It has been just brutal outside, a mess of snow, sleet, rain, ice and slush, requiring acrobatic skills to jump from snow mound to snow mound.
While surfaces are icy, subway service has been interrupted, states of emergency have been declared and people are cold, has the wintry mix impacted the business of real estate in New York City?
Commercial Observer checked in with some real estate folks to find out.
Having exorcised the hedonistic Limelight nightclub’s drugged out demons, the former Episcopal church at 656 Avenue of the Americas is set to become a branch of exercise chain David Barton Gym.
Rumors that DBG was cruising the Chelsea location have circulated for months, but the gym has confirmed the news on its Facebook page. And The Commercial Observer has learned that Scott Edlitz, a retail specialist who joined Colliers International just last month, brokered the 19,000-square-foot deal on behalf of the tenant. Daniel Iwanicki represented the landlord, Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation, in-house. The new location will open next fall.
The Albert Ellis Institute, a psychotherapy training institute established in 1959, has relocated from the Upper East Side to Midtown South after completing the sale of its headquarters at 45 East 65th Street to a private buyer for $20 million. In a simultaneous transaction, the nonprofit organization signed an 8,000-square-foot sublease at 145 East 32nd Street.
“Albert Ellis is a prominent nonprofit organization that was presented with an opportunity to monetize its real estate while moving to a more centrally located base of operations,” said Steve Chasanoff, executive managing director with Colliers International, who arranged both the sale and sublease, in a prepared statement. “The organization also wanted to consolidate its entire team onto one floor, with a more efficient layout and use of space.”
The owners of 28-46 West 23rd Street are exploring an expansion of the building amid a hot streak in the Midtown South office district that has driven down vacancy and pushed rents up, The Commercial Observer has learned.
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.”
While leasing activity for much of New York City in the past few months has been more lackluster than blockbuster, a sizable chunk of available space –sizable in the, say, 6 million square foot range– is on the cusp of hitting the market, The Wall Street Journal reports.
New developments like 1 World Trade Center, 4 World Trade Center, and Edward Minskoff’s 51 Astor Place, are all slated to hit the market in 2013. The last time NYC had this much new space becoming available was in 1989, said Cassidy Turley’s Robert Sammons.
Crime and Punishment
When Nechama Levy began her search for retail space last July, she took advantage of years of experience as a bicycle shop employee to inform her real estate decisions, and then Colliers International brokers Charles Goldberg and Hank Widmaier sealed the deal at 1078 Fulton Street.
Beside ample basement space, Ms. Levy also considered floor plates large enough to install what she described as ergonomically correct racks and other bicycle-specific design flourishes. After the jump, Geoffrey Prisco of Brutus Park Architecture and Ms. Levy review the floor plans with The Commercial Observer and discuss what, exactly, convinced the first-time business owner to open her 5,800-square-foot shop, Bicycle Roots, in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
An administrative assistant at GVA Williams who was convicted of swindling $3 million from former company executive Andrew Roos over the course of nine years was denied parole earlier this month, The Commercial Observer has learned.
Agnes Dickinson, 59, was ordered to continue her up-to-13-year prison sentence at a Jan. 12 parole board hearing, according to the New York State Department of Corrections. She has been incarcerated at the Bayview Correctional Facility in Manhattan since 2008, shortly after being convicted of grand larceny, forgery and money laundering.
“After a review of the record and interview, the panel has determined that, if released at this time, there is a reasonable probability that you would not live and remain at liberty without again violating the law, and your release would be incompatible with the welfare of society,” the parole ruling reads.
The Lease Beat
Brokerage firm Colliers International has been named the exclusive leasing agent for 245 Fifth Avenue, a Midtown South building co-owned by The Moinian Group and Thor Equities.
The 303,000-square-foot Class A building has received pre-build improvements to its mid-level and tower floors, which will have an added emphasis on high-end finishes and glass front offices, the company said in a press release. Sizes for those floors range from 2,000 to 9,000 square feet.
A week after real estate investment firm APF Properties announced that it completed nine new leases at its “Club Row Building”, the company said it had locked up eleven more in three of its other office buildings, The Commercial Observer has learned.
All 20 signings – worth a total of 76,000 square feet - took place Read More