As senior vice president and general manager of the New York business unit of Turner Construction, Charlie Murphy oversaw approximately 800 employees and $1.5 billion in construction last year. Despite a general malaise across the construction industry, this year looks particularly active, with assignments for Silverstein Properties, New York University and Boston Properties, among other commercial buildings. Mr. Murphy spoke to The Commercial Observer about a promising spurt in construction spending, work on New York University’s Langone Medical Center campus and working with competing firm Tishman on the ground at the World Trade Center site.
It was lunchtime at Casa Lever, the high-end restaurant in the iconic Lever House, and Richard Baxter was on his BlackBerry negotiating.
It was a busy year for Mr. Baxter and his colleagues at Jones Lang LaSalle. His four-man team comprised some of the city’s most prominent brokers of large-scale commercial office buildings, and as the Manhattan sales market’s post-recessionary thaw continues, Mr. Baxter estimated that the group had tallied an impressive $1.3 billion in deals this year.
Three days before Christmas, however, it wasn’t one particular skyscraper Mr. Baxter was bargaining over from his plum seat at Casa Lever. In a year-end rush, his group had loose ends to tie up, deals to close and transactions still in the works. And so, on this particular Thursday amid a bustling lunch crowd, Mr. Baxter was not negotiating with a buyer or a building owner, but rather one of his own assistants, whom he was asking to stay late to receive critical documents and to help get the team through the rest of the day.
The city has been eagerly awaiting the construction of Boston Properties’ new office tower at 55th Street and Eighth Avenue, an on-again-off-again project by SOM that will likely be the first new office tower of the real estate rebound. (The World Trade Center does not count, but what about Extell’s Diamond Tower?) Having secured a big MoFo as a tenant in March, Mort Zuckerman is ready to build, and The Post‘s Steve Cuozzo reports building permits were just approved for 250 West 55th Street, “paving the way for full-bore work.” But the more exciting news at the corner could be Joe Moinian’s gambit across the street.
For a while there, the cost of Class A office space in New York was tumbling amid thousands of layoffs, the Great Recession, cats and dogs living together, etc. Landlords were having to concede incentives like free rent and comped upgrades; and tenants were jumping at deals in addresses that in frothier times had higher barriers of entry.
That appears to have changed.
Business seems to be moving along at 510 Madison, the luxury office building that developer Harry Macklowe traded to Mort Zuckerman’s Boston Properties last year. In addition to seeking major deals for multiple floors of office space, the building at Madison Avenue and 53rd Street is marketing to smaller tenants who would lease as little as 2,500 square feet (read: hedge funds).
“We have a great level of activity and we are willing to entertain deals from 2,500 square feet to multiple floors,” said CB Richard Ellis’ Paul Amrich, the rental agent for the building, at a cocktail party last night to introduce the building’s small-tenant program.
The Observer, upon receiving an invitation (apparently by accident), stopped by the party to check out the new building. As it turns out, the party wasn’t open to reporters, but we got an inside look anyway.
Billionaire Steven A. Cohen is poised to follow his recent legal reprieve with a huge lease at 510 Madison Avenue.
After months of speculation, his mercurial hedge fund, SAC Capital, is near a deal to take 66,000 square feet, or the second through fifth floors, multiple sources said. Rumors of the deal have been swirling for months, but a lawsuit Read More
Morrison & Foerster, the San Francisco-based law firm with the off-kilter nickname, has signed a letter of intent for 200,000 square feet at 250 West 55th Street, the office tower started by Mort Zuckerman’s Boston Properties but later capped at its foundation after previous anchor-tenant deals fell apart amid a chilly construction-financing market.
The move makes sense Read More
When Deloitte signed a 430,000-square-foot lease at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in December, it seemed like the space came from thin air.
The reality, it turns out, is nearly as dramatic: While law firm Chadbourne & Parke was mulling whether to renew its lease there, Deloitte swooped in and leased the space from under them, Read More
Mort Zuckerman is out of the running for the country’s tallest building.
Boston Properties, the real estate firm which the Daily News publisher chairs, on Monday pulled out of a three-way race to buy a stake in One World Trade Center, according to multiple government officials and a real estate executive. Mr. Zuckerman leaves behind Read More
Big Real Estate
Daily News owner and real estate mogul Mort Zuckerman is on the hunt.
Not only is Mr. Zuckerman, chairman of real estate concern Boston Properties, vying for a piece of the Freedom Tower (now known as One World Trade Center), but he’s also on the hunt for decidedly smaller prey, says the Wall Read More