At the beginning of the year, Related Companies purchased a development site next to the High Line Park in Chelsea for $65 million.
The parcel, bought from the Central Iron and Metal Company, offered frontage on both 27th and 28th Streets between 10th and 11th Avenues, and included land underneath the High Line and the associated air rights.
Related’s purchase was just blocks south of the 26-acre Hudson Yards, where the company had recently broken ground on the first 47-story office tower to be built on the massive site.
Meanwhile, “micro units” burst onto the scene after a development team composed of Monadnock Development LLC, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation, and nARCHITECTS were tapped to create 55 new apartments measuring as little as 250 s/f.
Forty percent of the units — to be built at a city-owned site at 335 East 27th Street in Manhattan — are to be affordable.
Called ‘My Micro NY,’ it was developed using modular construction, with the modules pre-fabricated locally by Capsys at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
“New York’s ability to adapt with changing times is what made us the world’s greatest city — and it’s going to be what keeps us strong in the 21st Century,” said Mayor Bloomberg of the units. “The growth rate for one- and two-person households greatly exceeds that of households with three or more people, and addressing that housing challenge requires us to think creatively and beyond our current regulations.”
In StuyTown/Peter Cooper Village, the complex’s 25,000 fed-up tenants called on the bill collector in charge of the complex to help them find a new owner — fast.
The call came following a community meeting that drew officials from Brookfield Asset Management, banking consultants and lawyers as well as hundreds of residents who accused the company servicing the debt on the ST/PCV apartment complex of dragging its feet on negotiating the sale of the development.
Vornado Realty Trust CEO Michael Fascitelli announced his resigned from his position nearly four years after being named the top executive.
Chairman Steve Roth replaced Fascitelli after he officially stepped down April 15.
Roth wrote in the memo on the company’s website, “Mike plans to take a break after which he will pursue new challenges.”
RXR Realty partnered with an affiliate of Walton Street Capital to purchase 237 Park Avenue from an entity controlled by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
The sale price was $800 million, a bargain according to Scott Rechler, chairman and CEO of RXR Realty. “It is rare that you can purchase a modern office building in such an irreplaceable location at such a significant discount to replacement cost,” said Rechler.
Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died at 88 from congestive heart failure.
Koch was elected in 1977, one of the most tumultuous years in the city’s history. “It’s hard to reconcile the New York City of the “Mean Streets” era with the glory we see today, but Ed Koch was a huge part of making that happen,” said Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of The Retail Group for Douglas-Elliman. “Before him we were literally bankrupt, told in essence to “Drop Dead” by the U.S. Government. ”
Four months after Hurricane Sandy disrupted America’s fourth largest central business district, Lower Manhattan was back to business.
99 percent of commercial office space was open; 99 percent of residential inventory was open; 96 percent of hotel inventory was open, and; 90 percent of retailers were open.
The figures were released by Downtown Alliance president Elizabeth H. Berger during a business forum co-hosted by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) in April.
“Lower Manhattan’s recovery from Sandy has been vigorous. The Downtown Alliance’s research shows dramatic improvement across of all of Lower Manhattan’s major markets. Moreover, property owners and utility companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the district’s future to protect against the threats of future storms,” said Berger.
Madison Square Garden may be in the final phase of a $980 million interior renovation, but that didn’t stop the Municipal Arts Society and the Regional Plan Association from suggesting that the “World’s Most Famous Arena” be relocated from the space it has held since 1968.
A Garden move, MAS said, will allow Penn Station, which sits underneath, to be overhauled and returned to its former glory as an above-ground terminal.
But a spokesperson for Madison Square Garden told Real Estate Weekly that a move is not something seen on the immediate horizon.
Kim Kerns, senior vice president of communications for the Madison Square Garden Company, said, “Following the completion of this self-funded, nearly $1 billion transformation, it is incongruous to think that MSG would be considering moving.”
As the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) faces a serious financial shortfall, the government agency laid out a plan to lease land on the grounds of housing projects to city developers, in a bold attempt to generate revenue.
NYCHA is looking to bring in $50 million annually from developers who would build luxury high-rises on leased land in the middle of city housing projects.
A modified version of the proposed Hudson Square rezoning plan was approved by the City Council Land Use Committee in March.
The modifications will create more affordable housing units than the original proposal and ensure a vote by the Landmarks Preservation Commission for a new South Village Historic District by the end of the year.
Trinity Real Estate, the development arm of Lower Manhattan’s Trinity Church was the organization that first submitted the re-zoning proposal.
A partnership of Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management’s real estate investment business and David Werner purchased the leased fee interest in The Milford Hotel in New York for a reported $325 million. The sellers bought the entire property in 2010 for about $200 million.
Boston Properties, Inc., announced that Owen D. Thomas would succeed Mortimer B. Zuckerman as chief executive officer and join the Board of Directors.
Zuckerman remained as executive chairman and returned to his original role in company activities.
China Construction America, Inc., a subsidiary of one of the largest construction firms in the world, purchased a new US headquarters space.
In the largest office acquisitions in New Jersey in the first quarter, the company paid $71 million for a 320,274 s/f, class A office building at 445 South Street in Morris Twp.
China Construction America, Inc. said it will use the property as corporate expansion space for the future.
Ruth A. Agnese, one of the foremost experts in commercial real estate valuation and analysis in New York City, died on Thursday, April 18, her 51st birthday, at St. Rafael’s/Yale University Hospital in New Haven, CT.
Ruth was president of Appraisers and Planners, Inc., a full service real estate valuation and consulting firm founded in 1933, where she worked for 33 years.
Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group closed on nearly $1.4 billion in equity investments and debt financing for Hudson Yards.
A consortium of investors and lenders agreed to fund the first tower in the development, the South Tower, which will be home to fashion brand Coach, Inc. beauty company, L’Oréal USA, and market software firm SAP.
Investors also made equity investments in a residential tower on 30th and 11th Avenue, which will be a hybrid rental and condominium tower. Construction financing is being provided by a syndicate led by Starwood Property Trust, which includes member organizations of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, along with Oxford Properties Group.
John Brod and his team from PBS Real Estate joined ABS Partners Real Estate, ABS announced.
The announcement came days after PBS co-founder Laura Pomerantz left to start her own firm.
TF Cornerstone purchased a development site at 49 Bond Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The sale price was $70 million.
Shutterstock, Inc., a global image marketplace on the Internet, has leased 85,000 s/f for a new headquarters at the Empire State Building.
Blumenfeld Development Group helped herald in a new era for Jamaica, Queens, with the signing of a deal to bring the first department store to the area in 35 years.
Michael Colacino, president of international commercial real estate firm, Studley, announced the opening of its office in Shanghai, China.
The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) announced that David J. LaRue, president and CEO of Forest City Enterprises, was elected by ICSC’s Board of Trustees to serve as the association’s chairman for the 2013–2014 term.
Silverstein Properties secured financing to construct a skyscraper at 30 Park Place in Tribeca that will include a Four Seasons hotel and Private Residences. At 926 feet, the property will be the tallest residential tower in Downtown Manhattan and one of the tallest buildings in New York City, and is expected to block the Woolworth Building’s river views.
Web giant Yahoo leased four floors at the former New York Times building at 229 West 43rd Street. The new headquarters will consolidate the company’s three New York City offices into one main headquarters, with expansion room for an additional 200 employees.
Brookfield Office Properties Inc. closed on $1 billion in financing on two of the four office towers at Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan.
Zhang Xin, a prominent Chinese developer, and the Brazilian banking family, the Safras, teamed up to buy a 40 percent stake in the General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Avenue. The deal placed the value of the iconic 50-story, two million s/f tower at $3.4 billion. According to CBRE, the deal was largest investment sale to close in New York since 2008.
Crown Acquisitions and investment firm Highgate bought the trophy glass tower at 650 Madison for $1.3 billion.
Real estate investment manager Clarion Partners, LLC announced the acquisition of 100-104 Fifth Avenue for $230 million. Clarion purchased the 277,412 s/f Midtown South building from the Kaufman Organization and Invesco Real Estate, and retained Kaufman Organization as leasing and managing agent.
The Mental Health Association of New York City honored Kenneth Fisher and his family at its annual benefit gala for their work with the Fisher House Foundation, a charity that builds temporary accommodations for the families of wounded soldiers near military hospitals.
Cushman and Wakefield announced the departure of CEO Glenn Rufrano. Carlo Barel di Sant’Albano was named as the interim CEO to replace Rufrano, who had been CEO of the company since early 2010.
The Mionian Group officially unveiled its plans for 3 Hudson Boulevard, a 1,000-foot-tall, gently twisting office tower designed by Dan Kaplan of FXFOWLE.
REBNY presented its Retail Deal of the Year Awards. David LaPierre of CBRE, won the award for most ingenious and creative deal for Express’ lease at 1552/1560 Broadway. Jacqueline Klinger and Chase Welles of SCG Retail landed the prize for the most significant deal for bringing Whole Foods to 100 West 125th Street in Harlem.
The Brill Building, a landmark historic building located at 1619 Broadway at the corner of West 49th Street, was purchased by real estate investor Eric Hadar of Allied Partners, along with the private equity firm Brickman, in a deal valued at close to $250 million.
The partnership of four New York real estate principals who acquired Winoker Realty in February re-launched the brokerage as EVO Real Estate Group.
The Heller Gallery, a longtime Meatpacking District tenant, signed a lease to move into to the retail space in Atlantic Development Group’s newly constructed 303 10th Avenue — a sign of the High Line district’s emergence as a new art gallery hub.
Robert Lieber, a former deputy mayor for economic development, was named the new chairman of the Urban Land Institute NY.
Princeton Holdings sold its interest in the one million s/f Ring Portfolio — commercial properties located in Manhattan’s Midtown South submarket — for $74 million.
Cornell NYC Tech chose Forest City Ratner as the master developer for the first stage of the school’s planned Roosevelt Island Campus.
International retail giant Urban Outfitters signed a lease for 56,730 s/f on three levels at W&H Properties’ 1333 Broadway, creating the chain’s largest retail outpost.
On the verge of an IPO, the Empire State Building saw a flood of unsolicited offers from private investors looking to keep the iconic tower off the stock exchange.
At the end of the second quarter Manhattan-wide Class A office vacancy had risen to 11.6 percent.
New York Loan Company, one of the country’s most exclusive pawn shops, was the first office condominium owner to open for business at the International Gem Tower (IGT) on West 47th Street.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey selected Cushman & Wakefield as its site-wide property manager for the new World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Stack, a seven-story, 28-unit residential building at 4857 Broadway, became New York City’s first multi-unit modular residential building. Pre-fab steel and concrete modules were hoisted atop one another by crane to complete the $13 million project.
RXR Realty announced the hiring of Seth Pinsky, president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), to lead a major RXR initiative to invest in emerging New York metropolitan area markets and contribute to the expansion of the region’s economy.
Skanska USA announced that it has resigned as a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to protest the organization’s backing of a chemical industry-led initiative to effectively ban the future use of LEED for government buildings.
Fisher Brothers and The Witkoff Group closed on a deal with St. John’s University to buy one of Lower Manhattan’s biggest development sites at 101 Murray Street for $223 million.
Two Trees Management unveiled Havermyer Park, a “pop-up park” complete with a community garden in a vacant lot that the company plans to turn into affordable housing as part of its redevelopment of the Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg.
Jones Lang LaSalle’s acquired Surge Retail International, a New York and Boston-based specialty retail tenant representation firm.
Thor High Street Advisors has acquired London consultants Ashley Phillips Lahaise.
New-tech ad agency Droga5 has signed at 92,000 s/f deal for headquarters space at Silverstein Property’s 120 Wall Street.
Bonjour Capital bought the Crescent Club in Long Island City for $81.5 million.
ING signed a lease renewal and expansion for 144,000 s/f of space, comprising the entire 13th and 14th floors at 230 Park Avenue.
Elected officials and community leaders announced $8 million in funding for the East River Blueway Plan, allocating $1 million for a kayak launch at Stuyvesant Cove Park and $7 million for the creation of Brooklyn Bridge Beach.
Emmes Asset Management purchased 180 Water Street in lower Manhattan for $151 million.
The NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate of the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies announced it would begin offering a 128-credit B.S. in Real Estate during the Fall 2013 semester.
Shake Shack, the burger, hot dog and frozen custard stand, plans to open at Two Trees Commercial’s One Old Fulton Street in Brooklyn’s DUMBO in mid 2014.
H&M signed a 25-year lease for approximately 63,000 s/f in the Herald Center, at the corner of 34th Street and Broadway, Herald Square. The store will be H&M’s largest in the world and is anticipated to open in the fall of 2014.
Africa Israel USA named Chagit Sofiev-Leviev as chief executive officer.
Verizon signed a 60,000 s/f long-term lease renewal at the Rudin Family’s 32 Avenue of the Americas in TriBeCa.
As Fed money continued to pour into the economy and stock prices rallied to record levels, fall was a good time for IPOs.
Marcus & Millichap made the first step, announcing it would go public in September. Dan Fasulo of Real Capital Analytics interpreted the move as an attempt to raise capital and compete with other, larger brokerages. “They are seeing their competitors invest,” he said. “You have to keep up with the Joneses.”
A week later, Peter and Anthony Malkin pulled off the Blockbuster IPO of 2013. They rang the bell at the opening of the New York Stock Exchange on October 2, after a year-long battle to take the Empire State Building and other buildings in the Malkin portfolio public.
The IPO had been delayed for over a year by litigation on the part of a group of the 2,800 shareholders in the Empire State Building’s former private ownership structure, who objected to the IPO.
There were also unsolicited, eleventh-hour offers from private investors interested in individual assets in the portfolio. But in the end, the Malkins had their way and the Empire State Realty Trust was born.
Meanwhile, the residential market continued to break records. In September, the River House on East 52nd Street hit the market for $130 million – the most expensive listing in Manhattan’s history. The 60,000 s/f unit, which has yet to be sold, boasts an 82 ft. swimming pool, tennis court, screening room, wine cellar, full spa and gaming room.
Roche Pharmaceuticals got a warm welcome to the Big Apple when politicians and corporate executives gathered at the Alexandria Life Sciences Center on 29th Street to launch the company’s Translational and Clinical Research Center, scheduled to move into the West Tower of the life sciences facility when it opens in January.
Franz Humer, Roche’s chairman and CEO, announced last year that it would close its 1,000-employee facility in Nutley, N.J. “with a heavy heart,” Humer said.
Roche’s Nutley facility has been the site of many drug inventions including most famously Valium, the first anti-depressant, as New York State Senator Brad Hoylman reminded the audience at Tuesday’s ceremony.
“I was thinking that the governor of New Jersey needed a Valium when he heard he was losing all those jobs,” Hoylman said.
The city’s BOMA members readied n October 17, 2013, millions of people around the globe will participate in the Great ShakeOut, the world’s largest annual earthquake drill.
As November approached, asking prices and IPOs soon took a backseat to 2013s most anticipated event: the mayoral election.
As a landslide victory for Bill de Blasio became more and more likely, some real estate professionals began to voice concerns over the Democrat’s plans to raise taxes and end stop-and-frisk.
De Blasio won in a landslide over his Republican rival Joe Lhota on November 5. Since then, he has embarked on a charm offensive, meeting several real estate leaders for lunch. His tactic seems to be paying off: While many industry leaders still voice concerns over his progressive agenda, others have come to view him as a pragmatic politician who will work with the real estate industry rather than against it.
A week after the election, politics once again took the center stage when Mayor Michael Bloomberg withdrew his application for a midtown-east rezoning plan due to opposition in the city council.
The decision was a big surprise, and caused much grief among developers and brokers who had been hoping for a flurry of new projects. Others, however, have argued that the rejection of the rezoning plan may not be that big of a deal.
“I don’t think we need more space — we need better space,” Glenn Rufrano. chairman and CEO of O’Connor Capital Partners, recently said. “Midtown is fine the way it is, if we can create more efficient space.”
New York not only got a very tall mayor, but could also once again lay claim to the tallest building in the Western hemisphere. On November 12, the Height Committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat declared the building’s antenna to be a spire, which meant 1WTC is now officially 1,776 feet tall. Without the spire, the building only reaches 1,368 feet.
December began with a collective exhalation. De Blasio’s announcement on December 5 that Bill Bratton will succeed Ray Kelly as police commissioner quelled fears over potential rise in crime. “The choice of William Bratton brought a huge sigh of relief from the real estate community,” said Mitchell Rudin, president and CEO of Brookfield Office Properties’ U.S. commercial operations, at Eisner Amper’s Real Estate Breakfast Forum.
Meanwhile, actual work was being done on Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards Project. The developer put the first modules in place for the world’s largest modular building – a 32-story residential tower.
The Atlantic Yards had been in the news a lot, but hardly ever because of construction progress.
In November, Chinese developer Greenland Holdings Group had reached a tentative agreement with Forest City Ratner to buy a 70-percent stake in the project – providing much-needed capital.
The investment was the latest in a series of high-profile Chinese forays into New York real estate in 2013.