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A blog for breaking sales and neighborhood real estate news.

December 31, 2015 | Real Estate Weekly | Dan Orlando

Cushman & Wakefield has been retained on an exclusive basis to sell an apartment building at 10 West 65th Street, located between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The asking price for the property, which has “tremendous upside,” is $115,000,000.

John Ciraulo Vice Chairman in the capital markets group of Cushman & Wakefield told Real Estate Weekly that the considerable price point is a result of both the property’s location and “the potential of converting this building to a condo now or in the future.”

The six story pre-war elevator building also comes with more than 50,000 s/f of air rights which gives the future buyer options to expand...

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Neighborhoods: Upper West Side/ Agents: John Ciraulo

December 29, 2015 | The Real Deal | Ariel Stulburg

Dreams of Manhattan condominiums dominated 2015’s top 10 development site deals. While Gary Barnett’s Extell Development – which is known for this sort of thing – appears on the list as both a buyer and a seller, the crop of developers overall is best characterized by its diversity. Three Chinese firms appear, including locally-based Kuafu Properties. Global firms like GID Development Group and the Carlyle Group showed up next to local fixtures like Ziel Feldman’s HFZ Capital and Joseph Sitt’s Thor Equities. And while the outer boroughs failed to place, Manhattan – at least the expensive parts – was fully covered, from the far West Side, through Midtown, to the Upper East Side, and all the way Downtown...

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Neighborhoods: Upper East Side

December 29, 2015 | New York Post | Lois Weiss

Time to celebrate the best of 2015’s real estate deals and deal makers with our annual Golden Bricks.

Golden Brick: To Related Cos. and Oxford Properties for persuading some of the city’s highest-profile tenants to buy their spaces and finance the construction of the office tower at 30 Hudson Yards, which will include Time Warner, Wells Fargo (which paid $175,441,416) and Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts ($119,275,069). Oh, and the developers also secured a $5 billion mortgage.

Eastern Star: To financiers who made 2015 the Year of Chinese Investment as groups poured billions of dollars into local projects along with individuals who made EB-5 investments...

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Agents: Paul Massey Jr.

December 24, 2015 | The Real Deal

The global economy saw over $3.8 trillion in mergers and acquisitions in 2015, surpassing the activity seen in 2007. The New York property market, too, had a bumper M&A year, with some of the biggest commercial firms joining forces. But are all these big deals a sign of economic health, or another indication that the market is due for a slowdown?

Major real estate mergers recently include the $100 million deal between commercial brokerages Massey Knakal Realty Services and Cushman & Wakefield, followed by DTZ’s $2 billion acquisition of Cushman; Marriott International’s $12.2 billion purchase of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide; the Blackstone Group’s $8 billion acquisition of BioMed Realty Trust, and its $6 billion purchase of Strategic Hotels & Resorts.

Another major acquisition in the works, with SL Green Realty planning to buy New York REIT for an as-yet-undisclosed price.

The numbers in these deals are impressive, but...

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There are over 13,000 commercial brokers in New York City and that number seems to grow every year.

In the latest KNN, Bob Knakal and Jon Hageman discuss some of the characteristics that separate the top brokers from the rest.

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Cushman & Wakefield has been retained on an exclusive basis to sell a building at 371-373 East 10th Street. The property is located between Avenues B and C in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood. The asking price is $15,000,000.

The walk-up building contains approximately 20,688 square feet and sits on a 40’ x 94.79’ lot. It consists of six floors, featuring excellent ceiling heights, multiple air shafts, and a large open stairwell.
Additionally, it contains a 40’ x 80’ usable garden level space and a 15’ rear yard. The building is situated within an R8B zoning district, allowing for residential use, and will be delivered vacant upon sale.

The property is conveniently located steps away from Tompkins Square Park and a vibrant array of dining, shopping, and nightlife options. Delivered vacant, it presents a rare opportunity for a value-add redevelopment project in one of New York City’s most sought-after neighborhoods.

“This property offers a developer the possibility of building free market apartment rentals or condominiums a half block from Tompkins Square Park,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Michael DeCheser who is exclusively marketing this property with Darragh Clarke.

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Neighborhoods: East Village/ Agents: Michael DeCheser

Cushman & Wakefield has been retained on an exclusive basis to sell a mixed-use building at 23-35 29th Avenue, located on the corner of 29th Avenue and Crescent Street in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens. The asking price is $8,000,000.

The four-story building contains approximately 11,250 square feet and sits on a 50’ x 100’ lot. It consists of 19 residential units, of which three are free market and 16 are rent stabilized, and one commercial ground unit. The residential unit mix consists of eight one-bedroom, four two-bedroom, and seven three-bedroom units.

The property is located near Mount-Sinai Hospital and is conveniently accessible via the 30th Avenue N and Q train lines. Situated in the heart of Astoria, the building presents a great opportunity for investors looking to capitalize on one of Queens’ most attractive and growing neighborhoods.

“This property presents a very unique owner/investor opportunity in a prime part of Astoria. This type of asset will draw tremendous activity from both local and national investors,” said Cushman and Wakefield’s David Chkheidze, who is exclusively marketing this property with Conrad Martin.

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Neighborhoods: Astoria

A conversion opportunity at 136 North 8th Street, located between Berry Street and Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, was sold in an all-cash transaction valued at $3,525,000.

The property currently consists of a four-story, approximately 4,000 square foot building on a 20’ x 50’ lot. Overlooking neighboring backyards, this semi-detached building is provided with tremendous amounts of natural light allowing for unique and varied layouts. The sale price equates to approximately $881 per square foot.

The property is in close proximity to Williamsburg’s premier commercial strips and is just steps from the L train at the Bedford Avenue station, offering easy access to Manhattan. Delivered vacant, this site offers a prime opportunity for buyers looking to create unique layouts.

“We were pleased to see many developers, in spite of the uncertainty in the market, who are still bullish on condo sellouts in great locations of Williamsburg. 136 North 8th Street highlights that fact clearly,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Brendan Maddigan, who exclusively handled this transaction.

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Neighborhoods: Williamsburg/ Agents: Brendan Maddigan

December 17, 2015 | Commercial Observer | Bob Knakal

This morning on my walk to work, I stopped by the film developing shop to drop off my roll of 36 photos I took this weekend, walked into the video rental store to return the movies I rented last week and visited the typewriter store to see if I could get a replacement ribbon for my Underwood.

You must now be thinking that I cut and pasted the intro to this column from one I wrote in the 1980s. (Although it would have had to be a literal cut-and-paste job involving scissors and rubber cement.) While advances in technology have made several things obsolete, supply and demand within a free market system dictates what survives and what doesn’t. However, public policy can artificially alter this supply/demand dynamic. Lobbying groups often impact public policy, and unions are among the most powerful lobbying groups in New York. Perhaps if the film developing business or typewriter manufacturers had powerful union representation, these businesses might still be prevalent all over the city. It is this union influence that...

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December 16, 2015 | Real Estate Weekly | Christian Bautista

In spite of several economic indicators continuing to exhibit stability, there are signs that property prices are at peak levels and are poised to drift below record highs.

“Properties look expensive. If this isn’t the peak, we’re probably close,” said Peter Rothemund, a senior analyst at Green Street Advisors.

“Green Street’s Commercial Property Price Forecast sent very bullish signals for real estate values from 2009 up until the first quarter of this year,” added Andy McCulloch, managing director of Real Estate Analytics.

“Since then, however, the signals have become notably more bearish, and there is now a good chance that commercial real estate prices will be lower within the next twelve months...”

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December 16, 2015 | Bisnow | Scott Klocksin

Lower Manhattan’s like a real-life Field of Dreams, says Cushman & Wakefield director Will Suarez: if you build it, they will come. Except Will says it’s more like: they’re coming—so build it!

At Bisnow’s Future of Lower Manhattan event, held Thursday at 180 Maiden Lane, the neighborhood's top players got into what’s getting built, and how it’s helping Downtown hit its stride like never before. Howard Hughes Corp senior EVP Chris Curry (snapped, right with CBRE vice chairman David LaPierre) calls the South Street Seaport Lower Manhattan’s future town center; not only for high-end retail, but also because of its acre and a half entertainment venue...

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Agents: Guillermo Suarez

Through the first three quarters of 2015, the investment sales market in New York City has performed as expected. While the number of properties sold is slightly lower than last year, the real story is the dollar volume, which is on pace for an all-time record.

In the latest KNN, Bob Knakal and Jonathan Hageman address the investment sales market in New York City through the first three quarters of this year.

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December 11, 2015 | Crain's New York Business | Daniel Geiger

The city’s commercial real estate market will likely reach a record in 2015. 

According to estimates by Cushman & Wakefield and CBRE, as much as $70 billion worth of deals will be completed by the end of the year, up 12.5% from the previous peak in 2007. The dollar volume includes the sale of office buildings, hotels, multi-family properties and other commercial real estate in the city.

“Without a doubt we’ll eclipse the all time record dollar volume for the market,” said Robert Knakal, Cushman’s chairman of investment sales. “It’s just a question of by how much.”

The huge volume was driven by a long list of big property sales. Just this month, the French insurance company AXA reached a deal to sell two midtown office towers...

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A mixed-use and a multifamily building at 527 Carroll Street, located between 3rd and 4th Avenues on the border of Brooklyn’s Park Slope and Gowanus neighborhoods, were sold in an all-cash transaction valued at $3,400,000.

The 25’ x 100’ lot consists of two buildings, one mixed-use and one multifamily, that combine for approximately 3,750 square feet. The two buildings have undergone a full renovation. The mixed-use building, located in the front of the lot, contains one retail unit and two, two-bedroom residential units above. The multifamily building, located in the rear of the lot, contains two residential units, of which one is a two-bedroom duplex and one is a two-bedroom unit with a private roof deck above. All units feature brand new appliances, exposed brick, and individual boilers. There is a laundry room intended to be shared by all tenants located in the rear building. Additionally, there is a beautiful, landscaped interior courtyard. The sale price equates to approximately $907 per square foot.

The property is ideally located on the cusp of both the Park Slope and Gowanus neighborhoods. It is just two blocks from the Union Street subway station, where the R train is accessible. Some neighborhood attractions include Whole Foods, the Textile Arts Center, and multiple restaurants including Dinosaur BBQ, Little Neck, and Runner and Stove. Additionally, the property is located within the PS 321 school district and is across from PS 372, The Children’s School.

“The sellers did a beautiful job gut renovating the buildings.  The biggest challenge in this transaction was proving the retail rent. The sellers retained Cushman & Wakefield’s Nicole Liebman for the assignment, who was able to find the perfect tenant, proving the buildings full income potential. At this point the buyer, who had toured the building months earlier, increased his offer, ultimately transacting at $3,400,000, which equates to a 5.45% cap rate,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Aaron Warkov, who exclusively handled this transaction along with Winfield Clifford.  “527 Carroll Street was purchased by a 1031 exchange buyer willing to pay over $900 per square foot to acquire the turn-key mixed-use investment property,” added Winfield Clifford.

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Neighborhoods: Gowanus, Park Slope/ Agents: Winfield Clifford

Cushman & Wakefield has been retained on an exclusive basis to sell Harrison Plaza, a newly renovated office complex, located at 450 Mamaroneck Avenue in the heart of the Mamaroneck Avenue office corridor in Harrison, New York. The asking price for the plaza is $39,500,000.

Harrison Plaza is a 4-story, 177,630 square foot office building located on over 18 acres of land. There are 673 parking spaces including 40 covered executive spots. Over the last several years the property has undergone a complete gut renovation and features a mixture of full floor configurations as well as several smaller office suites.

In recent years, the medical sector has been one of the fastest growing segments within the Westchester office market. 450 Mamaroneck Avenue has been at the forefront of this trend as the building is 90% occupied and includes a variety of medical office and educational tenants, all of which are in place on a long term basis.

Positioned in the center of Westchester County the property is situated between downtown Mamaroneck and the rapidly expanding city of White Plains. The property’s ideal location features direct access to major highway systems including the Hutchinson River and Merritt Parkways, Interstate 287 and Interstate 95 as well as close proximity to the Metro North train line.

As demand for medical office space expands even further and companies continue relocation initiatives to major suburban markets 450 Mamaroneck Avenue represents a stable investment with significant in-place income and additional upside in the long term.

Bob Knakal, Chairman, New York Investment Sales at Cushman & Wakefield is exclusively marketing this property with Andrew Merin, Gary Gabriel and Bill Eisenhut.

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December 8, 2015 | Wall Street Journal | Craig Karmin

A small group of wealthy Chinese investors recently poured $10 million into a luxury condominium project in New York’s Westchester County. The redbrick building, set to open next year, will feature a pool and a roof deck offering sweeping views of the Hudson River.

None of the people bothered to visit the site before plunking down their money.

Neighborhoods: Elmhurst

Cushman & Wakefield is pleased to announce the release of their exclusive third quarter 2015 Property Sales Reports. These unique, industry-leading reports provide a comprehensive study of the investment sales market by product type in the New York City area (Manhattan, Northern Manhattan/Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens).

Through three quarters this year, the New York City investment sales market has seen consistently heightened dollar volume levels, with an aggregate consideration of $17.9 billion in 3Q15. Three of the city’s top five quarterly dollar volume totals of all-time have now occurred in 2015, and the year-to-date total of $55.4 billion has nearly exceeded 2014’s annual volume of $57.9 billion and has surpassed 2007’s all-time high. The third quarter experienced a boost from the office sector, which totaled $7.5 billion in sales and achieved an all-time high for that property type. The average price per property has risen to $13.9 million this quarter, a 44% increase from 3Q14.

Bob Knakal, Chairman, New York Investment Sales, said “2014 was the best investment sales market I have seen in 32 years. Thus far, 2015 has been putting up a valiant challenge to that title. In some ways, it is not quite measuring up and, in others, it is well on the way to making history. If we look at the dollar volume of sales in the New York City market, 2015 will undoubtedly set a new all-time record."

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Cushman & Wakefield today announced that three new leases, totaling 48, 525 square feet, were signed at Crown Corporate Campus (470, 472, 476, 478, and 488 Wheelers Farm Road) in Milford, Conn.

SurgiQuest, Inc., a leading surgical device company in the field of minimally invasive access technology, leased 40,542 square feet at 488 Wheelers Farm Road; The Berry Company, a leading provider of local online, search, video, and directory solutions, leased 7,781 square feet, also at 488 Wheelers Farm Road; and Boys & Girls Village, a not-for-profit agency, specializing in children with special educational needs, children in crisis or children with learning difficulties, leased 2,002 square feet at 472 Wheelers Farm Road.

As the exclusive leasing agent for Crown Corporate Campus, the team, comprised of Kevin Foley, Executive Director; Mike Dillon, Director; and Will Mercorella, Associate, represented the landlord, Crown Milford, LLC, a division of Crown Properties, in the three deals. SurgiQuest was represented by Dave Hansen and Matt O’Hare of CBRE; The Berry Company, by Sean O’Neill of Jones Lang LaSalle; and Marie Pelaccia of First Equity Real Estate, represented Boys & Girls Village.

Crown Corporate Campus is a five-building, 425,000-sf, Class-A office campus set on 47 meticulously landscaped acres in Milford, Conn. The campus is located at juncture of the Merritt Parkway, Wilbur Cross Parkway and the I-95 Milford Parkway Connector and is only one mile from I-95. On-site amenities include a full-service cafeteria, conference facilities, a training room for 45 people, a fitness center and a shuttle to the train station. Other Crown Corporate Campus tenants include: Anne Taylor, Neopost, Red Thread, and Ricoh America.

“We are pleased to welcome SurgiQuest, The Berry Company and Boys & Girls Village to Crown Corporate Campus,” Cushman & Wakefield’s Kevin Foley said. “These companies join a prestigious roster of tenants who enjoy first-class building amenities, a beautiful campus environment and the benefits offered by Crown Properties’ solid ownership.”

“These leases prove our ability to structure deals that cater to each individual tenant’s specific needs,” Alexa Rad, Managing Director of Crown Properties said. “The new tenants are also a testament to the continued strength of the Milford market and to the quality of our Class-A buildings and service.”

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Globe St. | December 4, 2015 | James Nelson

NYC will shatter the property sales record with $73.9 billion compared to 2007’s $63 billion, if the 4th Quarter keeps pace. 3Q15 saw New York City reach $17.9 billion, up 3.4 percent from 2Q15, and the third-highest quarterly total on record. Nearly $7.5 billion of that total came from office properties, an all-time high for the sector.

Foreign demand continues to be a big driver, accounting for 19.8 percent in the New York City metro and 22.4 percent in Manhattan. In addition to Chinese buyers, Korean, Singaporean, and Canadian buyers continue to be active here, especially for trophy assets. The Japanese have returned with $1.5 billion in investments this year. Other notables include Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund, which deployed $4.9 billion over the last decade, and the Qatar Investment Authority, which invested $4.5 billion over the same period. As market fundamentals tighten and global economic uneasiness crops up, it should be interesting to see if this trend continues.

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Commercial Observer | December 2, 2015 | Bob Knakal

Employment data is perhaps the most important economic metric that impacts the underlying fundamentals of the commercial real estate market. People who have jobs create demand for housing, purchase more goods and services than those that don’t, and fill office, retail and industrial space. From just about any perspective, a 5 percent unemployment rate should be viewed as highly positive. But while it is certainly better than it has been in other years, this rate doesn’t really tell the story when it comes to the health of the job market...

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