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January 6, 2009 



Now that we've finished holiday cheer, we're afraid we must venture out again. Former REIS chief economist Sam Chandan, who recently founded economic advisory firm Real Estate Economics, gave his outlook yesterday at a National Realty Club luncheon at the Williams Club on East 39th. He believes we may experience worsening in the first half of '09.


Up to 90% of banks are now tightening commercial lending, and Sam described the difficulties of a market where people can't refinance. He hopes we'll see effects of the new Administration's stimulus package by the second half of '09. On the upside so far, job losses are fewer than previous cycles; there are opportunities for long-term investors with access to financing; and foreign investors continue to hold interest in the NY market and view the long-term outlook as strong.


Katzap Real Estate's Aaron Fuchs, Barkin & Associates' Susan Barkin, NRC member Alex Silverman, and ERM Architecture's Edward McGinnis. The group's keeping busy: Alex is in the midst of forming his own real estate investment business, while Edward is working on student housing projects near Fordham in the Bronx, a medical office/apartment building near NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and low-income housing in Bushwick, Brooklyn.


First American Title's Wayne Baird, Saradian Associates' Debbie Mishra, and NRC's newest member, 1031 Investment Services' Joseph Insalaco. Wayne's found a silver lining in today's slowing market: connecting more with his clients and four children.


NorthMarq Capital VP and NRC prez Tom Graf (right) with NRC governors and industry vets Robert Siegel and Jerry Cohen. The real estate association is one of the oldest in New York, founded in 1947 by a group of owners and developers, including Harry Helmsley.

Construction & Development:

Philips International commenced a multi-million dollar capital improvement program at the 600k-SF, 19-story 40 Rector Street. Renovations will include a new front entrance, a redesigned lobby, energy-efficient windows, common corridors, and upgrades to the base-building systems, elevator cabs, and mechanicals. Andres Escobar & Associates designed the renovation. The firm acquired the building in 2001.

Exec Moves:

Robert Montaquiza joined FirstService Williams' Stamford office as an SVP in the company's office leasing division. He most recently served as VP and director of leasing at Simone Development, and also worked as a leasing director for Mack-Cali. He is a graduate of St. John's University.

Lease Transactions:

Pantheon Properties signed two long-term tenants for over 42k-SF at its New Jersey industrial properties. Transgroup Worldwide Logistics signed a 26k-SF lease at 280 Wilson Ave. in Newark, while JAS Forwarding Worldwide inked a deal for 16.2k SF at 401 Penhorn Ave. in Secaucus. CB Richard Ellis' Mark Tannen represented Transgroup, while Team Resources' David Cantor represented JAS.


Market Diner reopened at 43rd and 11th under new management after signing a long-term, 11.5k-SF lease with property owner Moinian Group. Moinian's Daniel Gohari represented both the landlord and tenant. (If the diner seems familiar, it's from "Seinfeld.")


T. Weiss Realty signed two new tenants to Melville Corporate Center I at 105 Maxess Rd. in Melville, Long Island. Security management system manufacturer RISCO Group inked a HQ lease for 3,921 SF, while b2b company Redwood Collaborative Media signed a 1,711-SF lease for its executive offices. T. Weiss' Craig Weiss negotiated the RISCO lease, while Jennifer Lynch negotiated the Redwood lease. There were no brokers involved in the transactions.


Charter Brokerage expanded its 2,784-SF lease at MerrittView in Norwalk, Conn. by 1,533 SF. W&M Properties' Jeffrey Newman and Kathleen Caracappa represented the landlord in-house. Choyce Petersen's Jeffrey Williams and Steve Lash represented the tenant. W&M Construction will build out the space.


Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani inked a long-term lease for 1,000 SF at 271 Bleeker St. for its first U.S. restaurant. The space was secured by Prudential Douglas Elliman's Faith Hope Consolo, Joseph Aquino, and Arthur Maglio, who represented both the landlord and tenant.

Sales Transactions:

River Owner purchased the 156-unit River's Edge Apartment Homes in Waterbury, Conn. from ERP Operating for $10.6M. Marcus & Millichap's Steve Witten and Victor Nolletti, both from the New Haven office, represented the buyer. Financing was provided by Fannie Mae through PNC ARCS.

We're feeling a bit bummed after Sam's forecast. Cheer us up by sending your story ideas to amanda@bisnow.com

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