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This Week's N.Y. Deal Sheet

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Commercial real estate news came back with a vengeance in the week after Labor Day, starting with Amazon's $5B request for proposals for a second headquarters. But the New York City office market, thanks to some major city government leases, also re-emerged from its late August slumber.


32 Old Slip in Manhattan's Financial District
32 Old Slip in the Financial District

The American Arbitration Association, a legal nonprofit, will soon occupy the top floor of a Financial District skyscraper. The firm has signed a 47K SF sublease to occupy the 33rd and 36th floors of RXR Realty's 32 Old Slip, taking over the space from consolidating insurance company XL Catlin. JLL's John Wheeler, Eliza Akers, Andrew Coe and Paul Ferraro represented the sublandlord, while Christopher Kraus and Daoud Awad, also of JLL, worked for the association.


The New York City Department of Sanitation is the latest in a long line of city agencies signing big leases in the renovated Verizon Building. The DOS agreed to take 72K SF at 375 Pearl St., which is being repositioned and reskinned by its owner, Sabey Data Center Properties. The DOS follows a 200K SF lease in the property, which has asking rents around $50/SF, with the city's Human Resources Administration. The DOS is moving within downtown from its current digs at 137 Centre St. Cushman & Wakefield’s Bob Giglio and George Keller represented the city, and CBRE's Gregg Rothkin and Gerry Miovski represented Sabey.


The Department of Sanitation was not the only city agency to sign a major lease in the last week. The Department of Citywide Administrative Services has signed a deal for the Human Resources Administration to occupy all of the former Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. building in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The 158K SF lease in the building at 95 Evergreen Ave. consolidates three HRA locations in Brooklyn over 20 years with rents escalating from $6.9M in the first five years to $8.7M in the final five. Savanna and Hornig Capital Partners own the building.


Accounting and advisory firm WithumSmith+Brown P.C. is growing in its current New York office at 1411 Broadway. The Princeton, New Jersey-based Withum has signed a 25K SF expansion deal, bringing its footprint in the 1.2M SF building to 44K SF. CBC Advisors’ Barry Lewen brokered the lease for Withum, and a CBRE team led by Paul Amrich represented the landlords, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Callahan Capital Partners and The Swig Co.


Legendary jeweler Tiffany & Co. is opening a new office in Flatiron, agreeing to take 17K SF in 53 West 23rd St. The jeweler will occupy the entire seventh floor in the building. Adams & Co. represented the landlord, Twenty Three R.P. Associates, in the deal, as well as for a deal with Yu-Gi-Oh brand manager 4K Media to occupy the 17K SF 11th floor at 53 West 23rd and 6K SF on the interconnected 11th floor of 49 West 53rd St.


90 Sands St. in Dumbo, Brooklyn
90 Sands St. in Dumbo, Brooklyn

Aby Rosen's RFR Realty closed on its acquisition of 90 Sands St. last week, according to city records, paying $135M for the Brooklyn tower that used to be a residential hotel owned and operated by the Jehovah's Witnesses. RFR acquired the property without JV partners, even though it went into contract on 90 Sands as part of a portfolio deal with LIVWRK and Kushner. The 400K SF building had been planned as a 600-room hotel, but RFR is weighing its options, according to The Real Deal.


Akelius, the Swedish investor that closed on a $61M Gramercy multifamily acquisition last week, closed on an even bigger buy immediately after. The firm paid $100M for 220 West 24th St. and 225 West 23rd St., two apartment buildings with a combined 245 units between them. Akelius bought the properties, which have a mix of market-rate and affordable units, from Atlas Capital Group, which paid $72.9M for them in 2015.


The Home Depot has closed on its $63M acquisition of a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Queens. The Atlanta-based home improvement behemoth bought 59-02 Borden Ave., triple-net-leased to the drink maker, from Kaymac Corp., which built the plant decades ago. It is unclear what Home Depot has planned for the 7.3-acre property after Coke's lease expires in 2022.


Capstone Equities and Highgate have acquired the Nyma Hotel at 6 West 32nd St. for $51M. The 171-room Koreatown hotel was built as an office building 104 years ago, but has been a hotel of varying names for much of its existence. Apple Core Hotels sold the 88K SF property for roughly $304K/room. 

Sales data courtesy of Reonomy.


Rendering 50 Hudson Yards, the 2.9M SF future headquarters of BlackRock in Manhattan
Rendering of 50 Hudson Yards

Related and Oxford Property Group landed one of the biggest financing deals of the year last week when they nailed down $1.5B in construction loans from a consortium of domestic and international lenders for 50 Hudson Yards. Wells Fargo, German Deutsche Bank, Hong Kong-based HSBC, the Bank of China and Japanese Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. combined on the debt, while Mitsui Fudosan provided the balance of equity to kick-start construction on the $3.6B tower. In exchange for the equity, Mitsui will control 90% of the tower, which will house BlackRock's corporate headquarters when it opens next decade.


RFR Realty secured a $140M acquisition loan with Alliance Bernstein for its purchase of 90 Sands St., a former residential hotel in the Jehovah's Witnesses' Brooklyn portfolio.


Milstein Properties, one of New York's oldest real estate families, has successfully refinanced dozens of condo units it owns at 30 Lincoln Center Plaza. Apple Bank for Savings provided the debt for the residences at the famed Lincoln Center complex, with a total price tag of $120M.

Financing data courtesy of Reonomy.