All the shame that James Frey endured when his non-fiction memoir on addiction was revealed to be largely manufactured may have hurt his byline, but his bottom line is doing just fine: he and wife Maya have unloaded their third-floor combination condo at 505 Greenwich Street for $3.9 million according to city records (a trustworthy source).
The couple picked up the two units in 2005 and 2008 for a combined total of a bit more than $3.5 million, combining them into one enormous 2,800-square foot four-bedroom.
The condo contains an obscenely large 40-foot by 23-foot living room, more than big enough to gather your closest friends and family and break the news to them that your memoir was mostly fabricated. But then, they probably already knew that.
A self-described car guy, Woody Heller, executive managing director and head of the Capital Transactions Group at Studley, sees parallels between automobiles as hard assets and commercial real estate investment sales velocity in New York. Apart from the obvious luxury to be found in cars and Class A buildings alike—his 33-million-square-foot transaction volume likely doesn’t include a jalopy—both markets have also lately been bolstered by similar factors.
“With debt available and with interest rates so incredibly low, it encourages one to buy because money is so cheap,” he said. “If the asset class is in favor compared with what much of the alternatives are—if borrowing costs are incredibly low—it continues to steer people to want to invest in hard assets like real estate.”
Gregg Weisser knows how to handle a hot house. The newly anointed executive managing director of the Moinian Group, and volunteer fireman with the Kismet Fire Department in Fire Island, New York, is no stranger to putting out fires, be it a burning beach house or as a director of leasing across some of the city’s most notable addresses. As the real estate director of JPMorgan Chase, where he had worked for over 20 years, Mr. Weisser closed a million and a half feet of empty space in 1 New York Plaza.
An insurance company has renewed its lease in the increasingly media- and startup-friendly enclave of Hudson Square.
Frenkel & Co., an independent insurance company, has signed a seven-year lease renewal for 39,000 square feet on the fourth floor of 350 Hudson Street for its corporate headquarters, The Commercial Observer has learned.
Lease of the Week
When Take-Two Interactive, the video game giants behind such popular and violently lurid titles as Grand Theft Auto and Max Payne, had a few years remaining on its lease at 622 Broadway, the landlord, Yuco Management, found itself in a curious position.
Should Yuco Management aggressively market the 69,000 square feet of space Take-Two had called its own since 2002, thereby losing its anchor tenant? Or should it do anything it could to keep Take-Two, which had in some ways branded 622 Broadway as a distinctly hip and colorful office building, especially with its endless parade of behooded video game designers and executives?
“It’s the unique building where people don’t wear suits and ties and ride bicycles to work with their dogs,” said William Cohen, an executive vice president and principal at Newmark Knight Frank, who was hired alongside colleague Mark Weiss by Yuco Management to help decide the next best move. “I’m not kidding,”
Pace University has renewed its 32,707-square-foot lease at the downtown office building 156 William Street, sources have told The Commercial Observer.
The university will lease the building’s entire fifth floor and a portion of the eighth. Asking rents at the property, a 190,000-square-foot building owned by Capstone Equities, are in the $30s per square foot.
Educational Affiliates is signing a 40,000-square-foot lease at 97-77 Queens Boulevard, a large office building owned by the LeFrak Organization in Rego Park, Queens.
The tenant operates career schools that train nurses, medical assistants, commercial drivers and computer specialists among other professions.
A source familiar with the lease said that Educational Affilitiates plans to open a nursing school at the location.
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.
The owners of 114 Fifth Avenue are exploring a sale of the building or a possible leasehold interest in the property sources say.
The approximately 340,000-square-foot midtown south building is held by an anonymous family owner, people familiar with the property said. The building will likely require a substantial infusion of cash in the near future, a factor that is perhaps prompting the offering.
It was a typical evening at the Real Estate Board of New York’s annual gala as John Cardinal O’Connor stepped up to the dais to address a crowd of several thousand of the city’s most ambitious commercial real estate brokers and owners.
But in a ritual repeated more or less each year, the archbishop of the New York archdiocese’s 2.37 million Catholics and one of the Vatican’s most forceful spokesmen in the United States during the 1980s, was summarily ignored by a brokerage community far more interested in making deals than in hearing the Gospel.