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December 2, 2008
 
       
 

DEALS!


 

Construction & Development:

Shorenstein Properties tapped Gertler & Wente Architects to renovate two of its recent Macklowe portfolio purchases, 850 Third Avenue and Park Avenue Tower at 65 East 55th St. At 850, the firm will redesign the lobby and create exterior terrace space for an available unit on the 17th floor. And in Park Avenue Tower, it will design several pre-built office suites and renovate the restrooms on one floor. In addition to the two New York buildings, it’s also renovating Boston’s 399 Boylston Street and D.C.’s Franklin Tower at 1401 K St. It also completed a $4.5M renovation earlier this year at Shorenstein’s 125 Park Avenue.

Lease Transactions:

Law firm Pryor Cashman signed a 15-year, 100k-SF lease at 7 Times Square, and will occupy the entire 39th, 40th and 41st floors, as well as half of the third floor. CB Richard Ellis’ Mark Ravesloot, Lewis Miller, Jason Gorman and Mike Wellen represented the tenant, while CBRE’s John Powers, Peter Turchin and Christie Harle represented owner Boston Properties.

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Thomson extended the term of its existing 62.5k-SF lease at 2 Independence Way, Princeton Corporate Center in Princeton, NJ, and agreed to lease the building’s remaining 4,858 SF. The tenant will now occupy the entire building through January 2015. Sitar Company*ONCOR International represented the tenant, while Erin Moran represented owner Mack-Cali in house.

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Columbus Circle Investors inked a 15-year, 16.5k-SF HQ lease on the 8th floor of Metro Center in Stamford, Conn. CB Richard Ellis’ Steven Greenbush, Amanda Bokman and Robert Martin represented the tenant, while Jeffrey Newman and Kathleen Caracappa represented owner W&M Properties in-house.

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Stark Business Solutions has expanded its space at 500 Mamaroneck Avenue in Harrison, NY by 2,183 SF, bringing its total occupancy to 13.6k SF. The tenant will occupy the space until 2018, and owner W&M Properties is building out its new space. Eric Goldschmidt of Goldschmidt & Associates represented the tenant, while Jeffrey Newman and Kathleen Caracappa represented the owner internally.

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Education non-profit PENCIL is expanding its existing office space at 30 West 26th Street from 4,200 SF to 6,400 SF, allowing it to increase staff to support its 500-partner network. Mancini Duffy will design the new space, which is expected to start undergoing construction in the next few weeks for a March 2009 move-in.

Happy Tenants, Smiling Landlord
 

In any market, it’s good to keep a tenant happy. But if you go the extra mile during softer markets, the tenants will remember you in better times, says Philip Wachtler, principal of Wachtler Knopf Equities, whom we visited in his Farmingdale, Long Island office. Take it from the exec who painted 500 Bi-County Blvd.’s exterior to match the beige-with-green-trim of his own house and once commandeered an ice-cream truck to buy cold treats for all his tenants. Here he (left) and colleague Sandy Cohen (center) flip burgers for tenants at the firm’s Woodlands office in Hauppauge this September.

 

Tenants are spending as much time in their offices as they are at their own domiciles these days, so it’s important to make them feel at home, he says. Holidays are a good way to start: he puts pumpkins and haystacks in the lobby for Halloween; and decorates with trees and wreaths for December. Tenants also value community-building, so he frequently holds charitable events, such as food and blood drives.

 

Landlords also must listen and be proactive, Philip says; his tenants once complained about smoking in the entryways, so he bought benches that redirected smokers away from the building. He also replanted flowers (three times!) in front of one of his buildings when they died, which he thought sent the wrong message to tenants and visitors. On a personal note, he recently finished the two year-long Energeia Partnership program at Molloy, which brings public, private, non-profit and government leaders together to work on challenges facing Long Island.

 
 
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