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September 2, 2008


Happy September! We thought we'd make our rounds to see if the real estate profession is still in business after the long hot summer. Of course it is; just a little more time on our hands to patronize the Open.


We had 7:30 AM breakfast at Brasserie on 53rd with NY Jones Lang prez Peter Riguardi. That was late for him. He gets into his office at 6:45 AM each morning, coming by high-speed ferry from Rumson, NJ., also known as home to Bruce Springsteen. (Does he see him? Just occasionally at the Chapel Beach Club.) Peter predicts a 10 to 15 point economic correction in the NY market with a comeback in the fall of '09: "I'm not in the camp that everything's going to fall off the edge." He saw an hour-long line of happy consumers (not all with foreign accents) at the Apple store when he went to get an iPhone for his 19 year-old son. But it's also been a busy time on the leasing front with clients like Merrill, Deutsche Bank, and HSBC (even if some of the work is finding subleases for downsizing); and he just put Legg Mason's Royce Funds in 44k SF at 745 Fifth.


Of course Peter's also busy integrating 50 professionals from Staubach, and plans to start the process in the fall of looking for 100k SF for JLL's own office, up from its current 70k—unless landlord Boston Properties can find expansion space in their current building down the block in the picture above. Peter's multiplied office earnings six times to around $100M/yr. since being recruited in 2002 from Colliers ABR, in part by bringing in high profile local clients the Port Authority and World Trade Center owner Larry Silverstein, so it's his own fault they need the space.



We also stopped by CBRE at 200 Park to see EVP Paul Amrich, who's busy finding tenants for 510 Madison Avenue that's the single current ground-up development of the Macklowes. Of course it will be LEED Gold with column-free windows and 13.5 feet slab-to-slab, but how's this for a trophy amenity: a 50 foot lap pool. Paul says Harry and Billy were extremely hands-on in the design, arraying blueprints around their conference table and insisting on only the classiest features.


We snapped this of progress on the 30-story, 350k SF buidling. The Macklowes assembled half a dozen small buildings over the last decade to create the site for it. The sixth floor is set back as a furnished and planted terrace for all tenants. Why was Paul working so hard in August?  Because he and his wife were smart enough to visit China in July, as well as Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Maldives. But Paul found time to play golf the other day at Friar's Head on Long Island (Exit 71) with Monday Properties head Anthony Westreich. Paul was a competitive golfer in college and shot an impressive 78 "from the tips," but we heard it might still not not have been enough to win.


Wanting an excuse to walk around on a sunny day, we snapped the three buildings in the city that sold for more than $1000 a foot in the first half of this year. Of course, CB helped the Macklowes sell the GM building to Boston Properties and Goldman for $2.8 billion, which meant $1,433/foot.


650 Madison Avenue came in at #2: Carlyle bought it for $680M with 36-year old entrepreneur Ben Ashkenazy from the Hiro brothers (who had purchased it in the Japanese buying boom of the 80s but then cross-collateralized so they had to sell a building to make pay debt). Several floors are the super-luxurious worldwide headquarters of Ralph Lauren, who supposedly has two saunas in his penthouse office at the top (although some say after 9/11 he moved to a lower floor and that mothballed mannequins now have the best views in the building). But he was not moving from the Apple: after all, he was born Ralph Lifshitz in the Bronx. As for Ashkenazy, the story is that he lives in the Sherry Netherland and looked out the window one day and decided he wanted to find the owner and buy it. And so he did: at $1,133 a foot.


Cushman repped Macklowe in selling Park Avenue Tower (technically 65 E 55th) for $665M ($1,080/ft.) to Shorenstein at the end of June. Sorry, our camera couldn't get the whole thing.

Arent Fox
Leo A Daly
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