Tales of Retail
So we already know Lower Manhattan is set to become a giant mall. No, we do not mean Canal Street, though that has been attracting big name investors, as well. This is instead Fulton Street, which will soon gain more than a million square feet of retail from (narrow) coast to coast: the World Financial Center, the World Trade Center, the Fulton Transit Center and the glittery new Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport (not to mention a vastly expanded Century 21—joy!).
The Journal wonders just who is going to fill all that retail space, particularly at a time when rents are up but the economy remains off?
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.
Buildings and Construction
In a cordoned off and seemingly unremarkable construction site situated along the West Side Highway, a collection of high-ranking Brookfield Office Properties executives, construction managers and architects donned hardhats and stood in front of a symbolic pile of dirt that had been lined up neatly atop wooden boards.
Holding a platinum shovel, the sun refracting Read More
Food for Thought
The Observer headed downtown Monday to sample some treats from the World Financial Center’s new food truck court. The four-wheeled eateries showed up on Friday, and the mobile food market brings fresh, high-quality lunch fare to the community of Battery Park City.
Just be forewarned: there will be obstacles separating you from achieving that happy Buddha belly. A barrage of yuppies and tourists (a rather dangerous combination) will attempt to frustrate and delay you, so remember to stay focused, and agile. The Observer was nearly taken out by a suited-up-stockbroker.“Is he serious? That’s gonna be a ridiculously impossible trade!” he yelled into his cell phone while his flailing arm came inches away from close-lining me.
Bank of America has renewed its lease at 114 West 47th Street for approximately 360,000 square feet of space—far less than it currently occupies in the building.
The bank had been in discussions to extend its occupancy at the building for months. On Monday, insiders with direct knowledge of the deal and a spokeswoman for the bank, confirmed that the contracted lease had been signed on Friday morning.
The law firm Milbank Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is negotiating to renew its lease at the downtown office building 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, sources said.
The firm occupies 375,000 square feet on several floors at the property, which is owned by the bank JP Morgan Chase. Rents in the deal were not available by press time. The lease is a change in plans for the company.
Occupy Wall Street
Update: The video below also contains footage of The New York Times’ credentialed freelance photographer Robert Stolarik being barred from covering the arrests. Read about it here.
Earlier today, as we noted, Occupy Wall Street marched in solidarity of their West Coast counterparts as they attempted to shut down the major ports of commerce used by global financial banking and security firm Goldman Sachs.
The protesters, carrying and wearing giant squid outfits to represent what Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi described when talking about Sachs as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money,” marched from Zuccotti Park to Sacks HQ at 200 West Street.
To seasoned retail brokers, the very concept of the next big neighborhood in a city that has been developed several times over is, well, naïve. Still, as The Commercial Observer recently learned, most are still looking for a reason to believe.
The Neverending Story
We always kind of knew this intuitively, but The Architect’s Newspaper did a really nice job of putting World Trade Center retail into perspective.
Japanese bank Nomura’s decision to move out of the World Financial Center downtown and take 900,000 square feet at Worldwide Plaza in midtown is undoubtedly a blow for the tip of the island’s commercial future. The move will leave a huge vacancy at the Brookfield Properties-owned complex just as 3 million square feet of leases there are ending in 2013. (We saw the move coming in mid-May.)
But it’s more than just the vacancy.