Planes Trains & Automobiles
David Gunn was never a fan of Moynihan Station. When he was president of Amtrak during the early George W. Bush years, he pulled the railroad out of the project, which seeks to recreate the glory of the old Pennsylvania Station in the James Farley Post Office across Eighth Avenue. At the time, costs were the stated reason: Amtrak was expected to contribute to its new home, and Mr. Gunn said that the railroad had more pressing needs.
Current Amtrak President Joseph Boardman picked the project back up in 2009, and though it’s largely unfunded, Amtrak still intends to go through with the move. This, Mr. Gunn told The Observer this afternoon from his home in Nova Scotia, would be a mistake.
Even if it may be losing Microsoft to the brand new 11 Times Square nearby, 1290 Avenue of the Americas is about to get buffed up itself to appeal to tenants (including those who might be in the market for some 100,000 square feet of space that may soon be sitting vacant). Vornado, the owners of 1290 A of A, have just announced the beginning of construction for a new lobby and plaza renovation that will modernize and improve the appearance of the 43-story building at the street level.
Promises: they’re easy to make, but hard to keep. Just ask the residents and landowners of West Harlem.
For the last five years, a number of developments have been proposed along 125th Street, but most have fallen through. Take, for instance, Vornado Realty Trust’s ambitious plans for a 600,000-square-foot office building on the corner of Park Avenue that would have housed Major League Baseball’s new television network. That building never materialized, nor did a later development, planned on the same site, for a high-rise that included a Marriott hotel.
So what’s the beef? Why are so many projects along 125th Street (as well as nearby Lexington and Morningside avenues) habitually planned and then abandoned?
MAC Cosmetics is in talks to lease a small store for what could be the highest rent ever paid in Manhattan.
The popular makeup company is looking to lease a roughly 1,400-square-foot space at 691 Fifth Avenue, a property owned by Vornado Realty Trust, one of the city’s largest commercial landlords.
The space is currently occupied by the skin care company Elizabeth Arden, but Vornado has been marketing the space for rents $3,000 per square foot or higher.
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.
Guggenheim Partners, an investment firm that grew from administering the vast private wealth of the Guggenheim family in the early 1900s to a multifaceted financial firm, has signed a large lease at 330 Madison Avenue for its New York headquarters, sources revealed.
The deal comes one month after The Commercial Observer first reported that Guggenheim was looking to take space at the building in November.
Well, our jobs just got a lot harder.
The Times‘s Charles Bagli, dean of the development beat, filed his second story today since mid-June, when he went on book leave—he is working on a tome about the rise, fall and rise of Stuyvesant Town. The last article he wrote was about 9/11, Read More
Missing the Landmark
While there’s no official word yet on whether or not there has been any “K-I-S-S-I-N-G,” it seems like some pouty lips are being puckered by both parties on the matter of Vornado’s ongoing renovations of 510 Fifth Avenue, the former Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust building.
Sunday came and went, and still there is no deal for Vornado’s Port Authority Bus Terminal tower. It has been a dozen years since Vornado was tapped to build the thing, and while the developer was poised to get to work in 2007, those plans collapsed along with the economy. The deal was set to expire this weekend, but the Port Authority has granted Vornado yet another extension to come up with a plan to make both sides happy.
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.