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January 5, 2011 
Monday (Macy) Left

Just announced for New York Multifamily Summit: Dermot COO Steve Benjamin and Prudential Real Estate Investors principal Chip Walters. Jan. 28 at the NY Bar Association. Early Bird pricing available now!

A top team of brokerage professionals has left Cushman & Wakefield, we learned from the company today. Market sources tell us the team is moving JLL.
The team, which includes Matthew Astrachan, Alexander Chudnoff, Paul Glickman, Mitch Konsker, and Mitti Liebersohn, originally joined the firm with former CEO Bruce Mosler from The Galbreath Co. Bruce remains with C&W as chair of global brokerage. The power brokers were behind many significant deals in the market, including repping owner SL Green in AECOM Technology Corp’s recent 12-year, 109k SF lease at 100 Park Ave, and Godiva Choclatier, and the MTA’s recent leases at 333 W 34th St. Above, Mitch and Matthew joined Metropole Realty Advisors’ Robert Siegel, C&W's Robert Gallucci and Scott Silverstein, and The Mufson Partnership’s Stan Judovits in '09.

Better in Eleven?
Cassidy Turley director of research Robert Sammons
Happy New Year-end reports! The Q4 impressions are beginning to trickle in: It's good news for office space, with vacancies falling from 12.3% in November to 12% in December, reports Cassidy Turley. And sublet space is doing even better. Overall sublet availability, particularly in Midtown, has fallen at a much sharper rate than direct availability since recessionary highs (direct peaked at 45.6M SF in March ’10, while sublet peaked at 17.3M SF in May ’09), VP of research Robert Sammons tells us. From November to December, sublet space fell from 11.7M SF to 10.9M SF. And this wasn’t one or two large blocks of space taken off the market, he points out—these are subtenants in the 30k-60k SF range, like Sterne Agee’s 46k SF sublet from JPMorgan at 277 Park. And if this trend continues, it could lead to steeper asking rent increases this year as landlords become more confident as competition from sublet space wanes.
JLL's Jim Delmonte
Meanwhile, JLL director of research Jim Delmonte reports that office vacancy rates fell in all property classes in Midtown and Midtown South during ’10. Lower Manhattan, however, saw a slight increase. “The Manhattan office market finished 2010 as expected,” he says, but there are mixed signals in submarkets and property types, with Downtown lagging behind Midtown and asking rents for smaller, trophy-quality space rising. Activity is driven by relocations and renewals, rather than new demand, which he notes could ultimately lead to flattening absorption. In Midtown, several new leases signed involved less square footage than prior locations. And the space may eventually come to market—and if this comes back in the first half of the year and there isn’t sufficient demand, absorption could fall back into negative territory and wipe away ‘10’s gains.
NAI Global's Jeff Finn
Outside of our Manhattan bubble, there are signs that conditions worldwide have stabilized and beginning to pick up, according to NAI Global, which says to expect improvement, albeit modest, in just about every market sector and geography this year. CEO Jeff Finn says that companies everywhere are taking advantage of this market by extending or renegotiating leases, securing investment properties, disposing of underperforming assets, and finalizing plans for growth over the next two years. “We expect a much more active market for buyers, sellers, and occupiers as conditions continue to improve,” he posits.

Quite An Estate
Arden House, Harrison, NY
Here’s a chance to own a unique asset—the 100k SF mansion Arden House, which sits atop a 450-acre estate in Harrison, NY. The former E.H. Harriman estate is the US’s first-ever conference center and was once part of Columbia University’s portfolio. Colliers International’s Bob Freedman and Richard Warshauer are leading the marketing team, and say Arden House is an ideal site for a variety of non-profit users—including universities, think tanks, and medical centers—who’d like a satellite campus or conference facility with proximity to NYC. (There’s already been interest from a major Midwestern university and international educational institutions.) Because of deed restrictions, it can only been sold to a non-profit, but commercial users can lease it on a long-term basis.
Arden House Interior
Here’s a bit of history: Arden House was designed by the same architects as the New York Public Library and Frick Museum, and contains a main house, and east and north wings with 97 guestrooms. There’s also a conference wing with a state-of-the-art auditorium. It was originally built in 1909 by railroad magnate Harriman. In 1950, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was Columbia’s president, the Harriman family gifted the house to the university for its domestic and foreign policy study group, the American Assembly, which established the building as the first conference center. With 110k acres of park and preservation lands, the 125-acre Cranberry Lake, and a 50-acre footprint that allows for new construction, Bob likened it to the East Coast equivalent of buying property in the middle of Yosemite State Park.

Doing Good!
Salvadori Center president Dr. Leonisa Ardizzone, Thornton Tomasetti’s Richard Tomasetti, and Port Authority’s Frank Lombardi
There were so many great events last month that we didn’t have time to cover them all (we’re still working on that cloning device). Among them: the New York Building Foundation’s 2010 Theatre Benefit, which raised nearly $120k for research, educational, and charity. Above, Salvadori Center president Dr. Leonisa Ardizzone, Thornton Tomasetti’s Richard Tomasetti, and Port Authority’s Frank Lombardi. This year’s benefit began at Sardi’s Restaurant and featured performances of Lombardi, Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and certificates were presented to six organizations that contributed to the Construction for a Livable City initiative: Bovis Lend Lease, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Columbia University Facilities, F.J. Sciame Construction Co, Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center; and Skanska USA.
former New York Mets pitcher Ron Darling, who has a son with diabetes, stands with the night’s honorees: Ted Moudis Associates’ Ted Moudis, The Durst Organization’s Jody Durst, and Malkin Holdings’ Richard Heller
And the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation real estate division raised $1.3M in support of DRI at its annual Empire Ball. Here, former New York Mets pitcher Ron Darling, who has a son with diabetes, stands with the night’s honorees: Ted Moudis Associates’ Ted Moudis, The Durst Organization’s Jody Durst, and Malkin Holdings’ Richard Heller. Jody was honored for his philanthropic efforts, including diabetes research, and his firm’s commitment to the betterment of NYC, while Ted received the Camillo Ricordi Humanitarian Award for his philanthropy and dedication to environmentally responsible building practices and design. Richard was presented with the Distinguished Service Award for his unswerving dedication to raising funds for the Empire Ball and the DRI.
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