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Anbau Plotting Condos at Verizon Parking Garage Site in Hamilton Heights

Residential development firm Anbau has acquired two adjacent parking garages at 620 West 153rd Street in the Hamilton Heights section of Upper Manhattan for $22.5 million with the goal of building residential condominiums on the site, Commercial Observer has learned.

Anbau closed on its purchase of the two-story garages between Broadway and Riverside Drive earlier this month after entering contract late last year. The seller, Verizon, has been using the facilities to park and house its service vehicles.

Having finalized its acquisition of the site, which features approximately 150,000 buildable square feet, the NoMad-based development firm has drawn up plans for two luxury residential condo buildings, designed by architecture firm DXA Studio, that will be connected via a landscaped courtyard and feature views of the Hudson River.

“We see [Hamilton Heights] as the next logical emerging neighborhood,” Anbau Founder and President Stephen Glascock told Commercial Observer. He cited how prices have “shot up substantially” for both condos and rentals in areas like the Manhattanville section of West Harlem, to the south of Hamilton Heights.

Glascock said the two planned condo buildings would likely hold around 150 units combined, with prices for the all-market-rate units likely to range from below $1 million to up to $3 million. Anbau, which financed its acquisition of the site with a pre-construction bridge loan from Goldman Sachs, expects to begin work on the project within the next six months with a view to completing the development in the next two to three years, he added.

Anbau will also provide parking for Verizon and its service vehicles at the property, Glascock said, with those accommodations to be separate from the parking provided to residents at the condo development.

Representatives for Verizon could not be reached for comment.

Verizon had retained Cushman & Wakefield’s Bob Knakal, Josh Kuriloff, Jonathan Hageman and Patrick Yannotta to market the property. Anbau had no broker in the deal.

Knakal told CO that C&W received “extremely robust budding activity on the property” from prospective buyers, which he attributed to “the positive changes that the [Hamilton Heights] neighborhood has experienced over the last 10 to 20 years.”

“It’s a very desirable location,” Knakal said, pointing to rising interest in the market for Upper Manhattan development sites at large—including at 4109 Broadway in Washington Heights, where C&W has been retained to sell a four-story church building with nearly 90,000 buildable square feet on behalf of Christ Church, United Methodist of New York City.

That property will likely be converted into residential condos as well, Knakal added, noting that developers are increasingly looking uptown to take advantage of lower land costs “that make it a lot more feasible to build condos”—particularly at a price point more appealing to prospective residential buyers.

Glascock agreed, noting that the Anbau “can pass on that low land cost to translate to lower prices for condos” at its new site and that the firm believes there is “strong demand” for units in the $1-million to $3-million range that will be served by the new Hamilton Heights development.

Anbau specializes primarily in the Manhattan condo market, with recent projects including Citizen360, an 84-unit SHoP Architects-designed building at 360 East 89th Street in Yorkville, and 207W79, a 19-unit Upper West Side property at 207 West 79th Street designed by Morris Adjmi Architects.

The firm also owns several multifamily rental properties in the borough; in December 2017, Anbau acquired two five-story buildings holding a combined 22 apartments at 53-55 First Avenue in the East Village for $16.2 million.

Source: commercial

Complex Expands With a Move to Part of Yahoo’s Office in Times Square

Complex Networks, the umbrella company that includes Complex and its sub-brands like First We Feast and Pigeons and Planes, is moving to the old New York Times Building.

The hip-hop-influenced media company subleased 80,000 square feet from Yahoo at Columbia Property Trust’s 229 West 43rd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, Crain’s New York Business reported. Complex plans to leave its longtime, 64,000-square-foot office space at 1271 Avenue of the Americas between West 50th and West 51st Streets and take over the Yahoo space next week. Yahoo occupies 193,000 square feet in the historic, 482,000-square-foot property.

Rich Antoniello, Complex’s chief executive officer, told Crain’s that Yahoo’s offices appeal to the company because the space features four video production studios. Complex, like many media outlets, is focusing heavily on expanding its short-form videos, and it recently partnered with cable music channel Fuse. Over the past year, it has grown its slate of programs to 33 daily and weekly shows, focused largely on talk shows and reality shows.

Not surprisingly, Yahoo and Complex are both owned by Verizon. The telecom giant acquired Yahoo over the summer and purchased Complex a year ago in a joint venture with Hearst Communications.

Spokespeople for Yahoo and Complex didn’t respond to requests for comment, and the terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Source: commercial

Ad Agency Momentum Worldwide Heads to 60K SF at Brookfield Place

Ad agency Momentum Worldwide is packing up its Hudson Square offices and heading Downtown to Brookfield Place.

The Interpublic Group subsidiary has signed on for 60,000 square feet via a 10-year lease at Brookfield Property Partners300 Vesey Street, The Real Deal reported. Momentum’s new home includes the entire top floor of the 15-story building, part of the 14th floor and a private roof deck. Asking rent in the deal wasn’t immediately available.

JLL’s Scott Panzer, Robert Romano and Shannon Rzeznikiewicz represented Momentum in the deal, and it’s unclear who handled the transaction for Brookfield. Neither company’s spokesman responded to a request for comment.

Momentum will decamp its current space on the second and third floors of Jack Resnick & Sons250 Hudson Street for Brookfield Place in May 2018, according to information from CoStar Group.

In recent years, the marketing company, which has 2,000 employees and 40 offices, has run campaigns for American Express, Chevron, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, SAP and Verizon, as well as many other high-profile clients.

Other tenants in the 522,000-square-foot, 21-year-old building include CME Group, Pell Brothers Trading, Smith & Moore and KCG Holdings, CoStar indicates.

Source: commercial

The Mothership: There Is Only One Starrett-Lehigh

In the pursuit to perfect the work-play formula needed to drive the velocity and pricing for commercial properties, few real estate owners have experienced the same level of success found in RXR Realty’s Starrett-Lehigh Building. The West Chelsea icon has given the likes of Tishman Speyer the aspiration of converting the office tower of the Downtown Brooklyn Macy’s to the “Starrett-Lehigh Building of Brooklyn,” as quoted in The Real Deal.


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Views from Starett-Lehigh

Starrett-Lehigh is desirable to today’s tenants who see the opportunity that comes with a historic manufacturing building: expansive floor plates, generous floor loads, column spacing conducive to a multitude buildouts and ceiling heights rumored to have hosted a giraffe for a photo shoot. Pair these features with natural light and unobstructed views of the water and downtown and midtown skylines, you have an asset that demands attention. Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig of Marchesa admit they “were drawn to Starrett for the breathtaking views of the entire city – from the Empire State Building to the Hudson River—and the most beautiful sunsets year round.”

Recognizing the innate appeal of the structure to the increasingly powerful TAMI audience, RXR Realty committed to making the building a “destination icon” when they purchased it for $920 million in 2011. RXR’s efforts and long-term vision were noticed by tenants, such as Surface Media’s CEO Marc Lotenberg, who when they were searching for a permanent home noted, “It isn’t about today; it’s about tomorrow. Just as our company is evolving and innovating, so is this neighborhood, and we are confident that with all the development unfolding on the Manhattan’s west side, from the Meatpacking District to Hudson Yards, RXR’s Starrett-Lehigh will be perfectly positioned to become the city’s nucleus of culture and commerce.”

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Rooftop Whiskey Tasting

The building did not come without challenges, from the lack of proximity to major transportation to elevator wait times that historically had people arriving 30 minutes early for meetings just to be punctual. Not to mention its status as a landmark, which can protract upgrades and the renovation process. However, the hands-on RXR has equipped Starrett-Lehigh with the tools benefiting a modern workplace and evolving workforce, which included modernizing the building’s infrastructure, augmenting elevator count, upgrading the lobby and common areas with food amenities and repurposing unique spaces like loading areas into dynamic communal space. RXR Realty streamlined the loading and delivery process along 26th Street to improve walkability for the significant visitor foot traffic and created a unique 24-hour food truck and freight elevator service available to all floors. The company also implemented a tenant shuttle service connecting tenants readily to major transportation hubs.

The company has also executed a nationally recognized sustainability program that went beyond simple “box checking” for accreditation but integrated community gardens, farm-to-table programming, reducing the building’s carbon footprint by 80 percent and serving as an anchoring force in the outside community through the creation of the West Chelsea Energy Alliance. The building won two BOMA awards: the 2016 Operating Building of the Year and the 2017 Earth award.

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Starrett-Lehigh Event (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Battersea Power Station)

RXR Realty took Starrett-Lehigh one step further with the introduction of the Centre for Social Innovation, or CSI, as the answer to the shift in population of Starrett-Lehigh’s tenants, who are more socially conscious and culturally focused than the presumed typical Class A office building. CSI produces a variety of events and activations on global concerns. They have partnered with other Starrett-Lehigh tenants like Johnson & Johnson to boost workplace community. As Gabe Marans, corporate managing director of Savills Studley, puts it, “Starrett-Lehigh is the rare building that offers a true tenant community. The building is increasingly becoming the destination for employees seeking a creative, yet serious environment.”

RXR manages a robust engagement program into their work-play balance formula. “Redefining the ‘play’ in live-work-play, they are creating a highly curated combination of relevant food markets, pop-up retail, wellness and events to tap into the highly evolved cultural landscape of the surrounding marketplace,” said Peter Fine, senior managing director at Newmark Knight Frank. Much of Starrett’s program touches on wellness, culinary interests and social issues, such as wine tastings, panel discussions on fashion design and gay rights, and rooftop fitness classes ranging from high intensity to holistic yoga practices. In addition, Starrett-Lehigh launched a fully equipped fitness facility, SL Fitness. Since its launch in 2016, membership has doubled and continues to grow.

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Fitness Event

It would be remiss to not consider the impact of the High Line, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, another Starrett-Lehigh tenant. This project transformed West Chelsea into a district synonymous with the city’s most innovative architecture, engaging recreational areas and a world class contemporary art scene. Naturally, these features appeal to Starrett tenants, such as Haynes Roberts, Amy Lau, Jes Gordon and influential designer Vanessa DeLeon. In the spirit of authenticity, DeLeon is currently working with RXR to roll out a new prebuilt program for loft spaces and to transform original truck bays into high-quality communal spaces.

The building meets the needs of a continuously diversifying culture within all industries from fashion labels such as Ralph Lauren, Club Monaco and Canada Goose, technology companies like littleBits and Verizon, publications like Surface Media and The Players’ Tribune to hedge funds and law firms. This diversity and demand for the building also drive pricing.

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Speaker Event

Unique tenants like Security Industry Specialists, who secure some of the world’s largest clients and individuals, fell in love with Starrett-Lehigh. Its founder and CEO, John Spesak, states, “As a unique entity in the otherwise traditional security industry, it was important that we find a commercial partner and environment where we could showcase our brand, while embracing our strong company culture. We have created a one-of-a-kind workplace experience and forged an incredible relationship with the tenants and the RXR management team. Each continues to evolve and innovate while representing the very best the NYC commercial space has to offer. My only regret is not finding Starrett years prior.”

While the summer has been busy for the leasing team on expansions and new deals, Starrett-Lehigh is always looking to provide a better experience for its tenants. Currently, this includes reactivating 40,000 square feet on the ground floor for the first time in a century. “In the ever-evolving retail, dining, and event landscape, we feel like the Starrett Lehigh building offers the perfect palette to deliver something truly unique and authentic to the New York City market,” reflects Mitchell Friedel, executive vice president at Newmark Knight Frank. Sources close to RXR did not elaborate on whom they are in talks with, but they have hinted that the 11th avenue frontage will transform into a destination in and of itself.

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Vanessa Deleon, A Starrett Tenant

David Hollander, executive vice president at CBRE, comments, “The building embodies every aesthetic that creative tenants desire and RXR has upgraded the infrastructure to support today’s tenants’ needs.” However, the landlord also goes beyond the physical space to create a social community for its tenants. Reaching across active social media, digital spotlights with tenants at every company level and thoughtful work with artists, like The Selby (who collaborates with the likes of Nike, Fendi, Iris Apfel and Tom Wolf), Starrett-Lehigh speaks directly to the end user—the tenants that fill the building.

Aram Rappaport, founder of creative agency The Boathouse, admits, “We never thought we’d be able to afford a prestigious address catering to amazing brands like Martha Stewart, not to mention, find the perfect space to fit our unique agency and studio hybrid model.” Rappaport found that Starrett-Lehigh was the solution, further commenting, “after months of searching Manhattan, coming up short with buildings that felt too ‘old’ or weren’t equipped with space conducive for creatives,” Rappaport “pulled the trigger on Starrett the same day” he saw it and has “no plans of leaving ever!”

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Starrett-Lehigh Prebuilt Sample

David Seabrooke, founder of Canoe Studios, perhaps sums it up best: “The building is a landmark and its location represents New York at its finest. The staff and leadership team understand my needs and do everything they can to help me and my company to realize our dreams in this space.”

At the end of the day, one may try to create a place that brings tenants of all stripes together, builds an internal mechanism for innovation and social impact, and fuels collaboration across top tier talent; but there is only one place to find this all under one roof. Owners can build the Starrett-Lehigh of Brooklyn, Queens, or anywhere for that matter, but there’s only one original.



Source: commercial

Est4te Four Picks Up Tribeca Office Condo for $135M

Source: commercial