RAMSA’s 220 Central Park South Getting Finishing Touches on Billionaires’ Row

RAMSA’s 220 Central Park South Getting Finishing Touches on Billionaires’ Row – New York YIMBY

220 Central Park South, designed by Robert A. M. Stern.

By: Michael Young 8:00 am on July 1, 2019

The finishing exterior touches are going on 220 Central Park South, Robert A. M. Stern Architects’ tallest project in New York City. The 67-story residential tower contains 593,000 square feet of newly built space and stands 950 feet tall above Central Park South. The classically inspired, pre-war evocative skyscraper is clearly visible from Columbus Circle and the southern end of Central Park. SLCE Architects is the executive architect, the interiors are being designed by Thierry W. Despont, and Vornado Realty Trust is the developer of the $1.4 billion dollar development. The firm is expecting a projected $3.4 billion sellout.

Looking up the full height of the southern elevation. Photo by Michael Young

The crown of 220 Central Park South is nearly finished. Photo by Michael Young

The mechanical hoist that used to be attached to the eastern elevation is now completely disassembled. Work on the motor courtyard is progressing, and some large trees have already been delivered and planted in the center of the outdoor space.

Looking at the motor courtyard. Photo by Michael Young

The ornamental and decorative grilles for the mechanical ventilation on the lower floors have also gone in place.

The ornamental grilles for the ventilation on the lower floor can be seen from street level. Photo by Michael Young

This tower joins Robert A. M. Stern Architects’ other projects in Midtown, including 15 Central Park West and 520 Park Avenue. The property made headlines in January, when its 23,000-square foot penthouse was purchased by Ken Griffin for $238 million, becoming the most expensive home sale in United States history.

An exact completion date 220 Central Park South has not been formally announced. But the project could be done by the end of this year or early 2021 at the very latest.

FAA Permits Submitted for 841-Foot-Tall Tower at 30 Journal Square, in Jersey City

FAA Permits Submitted for 841-Foot-Tall Tower at 30 Journal Square, in Jersey City – New York YIMBY

30 Journal Square, image by Morris Adjmi Architects

By: Michael Young 7:30 am on June 28, 2019

Permits have been submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for work on 30 Journal Square, a proposed 841-foot-tall mixed-use skyscraper in Jersey City. Located at the southern corner of Slip Avenue and Bergen Avenue, the project is being designed by Morris Adjmi Architects and developed by Kushner Companies, which acquired the site for $3.575 million in 2013. The permits filed are for work between December 2019 and December 2022, so activity at the site could begin by the end of the year.

Kushner’s website indicates that 30 Journal Square will have 741 residential units, 15,000 square feet of retail space, and nearly 100,000 square feet of office space. A curated sculpture garden will sit on the ground floor. The outside curtain wall features a bold pattern that goes up the entire height, and incorporates what appears to be expansive outdoor balconies on the residential portion. Situated on a hilltop, the tower will give future residents and tenants clear views of the downtown Jersey City skyline, Lower Manhattan, and Midtown, as well as plenty of daylight.

The PATH trains at Journal Square are a five-minute walk from the property. Along with the nearby trio of residential skyscrapers at Journal Square, the construction at 30 Journal Square will help contribute to this isolated section of the Jersey City skyline. The development also sits 91 feet above ground level, which will visually elevate the height of the proposed skyscraper. In addition, these two large projects will revitalize and invigorate this part of the city with more living spaces and new energy.

If the FAA permits are any indicator, work is expected to wrap by December of 2022.

Sentinel Capital Partners becomes latest firm to ink deal at One Vanderbilt

Marc Holliday and rendering of One Vanderbilt

Private equity company will lease entire 51st floor of the office property

By Eddie Small | June 03, 2019 11:45AM

David Lobel’s Sentinel Capital Partners has inked a 15-year lease for the entire 51st floor at SL Green Realty’s One Vanderbilt, the real estate investment trust announced on Monday.

The private equity firm will occupy just over 28,000 square feet overall, and the deal means that the office tower is now 59 percent leased. Construction on the project has reached the 73rd floor, and it should top out in the summer of 2019. The entire 1.7 million-square-foot building is expected to be open by August 2020.ADVERTISING

Other major leases at the building include fellow private equity firms the Carlyle Group and KPS Capital Partners, law firms McDermott, Will & Emery and Greenberg Traurig, anchor tenant TD Bank, and SL Green itself. Chef Daniel Boulud has also partnered with SL Green to develop a restaurant in the building.

Lance Korman and Brian Waterman of Newmark Knight Frank represented Sentinel Capital Partners in the deal, while Robert Alexander, Ryan Alexander, Emily Jones and Alex D’Amario of CBRE represented SL Green.

In January 2018, The Real Deal analyzed the complicated financing of the $3 billion-plus office tower.

Marriott Will Build a 26-Story Hotel in Just 90 Days

Laura Itzkowitz April 23rd, 2019

The world’s largest hotel company will soon lay claim to having the world’s tallest modular hotel when the AC Hotel New York NoMad debuts next year. Unlike, well, pretty much every other hotel ever built, this one isn’t expected to take years or even decades to build. Instead, Marriott says the project will be completed in just 90 days.

“In North America, the construction process hasn’t changed significantly in 150 years and it’s ripe for innovation,” Eric Jacobs, Marriott International’s chief development officer of North American select and extended stay-brands, said in a statement. “The world’s tallest modular hotel, in one of the world’s greatest destinations, will act as a game-changing symbol to ignite even greater interest in modular among the real estate and lending industries.”

The hotel’s 168 rooms will be fabricated in a factory in Poland complete with painted walls, flooring, beds, sheets, pillows and even bath products. The finished modules will be shipped to New York City, trucked in during the night to avoid traffic and assembled on site. The lobby and restaurant will be built using traditional construction methods, but the rooftop bar is expected to be modular, too. The 26-story tower will rise 360 feet tall at 30th Street and 6th Avenue.

Image courtesy of Marriott International.
Image courtesy of Marriott International.

Construction will begin in the fall and is expected to take about three months — much faster than traditional construction. According to modular expert Danny Forster, whose firm, Danny Forster & Architecture, designed the project, construction will take place at, “the rate of an entire floor per day.”

Marriott cites the fast construction pace as a result of the ability to build the public spaces on site using standard processes while simultaneously fabricating the rooms off-site. The brand also claims that prefabrication, “curbs site waste and noise, and results in a higher-quality product produced with factory-level precision.”

The process requires more capital upfront, however,  which can make these kinds of projects harder to finance.

Modular construction isn’t entirely unprecedented in New York City, but it’s still unusual. The Pod Brooklyn was built using this process, and so was the design-forward CitizenM Bowery, which opened last year. Marriott has built a handful of hotels using modular construction, but this will be the brand’s most ambitious application of the unusual method to date.

Featured image courtesy of Marriott International.

City Council gives green light for JMorgan’s new headquarters in Midtown East

Bank’s massive new project is the first to take advantage of the Midtown East rezoning

By Eddie Small | May 08, 2019 04:11PM

 270 Park Avenue and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon (Credit: Google Maps and Wikipedia)

270 Park Avenue and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon (Credit: Google Maps and Wikipedia)

The City Council unanimously approved the massive new headquarters for JPMorgan on Wednesday, the first project to take advantage of New York’s Midtown East rezoning.

The Council approved the rezoning in August 2017, clearing the way for 6.5 million square feet of new office space to go up across more than 70 blocks in the neighborhood.

JPMorgan then announced in February 2018 that it would stay and rebuild its global headquarters in Midtown. The new headquarters will stand 1,400 feet and 70 stories tall, and it will allow the company to consolidate employees who are currently working out of multiple different locations.

The bank has already started demolition work on the existing 52-story building, and it expects to start construction on the new building in 2021. The new headquarters will include 10,000 square feet of public open space along the base of the tower, which the bank increased from the previously planned 7,000 square feet following pushback from the community.

Other massive projects being planned for Midtown East include a 1,450-foot tower at 350 Park Avenue from Vornado Realty Trust and Rudin Management and a 1,500-foot tower at 14 East 52nd Streetfrom Harry Macklowe.

Compass doesn’t know how it will turn a profit off slate of new services

Compass COO Maëlle Gavet and CEO Robert Reffkin (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

UPDATED, April 23, 5:53 p.m.: Even at a $4.4 billion valuation, Compass is still navigating how to make money off its newer services.

“We’re not yet at a stage where I have a very clear monetization strategy because we haven’t really talked about it,” chief operating officer Maëlle Gavet told the Wall Street Journal. The brokerage, with a $1.2 billion war chest, has lured agents with perks like full commission splits, stock options and massive marketing budgets — but doesn’t yet have a clear plan to turn a profit on a slate of new services.

CEO Robert Reffkin told the Journal the company to make money through ancillary services like title, mortgage and insurance services — but it’s unclear how. Earlier this year, Compass hired Google alum Max Henderson to help guide the effort.

Unlike like other major brokerages in the city, Compass has relied on an influx of venture capital money, namely from SoftBank, to fund its significant spending. Plus, a potential IPO is on the horizon. But to some in the industry, that approach doesn’t make sense.

“Are you a charity or are you a real estate company?” Bess Freedman, CEO of Brown Harris Stevens, told the Journal.

Compass has chased massive growth across the country, putting pressure on competing brokerages to keep up. In 2018, Compass expanded from 37 markets to 122, hired over 1,000 employees and signed on almost 6,000 new agents, Reffkin previously said in a company-wide email. Under its “20/20 by 2020” plan, the brokerage would reach a 20 percent market share in each of the top 20 markets by 2020.

In New York, growth has primarily entailed poaching agents — but earlier this year, Compass struck a deal to acquire Stribling & Associates. Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed. Its aggressive strategy hasn’t always sat well with other players in the industry. At a recent panel, Freedman likened the approach to chasing after another man’s wife. And last week, Zillow Group slammed Compass with two lawsuits, alleging the brokerage hired three top technology staffers in violation of their non-competes as it staffed up its new tech hub in Seattle. The lawsuits also claim that Compass actively sought to obtain proprietary information from Zillow to avoid building its own technology.

Compass also launched a commercial division — but nine months in, has only done a handful of deals. The team has grown to include 30 full-time commercial brokers in New York, and will expand further. In addition, the company said it has around 70 brokers nationwide who conduct sporadic commercial transactions.

Reffkin told the Journal that Compass still has a majority of its $1.2 billion in venture-capital money that can be deployed.

“Short term profitability is something that many of the more modern companies are not as focused on,” he told the outlet. [WSJ] — Meenal Vamburkar

Chinese real estate investments face mounting debt concerns

Investors are now seeking to get repaid on their investments

March 03, 2019 09:00AM

Debt is a pressing concern for China (Credit: Pixabay)

As half-finished real estate projects span throughout parts of rural China, investors are seeking to collect on their debt payments.

Investors bought debt in areas outside the major Chinese cities are now growing worried about getting their money back amid a weakening economy and tighter regulations on bank lending, according to the Wall Street Journal.AdChoicesADVERTISING

Local governments in China along with more than 2,000 financing companies have trillions of dollars of debt that have now come due on these projects. And some of these local governments are having trouble coming up with the money, the Journal reported.

In once instance, the Journal said the rural county of Sandu owes a projected two billion yuan ($297.6 million) in payments in 2019, almost three times the county’s annual revenue.

Overall, debt remains a pressing concern for the country. Official figures estimated the total of local and central government debt in 2017 was 29.95 trillion yuan ($4.457 trillion) — almost 36 percent of the entire economy. [WSJ] — Keith LarsenTags: china, Commercial Real Estate, Real

Brookfield’s $2 Billion Two Manhattan West Will Rise Without Anchor Tenant As One Manhattan West Nears Finish Line, in Midtown West

The renovated 5 Manhattan West, image via Brookfield

By: Michael Youngg 8:00 am on February 5, 2019

Brookfield is officially set to construct Two Manhattan West without an anchor tenant. The near-supertall tower will be the second-tallest skyscraper in the Manhattan West complex, comprising two million square feet of space, rising 935 feet to its rooftop, and enclosing 62 floors of office space, all at a cost of approximately $2 billion. Meanwhile, work on One Manhattan West is wrapping up, with the facade closing in on completion along the upper floors, while the construction crane is now coming down on the northern elevation.

Crane coming down at One Manhattan West. Two Manhattan West will rise to the south of the tower. Photo by YIMBY user, City_Streets

Crane coming down at One Manhattan West. Photo by YIMBY user, City_Streets

When completed, all six structures will encompass around six million square feet of refurbished and newly constructed office space. Crain’s Daniel Geiger was the first to report on Brookfield’s plan to proceed without an anchor tenant.

Skidmore Owings & Merrill is the design team behind the new twin glass towers. Sitting among the footprints will be a two-acre public park designed by James Corner Field Operations, retail space covering around 250,000 square feet, and a boutique hotel at Four Manhattan West dubbed The Pendry Hotel. That building is expected to be completed around 2021. The Eugene at 3 Manhattan West opened in 2017 as the first completed building, and stands 730 feet tall with 844 new apartments.

Five Manhattan West is the only existing building previously on site, and underwent a complete exterior renovation and makeover. Covered in a new exterior of reflective glass panels, the 15-story building is getting ready for leases from Amazon, JP Morgan Chase, and the NHL. The NHL will also have a 15,000 square foot retail superstore, and is set to join Whole Foods and a Peloton fitness center in the central retail courtyard.

The Pendry Hotel, rendering via Manhattan West

The renovated 5 Manhattan West, image via Brookfield

Two Manhattan West is expected to be completed around 2022.

Lingering listings: Manhattans five slowest resi markets


These neighborhoods have slowed significantly.

December 02, 2018 03:30PM

(Credit: iStock)

It’s no secret that the market slowdown has kept listings on the market for longer. But the shift in a few Manhattan neighborhoods has been particularly pronounced.

The median number of days on market for listings in Manhattan is up to 96, according to StreetEasy Market Reports. That’s a week longer than last year.

Time on market in Battery Park City, however, has shot up by four weeks to 99 days. The median sale price is $902,500. The change is due in part to sellers’ unrealistic expectations and lack of willingness to adjust pricing, the report said.

The latest data comes as the Manhattan residential market has seen a prolonged slowdown. In the third quarter, the number of sales dipped 11.3 percent over the same period last year, according to Douglas Elliman. Prices keep falling too: the median sales price slid 4.5 percent to $1.1 million.

The Upper East Side was second most-affected on the list, with days on market increasing by 25 days to 109. It’s now one of the city’s slowest sales markets, the report said. The UES is faring only slight better than Central Park South, where median days on market was last reported at 114.

The Upper West Side and Chelsea rounded out the list, with increases of 20 days and 17 days, respectively. [StreetEasy] — Meenal Vamburkar