Two weeks ago, the Landmarks Preservation Commission reviewed five buildings in Midtown East for landmark consideration in what was another chapter in the debate between the real estate industry and preservationists over the area’s historic real estate assets.
Seen as a roadblock in the Midtown East rezoning plan by many real estate professionals and a vital step in historic preservation by preservationists, the debate has raged on for months—even some of the buildings’ owners oppose preservation status.
Spearheaded by the Municipal Art Society, the preservation process began with the submission of a list of 17 candidate buildings. Four of the five buildings reviewed by LPC were on that preliminary list, and all five have been pinpointed below by The Commercial Observer.
Wine bars really began to supplant winos on the Bowery in 2007, when Whole Foods, the Bowery Hotel and the New Museum of Contemporary Art all opened on New York’s fabled broken boulevard. The 2008 market crash did little to slow skid row’s transformation into the Meatpacking District East (see: The Standard, East Village Hotel at 25 Cooper Square, just off Bowery).
Now the Downtown thoroughfare is poised to enter yet another phase of redevelopment. Intermix, the self-proclaimed “fashion boutique for trendsetters, A-Listers and glam fashionistas” opened in May at 332 Bowery, a former bodega. And last month, a portfolio of 11 mixed-use buildings sold to hip-hop clothier Joseph Betesh for $62 million.
The retail brokerage RKF is at the front of this gold rush. And Senior Director Brian Segall has become the firm’s Bowery guru. Last week, Mr. Segall and Robert Futterman, RKF chairman and chief executive, led The Commercial Observer on a tour of the company’s Bowery assignments, which (to the dismay of preservationists including Martin Scorsese) bolster RKF Executive Vice President Ariel Schuster’s prediction that the Bowery will soon be “one golden strip.”
Commerical Observer, Postings
While a far cry from a peak in 2007, the number of office transactions that crossed the $100-per-square-foot threshold in Manhattan last year—a whopping 56—was three times that of 2010, when only 19 such deals were tallied in the borough. The number of leases signed for office space in the $80-to-$99 range, meanwhile, also saw Read More
Speeches were casually ignored, drinks were spilled and bonds were formed at last Thursday’s 116th annual Real Estate Board of New York Gala, which this year drew an estimated 2,000 brokers, owners, advertising buyers and real estate reporters to the New York Hilton for an evening of conviviality, honorifics and hushed deal making. Among the fray was Commercial Observer staff writer Daniel Geiger, who during the course of the evening saw his stenopad tossed by an irate real estate broker and who unabashedly accosted Studley’s Woody Heller in the hotel’s bathroom, all for the sake of the story. Below, a timeline of gala comings and goings, from the innocuous gossip down to the downright obnoxious.