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Protestor armed with a projector takes aim at Trump Hotel: VIDEO

This week, guests at Trump’s D.C. hotel were greeted with the words: “The president of the United States is a known racist and a Nazi sympathizer. This is not a drill.” Using a projector to beam the words onto the façade of the hotel, artist and anti-Trump protestor Robin Bell connected Trump’s real estate to his politics. “I was trying to figure out the most straightforward way to talk about what’s going on,” Bell tells Gothamist. “The president […]

Source: realdeal


Inside Miley Cyrus’ new Nashville spread

Miley Cyrus is keeping the wrecking balls far away from her new house in the Nashville suburbs. The provocative young performer just dropped $5.8 million on the 33.5-acre country house, according to Variety. The 6,689-square-foot farm house boasts five bedrooms, four full baths and a rocking chair-lined porch. Overall, it’s a surprisingly unfussy and tasteful affair for the 24-year-old singer known for aggressive and scantily clad looks. But if the house is modest, Cyrus’ residential portfolio is far from […]

Source: realdeal


These are the world’s top 10 most livable cities

This past year has been tumultuous. With the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the rise of far-right extremists in the US, and terror attacks reverberating across the globe, 2017 has changed the world. However, there are a number of cities around the world where citizens are happy, social services, are improving, and economies are growing. These places routinely make the list of the world’s most livable cities. Using factors such as crime, healthcare, culture, and access […]

Source: realdeal


No Warhols to be found in Campbell Soup heiress’ Newport estate

From LLNYC: Known as “Dodo,” the Newport, R.I. mansion of the late Campbell Soup heiress Dorrance Hill Hamilton just hit the market asking $12.5 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. While the house is full of traditional charm, it is actually newly built. As she aged, Hamilton, who passed in April, required a home without stairs, so in 2012 she built a sprawling new estate on historic Ocean Drive. Now, Kate Kirby Greenman of Gustave […]

Source: realdeal


National Cheat Sheet: CBRE named most active I-sales brokerage, Feds urge Zillow to settle over deceptive practice allegations … & more

CBRE becomes top investment sales brokerage as overall volume drops For the first time since 2013, CBRE claimed the top spot among the nation’s most active investment sales brokerages. With 23.2 percent market share in commercial property investment sales, CBRE topped Eastdil Secured’s 20.9 percent share, according to Real Estate Alert’s rankings, which were based on data collected from the first half of 2017. Eastdil’s deal volume plummeted by 19 percent, after star brokers Doug […]

Source: realdeal


City Pushes Back Garment District Rezoning, as Brewer Demands Changes

The city has indefinitely delayed the controversial rezoning of the Garment District just as a steering committee led by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has released its own plan to protect the area’s century-old manufacturing industry.

In March, the New York City Economic Development Corporation unveiled a proposal to lift rules that required property owners in the district to preserve manufacturing space as they converted buildings to offices. The current zoning in certain parts of the Garment District forces owners to maintain equal amounts of office and manufacturing space in their properties.

Essentially, the city wants to free up owners to rent more square footage to office tenants, who can pay much higher rents than clothing makers and distributors. The change would apply to the areas of the district that are currently zoned for industrial use, stretching roughly from West 35th to West 40th Streets and from Eighth Avenue to Broadway.

Newly released recommendations from the Garment Center Steering Committee fall along the same lines as the city’s proposal, with a handful of notable exceptions. The committee demands that the industrial preservation requirement be phased out over time, rather than all at once as the city wants. The city could then lift the preservation rule once the district preserves between 500,000 and 750,000 square feet of garment manufacturing space, the steering committee’s report suggests. However, the square footage target may shift, depending on whether it’s met within a set (yet-to-be-determined) time period.

“Whether the administration’s garment industry plans succeed or fail is up to them: what we’ve produced is the recipe for success, and the most important ingredient is the phase-in requirement,” Brewer said in a statement accompanying the plan.

Brewer and the committee—which includes the Real Estate Board of New York, Community Boards 4 and 5, City Councilmembers Daniel Garodnick and Corey Johnson and garment workers unions—-also recommend that the city create a custom New York City Industrial Development Agency program to retain garment production businesses in the neighborhood. The setup would offer deeper tax breaks and rent subsidies to owners who preserve more production space in their buildings. The proposed program would apply to properties between West 28th and West 42nd Streets and from Fifth to 10th Avenues.

Another proposal from the steering committee calls for city agencies and the City Council to band together to fund the purchase of a building in the district that would offer long-term, guaranteed space to garment makers. Brewer also backs restrictions on hotel development in the district, which has exploded over the last two decades. The city’s original rezoning plan included a special permit that would require developers to go through a full land-use review process in order to build new hotels.

Garment District Alliance head Barbara Blair blasted the steering committee’s plans, despite the fact that the non-profit was on the committee. She leveled particularly sharp criticism at the phase-out recommendation for the industrial zoning.

As repeatedly stated in the process, the GDA does not support any proposal that does not have a ‘date-certain’ term for the removal of the zoning restrictions,” Blair said in a statement. “While we are supportive of the IDA programs to incentivize owners, and we encourage the city to explore purchasing a building for the industry in addition to what they are already offering in Brooklyn, we do not support any phase-out provisions.”

In order to cushion the blow of removing the industrial preservation rules, the city has offered $51 million to help manufacturers move from the Garment District to the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Bush Terminal in Sunset Park. Asking rents in the two sprawling industrial campuses range from $16 to $25 a square foot, less than half of what typical manufacturing space rents for in the Midtown district, Blair told CO earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the city did not take a position on the steering committee recommendations. And it didn’t offer a new date for when the rezoning would enter public review, after telling the Wall Street Journal earlier this week that the City Planning Commission would certify the zoning on August 21.

“We have received the report released by the Manhattan borough president’s office and look forward to a more thorough review of its recommendations,” said EDC spokesman Anthony Hogrebe. “It became clear to us during the process of developing the recommendations that some were supported by all stakeholders while others were not. We’ll review the report and determine which recommendations are good policy and whether others can be adapted to support garment manufacturing and help grow good jobs for New Yorkers.”

Source: commercial


Thor Nabs $310M Refi for 680 Madison Avenue

Thor Equities has secured a $310 million financing package for 680 Madison Avenue, comprising a $215 million senior loan from J.P. Morgan Chase—according to records filed with the city this morning, and a $95 million mezzanine piece.

Thor received a $30 million building loan from J.P. Morgan which was then consolidated with a previous $185 million loan on the property—part of the Morgan Stanley-sponsored  MSC 2015-XLF1 commercial mortgage-backed securities transaction. The loan was originated in July 2014 with a maturation date set for August 2016, which was extended a year to this month after Thor opted to exercise an option to do so.

The now $215 million, floating-rate senior loan consolidation is accompanied by a $95 million mezzanine piece from an unnamed lender—according to a source close to the deal and first reported by The Real Deal—and fills out the two-year loan package, which totals $310 million. An official at JP Morgan declined to comment on the transaction.

The 32,526-square-foot retail condominium was bought by Thor Equities in 2013 for about $277 million, as previously reported by CO, and sits at the base of a luxury residential high-rise owned by Extell Development.

Just over half of the retail condo is currently leased out, but the property has seen waves of interest as of late, according to the source close to the deal.

Last August, high-end fashion designer Tom Ford signed a 12,300-square-foot lease—set to expire in July 2032, according to information provided by Trepp—to occupy two floors of the property between East 61st and East 62nd Streets. The designer is the building’s largest tenant, with about 3,300 square feet on the ground floor and 9,000 square feet on the second floor.   

Italian menswear provider Brioni currently occupies 5,953 square feet of space on the ground floor and second level of the condo on a lease that’s set to expire in January 2032, and high-end eyewear designer Morgenthal Frederics is currently leasing out 590 square feet on a lease that will expire in June 2030, according to data from Trepp.

Source: commercial


WeWork, Fidelis Sublease 64K SF From MetLife at LIC’s Brewster Building

Insurance giant MetLife continues to sublease out its significant office footprint at the Brewster Building in Long Island City, with health insurance provider Fidelis Care taking more than 21,000 square feet right below where coworking firm WeWork is slated to open a new 43,000-square-foot location, Commercial Observer has learned.

Fidelis, also known as the New York State Catholic Health Plan, agreed last month to take the entire 21,463-square-foot 11th floor at the 13-story, 700,000-square-foot office building at 27-01 Queens Plaza North, sources told CO. WeWork also signed a 42,926-square-foot sublease last month for the entire 12th and 13th floors at the property between 27th and 28th Streets in the western Queens neighborhood. The Queens Chronicle first reported the news of WeWork’s new LIC location.

Asking rent and length of lease in the deals were not provided, though MetLife’s direct lease at the Brause Realty-owned, former automobile assembly plant-turned-office building is due to expire in 2023.

MetLife signed a 20-plus-year lease for the entire property in 2001 as part of a much-hyped, heavily-incentivized move of its Manhattan operations across the East River to Long Island City. But that move that was largely abandoned five years later, when the insurer decided to relocate most its employees back to 1095 Avenue of the Americas, also known as 3 Bryant Park. (MetLife has since consolidated its New York City operations at 200 Park Avenue, the iconic former Pan Am Building that now bears the MetLife name on its facade.)

The insurance company has subsequently looked to sublease its considerable space at the Brewster Building to subtenants like airline JetBlue, which keeps its corporate headquarters at the LIC property, advertising and public relations firm Publicis Groupe, the Long Island City Partnership and Schweiger Dermatology Group—which recently agreed to take the entire 10th floor at 27-01 Queens Plaza North, as CO first reported last month.

Representatives for WeWork declined to comment on the transaction, while those for Brause Realty did not return requests for comment. Representatives for Cushman & Wakefield, which handles subleasing at the Brewster Building on behalf of MetLife, and Fidelis did not provide comment on the matter.

WeWork is slated to open its new location at the Brewster Building in February, the Queens Chronicle reported earlier this month. The space is expected to hold more than 600 people and will be the coworking giant’s second location in Queens, following its 60,000-square-foot shared office space in 3537 36th Street in Astoria.

Fidelis, meanwhile, acquired 95-25 Queens Boulevard—the 11-story Rego Park, Queens office building that houses its headquarters—from landlord LeFrak for just under $140 million in March, The Real Deal reported earlier this year.

Source: commercial


As Traditional Grocery Stores Flee Manhattan, C-Town Arrives in Ocean Hill, Brooklyn

Even as traditional supermarkets disappear in more expensive parts of New York City, grocery operators are paying closer attention to working-class corners of the outer boroughs that desperately need sources of fresh produce. One of those neighborhoods is Ocean Hill, Brooklyn, where the developers of an affordable housing project recently signed a deal to bring in a C-Town supermarket.

The grocery store signed a 20-year lease for 17,721 square feet on the ground and lower floors of a four-and-a-half story residential building at 442 Saratoga Avenue. It will anchor the 135-unit development at the corner of Sterling Place, Saratoga Avenue, and Eastern Parkway. Asking rent was $30 a square foot, according to Matthew Gorman of New Street Realty Advisors.

The residential portion of the project will open in February 2018, and C-Town is expected to open next summer.

A 10,000-square-foot community center operated by Brooklyn Community Services and a second, yet-to-be-determined retail tenant will fill the rest of the building’s first floor. The developers, Pennrose Properties, Blue Sea Development, Duvernay + Brooks, and Rosenberg Housing Group, also plan to build a .75-acre public park next door.

The building on Saratoga Avenue is the third and final piece of a larger, affordable rental project called Prospect Plaza. The first two phases are already complete and include 249 low- and middle-income apartments, 80 of which are managed by the New York City Housing AuthorityThe Dattner Architects-designed development occupies roughly three blocks between Saratoga and Howard Avenues in Ocean Hill, a relatively small, triangular neighborhood wedged between Crown Heights, Bed-Stuy and Brownsville. 

Gorman and Joshua Gettler of New Street represented the landlord and C-Town.

“We feel strongly that this use will really anchor and enhance the market and provide a good public service to the community,” Gorman said. “There’s limited stores there for people to go to. This is walking distance to the three phases of Prospect Plaza. It’s going to bring employment and high quality healthy products to the community.”

The store also earns the building a tax break through the city’s FRESH program, which awards 25-year tax abatements to markets with fresh produce.

New Street is marketing the remaining 11,215 square feet of retail space along the Saratoga Avenue side of the property and is seeking educational, nonprofit and medical tenants.

Although Commercial Observer recently chronicled the demise of traditional grocery operators like C-Town in the five boroughs, that narrative doesn’t necessarily apply in neighborhoods like Ocean Hill, which have long struggled to attract quality supermarkets.

It’s easier for traditional markets to move into areas with relatively cheap retail rents, said Edward Gevinski Jr., who focuses on investment sales in southern and eastern Brooklyn at Cushman & Wakefield’s capital markets group. Typical asking rents in Brownsville and Ocean Hill hover around $30 a square foot. That’s a huge discount compared to average rents of $129 a square foot along Seventh Avenue in Park Slope, $326 a square foot along Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn, or $102 along Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Heights, according to the most recent Brooklyn retail report from the Real Estate Board of New York.

“There’s a direct correlation [between rent and] what you can charge for groceries,” said Gevinski. “If you have to pay x amount for rent, a lot of store owners feel that that cost goes to the consumer and the price of the product. If you have cheaper rent, you can charge less for groceries.”

He pointed out that it’s easier for stores to find larger square footage in tertiary submarkets like Ocean Hill, Brownsville, and southern Brooklyn.

It helps that grocery stores are an attractive amenity for tenants and landlords at residential developments like Prospect Plaza.

“They’re building a huge affordable development here so you have built in customers or clientele,” he added. “So it’s easier for people to pop in, get groceries, and go up to their apartment.”

Source: commercial


Keep your rivals closer: Knotel signs lease in Neuehouse building

Flexible office space provider Knotel is moving onto its rival’s turf, signing a 17,000-square-foot lease in a building that is already home to co-working company Neuehouse. The deal at ATCO Properties’ 373 Park Avenue South has a 10-year term, Commercial Observer reported. Both sides were represented in-house. Asking rent on the deal was $62 a square foot. Knotel, which raised $25 million in a Series A funding round in February, takes office space under lease […]

Source: realdeal