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[22 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]
Co-op City job a manager’s biggest challenge

By Konrad Putzier
Co-op City, the world’s largest co-operative housing development, is looking for a new property manager.
The board of directors of the Riverbay Co-operation, which runs the Bronx Mitchell-Lama complex, has sent out requests for proposals (RFPs).
Firms can bid to manage either the entire complex, or just the residential or commercial portions.
While the current property manager, Marion Scott Real Estate, is expected to bid for the job, the RFP is an indication that a majority of Riverbay’s board of directors is willing to switch managers.
The RFP is bound to cause …

Deals & Dealmakers, Headline »

[15 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]
A suburban withdrawal

Stamford and Manhattan are only a few miles apart, but as far as commercial real estate goes, they might as well be on different continents.

A day before brokerage CBRE announced that Manhattan’s net office absorption in the third quarter exceeded one million s/f, news broke that the 527,424 s/f office building 400 Atlantic Street in Stamford would lose its three largest tenants by 2018.

These two examples are symptomatic of a larger rift. While New York City’s commercial real estate market is booming, Fairfield County, Long Island and Westchester are, at best, stagnating. In order to turn their fate around, suburban office centers will have to reinvent themselves on a scale not seen in decades.

Deals & Dealmakers, Headline »

[9 Oct 2014 | One Comment | ]
Spielberg wants real estate ‘liars’

Mel Brooks as Harry Macklowe in a Steven Spielberg blockbuster about the titans of New York real estate?

Jeff Daniels as Donald Trump? Brad Pritt playing ex-Vornado chief Mike Fascitelli? It could happen if a searing new book by author Vicky Ward translates to big bucks on the bookshelves.

In an exclusive interview with Real Estate Weekly to coincide with this publication’s free giveaway of her book, The Liar’s Ball, Ward revealed, that Hollywood is “very curious” about real estate’s dream chasers.

Brokers Weekly, Construction & Design, Headline »

[1 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]
Luxury builders reap rewards as new condo prices soar

Manhattan’s apartment sales market has continued its steep climb, benefiting from strong demand for luxury new development.

The median sales price grew by 4.2 percent year-over-year to $908,242 while the average price grew by 17.4 percent to $1.684 million, according to Miller Samuel’s report for Douglas Elliman, as luxury sales far outpaced the rest of the market.

The median sales price in the luxury market — defined as the top ten percent in terms of price — rose by 22 percent, while the number of sales at or above $10 million grew by 89.7 percent.

And as demand continues unabated, new condo developers like HFZ Capital Group are seeing strong demand for their units.

Construction & Design, Headline »

[23 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]
Skanska quits pioneering Ratner project

Skanska has terminated its construction agreement with Forest City Ratner for an Atlantic Yards modular apartment tower, sending the dispute over the project into a new round.

In a statement issued today (Tuesday), Skanska justified the step by alleging Forest City Ratner did not address unspecified “material breaches” under the agreement.

Work at the Atlantic Yards B2 Project, set to become the tallest modular tower in the world at 32 stories, has been interrupted for weeks, prompting the two firms to exchange lawsuits

Construction & Design, Headline »

[17 Sep 2014 | One Comment | ]
Skyway could ease commuter crunch

A proposed East River Skyway could ease commuter congestion between Manhattan and the booming Brooklyn market.

The first phase of the Skyway would connect the waterfront area in Williamsburg to Downtown Manhattan, South Williamsburg and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

“Given the exciting growth in Brooklyn and Queens, it is essential to adapt New York City’s transportation system to serve residents in these booming areas,” said Daniel Levy, president of East River Skyway and CityRealty.

Levy unveiled his proposal yesterday (Tuesday) at the Massey Knakal Brooklyn Real Estate Summit.

Construction & Design, Headline »

[12 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]
New York’s schools go on construction binge

New York’s schools and universities are expanding, and that’s good news for the real estate industry.

Educational institutions are set to invest billions in capital programs over the next years – much of it earmarked for new construction. Increasingly, this benefits not only construction firms, but also developers who have partnered up with universities.

At a panel titled “Schools, Colleges and Universities – A Construction Report Card”, hosted by Zetlin & De Chiara LLP and JLL last Thursday, executives of four major universities and the NYC School Construction Authority (SCA) gave updates on their capital plans and the state of the educational sector.

Driving the boom in education construction is a growth in university enrollment and a need for renovations, according to the panelists.

Headline »

[11 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]
Lower Manhattan reborn as city remembers 9/11

As we mark the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, Americans can take solace knowing that we, as a united nation, are as resilient as we have ever been throughout our country’s history.

Perhaps there is no better reminder of our tenacious spirit than the tremendous progress being made in the redevelopment and construction of the World Trade Center complex.

Headline, Legal »

[10 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]
Brokers struggle to pick sides

Can appraisers objectively value a building if they know their job depends on a high price tag?

Once upon a time, such potential conflicts of interest were widely considered a main culprit of the 2008 financial meltdown and a systemic flaw in need of fixing. But as the crash fades in memory, so do hopes of reform.

While banks have been forced to separate some of their business lines in the past years and private equity may be next, real estate firms are still left largely unchecked.

Lawyers reckon this is unlikely to change.

Construction & Design, Headline »

[2 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]
Forest City and Skanska face off in separate suits

Developer Forest City Ratner and construction firm Skanska are taking their dispute over cost overruns at a Pacific Park modular tower in Brooklyn to court.
Sixteen minutes after Skanska filed a lawsuit against a Forest City Ratner affiliate yesterday (Tuesday), the developer filed its own lawsuit.

Forest City Ratner is seeking damages and declaratory relief from Skanska for “multiple failures and missteps as the construction manager for B2 BKLYN,” which is slated to become the tallest modular tower in the world.

Construction work at the 363-unit tower – the first residential building in the $5-billion Pacific Park project developed jointly by New York-based Forest City Ratner and the Chinese firm Greenland Group – has been interrupted for almost a week after Skanska stopped work last Tuesday.

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