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October 22, 2008



Wall Street chatter can be harrowing—but not for Capstone Equities. The investor’s two main FiDi assets, 14 Wall Street and 156 William Street, are showing superb performance—occupancy at 14 Wall jumped from 68% to over 90% since they acquired it with Carlyle Group last year. The 37-story asset also houses Capstone’s office, where we met principal Daniel Ghadamian and managing principal Josh Zamir Monday to find out more.


In a twist, Daniel and Josh tell us financial tenants are no longer the Financial District mainstay; residential and retail are on the rise. At 156 William, 15k SF of ground-floor medical space is available and received a lot of interest, thanks to its proximity to Downtown Hospital. The firm is finishing up $6M capital improvements, including a $1M lobby facelift, new corridors and a security and mechanical systems overhaul. The space is opposite Forrest City Enterprises’ new 70-story Beekman Tower, which will include a public elementary school, ambulatory care facility and approximately 900 rental units. By the by, if FiDi does mingle with retail and residential, we’re coining its new moniker: ReFiReD.


Capstone’s crown jewel, 14 Wall—the historic Bankers Trust Building—just completed its own $25M capital improvement program, serving a diverse tenant base from architects to telecom. In the past two weeks, two insurance tenants—White Mountains and Massachusetts Casualty Insurance Co.—each signed on for 13k SF, on top of True Religion Jeans recent lease, bringing total space to 260k SF. Not limiting themselves to the interior, Daniel and Josh petitioned the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to allow illumination of the building’s base and pyramid for better skyline placement. On the personal side, Josh sits on the board of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, which happens to reside, rent-free, in an old bank vault in 14 Wall’s basement.

DEALS (Yes, Virginia, there are some)


Tishman Speyer began construction on the first phase of Gotham Center, a $316M, 3.5 MSF mixed-use development in Long Island City. The 662k SF, 21-story tower is located at the corner of Queens Plaza and 28th Street, and will include 9,400 SF of ground floor retail and 180 parking spaces. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will occupy the building.

Exec Moves

Stephen Shapiro and John Wilcox have joined investment banking firm Savills. Stephen comes over from Eastdil Secured, where he was part of the team that worked on Blackstone’s $39B acquisition of Equity Office in 2007. John was with DTZ Rockwood’s capital markets group, where he was a restructuring and turnaround professional, advising creditors and debtors on many high-profile bankruptcies. They’ve worked on a combined $30B in finance deals in their careers.


KBS REIT II purchased the six-building, 1.1M SF Park Avenue office complex in Florham Park, N.J. for $365M, one of the largest office deals in the Northeast this year. KBS was represented in-house for the final four buildings, while Jeff Dunne of CB Richard Ellis represented the undisclosed seller. In addition to Jeff, CB's Kevin Welsh, David Gavin and Samuel Buckley represented the owner and procured KBS in the sale of the first two assets.


Holiday Fenoglio Fowler's New York office secured a $25M first mortgage financing for Rockaway 80, a 260k SF Class A office building in Rockaway, NJ. Steven Klein and Michael Tepedino represented the borrower, an affiliate of Grosvenor Investment Management, in arranging the floating-rate loan through MassMutual.


Accounting firm Grant Thornton inked a 36k SF, five-year renewal at 60 Broad Street. Mitchell Barnett, David Malawer, and Andrew Peretz of Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant, while Anthony Stapleton, Eric Sarner and Sheila Nayson of Cogswell Realty Group and George Wells of Piedmont Office Realty Trust represented the landlord, Piedmont.

Lease & Management Assignments

Colliers ABR won two exclusive leasing and management assignments. Jim Frederick will handle 527 Madison Avenue, owned by Mitsui Fudosan, and David Hoffman, Wendy Miller and Robert Billingsley will handle 360 Lexington Avenue, owned by AEW Capital Management.


Title insurance agencies Kensington National Land Services and Vanguard Title Agency merged to create Kensington Vanguard National Land Services (KV National Land, for short). The newly formed entity is led by Brian Cooper and Jarett Fein, co-CEOs and principals.

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