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Category Archive885 Third Avenue

Financial Services Firm StepStone Group Takes 30K SF at 450 Lex

StepStone Group, a financial services firm, has signed on for 30,000 square feet at RXR Realty’s 450 Lexington Avenue between East 44th and East 45th Streets, Commercial Observer has learned.

The tenant will occupy the entire 37th floor in the 39-story, 910,273-square-foot building via a 10-year lease, a spokeswoman for RXR indicated. The asking rents in the top of the tower, where RXR has rolled out prebuilts, range from $115 to $130 per square foot. StepStone will replace JLL Partners when the new tenant moves from the Lipstick Building at 885 Third Avenue on Aug. 1.

RXR picked up the property via a ground lease in September 2012 for $720 million, property records indicate. The seller was Istithmar World, the Dubai-based investment firm, as CO reported at the time. Tenants include David Polk Wardwell.

RXR’s Lauren Ferrentino represented the landlord in-house along with CBRE‘s Michael Affronti, Silvio Petrillo and Ryan Alexander. Affronti said in a prepared statement provided by RXR: “45o Lexington Avenue is an exceptional asset, and the success we continue to achieve certainly comes as no surprise. The building’s close proximity to Grand Central, panoramic views, high-end installations and strength of ownership are just a few of the components that continue to attract prominent firms to 450 Lexington Avenue.”

Savills Studley’s David Carlos represented the tenant in the deal. A spokeswoman said he was out of the country.

Source: commercial

The Plan: For a Furniture Dealer, a ‘Showhouse’ Is the Best of Both Worlds

A “showhouse” is how designer and furniture dealer Meadows Office Interiors describes its second New York City location on the fifth floor of 625 West 55th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues.

Showhouse, yes, in that it’s been decorated and made to look like an exhibition—but being that it’s near the West Side Highway, with easy access to ship its goods and has 18-foot ceilings, it’s also a 17,000-square-foot warehouse.

The remaining 3,000-square-foot section is an office-showroom furnished with products from 53 of the 300 manufacturers with whom Meadows works. This setup allows for the actual office to be a display for clients who visit.

“We made sure that a client can come in here and see a whole range of products,” Sheri David, the chief executive officer of Meadows, told Commercial Observer on a recent tour of the new digs.

Take the 65-inch tabletop screen near the middle of the office for example. It has architecture software installed so that clients can work on office designs while on site. At the same time, Meadows is a distributor for Ideum, the manufacturer of the screen, so it showcases a product as well.

Most of the office is set up on a platform, which pushes the flooring higher to allow electrical wiring to run directly underneath the floors. As with tenants that purchase the flooring Meadows can easily move outlets in case it needs to relocate or expand workstations quickly.

“If [tenants] want to move at a moment’s notice, this helps,” said Marissa Allen, the chief operating officer of Meadows. “You need to show clients the ability to be flexible.”

Currently, 12 employees work at the showroom—under a multicolored painting of diamond shapes—in sales and client advisory roles. There are also four in the warehouse division. Construction of the project wrapped up in December 2017. The 91-person company’s main showroom and offices are at the Lipstick Building at 885 Third Avenue. (It also has additional locations in New Jersey.)

The showroom has three “mockup rooms,” which allow clients to set up products—like desks and chairs—to test the design and feel. And there is stadium seating in front the model rooms that allow people to watch the action. Meadows designed the walls between the showroom and warehouse in glass so light fills the storage area.

A flexible room, called “the den,” features a Ping-Pong table and comfortable colorful chairs. It can be used to relax or for team meetings. And there is a conference room, equipped with a 14-seat table and 95-inch television, guarded by plant-covered barn doors.

In the furniture business, every purveyor has dealt with clients missing small parts (screws, nuts, bolts). To combat this, Meadows prepared a parts room in its new space with thousands of small replacement pieces.

“So when those boxes of casters for chairs disappear,” Allen said, “we can help, so people can sit.”

Source: commercial

Developer and Restaurateur Louis Ceruzzi of Ceruzzi Properties Dies

Louis Ceruzzi, Jr., the founder and president of development firm Ceruzzi Properties and a 30-year veteran of New York City’s real estate industry, died Thursday. He was 64.

The cause of Ceruzzi’s death was not immediately clear. The management committee of his eponymous company will continue to carry out Ceruzzi Properties’ responsibilities and commitments, according to a statement from the firm.

“We, along with the firm’s employees and partners, are shocked and saddened by this sudden news,” Arthur Hooper, Jr., the executive vice president and general counsel of Ceruzzi Properties, said in prepared remarks. “Our thoughts are with Lou’s family during this difficult and trying time, and we will work tirelessly to uphold his legacy. It is with heavy hearts that we begin to perform ongoing management duties and ensure a seamless transition and continued success for Ceruzzi Properties.”

Ceruzzi Properties is working on a number of large-scale projects in Manhattan, including a 71-story hotel and condo with partner SMI USA at 520 Fifth Avenue between West 43rd and West 44th Streets; a 72-story condo at 138 East 50th Streetalso in partnership with SMI USA; and an 18-story, 61-unit condo project at 151 East 86th Street with Kuafu Properties.

In December 2015, the firm and SMI USA acquired the ground lease on the Lipstick Building at 885 Third Avenue between East 53rd and East 54th Streets for $453 million.

Ceruzzi started out as a real estate tax lawyer at Copelon, Schiff & Zangari in New Haven, Conn., in the 1980s and practiced law for around five years before making the switch into real estate development, he told Commercial Observer in a 2015 profile. Ceruzzi spent the following decade acquiring and developing properties in the Northeast before merging his firm with Starwood Capital Group to form Starwood Ceruzzi in 1997.

Aside from real estate investment, Ceruzzi was also a successful restaurateur. He owned numerous restaurants in New York City, Massachusetts and Connecticut, including Via Quadronno, Bar Roma, Bottega del Vino, Sfoglia,  Lola 41, Lola Burger, Station 21 and The National, as Commercial Observer previously reported.

Ceruzzi earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from the New York University School of Law.

Source: commercial

Brad Needleman Leaves CBRE for NKF

Source: commercial

Divorce Law Firm Cohen Clair Renews at Lipstick Building

Law firm Cohen Clair Lans Greifer Thorpe & Rottenstreich has agreed to renew its 13,500-square-foot space at the Lipstick Building in Midtown East, Commercial Observer has learned.

Cohen Clair, which specializes in family and divorce law, signed a six-year lease for the entire 32nd floor of the 34-story, 646,000-square-foot office tower at 885 Third Avenue between East 53rd and East 54th Streets, which was built in 1986 is famed for the cylindrical, Philip Johnson– and John Burgee-helmed design that gives the building its name.

The law firm has called the Lipstick Building home for more than a decade and its space features unobstructed, 360-degree views, according to a press release announcing the deal.

“The Lipstick Building has long been a center for big law and top financial services organizations, including this celebrated firm,” said Gerard Nocera, a principal at Herald Square Properties—which operates the building alongside Buenos Aires-based real estate firm IRSA—in a statement.

Asking rent in the deal was not disclosed. A CBRE team of Mary Ann Tighe, Craig Reicher and James Ackerson represented Cohen Clair, while Scott Klau and Erik Harris of Newmark Knight Frank represented the landlord. A CBRE spokesman confirmed the transaction, while a spokesman for NKF did not immediately return a request for comment.

The Lipstick Building is now 98 percent occupied, Nocera said in the press release. The property is anchored by legal tenant Latham & Watkins, which occupies nearly 350,000 square feet, according to CoStar Group data.

Other major tenants include law firms LeClairRyan and Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt, as well as private equity firm StepStone Group, which in 2015 took space formerly occupied by Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities—the wealth management firm through which convicted fraudster Bernard Madoff ran his multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme until his arrest in 2008.

Source: commercial