For months in 2008 CMZ was in contract for an $850 million purchase of North America’s most valuable development site. It was going to be a 65-story Bulgari tower with a mall with hologrammed walls for advertisers, a spa and a private club. A peak below at what might have been. Read More
By Laura Kusisto 6/07/11 9:00pm
In the early summer of 2008, Arthur G. Cohen rode the elevator to Harry Macklowe’s 21st-floor office in the G.M. Building wearing a black suit and bright pink dress shirt. Mr. Macklowe, sporting navy blue pinstripes and a multibillion-dollar real estate empire under siege, signed away his beloved Drake Hotel site to an enterprise called CMZ for $850 million.
CMZ is one of the more bizarre development teams ever assembled in the city, yet its existence has remained hidden until now from all but a handful of insiders. One-time top developer Mr. Cohen joined Washington lobbying czar Paul Manafort and Brad Zackson, a scrappy former righthand man to Fred Trump Sr., in a baffling boom-time enterprise. They looked at billions of dollars’ worth of properties such as the Drake, the Manhattan House, the Helmsley Hotel and two Bahamian islands—but with some of the world’s best real estate almost in their grasp, they never bought a single trophy property. Read More
By Laura Kusisto 6/07/11 8:46pm
With the deadline approaching for Harry Macklowe to seal the deal at 737 Park Avenue, he is so close, yet so far from securing the equity he needs.
Mr. Macklowe has hired the Carlton Group’s Howard Michaels to help him search for another partner for the deal (Mr. Michaels told The Observer a couple of Read More
By Laura Kusisto 6/06/11 3:20pm
CB Richard Ellis New York Tri-State Region President Mitchell Rudin is leaving the firm to be U.S. chief executive of Brookfield Office Properties, by far downtown’s largest landlord, whose properties include the World Financial Center.
“It is never an easy decision to leave a place as special as CBRE, but I was presented with a rare Read More
By Laura Kusisto 6/02/11 2:47pm
The banks have welcomed Billy Macklowe back with open arms.
Mr. Macklowe has secured a $25 million mortgage at 636 Sixth Avenue, which he picked up for $45.2 million a few months ago. The lender was Capital One National Association.
By Laura Kusisto 5/31/11 6:28pm
Baker Hostetler has renewed 120,000 square feet at 45 Rockefeller Plaza.
As The Observer reported in March, the world’s 85th-largest law firm, which represented Bernie Madoff’s victims in their search for lost treasure, was negotiating to lock down a deal back then. The firm initially subleased 100,000 square feet on the ninth, 10th and Read More
By Laura Kusisto 5/30/11 6:51pm
As the summer sun heats the Hudson to an aromatic brew, we hold our noses with one hand and tip our hats with the other to Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Waterkeeper Alliance.
There could thus be no better news than that the nonprofit has taken 4,000 square feet for five years in Read More
By Laura Kusisto 5/30/11 12:11pm
Ever since Steve Ross trotted out the much-talked-about fact that Related is under discussion for 18 million square feet of leases at Hudson Yards, The Observer‘s nose has been pointed way westward.
By far the biggest news we’ve found is that Credit Suisse-First Boston might be mulling a move to Hudson Yards, according to multiple Read More
By Laura Kusisto 5/26/11 11:08pm
Great views of the Park are much-talked-about and rarely achieved. And so with a mixture of awe and schadenfreude, The Observer went near the top of Durst Fetner Residential’s new 42-story tower, and looked clear across the sparkling vista of Central Park on a spring morning.
Durst and Mount Sinai topped out on one of the Read More
By Laura Kusisto 5/26/11 8:48pm
It’s looking rather post-Lehman at 25 Broad Street these days (even though the failed investment bank is still involved). The first 10 tenants have signed at the mammoth downtown residential tower of erstwhile Kent Swig fame.
Recall, Bruce Menin and his partners bought the 20-story office building for a dime in the late ’90s, before Read More