New Renderings Confirm 125 Greenwich Street’s Supertall Status

Rendering of 125 Greenwich Street. Via Bizzi & Partners DevelopmentRendering of 125 Greenwich Street. Via Bizzi & Partners Development

Less than two weeks ago, the foundation was completed for a new mixed-use tower in the Financial District. Now, new renderings are out for the building going up at 125 Greenwich Street, thanks to the eagle-eyed contributors on the YIMBY Forums, and they would appear to confirm a final height exceeding 1,000 feet, given the tower will stand taller than the nearby 977-foot-tall 4 World Trade Center at 150 Greenwich Street.

Evolution of 125 Greenwich, created by YIMBY Forumer Thomas Koloski

The building is being developed by New Valley, Bizzi & Partners Development, and SHVO. The view seen at the top of the page shows off a multi-story section in the middle of the building full of greenery. There is also outdoor space atop the building’s base and on the roof.

Renderings also indicate the skyscraper’s roof will be illuminated, though whether that translates into reality remains to be seen.

Rendering of 125 Greenwich Street. Via Bizzi & Partners Development

Rendering of 125 Greenwich Street. Via Bizzi & Partners Development

Rendering of 125 Greenwich Street. Via Bizzi & Partners Development

Rendering of 125 Greenwich Street. Via Bizzi & Partners Development

Then there is this view, which shows off the texture of the building not apparent from more distant perspectives. The exterior won’t be entirely glassy, with two bands of what appears to be concrete lining the northern side of the tower.

Rendering of 125 Greenwich Street. Via Bizzi & Partners Development

Rendering of 125 Greenwich Street. Via Bizzi & Partners Development

According to the most recently filed new building applications, the structure will rise 841 feet, although the new images would indicate a roof height of just over 1,000 feet. The marketing floor count will total 88, though updated DOB applications with the final building height and actual floor count are not yet available.

Per Bizzi & Partners, the tower’s 275 units will range from 400-foot studios to 2,500-square-foot three-bedrooms. They will have 10-foot ceilings and interiors designed by London-based March & White. The developer also says there will be 16,000 square feet of retail space, though that is not currently reflected by DOB information.

Rendering of 125 Greenwich Street. Via Bizzi & Partners Development

Rendering of 125 Greenwich Street. Via Bizzi & Partners Development

The location is between Thames Street and Albany Street. Completion is expected in 2018.

credits: NY YIMBY

Brexit! Everyone panic! (except New York)

UK’s vote to ditch EU could boost NYC’s commercial and resi markets

June 24, 2016 12:19PM
By Konrad Putzier


Illustration by Lexi Pilgrim

Illustration by Lexi Pilgrim

The morning after Britain’s shock vote to leave the European Union, global markets are in freefall, with some economists already predicting a new global recession. But this worst-case scenario for Europe may actually work out in favor of the New York real estate industry – with one big caveat. Here’s what New York City can expect:

1.     Continued low interest rates

The Federal Reserve already backtracked on its plans to continue raising interest rates this year. Britain’s vote to leave the EU creates further global uncertainty and raises the specter of a recession, making it more likely that the Fed will delay raising rates even longer. That, taken strictly by itself, is good news for New York’s real estate industry. It means cheap financing.

“Mortgage rates will tumble following the Brexit vote, possibly hitting new record lows,” wrote Bankrate’s chief financial analyst Greg McBride. And it means the spreads between bond yields and commercial real estate cap rates are unlikely to shrink, which should help prop up property prices. (If interest rates rise, cap rates typically rise too: No one buys an office building with a 4-percent cap rate if you can get virtually risk-free treasury bonds with a 5-percent yield. If cap rates rise, property prices by definition fall.)

From left: One Hyde Park in London and 220 Central Park Sout in Manhattan

From left: One Hyde Park in London and 220 Central Park South in Manhattan

2.    Move over, ol’ chap: NYC likely to push ahead of London in luxury residential race

Remember when London was the most popular city for foreign billionaires looking to stash their cash in some luxury penthouses? Well, those days could soon be over. A collapsing pound, likely economic turmoil in Britain, and uncertainty over London’s future role and status within Europe will likely put an immediate damper on London’s property market. In an analysis released Fridaymorning, London-based brokerage Knight Frank did its best to comfort Britain’s property owners, saying “it should be remembered that the UK is a country with 60 million wealthy consumers.”

But the damage is done. By appearing more stable in comparison, New York City is set to benefit and may well attract more wealthy buyers seeking a stable and safe market to invest in.

300x2003. NYC real estate to become more attractive as a global asset class

It’s not just that New York real estate will now be more attractive compared to London – it may also become more appealing relative to stocks and bonds. In times of extreme uncertainty, investors tend to flee the financial markets and invest in more stable assets. On Friday morning, the price of gold and Treasury bonds both shot up. New York real estate (both commercial and residential) is widely considered one of the safer investments — BlackRock’s Larry Fink recently described it taking over gold’s traditional role as an “instrument for the storing of wealth.” 

Expect more money to flow in.

From left: Ricky Gervais and Steve Carell

From left: Ricky Gervais and Steve Carell

4.     New York’s office investment sales market just got a boost

London and New York are the world’s two largest office markets. London has been the world’s financial capital for two centuries, but in recent years, its place within the European Union played a big role in keeping things that way. Back in April, the head of Land Securities, Britain’s largest commercial real estate company, warned that Brexit would lead to a “demand shock” for London’s office market as economic turmoil hits and financial firms move jobs to continental Europe. The popularity of London and New York commercial real estate is fanned by the fact that they are “perceived by mainstream investors to be the most likely to deliver strong rental growth in the coming few years,” a Real Capital Analytics report noted last summer. As one falters, the other stands to benefit by becoming more appealing to major office investors. “Too many things are “TBD” in London right now, so NYC office, multifamily and high street retail will likely benefit from even more capital flows,” wrote Daniel Parker of Hodges Ward Elliott.

And here’s the big caveat:

All of the above only really matters if the world economy stays in decent shape. But if Brexit leads to an economic crisis in Europe that spills over into a global recession, no one in New York’s real estate industry will fondly recall the day Britain voted to leave the EU.

ASB to pay Thor $90M for Dolce & Gabbana’s Soho home

Joseph Sitt’s firm paid $27M for 155 Mercer Street

June 24, 2016 08:00AM


From left: 155 Mercer Street, Joseph Sitt and Helen Hwang

From left: 155 Mercer Street, Joseph Sitt and Helen Hwang

Three years after shelling out $27 million for a Soho retail building, Joseph Sitt’s Thor Equities is selling 155 Mercer Street for $90 million.

Bethesda, Md.-based ASB Real Estate Investments is in contact on the 14,600-square-foot property, which is fully leased to luxury fashion house Dolce & Gabbana, Commercial Observer reported.

Thor put the four-story building located between Prince and West Houston streets on the market earlier this year, as The Real Deal reported. Last year, Dolce & Gabbana signed a triple-net lease to occupy the entire property, which Thor is in the middle of revamping for the retailer’s use. Renovations included a restoration of the 1854 façade and a new storefront.

Thor acquired the property, a former firehouse, for $27.3 million in 2013 from the nonprofit Joyce Theater Foundation. The building is located in the Soho’s Cast Iron District, and has ceiling heights ranging from 15 to 21 feet as well as 45 feet of frontage. The average ground-floor retail asking rents in the area are $600 to $800 per square foot.

Meridian Capital Group’s Helen Hwang was marketing the property. “The opportunity to control a standalone retail property of this size anywhere in Manhattan is a rarity,” she told TRD earlier this year.

Thor also owns retail co-ops at 169 Mercer Street and 424 Broome. It recently sold a retail co-op at 138 Greene Street for $38.5 million. [CO] — E.B. Solomont

Ivanhoe Cambridge pays $913M for remainder of 1211 Sixth

Canadian firm had bought 51 percent stake in 2013

June 17, 2016 06:00PM

by Konrad Putzier

Canadian investment firm Ivanhoe Cambridge and their U.S. investment partner Callahan Capital paid $913 million for the remaining 49 percent stake in the office tower at 1211 Sixth Avenue, according to public records filed with the city Thursday.

Ivanhoe, the real estate investment arm of Canadian pension fund manager Caisse de Depot et placement du Quebec, bought a 51 percent stake in the tower in June 2013. At the time, the deal valued the building at $1.75 billion.

Boston-based Beacon Capital Partners had the remaining 49 percent stake.

The 2 million-square-foot tower is home to NewsCorp and 21st Century Fox. The Rupert Murdoch-controlled media companies considered leaving the tower and last year signed a letter of intent to move to Silverstein Properties’ 2 World Trade Center, but changed track and instead renewed their leases at 1211 and 1185 Sixth Avenue.

Ivanhoe Cambridge is one of New York’s most active real estate investment firms. Last year, the company partnered with the Blackstone Group on the $5.3 billion purchase of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village

Waldorf Astoria may convert 1,000 rooms into luxury condos

Anbang Insurance Group bought the 47-story hotel for $1.95 billion in 2014

by Joe Anuta

Photo: Buck Ennis
The Waldorf Astoria may contain condo units for sale.

The owner of the 47-story Waldorf Astoria New York may be planning to convert about 1,000 hotel rooms at the landmarked property into luxury condos, according to several sources.

China-based Anbang Insurance Group purchased the hotel, located at 301 Park Ave., for $1.95 billion in late 2014. After the transaction closed months later, the firm’s chairman, Wu Xiaohui,alluded to conversion plans for the structure’s two towers without delving into specifics.

According to sources, Anbang’s vision is now coming into focus. Out of the hotel’s nearly 1,400 hotel rooms, the company may be gearing up to covert about 1,000 of them into luxury condos.

A conversion of that scale would be consistent with a filing Anbang submitted to the city in early 2015, when it subdivided the building into different sections for condos, a hotel and retail. Anbang set aside 1.2 million square feet—approximately 75% of the building—for residential use, according to the document filed with the city’s Department of Finance, though it did not specify how much space would be used for amenities or for hotel ballrooms.

A spokesman for Anbang said the filing was made over a year ago as part of the purchase process, and didn’t actually reflect what would be done with the site. “We continue to explore all options, and no definitive plans have been finalized at this time,” the spokesman said in a statement.

Currently, the Waldorf is split into two sections: the 1,232-room hotel itself and a 181-room boutique hotel called the Towers, which has its own entrance on East 50th Street and also features a number of one- and two-bedroom rentals.

Earlier this year, the company filed separate permits with the city to gut the 12th and 24th floors. Anbang indicated that the demolition was part of an exploratory process to discover how a broader renovation might be carried out. But until that survey process is complete, the firm said it has no idea how much of the residential set-aside it will actually end up using.

In order to convert hotel units into condos, Anbang would have to file plans with the state attorney general’s office.

Last year, the City Council passed a law banning hotels with more than 150 units from converting over 20% of the property into residences for two years without going through a lengthy city public review process. However, the legislation exempted recent transactions, including the Waldorf Astoria. Shortly after the legislation passed, Hilton Worldwide, which will continue to operate the hotel component, struck a deal with the Hotel and Motel Trade Council regarding severance pay for the service workers on sit

Gary Barnett-owned Manhattan site may be home to the Northeast’s inaugural Hard Rock Hotel

Hard Rock will unveil the hotel’s location Monday

by Daniel Geiger

Photo: Bloomberg News
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casio in Las Vegas

Could a site owned by Gary Barnett’s Extell Development Co. be the home of New York’s first Hard Rock Hotel?

Barnett has assembled several parcels on the west side of Eighth Avenue between West 45th and 46th streets, including a garage he purchased last summer for nearly $46 million, to create a development site that can accommodate a soaring tower.

Hard Rock plans to announce Monday the location of what the firm says will be its first hotel in the Northeast U.S., in a partnership with Barnett. Hard Rock, owned by the American Indian Seminole Tribe in Florida, operates a successful restaurant in Times Square.

Neither Barnett nor a spokesperson for Hard Rock would comment on the location, which the company plans to unveil Monday.

Barnett owns other properties in the area, including a development site at 1710 Broadway at the north end of Times Square that can accommodate a super-tall skyscraper and is also a potential location for the Hard Rock. Sources said Hard Rock had been looking to secure a location in Times Square for several years and had previously considered a development site on the north side of West 42nd Street, between Eighth and Ninth avenues, that is currently a parking lot.

Barnett has been one of the city’s most prolific builders. In the early 2000s, he built a tower for the W Hotel in Times Square on West 47th Street. He is currently erecting the city’s tallest tower by roof height on Billionaire’s Row on West 57th Street, a 1,550-foot spire that will have a seven-story Nordstrom department store at its base.

Hard Rock is trying to secure approval to build a proposed $1 billion casino in the Meadowlands—a plan that has been met with opposition from some New Jersey officials who say it would create competition to the flagging casinos in Atlantic City.

“It’s the ultimate entertainment brand in that it connects lodging with music and the product keeps reinventing itself as music evolves,” said Mark Gordon, a hotel developer. “It will be successful in New York City, and Times Square is the best location for a brand like Hard Rock.”


LaGuardia terminal’s $4 billion revamp will finally begin

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, with LaGuardia Gateway Partners, has sealed the biggest public-private partnership in the history of the agency  by Daniel Geiger

Photo: Associated Press

LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal Building will be getting a much needed makeover.

A consortium of private partners closed on a deal Wednesday to develop a $4 billion replacement to the maligned LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal Building and operate the new facility through 2050.

The agreement marks the completion of the biggest public-private partnership in the history of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns and operates the region’s major airports. The Port Authority entered into the deal with the consortium, LaGuardia Gateway Partners.

The group, whose members include airport operator Vantage Airport Group, construction firm Skanska and the investment company Meridiam, won the bid for the project last May. But a competition last year to create a more holistic redesign of the entire airport delayed the deal’s closing, and political wrangling at the Port Authority also almost derailed the plan in recent months.

“Today’s contractual closing of the public-private partnership and the imminent commencement of construction represent a huge step forward,” Pat Foye, the Port Authority’s executive director, said in a statement. “The new terminal will be a 21st-century facility offering a high level of customer service and amenities.”

LaGuardia Gateway Partners will begin work on the project this summer, first demolishing a large parking garage in front of the current Central Terminal. The new 1.3 million-square-foot building will rise on that site and feature dual pedestrian bridges spanning active aircraft taxi lanes that connect the terminal to two island concourses. The islands-and-bridges design—the first of its kind to be built at a major airport—allows for improved airline circulation and gate flexibility, which will help reduce airport delays.

Last month, the consortium raised about $2.5 billion through a municipal bond offering to finance the project. The structure of the deal reduces, but does not eliminate, investment in the project required from the Port Authority, whose capital budget is under strain. As part of the agreement, the consortium will pay roughly $1.8 billion of the new terminal’s cost, with the Port responsible for the remaining $2.2 billion, much of which will be used to pay for infrastructure around the new terminal.

By taking on the construction for the bulk of the project, LaGuardia Gateway Partners will assume the risk of completing it on time and on budget. In return, LaGuardia Gateway Partners will receive a cut of the revenue generated at the new facility—from retail tenants and/or fees from airline companies using the new terminal—when complete.

“We are committed to delivering this project on time and within budget,” said Stewart Steeves,LaGuardia Gateway Partners’s CEO, in a statement. “Our focus on delivering a great customer experience is rooted in knowing that an airport terminal is the first and last experience a passenger may have when visiting a city and region. We will build and operate a facility that New Yorkers can be proud of.”

Port Authority staff spent years securing a private partner to rebuild the Central Terminal Building, but in late 2014 the effort, then in midstream, was complicated when Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a design competition to solicit ideas on a wider revamp of the airport. The process resulted in substantial design changes to the Central Terminal Building, requiring the developers to include a grand entranceway that would serve as a front door to the entire airport and through which passengers could walk to neighboring terminal buildings, which would be built by Delta Air Lines. The modification added roughly $400 million to the terminal building’s cost.

Then in March, Port Authority chairman John Degnan, a New Jersey appointee at the bistate agency, threatened to pull his support for the LaGuardia deal unless a new $10 billion Port Authority Bus Terminal on Manhattan’s West Side was also placed in the agency’s $30 billion capital plan. Degnan eventually backed the LaGuardia deal after Scott Rechler, the Port Authority’s former vice chairman and a New York appointee, relented on his call to explore other options for the bus terminal’s redevelopment. Rechler called the quid pro quo a “horse trade.”