is going to be doing some special English garden outdoor furniture just for the terraces.”

    Burberry may also open a retail store in the building, “but nothing’s been finalized,” Ms. Ulasewicz said. Currently, Burberry has two stores in Manhattan: one on 57th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues, and the other in SoHo.

    Ms. Ulasewicz would not reveal Burberry’s office rent, but annual asking rents at 444 Madison are $75 to $95 a square foot.

    The building, which was built in 1931, was acquired by Westbrook Partners, a global real estate investment management company with New York offices, in June 2007. It has been undergoing $20 million in improvements.

    Besides upgrading the 16,000 square feet of storefront spaces and doing facade work, Westbrook is renovating the lobby and overhauling the elevators and mechanical and electrical services, said Frank Marino, a spokesman for Westbrook.

    Paul Amrich, an executive vice president at the commercial brokerage CB Richard Ellis, which is representing the landlord, Westbrook, said higher-paying tenants are gravitating toward 444 Madison.

    They include the small financial firms Rogge Global Partners, the Amherst Securities Group, MAG Automation Systems and Gallatin Capital. The landlord hopes similarly to upgrade the retail tenants to include purveyors of luxury goods, like Burberry, and banks, he said.

    Westbrook approached Burberry, as opposed to a bank, eight months ago about the opportunity to be 444 Madison’s anchor tenant. Mr. Marino said more than one tenant had been interested in the space, but the landlord wanted a well-known company.

    “You’d prefer to have a name up there that people are going to recognize,” he said. “Down the road a bit, probably we’ll find some people saying, ‘Take me to the Burberry Building.’ ”

    The value of that branding power clinched the deal for Burberry. “Without the sign, it’s questionable whether or not the transaction would have taken place,” said David J. Goldstein, an executive vice president and director at the commercial brokerage Studley, which represented Burberry. He wouldn’t reveal how much Burberry is paying for the signs.

    In general, the cost of such signs depends on the situation, brokers not involved in the Burberry deal said. “It’s a negotiable scenario,” said Michael R. Laginestra, a vice chairman at CB Richard Ellis. “It runs from some landlords obtaining monetary consideration for it to situations where it was done as an enhancement for a tenant.”

    In a market where tenants have more bargaining power, landlords might throw it in for nothing to capture a desirable tenant, he said.

    Robert L. Sammons, the director of research at the commercial brokerage Colliers ABR, which is not involved in this deal, said the signs would be valuable for Burberry primarily if the company opened a retail store.

    Still, 444 Madison is an odd location, he said. “Madison in that stretch is certainly not known for its high-end retail,” he said.

    Madison Avenue does have expensive retail stores farther south. Charles Tyrwhitt has a shop at 46th Street, and Brooks Brothers has a store at 44th Street. “Maybe Burberry is stretching a bit, thinking they’ll bring that kind of high-end retail a bit further up Madison,” Mr. Sammons said.

    As for setting up its headquarters at 444 Madison, that would seem to be a good move, Mr. Sammons said, though it’s a tricky time because the economy has turned downward and the real estate market faces uncertainty, which make it hard to value space. Many tenants are renewing or extending leases because of the uncertainty.

    Indeed, Burberry’s lease at 1350 Avenue of the Americas does not expire until 2011, so there was no urgency to move. But Westbrook gave Burberry a tenant-improvement allowance and is working with the company to get it out of the lease early.

    Westbrook “did agree to a partial takeover of that space” at 1350 Avenue of the Americas, Mr. Marino said. “So they’ll take responsibility for it, and probably work with the current landlord to sublet it or do something else with it.” The landlord of 1350 Avenue of the Americas is SL Green Realty, one of the city’s largest landlords.

    Research analysts at Deutsche Bank are predicting that 2009 will be a very difficult year in the luxury retailing sector, but Ms. Ulasewicz said Burberry believed the move to 444 Madison would be a strategic one for the fashion house. “We’re a brand, and how often does it come along that you have a building you can brand with your name on it?” she asked.

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

  12. #1002


    An Unknown company sign, but at least it'll come with the time and temperature.

  13. #1003


    Quote Originally Posted by NYC4Life View Post
    An Unknown company sign, but at least it'll come with the time and temperature.

  14. #1004


    Last updated: December 2, 2008 01:01pm

    Business Group Signs for 14,000 SF on B’way

    By Paul Bubny

    1359 Broadway

    NEW YORK CITY-The nonprofit National Minority Supplier Development Council is taking 14,000 square feet in a 10-year lease at 1359 Broadway for its national headquarters. NMSDC will relocate from 1040 Ave. of the Americas next spring. Lease terms were not disclosed; published reports say asking rent was $56 per square foot.

    "NMSDC’s move reflects the transitions in the Penn Plaza district, which is no longer strictly focused on the fashion industries and is attracting a very diverse range of tenants," says Brian Waterman, the building’s leasing and managing agent, in a release. Waterman, EVP and principal of Newmark Knight Frank, adds, "The area is now perceived simply as one of Midtown’s most prominent general business hubs with unparalleled access to transportation. Recent deals at 1359 Broadway, including publicly-traded firms Equifax and Actimize, illustrate that same trend."

    Another factor was the repositioning program at 1359 Broadway. A spokeswoman for landlord W&H Properties tells the $54-million capital improvements program at the property played a key part in attracting NMSDC to the 22-story, 478,836-square foot office tower, located between 36th and 37th streets.

    Launched in late 2004 and completed last January, the improvements include a new lobby, new windows, a new HVAC system and upgraded building-wide systems. The upgrade program also includes pre-built office units ranging from 2,500 square feet to 13,079 square feet. The W&H source says NMSDC did not lease one of the pre-built spaces.

    Chartered in 1972, NMSDC helps link minority-owned businesses with corporate clients. It has 3,500 corporate members in its network, and encompasses 39 regional councils across the country, in addition to its national office.
    SVP Eric Yarbro of CB Richard Ellis represented NMSDC in the lease negotiations, while Waterman and his Newmark colleague, director Michael Frantz, represented the landlord. The property is owned by Marlboro Building Associates LLC, a partnership led by Peter and Anthony Malkin.

    Copyright 2008 ALM Properties, Inc.

  15. #1005

    Default 317 Madison Avenue

    SL Green Wants Big Development Rights at 317 Madison

    by Dana Rubinstein
    7:39 PM December 9, 2008

    This article was published in the December 15, 2008, edition of The New York Observer.

    Property Shark
    317 Madison Avenue.

    In a signal that it intends to proceed with plans to redevelop </SPAN>317 Madison Avenueonce the market looks rosier, SL Green on Tuesday afternoon asked the city to approve a transfer of up to 112,000 square feet of development rights from its landmarked Cipriani building at 110 East 42nd Street to its Madison Avenue development site.

    SL Green, New York City’s largest commercial landlord, now owns a 23-story Class B building at 317 Madison Avenue. It’s made no secret of its plans to redevelop the site, once Manhattan looks ready to absorb new office space.

    At SL Green’s annual investors conference on Monday afternoon at the Nokia Theatre, attendees munched on comfort food cooked up by Virgil’s before listening to the REIT’s leadership try to rise above the general unease surrounding not only SL Green, but the entire real estate industry.

    One of the presentation’s more positive notes was SL Green president Andrew Mathias’ discussion of none other than 317 Madison Avenue.

    “As in the short-lived recession in the earlier part of this decade, the distinguishing feature this time ... is a marked lack of new supply,” Mr. Mathias said (The Observer listened to the conference via Webcast). “As rents spiked and financing was plentiful, quite a few new projects were drawn up, to the point where it looked like over 40 million square feet were going to be delivered to the market in the coming five or so years, looking out from last year.

    “Which sites will be the first to return to activity? Those with well-capitalized owners and not requiring massive infrastructure or public sign-offs to proceed. We’ve assembled just that kind of site adjacent to Grand Central at our Madison Avenue development site.”

    The Landmarks Preservation Commission is expected to vote on SL Green’s request in early 2009.

    © 2008 Observer Media Group,

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