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Real Estate Bisnow
January 15, 2013 

$4.5B Mega Project
Starts Construction

Attend the High Speed Rail Summit Feb. 11-13 in DC, featuring top execs from real estate developer Stonebridge & Associates, USDOT, FRA, and Amtrak. TOD will be a hot topic. Registration includes networking events, reception, tours, and luncheons. Register today and save here.

This morning at 33rd and 9th, VIPs celebrated the construction start of the 5M SF Manhattan West, which joins the in-progress Hudson Yards, High Line, Hudson River Park, 7 line extension, and Moynihan Station. (The first one done gets a complimentary copy of Things I Said Vs. The Bulls—Carmelo Anthony's latest album.)
Dennis Friedrich, Scott Stringer, Ric Clark, John Zuccotti, Mike Bloomberg, Ann Weisbrod, and Pat Foye at Manhattan West on Jan. 15, 2013

The first piece is this segment of concrete that we snapped above Brookfield Office CEO Dennis Friedrich, Manhattan Borough prez Scott Stringer, Brookfield Properties chairman Ric Clark hiding behind Brookfield Office co-chair John Zuccotti (yes, that Zuccotti), NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Hudson Yards Development Corp prez Ann Weisbrod, and Port Authority exec director Pat Foye. The structure is the start of a platform that will span over the rail yard, allowing Amtrak to keep running its trains below while Brookfield builds 2M SF of office (two towers), restaurants, retail, and a 1.5-acre park above. A residential tower will also go up on solid ground. $340M in financing for the platform (from a slew of banks) is in place, and Brookfield is putting another $340M in.

US Rail (Summit2) MNYRE
Robert Lowe, Bruce Mosler, August DiRenzo, and Paul Schulman at Manhattan West on Jan. 15, 2013
We also snapped Cushman & Wakefield's Robert Lowe, global brokerage chairman Bruce Mosler, and August DiRenzo with Brookfield COO Paul Schulman. Bruce, who's handling office leasing, tells us he's trading paper with potential tenants and hopes (he learned long ago never to promise) to announce a lead tenant by the end of the year. Once the platform delivers at the end of 2014, construction on the office towers can begin and will be ready for tenants in 2016.
Michael Bloomberg at Manhattan West on Jan. 15, 2013
The most famous lefty currently serving NYC (Andy Pettitte can take the title once Mayor Mike leaves his post) signs the platform.

Government Leases Half of Bronx Building
Peter Febo on Jan. 14, 2013
The NYC Human Resources Administration's 200k SF lease in Taconic's BankNote building is a happy ending in the Bronx property's reinvention story. Taconic's Peter Febo (snapped in his office yesterday) tells us the landlord bought the place in '07 to benefit from overflow from the rest of Manhattan's tight office market. That didn't work out, but there was demand among existing Bronx office users, especially for the Class-A building that Taconic's $20M renovation created. Peter says the City is consolidating three HRA Bronx offices into this space and has already consolidated its Brooklyn offices.
BankNote building, Bronx
Photo credit: Marisol Diaz
Urban Health Plan also just signed a 20k SF lease. That and the HRA lease raise the former currency, stamp, war bond, and stock certificate printing press' occupancy from 30% to 95%. Lance Capital has financed $17.9M for TIs for HRA's space. The loan, a new kind of credit-based facility, is unsecured, but backed by some of the City's rent roll. In other words, the loan is based on the creditworthiness of the tenant. Cushman & Wakefield's Robert Giglio and JRT Realty's Jodi Pulice and Ellen Israel repped HRA, and MCCG's Jason Martin repped Urban Health. Denham Wolf's Paul Wolf repped Taconic.

Bisnow Hiring Suvey!
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More Reasons to Heart Downtown

Avison Young principal Greg Kraut

It’s your last chance to attend tomorrow’s Bisnow Future of Downtown event, where you’ll hear why firms like Condé Nast, Nielsen, AECOM, the New York Film Academy, and potentially HarperCollins are headed south. One driver is major savings for Class-A space: $22.59/SF less than Midtown and $19.45/SF less than Midtown South, according to one of our speakers, Avison Young principal Greg Kraut. For a 10k SF tenant, that could mean $220k less annually and an additional $100k in incentives. There’s also an employee attraction: A recent Downtown Alliance report says nine of the region’s 10 fastest-growing neighborhoods for creative and professional workers are within a 30-minute commute of Lower Manhattan.

Massey Knakal partner James Nelson

Q4 was also one of the best investment sales quarters Downtown has seen in years, owing to a mass sell-off ahead of anticipated capital gains taxes, says Massey Knakal partner James Nelson, another panelist. There were plenty of buyers ready to close, and Hurricane Sandy did nothing to abate that demand, says James, who sold a loft building on 81 Warren St, only five blocks from the flooded WTC site. On the leasing side, he and colleague Will Suarez brought Wogies to 4,000 SF at 44 Trinity Pl, even after the tenant strongly considered Brooklyn. The challenge this year will be finding long-term owners that want to sell, he says, anticipating a 15% to 20% drop in transactions.

Amanda Metcalf is back in town to join forces once again with Amanda Marsh. We are indeed separate people—with separate email addresses. Reach them both at amanda.metcalf@bisnow.com and amanda@bisnow.com.
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