NYC Real Estate News

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 16:14

New York City night markets provide the best way to explore cuisines of the world, without getting on a plane. Taking place across the city, these vibrant open-air festivals offer an affordable and fun night out, while also supporting local vendors and small businesses. Adding to the nightlife feel, the markets are often accompanied by [...]

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Thu, 07/11/2024 - 15:44

New York City’s political class will be anxiously refreshing their web browsers on Monday, when fundraising numbers are released that will show the strength of Mayor Eric Adams’ potential primary challengers and could determine whether others enter the race.

Monday’s disclosures will reveal how much money each candidate in the 2025 elections raised between Jan. 13 and July 11 of this year. That includes Adams and his two likely rivals, former Comptroller Scott Stringer and State Sen. Zellnor Myrie, both of whom may choose to make their tentative campaigns official if they can report a strong haul.

“Anyone that’s paying attention to New York City politics has this date squarely marked in their calendar,” said Austin Shafran, a Democratic political consultant. “It is the start of the 2025 election cycle and it’s the first real test of strength and viability for candidates running next year.”

Among those watching the returns will be City Comptroller Brad Lander, who has reportedly told allies he may launch his high-profile campaign against Adams this month after gauging the strength of the other Democratic primary challengers. The progressive Lander will report his own fundraising haul on Monday, ostensibly for re-election as comptroller, but he could switch that war chest to a mayoral run at any point.

Since Lander would need to give up his comptroller seat to run for mayor, his campaign would trigger a musical-chairs scenario of other lawmakers and borough presidents seeking his current seat, creating even more vacancies and adding to the intrigue of Monday’s disclosures.

Mayor Adams raised about $525,000 in the most recent six-month fundraising period between July 2023 and January 2024, a dip from previous cycles that was caused in part by his campaign’s decision to pause active fundraising for a few weeks after the FBI raided the home of his chief fundraiser. But a few consultants reached for comment Thursday hesitated to put a precise dollar figure on what Adams and his rivals should be expected to raise this period, given the unprecedented nature of the current state of play: an incumbent mayor facing multiple serious challenges nearly a year out from the June 2025 primary.

But it’s safe to expect a reasonably strong haul for Adams — who raised a total of $19 million in combined private and public matching funds during his 2021 campaign — even as he faces slumping approval ratings and the competing task of raising money for his legal defense fund.

“I’d be surprised if he doesn’t have a strong filing,” consultant Chris Coffey said of Adams. Stringer, too, has long been known for money-raising prowess, while Myrie has made himself increasingly visible online in recent weeks in an apparent effort to solicit small-dollar donations. (Donations below $250 from New York City residents are matched 8-to-1 under the city’s matching funds program, a huge consideration for candidates.)

Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s potential entry into the race, seen as likely by some observers, would only complicate things further. (Myrie, for his part, may end up with a lower bottom-line total than his rivals, since he only began fundraising in May compared to January for Stringer.)

Disclosure reports are expected to be posted early Monday by the city’s Campaign Finance Board, although some campaigns may choose to announce their totals ahead of time.

Besides the raw dollar value, Monday’s disclosures will also reveal the names of donors, giving insight into which people are willing to take the bold step of betting against the current mayor, noted longtime consultant Hank Sheinkopf.

“There are those who say that this is not a blood sport, but no one forgets anybody that writes a check against an incumbent,” Sheinkopf said.

Adams, despite suffering from approval ratings as low as 28%, still enjoys advantages over his rivals, including support from labor unions and more than $2 million already on hand for his re-election. More than anything, the upcoming filings may pit the challengers against each other rather than against Adams, with some progressive strategists and activists already mulling over whether to consolidate around the most viable candidate to unseat the incumbent.

“What we're looking at is not, ‘Where does Eric Adams stand among the field?’” said Shafran, “but where does the field of challengers stand among each other?”

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 15:32

The developer behind a pair of residential buildings on the Long Island City waterfront wants to rework the southern shore of a just-built project with a rocky barrier to defend the area from flood waters and is pointing the finger at climate change.

Real estate giant TF Cornerstone has proposed to city planners that it build “an undulating edge of cut granite stones” along the southern waterfront of its 1.43 million-square-foot development at 2-20 and 2-21 Malt Drive as a barrier to protect the shore from erosion caused by waves, according to documents filed with the Department of City Planning on July 5.

The development team said the proposal comes after “damage was caused by the inundation of wave action and higher than expected flooding levels” to plantings and the stone rubble used to bolster the site’s southern shoreline.

Only two months earlier a landscape architect working on the project, Kate Orff, touted the site’s waterfront resilience in a statement, stressing that the site’s waterfront park, which runs along Newtown Creek, on the southern edge of the site was “designed to be resilient long into the future, withstanding flooding events and filtering the water of the creek through its plantings.”

TF Cornerstone declined to comment on its proposed barrier and would not say if the developer anticipates needing to make additional waterfront adjustments in the years to come. It’s unclear how much monetary damage the development’s coastline suffered from erosion.

“Since sea levels are continuing to rise as a result of climate change, wave action and flooding will only continue to worsen in this area,” argues the development team, which is listed as Bud North LLC and Bud South LLC, in its proposal.

Manhattan-based TF Cornerstone is no stranger to waterfront development in Long Island City, with several luxury residential buildings on Center Boulevard along the neighborhood's shoreline.

TF Cornerstone’s latest Malt Drive development was raised to help protect the property from nearby waters. The development is made up of two buildings designed by SLCE Architects, a 33-story high-rise and a building with two towers (25 stories and 38 stories) on a shared base.

The developer is set to begin leasing its 1,386 residential units this summer, including a few hundred apartments that are up for grabs through the city’s affordable housing lottery.

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 15:30

McKinsey is opening an office in Darien, becoming the latest company to converge on a wealthy Connecticut town that’s fast becoming a miniature version of nearby Greenwich.

The consulting firm joins financial companies in Darien such as Crestwood Advisors and Janney Montgomery Scott, which have taken space in a revitalized and expanding downtown that’s seeking to attract bankers who want to stop commuting into New York City.

The rise of little Darien, the richest town on Connecticut’s Gold Coast, has become symbolic of the increased demand for state-of-the-art work spaces that are far from urban cores and closer to where many employees live. While office values have tumbled nationwide since the pandemic, Darien’s office leasing surged 164% last year, according to real estate brokerage CBRE Group Inc.

“As our Connecticut-based colleagues and clients have been innovating their work arrangements, to be closer to both, we have made the decision to continue growing our team in Darien,” McKinsey said in an email. “We’re eager to further develop our presence in Connecticut.”

The firm has expanded in recent years in some of the areas that have benefited from rising business activity and population during and after the pandemic. In Miami, for example, McKinsey has grown to 400 employees from 100.

In Darien, the new offices will serve 260 McKinsey employees who will be relocated from nearby Stamford. The Metro-North Railroad station in Darien is a short walk to downtown, while Stamford is lacking in new, upscale buildings within walking distance of the train.

Darien’s growth has fueled comparisons to nearby Greenwich, a longtime favorite with powerful hedge funds but a town that’s perennially short on office space. It’s happening on a far smaller scale, however. Darien, with a population of just 22,000, has only about a fifth of Greenwich’s space.

Closely held McKinsey, which said it generated a record $16 billion in revenue last year, has about 45,000 employees around the world and has advised everyone from the Pentagon to China’s Ping An Insurance.

But consulting firms are facing industry headwinds, and last year McKinsey embarked on a plan to eliminate about 1,400 roles. More recently it warned about 3,000 consultants that their performance would need to improve.

In addition to McKinsey, investment manager Balance Point Capital has also signed a lease with Baywater Properties, the developer of the remodeled downtown known as the Corbin District.

Earlier this year, insurance giant Aon Plc also announced new space in Darien.

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 13:49

The $360 million mortgage for Goldman Sachs’ former headquarters at 85 Broad St. is a “loan of concern,” Fitch Ratings said.

Goldman developed the 1.1 million-square-foot building in 1983 to house its entire workforce of 1,500 before moving out in 2010 for new headquarters on West Street. Only two years after development, the firm sold the tower for $310 million to MetLife, which in 2014 sold a piece to Beacon Capital Partners and the co-owners upgraded the 30-story building described as an “ungainly bulk” by the "AIA Guide to New York City."

The owners spent $36 million on renovations, which paid off when WeWork agreed in 2015 to lease 300,000 square feet, or approximately eight floors, through 2033. The up-and-coming office coworking firm paid $46 a square foot, which was 17% below market rate. Others moved in, including Nielsen Holdings and Vox Media, owner of New York magazine and The Verge. In 2017, 85 Broad was acquired for $650 million by Ivanhoé Cambridge, a subsidiary of Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

85 Broad was 20% vacant at the end of last year, better than some Financial District buildings but a big change from its prepandemic 6%. Fitch said in a report last month that mortgage investors face a 12% loss, or $43 million over the entire loan. 

“The loan was flagged as a loan concern due to exposure to WeWork,” Fitch said.

Around the time WeWork emerged from bankruptcy this spring it had moved out of 120,000 square feet, or three floors. The firm is negotiating with its landlord over the remaining space, a spokeswoman said. That could mean further reductions in rent.

In 2022 Bloomberg News reported that Ivanhoé was nearing a deal to sell a piece of 85 Broad to Fortress Investment Group and Metro Loft, Nathan Berman’s firm that specializes in converting office buildings into apartments. No deal appears to have been struck, and Ivanhoé declined to comment.

85 Broad’s lobby contains a portion of New Amsterdam’s stadt huys, or town hall, from the early 17th century. Dutch and British officials along with Mayor Ed Koch and Gov. Hugh Carey attended the building’s ground-breaking ceremony in 1980. Goldman grew into a global financial institution and employs 45,000 worldwide.

As a work of architecture the building wasn’t as successful, however. 85 Broad’s tan cast-stone walls were intended to harmonize with the Fraunces Tavern block’s historic facades. But Goldman’s decision to build taller, using air rights acquired from the tavern and others, spoiled the effect. 

“Harmony? Certainly not in scale,” the AIA Guide grumbled, “and the relationship of materials is a joke.”

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 13:30

Brothers Isaac and Eli Chetrit are at risk of losing one of their properties — a historic SoHo building — to foreclosure, according to court papers filed this week.

Thomas Hooker, associate general counsel of Manhattan-based Maverick Real Estate Partners, filed the action under the limited liability company SoHo Mixed Use in order to take over the 5-story retail property at 447 Broadway after the duo defaulted on a $14.3 million loan, court documents say. The building sits within the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District between Howard and Grand streets.
 

The defendant named in the suit is the corporation Zahava Realty, whose 25 W. 36th St. address is the same as the Chetrit's well-known real estate group AB & Sons. 

The Chetrits, who originally bought the building in 1997, according to city records, but it's unclear for how much, took out the mortgage from their original lender, Signature Bank, in 2017, which was then transferred to the plaintiff this past February, court records show; and according to the lawsuit, there is an unpaid principal balance of $13.6 million, plus interest. 

The suit also names three of the building's tenants, Lipman Studio, Pocco Paradiso and JSG Broadway Eats — whose monthly rents ranged from $19,000 to $29,500 — but it's unclear if they still occupy space in the property.

An attorney for the plaintiff, Michael Bonneville, a partner at the Manhattan-based firm Kriss & Feuerstein, declined to comment on the suit. The Chetrits don't have an attorney on file, according to court papers, but when reached by phone Thursday, Abraham Chetrit — Eli's son — declined to comment.

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 13:30
The median sales price for Brooklyn apartments jumped to $990,000 in the second quarter—the highest price on record, according to the Elliman Report.
Thu, 07/11/2024 - 12:56

Leases

Commercial brokerage extends Midtown lease

Address: 200 Park Ave., Manhattan
Landlord: Irvine Co.
Tenant: CBRE
Lease size: Approx. 180,000 square feet
Asset type: Office

Sales

Boerum Hill 28-unit rental development changes hands

Address: 82 Fourth Ave., Brooklyn
Seller: Abraham Posner
Buyer: Ben-Josef Group Holdings
Sale price: $20 million
Asset type: Multifamily

Rental tower Rose Modern trades in Yorkville

Address: 1394 York Ave., Manhattan
Seller: Robert Ohebshalom
Buyers: Stockbridge Capital Group and Fetner Properties
Sale price: $62.6 million
Asset type: Multifamily

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 12:51

Stephen Ross, developer of Hudson Yards, is stepping down as chairman of The Related Cos. to focus on business in Florida, according to The Wall Street Journal and an internal company memo obtained by Crain's.

Ross, 84, is one of the largest owners of downtown West Palm Beach commercial space and plans to spend more time tending to the NFL's Miami Dolphins, which he owns, and his interest in Formula One racing, according to the report. His new enterprise will be called Related Ross.

The longtime CEO of Related, Jeff Blau, will remain at his position. President Bruce Beal and Chief Operating Office Kenneth Wong will stay at Related as well. Ross is also maintaining a substantial stake in the company and will have the title of non-executive chairman going forward. 

"As many of you know, Stephen relocated to South Florida and has dedicated his time to his extensive work in both West Palm Beach and with his sports properties in Miami," the executives wrote in a company memo announcing Ross' departure. "With all of his focus in South Florida, he's now formally turning to it full time."

The memo stressed that this has been an orderly transition and that Ross leaving will not impact anyone's day-to-day job very much. The overall focus of the company will remain the same, it said.

Related declined to comment on Ross' departure.

The Related Cos. was founded by Ross 52 years ago and owns $60 billion worth of property nationally. It has teamed up with Wynn Resorts to try to get a casino approved for Hudson Yards.

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 12:45

When summer days roll by under sizzling heat, it’s easy to start dreaming of stepping through a tall wall of glass into a sparkling pool. This triplex penthouse condo at 240 Park Avenue South is that summer fantasy (complete with a $25,000,000 price tag) come to life. At its apex, a 30-foot-long azure blue pool [...]

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