Union Square too expensive for your tech start-up? DUMBO too full? Downtown Brooklyn too… Downtown Brooklyn? Jed Walentas has a new suggestion: how about the Williamsburg waterfront?
Two Trees is looking to return to its commercial roots at the old Domino Sugar factory site, The Wall Street Journal reports. Jed wants to convert the 11-acre site’s signature structure into office space and throw up a new office building, for a total of 630,000 square feet. If successful, that would be nearly twice Williamsburg’s paltry existing stock of 350,000 square feet of large-block space.
The sun was glistening off the blue glass of 3 Columbus Circle last Thursday. A clutch of nattily dressed real estate executives standing on the 19th floor terrace had to squint against the strong light, reflecting off the high-tech carapace of the building formerly known as 1775 Broadway. Once the headquarters of Newsweek, and before that General Motors, the building began life in 1928 as a sturdy Art Deco brick box towering over Columbus Circle. One of the biggest buildings in the city at the time, it was a show of emerging industrial might in the heart of Manhattan.
But that was before GM moved to the other end of 59th Street, erecting its glass and marble monolith. That was before the arrival of the Trump International, the Time Warner Center and the Apple store on Fifth Avenue. Glass has become big business across the city, where brick and steel still sometimes rules—the Empire State Building is still our most recognizable landmark. Glass was what Joe Moinian, the Iranian-Jewish developer, former cook and now master of some five million prime square feet, decided to go with, then. It was the boom-boom new millennium: Why tear down a perfectly serviceable building when you could simply sheath it in a slick new suit, ask those $100-per-square-foot rents (the standard for a top-of-the-line tower) and cash the checks?
One summer Friday in 1994, Ron Cohen, one of the top commercial brokers in New York City, picked up the phone in his office at the old Insignia/ESG, a precursor to today’s mega-brokerage CB Richard Ellis. A man named Joseph Chetrit was cold-calling him about a 16-story office building at 19 West 44th Street that Mr. Cohen’s client was selling.
“Sorry,” Mr. Cohen said. “We don’t work with people we don’t know.”
He hung up and went back to work.
Minutes later, three men walked into Mr. Cohen’s office. They were Joseph Chetrit, his father Simon, and his brother Jacques.
“Well, now you know us,” Joseph said matter-of-factly.
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.
26 West 17th Street
With tech companies popping up in new offices faster than tweets on our Twitter feed, it never occured to us it’s actually not easy for them to find space.
But many landlords in the city were burned when the last tech boom went bust and dozens of tenants couldn’t pay Read More
Man of many mansions Hunt Slonem has garnished a new far West Side space.
The Southern painter-cum-interior designer has taken 22,500 square feet for 10 years at 509 West 34th Street, past 10th Avenue. The four-story industrial building over a parking garage has a few columns and windows on three sides, offering the perfect canvas for Read More
The mystery midtown media tenant that wants to fill SL Green’s 100 Church Street has been revealed as Sirius XM Radio.
The Observer has learned last week that someone was coming to fill the empty space, which would amount to more than 250,000 square feet, or 180,000 square feet of contiguous space. SL Green bought Read More
A Little Bird Told Us
A boutique office building at Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street, the Corinthian original home of the Metropolitan Museum, has secured $150 million in financing.
The influx of capital at 681 Fifth Avenue, a prime retail spot whose tenants include Tommy Hilfiger, will be used to pay off any outstanding debt and to fund additional pre-built floors Read More
Twitter, the Web’s main repository of personal oversharing, political dissent and tasteless self-promotion, is donning a suit and tie.
The little blue bird has been perching in a spartan temporary New York City space since September, searching for the perfect spot for its first New York City headquarters. Now The Observer has learned that Read More
Never mind the famed stair run, for once the race in the Empire State Bulding is for the bottom. King’s College is negotiating to renew and expand to 60,000 square feet on the lower floors there.
The Christian liberal arts college currently houses its administrative offices and classroom space in 50,000 square feet on Read More