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While this year has been tough for retailers, there's optimism that the current holiday season will be better than '09, reports Levin Management Corp, whose portfolio includes more than 90 diverse retail properties, 1,000 tenants, and 12.5M SF in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.
Mayfair Shopping Center, Commack, Long Island, NY
This morning, we snapped one of Levin's decked-out properties,Mayfair Shopping Center in Commack, Long Island. A tenant survey the firm conducted found that 46% projected higher sales this holiday season, while 22% said sales would match year-over-year totals. Reported sales prior to the holidays were mixed, with 30% respondents noting an uptick and 52% reporting lower sales. Two positive notes from the survey: A quarter have opened new stores this year, while 27% plan to boost inventory levels and 42% will at least maintain the same inventory levels as a year ago. But “on the negative side, seasonal hiring apparently will not be as strong as in the past, and there is some indication of the ongoing impact of the recession on retailing in general.”
Sales Transactions A foreign buyer purchased the nine-story, 43,774 SF 7-9 W. 51st St. for $31.5M. The middle seven floors are occupied by tenants at below-market rental rates, on leases that are soon to expire, while the 14,400 SF retail portion is vacant. An Eastern Consolidated team of Eric Anton, Ronald Solarz, David Schechtman, Roberto Ortiz, and Marcia Rose Yawitz repped the seller and procured the buyer.***Croman Real Estate purchased a four-story, 8,534 SF 16-unit apartment building at 230 E. 32nd St. from Harry Field Realty for $3.1M. Eastern Consolidated's Aliza Avital and Alan Miller repped the seller and procured the buyer.


Platia Vardari LLC purchased the three-story, walk-up 32-05 36th Ave. in Long Island City for $1.2M cash. The mixed-use building contains one store and two four-bedroom apartments. The property is fully leased, with a Thai restaurant taking the retail space. Falco & Isak Realty Services' Rubin Isak was the sole broker in the transaction.

Lease Transactions

Vision Automotive inked a 58,560 SF industrial lease at 200 Docks Corner Rd. in South Brunswick, NJ. CBRE's Scott Belfer and Lou Belfer repped the tenant, while JLL repped owner AMB Properties Corp. The tenant will utilize the space as its East Coast warehouse/distribution HQ.


Murray Hill Properties brokered two deals: Fry Inc.'s five-year,8,500 SF lease at 15 W. 37th St. (tenant reps: MHP's Jesse Rubens and Bret Varricchio, with Jackson & Cooksey's Andy Iverson; landlord rep: Kamber Management's Steven Levy); and Linda Dahl MD's 10-year, 1,918 SF lease at 120 E. 56th St. (tenant rep: MHP's Esther Zar; landlord rep: Promenade Real Estate's Steven Pressler for First Pioneer Properties).


Bijou International Corp. is dazzling up 42 W. 39th St. with an 11-year, 9,585 SF lease. Benchmark Properties' Michael Beyda repped the tenant, while Adams & Co.'s David Levy and Jeffrey Schwartz repped the owner.


Murphy & McGonigle leased the last available tower-floor pre-built office (which range from 2,500 to 5,000 SF) at One Grand Central Place. Newmark Knight Frank's David Falk and Daniel Levine repped the tenant, while NKF's Billy Cohen and Ryan Kass repped owner W&H Properties.


Meridian Capital Group arranged over $56M in new mortgages:$18M for a 115k SF office building on W. 40th St. (arranged by Avi Weinstock and Josh Rhine); $15M for a 213-unit, 17-story multifamily building on E. 15th St. (arranged by Weinstock); $12.2M for a six-story multifamily building with 67 apartments and seven retail spaces on Netherland Ave. in the Bronx (arranged by Weinstock and Rhine); and $9M for a six-story multifamily building with 76 apartments and seven retail spaces on 37th Ave. in Jackson Heights, Queens (arranged by Elliott Birnbaum).


Quinlan Development Group provided a $9M bridge loan that allowed developer Vella Group to purchase 250 Bowery St., which is slated for a ground-up mixed-use development. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the LTV is reported to be approximately 80%.

Executive Moves

Harry Dublinsky joined Schulman Wolfson & Abruzzo as partner, where he will head the CPA/advisory firm's real estate services group. He was previously with Cornerstone Accounting Group (formerly Schonbraun McCann), and also held positions at Forest City Ratner and KPMG. He's a graduate of Queens College.


Nicholas Pisani joined Intelligent Building Solutions as senior associate, responsible for management of master planning, design/build, owner's rep, feasibility study, commissioning, energy audit, and consulting projects nationwide, which includes two data center design/build and upgrade assignments in Boston and Charlotte for Digital Realty Trust. He was previously with Lehr Construction Corp., Tishman Technologies, and AKF Engineering. He's a Stevens Institute grad.


Swig Equities promoted Todd Korren to EVP and director of commercial leasing and operations, responsible for the leasing activity of Swig Equities' 4M SF office portfolio, which includes 110 William St., 90 Broad St., 44 Wall St., 48 Wall St., and 5 Hanover Sq. Prior to joining Swig, Todd was with Rockrose Development, the Witkoff Group, Insignia/ESG, and Structure Tone. He's an NYU grad.