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This Week's N.Y. Deal Sheet

Right before July turned into August, the Manhattan office leasing market went into a feeding frenzy of major relocations, announced one after the other. Vacation is over.

TOP LEASES

Rendering of 55 Hudson Yards, a supertall office building on Manhattan's Far West Side
A rendering of 55 Hudson Yards

Add law firm Cooley LLP to the list of Midtown companies packing their bags and heading west. Cooley has signed a 130K SF lease to move to 55 Hudson Yards, the 1.3M SF skyscraper under construction on the Far West Side. Cooley is moving from its 100K SF office high in the Grace Building on Sixth Avenue, across from Bryant Park. CBRE’s Robert Alexander, Howard Fiddle, Emily Jones and Ryan Alexander and Related Cos.' Stephen Winter repped the joint venture of Related, Oxford Properties and Mitsui Fudosan that is developing the skyscraper. Newmark Knight Frank’s Moshe Sukenik, Aaron Katz, Patrick Nalls, Michael Shuler and Brian Cohen repped Cooley.

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The Hospital for Special Surgery is filling almost 100K SF of the offices Avon is vacating in Midtown for its own move Downtown. HSS signed a 99K SF lease at William Kaufman Organization's 777 Third Ave., subleasing from Avon until the cosmetics company's original, 247K SF lease runs out in 2025, then continuing to occupy the space directly from WKO after that. Colliers International's Brian Given and Sheena Gohil repped HSS, Cushman & Wakefield's Heather Thomas, Dale Schlather, Michael Burlant, Greg Herman and Jon Fales repped Avon, and Sage Realty's Michael Lenchner repped WKO, which owns Sage, in-house.

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Macmillan Publishers, the sole tenant in the historic Flatiron Building, is leaving the property for another building with just as much history: Silverstein Properties' 120 Broadway, formerly known as the Equitable Building. The publishing house will occupy 261K SF of the 1.9M SF tower, which was the largest office building in the world when it opened 102 years ago, taking floors 22 through 26. Roger A. Silverstein, Joseph Artusa and Camille McGratty repped Silverstein in-house, and Colliers International Vice Chairman Leon Manoff repped Macmillan.

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Swedish photography brand Fotografiska will be the sole occupant of a historic Gramercy Park building. The organization, which commissions and exhibits contemporary photography and has worked with legends like Annie Leibovitz, leased all 45K SF of RFR Realty's 281 Park Ave. South, the landmarked building also known as Church Missions House. RFR's Aby Rosen bought the ornately designed property in 2014 for $50M, but had failed to find a tenant. In one fell swoop, Rosen filled the building, with asking rents around $100/SF.

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The Durst Organization continues its march to fill the more than 800K SF Condé Nast vacated at 4 Times Square when it decamped to One World Trade Center three years ago. HedgeServ Corp., which provides services to hedge funds, has agreed to take 53K SF, all on the eighth floor of the skyscraper, of Condé Nast's old space. Nearly 6K SF of the lease is for a private, outdoor terrace. HedgeServ is moving from 1271 Sixth Ave., the building the Rockefeller Group is spending hundreds of millions to renovate. NKF's Neil Goldmacher repped HedgeServ, and Tom Bow and Rocco Romeo repped Durst in-house.

TOP SALES

455-459 Smith St. in Gowanus, Brooklyn
455-459 Smith St. in Gowanus, Brooklyn

Property Markets Group, more than a year after putting the development site at 455-459 Smith St. in Brooklyn's Gowanus neighborhood under contract, has finally closed on its acquisition. The site, a 160K SF lot that can be built up to 330K SF now, or more after a proposed rezoning, was sold by Henry Abadi, who demolished the industrial building that used to stand on the site, which borders the Gowanus Canal. PMG was alone when it put a contract on the site, but brought in All Year Management and the Hakim Organization as joint venture partners to close on the $48M purchase. All Year holds a majority stake in the property, while PMG and Hakim would co-develop whatever is built there, according to The Real Deal.

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The sale of the Morgans Hotel at 237 Madison Ave. to developers who aim to convert it to condominiums has closed. The Kash Group, in a joint venture with Shel Capital, paid $37M to acquire the 17-story property after going under contract to pay $41M in June. The new owners, who bought the property from FelCor Lodging Trust, plan to convert the upper floors into micro-unit condos and keep the lower floors as commercial for either hotel or corporate housing.

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Thor Equities has sold a townhouse it controlled at 36 East 61st St. for $32M. The townhouse is zoned for commercial use and is a shade under 16K SF. Joe Sitt's company put the property on the market in April, asking for $36.9M, but the buyer, a British-controlled LLC, paid almost $5M below asking. Thor acquired the townhouse for $27M in 2014, according to NYC property records.

Sales data courtesy of Reonomy.

TOP FINANCING DEALS

This Week's N.Y. Deal Sheet
The James A. Farley Post Office Building in Manhattan, where Vornado is developing office space

The U.S. Department of Transportation has filed paperwork with the city for its bond financing of the Moynihan Station development at 360 West 33rd St. DOT provided the New York State Urban Development Corp. with $600M in financing in a deal that closed last Monday.

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UBS is the lender on the biggest private loan transaction this past week, providing $138.8M to The Chetrit Group for three properties at 784-792 Columbus Ave. on the Upper West Side. The three apartments are branded as Park West Village, and Chetrit just put them through a renovation, updating the units and amenity spaces.

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The New York City Housing Corp. provided Stevenson Commons Housing Co. with a $103M refinancing loan for the Stevenson Commons affordable housing commons at 755 White Plains Road in the Bronx.

Financing data courtesy of Reonomy.