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Jun 28, 2017

One of the top stories of the past week is the beginning of construction of the new high rise building coming to midtown that will reshape the Manhattan skyline. With the installation of its first steel column last week, One Vanderbilt , soon to be New York City’s second-tallest skyscraper, officially began its ascent into the sky. Banker Steel Company provided the 26,000 tons of domestically milled steel for development, which included the first 20-ton column installed last week. The office building will boast column-free floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and 360-degree views of the city and beyond, according to 6sqft.com.

Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), One Vanderbilt will rise to 1,401 feet and will add over 1.7 million square feet of office space to Midtown Manhattan. The skyscraper sits adjacent to Grand Central Terminal and will encompass an entire block. One Vanderbilt will include direct underground connections to the subway system, while implementing $220 million in transit and infrastructure upgrades.

Staying with high rise news, Gary Barnett’s Extell Development is finalizing a $900 million construction loan from JPMorgan Chase for Central Park Tower. The financing would allow Barnett to proceed with the ultra-luxury condominium tower at 217 West 57th Street, which is the priciest residential project in New York City history with a potential $4 billion sellout. Closing on the loan would end an 18-month search for financing for the 179-unit, 1,550-foot supertall project, which many real estate insiders believed would never get built, this according to the Real Deal.

Last month, the New York State Attorney General’s office approved the offering plan , allowing sales to launch. The project has the priciest offering plan ever accepted by the city, followed by Vornado Realty Trust’s 220 Central Park South at $3.4 billion.

In a major shift, the Corcoran Group , Douglas Elliman , Nest Seekers International and BOND New York are taking part in StreetEasy’s “Premier Broker,” a program that lets firms purchase bundles of buyer leads from the online listings platform, this according to the Real Deal . The move represents a dramatic 180 for some firms, most notably Corcoran, whose CEO, Pam Liebman , lambasted the ad program and said her firm would not reimburse agents who take part.

In a statement to TRD , Liebman explained her change of heart: “For agents interested in identifying new opportunities for developing their business, they see this as a potential tool that can expand their customer base,” she said. BOND’s Noah Freedman added that Premier Broker will “facilitate connections with buyers.” Premier Agent is a cash cow for StreetEasy’s parent company, Zillow, generating more than $600 million last year, which is over 70 percent of the firm’s total revenue.

New York City is the most expensive big city in the world when it comes renting flexible, short-term office space. The average monthly price to rent a workstation in flexible offices for one person in NYC was $1,100 a month for the 12 months ending in February, the Wall Street Journal reported. San Francisco came in a close second.

Flexible office space, which includes co-working facilities like those operated by industry giant WeWork , offer shorter terms than a conventional lease for spaces already furnished for use.

The supply of flexible office space in New York City grew by 24 percent between February 2016 and 2017, according to Instant Group. London has the largest number of flexible office locations at 1,136. Landlords, too, are starting to provide more shared office spaces in order to compete, according to the Real Deal.

Long Island City’s notorious lack of retail was one of the main points at this year’s LIC Summit, with developers and realtors saying they finally see light at the end of the tunnel, the Real Deal reports. Aaron Fishbein , who heads up retail real estate at

the Winick Realty Group , said Long Island City is currently in the first wave of retail, which consists largely of fitness, medical and education tenants. Fishbein maintained that this will be followed by a wave of restaurants, which will in turn be followed by big box retail. “Long Island City is big league. Let’s get that out of the way,” he said, adding that the neighborhood has the key ingredients in transportation, office space, schools, hotels and residential space.

In rental news, rental prices inched upwards in all three markets in May relative to the previous month, with 0.5 percent in Manhattan, 0.3 percent in Brooklyn, and 1 percent in Queens. In Queens, Long Island city was the priciest on average for studios, one- and two-bedrooms.

In high end real estate news, a property seizure is being sought at One57 on Billionaires’ Row for the second time in a month. Following a mortgage default, apartment 79, a full-floor penthouse that cost $50.9 million, is scheduled for auction on July 19, according to PropertyShark and Bloomberg. The apartment was the eighth-priciest sold in the building. The owner of apartment 79, which boasts over 6k sq ft, is an entity called One57 79 Inc., which purchased the unit in December 2014. The entity took out a $35.3 million mortgage from a Luxembourg lender in September 2015. The borrower was expected to pay the loan in full in just one year, but was unable to meet its obligation.

Staying with the struggling high end market, condominiums at Tessler Developments’ 172 Madison Avenue off 33rd street are selling at a discount amid a softening luxury apartment market. The 11 closed sales recorded on StreetEasy show a final price that’s on average 9.2 percent below the most recent asking price, the Wall Street Journal reported. https://therealdeal.com/2017/06/23/units-at-tesslers-172-madison-arent-going-for-s ticker-price/

In transportation news, t he MTA periodically releases data tracking its performance, and the most recent numbers confirm what millions of New Yorkers have suspected. This past February, it was revealed delays had increased to about 70,000 a month up from 28,000 a month in 2012. According to another report, car breakdowns have increased, while subway regularity has decreased overall. A problem at a single station has the ability to mess up service for an entire day.

The MTA has acknowledged the severity of these problems, as the agency recently released its six-point plan to tackle the issue and committed $2.1 billion from its current capital plan to repair its signals. Despite this, critis say the city will be hard pressed to solve the issue within the next few decades. According to John Raskin, the head of transit advocacy group the Riders Alliance , “the problem is not that the MTA doesn’t know how to run trains. The problem is that every governor in a generation has underinvested in public transit.” That includes Governor Andrew Cuomo, who Raskin says has “ignored deteriorating transit service” in favor of funding big-ticket projects like the first segment of the Second Avenue Subway , this according to NY.Curbed.com.

In Brooklyn news, DeKalb Market Hall at City Point in Downtown BK finally opened to the public last week. The lower-level space that was unveiled has about 40 vendors, which is 10 more than anticipated a few months ago, this according to Brownstoner.com.
Some of the vendors include Katz’s Deli, Ample Hills Creamery , Bunsmith, the Arepa Lady, Lioni Italian Heroes and Bunker. Fortina, an Italian eatery by Chopped judge Christian Petroni, will be opening soon, as will a new Trader Joe’s on the same floor. The hall is open Sunday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

In development news, Park Slope’s community board approved plans to replace the neighborhood Key Food on 5th avenue and Baltic st with a mixed-use development project, according to the BKLYNER. The site is part of an Urban Renewal Plan from 1981, which is set to expire in 2022, and imposes height restrictions of 40

feet. The developer, Avery Hall Investments, wants to build based on the maximum zoning height of the overall area, which is 75 feet.
As plans stand right now, the current Key Food will be replaced by two towers connected by a plaza, which in turn will also open access to Butler Street, which is currently blocked off by a wall on the Key Food site.

In all, the development will bring 165 rentals to Park Slope, 41 of them affordable units. The retail component of the project spans 50,000 square feet, 22,000 of which will be taken up by a new supermarket. 186 new underground parking spots will also be created as part of the development. The developer now has to wait on approval from the City Planning Commission to move forward, and Avery Hall hopes to begin construction in the spring of 2018, this according to NY Curbed.

 

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