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Construction & Design, Headline »

[17 Sep 2014 | No 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.

Deals & Dealmakers, Headline »

[27 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]
Savanna betting on Long Island City

Fresh off a $335-million sale in Manhattan, Savanna is placing a big bet on Long Island City.

The firm acquired a controlling interest in the 51-story office tower One Court Square from an investor group led by David Werner for an undisclosed amount.

Werner and his partners, who had bought the property from SL Green for $500 million in 2011, will retain a share in the 1.5-million-s/f building.
One Court Square is the tallest tower in New York City outside of Manhattan.

For Savanna, which declined to comment for this article, the deal seems to indicate a growing focus on the outer boroughs. In January, the firm had bought a development site at 141 Willoughby Point in Downtown Brooklyn, also for an undisclosed amount.

Headline, Mergers and Acquisitions »

[20 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]
TPG Capital in talks to take over Cassidy Turley

Private equity firm TPG Capital is in talks to buy the commercial brokerage Cassidy Turley, according to a report in Crain’s.
It wasn’t clear how much the Texas-based firm was willing to pay or how far the negotiations had come. Crain’s based its report on anonymous sources familiar with the talks.
Founded in 2008, Washington, D.C., based Cassidy Turley is one of the country’s leading real estate brokerage and services firms with more than 3,000 employees. The deal would be the latest in a wave of consolidations in the commercial brokerage industry. In May, UK-based real estate services firm Savills had bought the New York brokerage Studley for $260 million. In 2011, a merger between brokerages Grubb & Ellis and Newmark Knight Frank created Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.

Headline, Retail »

[13 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]
Downtown retail rush

The bottom of Manhattan is currently at the top in terms of retail growth, according to reports this week.

According to Cushman and Wakefield, Lower Manhattan saw a 37.8 percent climb in asking rents for retail spaces from this time last year. While Downtown was not the only sector to see an increase in pricing, it finished comfortably ahead of the other top districts, including Times Square (13.8 percent rise), Madison Avenue (12.4 percent rise), Flatiron (10.7 percent rise).

“Asking rents were on the rise in eight of ten Manhattan neighborhoods, with Lower Manhattan leading the pack,” said Cushman & Wakefield vice chairman Joanne Podell. “We expect Downtown to keep attracting retail as office employment rises.

Construction & Design, Deals & Dealmakers, Headline »

[6 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]
Lone office building a grey area for Brookfield as giant presses ahead with building a new Manhattan

There is a mysterious grey square on the otherwise well-labelled site map of Brookfield’s Manhattan West project.

It is nestled in the middle of a U-shaped string of planned restaurants, retail units, an office tower and a hotel, exactly where planners might envision a public plaza.

As it turns out, the grey square is a 13-story office building owned by Raju Shah’s Vectra Management Group. It is the only building on the block not under Brookfield’s control, and has become the figurative thorn in the side of the company’s $4.5 billion mixed-use megaproject.

For years, Vectra has resisted Brookfield’s attempts to buy the pre-war building at 424 West 33rd Street, forcing the company to build around it, measure every tiny vibration and limit construction work during business hours

Deals & Dealmakers, Headline »

[30 Jul 2014 | No Comment | ]
Gloves off in energy espionage fight

Some of the city’s biggest landlords could be dragged into a multi-million dollar cyber-hacking lawsuit filed by a now-defunct energy company.

Genergy, a local company that helped New York property owners track and manage electrical costs for thousands of buildings, is suing a rival for hacking into its computers and stealing sensitive information.

The espionage ultimately drove the firm out of business, says a federal lawsuit field by Genergy, which worked with companies such as Vornado, Mack-Cali and Swig Equities.

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