First Exterior Stone Panels Installed At 39 West 23rd Street In The Flatiron District

39 West 23rd Street. Photo by Michael Young


Curtain wall work is progressing at 39 West 23rd Street, a 24-story residential project in the Flatiron District. Designed by COOKFOX Architects and developed by Anbau Enterprises, the development consists of two structures separated by an internal courtyard.

39 West 23rd Street, rendering by COOKFOX

39 West 23rd Street. Rendering by COOKFOX

Recent photos show the state of exterior work on the building, which is located on the northern side of West 23rd Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. One of the most noticeable places of progress is on the western lot line wall, where thin, narrowly spaced horizontal bars subtly protrude, adding an interesting texture to the façade.

39 West 23rd Street, rendering by COOKFOX

The other more recent area of concentrated work is on the bottom floor of the southern profile, where workers were spotted installing the first set of warm-colored stone panels around the metal perimeter framework above the ground floor.

The metal railings, and overhanging shrubbery as part of the more subtle design aspects of 39 West 23rd Street have yet to go in. Below we see the southern elevation awaiting to be externally enclosed.

The following renderings depict the finished look of the project.

Workers have painted part of the walls above the main setback toward the top floors. The earth-toned color appears to be the final treatment for this portion of 39 West 23rd Street.

Meanwhile, fenestration work is progressing on the the upper levels of the eastern profile that cantilevers over its abutting low-rise neighbor. We expect this area to emulate the same architectural design as the front of the building.

The development will span a total of 118,00 square feet and yield 44 units. Four residences will be designated as affordable rentals. Residential layouts vary between single-floor homes and duplexes, including some with their own private outdoor terraces. Amenities include a fitness center, a residential lounge, a children’s playroom, a communal outdoor landscaped terrace, and a 25-car garage below street level.

A definite completion date for 39 West 23rd Street is unclear, but sometime within 2021 is likely.

The Spiral Ascends Past The Halfway Mark At 66 Hudson Boulevard In Hudson Yards

The Spiral. Photo by Michael Young


Construction has passed the halfway mark on Bjarke Ingels Group‘s 1,031-foot-tall 66 Hudson Boulevard, aka The Spiral. The $3.7 billion, 66-story Hudson Yards supertall is being developed by Tishman Speyer with Turner Construction Company as the construction manager. Banker Steel is in charge of manufacturing the steel and Permasteelisa is the contractor for the glass enclosure.

The Spiral (left) rising to the north of Hudson Yards. Photo by Michael Young

Recent photos from the north and west along Eleventh Avenue show the massive steel superstructure gaining prominence over the neighborhood.

The Spiral. Photo by Michael Young

The Spiral (left) and 55 Hudson Yards (right) Photo by Michael Young

The installation of the reflective glass curtain wall is making steady progress among the lower floors above the multi-level podium. The signature stepped setbacks that give the building its nickname are becoming more readily apparent, outlined by the void in the envelope. These steps will eventually be topped by landscaped outdoor terraces.

The Spiral and One Vanderbilt in the background. Photo by Michael Young

The Spiral. Photo by Michael Young

The Spiral. Photo by Michael Young

The Spiral. Photo by Michael Young

The Spiral. Photo by Michael Young

Construction has been neck and neck with the simultaneous ascent of  Foster + Partners‘ 50 Hudson Yards just across the street to the south. Though the reinforced concrete core of 50 Hudson Yards has been rising slightly ahead of the Spiral, BIG’s supertall should begin to overtake it as the building massing reduces in size with each floor. This will be the tallest structure to rise to the north of Related’s Hudson Yards development and will extend the western edge of the Midtown skyline closer toward the Lincoln Tunnel, located a few blocks away.

The Spiral (left) and 50 Hudson Yards (right). Photo by Michael Young

YIMBY last announced that The Spiral is estimated to be finished sometime in 2022.

YIMBY Interviews Douglas Durst, Of The Durst Organization

from the FORTIS editors:

we decided to run this article from March since the pandemic prevented us from aknowledging important information to our clients.

Have a happy Labor Day!

Photo by Michael Young


When it comes to new development in New York City, one of the most prolific and notable of the current firms in existence is The Durst Organization, which previously led the construction of One World Trade Center in a public-private partnership with The Port Authority. YIMBY recently interviewed its eponymous head, Douglas Durst, who gave updates on the firm’s major new Long Island City project, dubbed Sven, as well as a range of other topics.

YIMBY in bold.

What major projects are you working on at the moment?

We have Sven in Long Island City, which is a 70-30 rental residential building with 958 units.

When is Sven expected to top out, and when do you expect it will open for leasing?

It was going to top out [next week], but we won’t have a topping out event. Leasing will occur about a year from now.

Sven, photo by Michael Young

Do you think the 12,000 affordable units planned for Sunnyside Yards would be better built elsewhere given the per-unit cost will be over $1 million?

I don’t know the entire project, but building affordable on a very expensive platform does not make a lot of sense.

Do you see the residential boom in Long Island City eventually being accompanied by new office towers (besides Tishman’s new project)? Or do you think this helps other neighborhoods like Hudson Yards more than LIC?

I think they will be building more office buildings in Long Island City. Its transportation network, proximity to Manhattan and density make it an obvious choice for a commercial district. It is a compelling location for a large corporate headquarters.10 Halletts Point Hero View, rendering courtesy the Durst Organization

10 Halletts Point Hero View, rendering courtesy the Durst Organization

If you could pick three neighborhoods for high-density residential upzonings, which would they be and why?

I would think Mott HavenAstoria, and Washington Heights/Inwood region. Neighborhoods where there is access to public transportation, there needs to be density. That is not only smart growth, but sustainable.

Do you think the rapid expansion of landmarked districts across the city is now negatively impacting housing affordability?

To a degree, [but] there are so many things that are impacting housing affordability, such as zoning and real estate taxes.

What caused your change of heart over Pier55?

Governor Cuomo. He committed to completing Hudson River Park and is getting it done.

Pier 55, photo by Michael Young

Besides Pier55, what other major public projects currently underway are you most looking forward to?

I’m not particularly looking forward to Pier 55, but [rather] the completion of the Jacob K. Javits CenterPier 40 and Pier 76, and the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center.

What do you think the best path forward is for fixing the city’s crumbling transit infrastructure, especially the subway?

There has to be dedicated resources and a dedicated revenue stream, but the bureaucracy involved in having the MTA on top of the operating entities is very inefficient.1800 Park Avenue

Previously proposed plan for 1800 Park Avenue. Rendering by ODA New York.

What’s next in the pipeline after you finish Sven?

We have a project at 1800 Park Avenue, a project in Philadelphia, and we are rebuilding 825 Third Avenue. 1800 Park Avenue is a site across from the Metro North station in Harlem and we are working it out to become a residential development.

TRDxWNYC: Reporter Kathryn Brenzel on surging vacancies

Radio spot covers which units are emptying out and whether rent caps will be liftedTRD New York /August 20, 2020 02:35 PM By Raji Pandya

From the Fortis Editor: although we try to provide meaningful and positive information regarding real estate generally, and Manhattan/NYC real estate in particular, we need to show the impact of Covid 19 on our economy and lifestyle in NYC. This article touches on some of the issues we are facing. But if you are forward thinking and can stomach the possibilities, opportunities may exist in these times. Buyer beware, of course.

The Real Deal's Kathryn Brenzel and WNYC’s Sean Carlson

The Real Deal’s Kathryn Brenzel and WNYC’s Sean Carlson

The apartment vacancy rate in New York City has doubled or tripled, depending on who’s counting. Whatever the number, it’s the highest in memory. The Real Deal senior reporter Kathryn Brenzel appeared on WNYC this morning to discuss what this means for landlords, tenants, and the city’s housing market.

Brenzel noted that the rise in vacancy appears most pronounced at the higher end of the rental market. In an effort to fill apartments and retain tenants, landlords have been offering concessions in the form of reduced rent, a month or more of free rent, and waivers on fees associated with leases.ADVERTISING

While these measures give tenants a leg up in negotiations with landlords, a climbing vacancy rate could pose a threat to rent stabilization in the city. Under the state law enacting it, if the rate reaches 5%, the housing emergency would be over and rent stabilization would end.

But Brenzel told WNYC’s Sean Carlson that New York politicians are intent on keeping the system intact. The vacancy rate on which it hinges is usually calculated every three years, but is being pushed back a year to 2022 so the survey does not conflict with the census. That means rent caps are safe until then. “It’s too soon to say that rent stabilization is in peril,” Brenzel said.

SL Green moves to foreclose on Thor’s 590 Fifth Ave

REIT holds a $25M mezzanine loan on the 19-story propertyTRD New York /August 17, 2020 10:05 AMStaff

SL Green CEO Marc Holliday, 590 Fifth Avenue and Thor Equities CEO Joseph Sitt (Holliday via Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images; Google Maps)

SL Green CEO Marc Holliday, 590 Fifth Avenue and Thor Equities CEO Joseph Sitt (Holliday via Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images; Google Maps)

SL Green Realty, which has been looking to its loan books for cash in recent months, is foreclosing on a Fifth Avenue office tower.

Joe Sitt’s Thor Equities has defaulted on a $25 million mezzanine note on 590 Fifth Avenue from SL Green, according to Business Insider. The real estate investment trust has scheduled a foreclosure auction on the 19-story, 100,000-square-foot building for Oct. 15.ADVERTISING

Thor had reportedly tried to reposition the building’s store space into a flagship retail opportunity but was not successful, according to the publication. The property sits between west 47th and 48th streets.

Several tenants at the building had stopped paying rent amid the pandemic, resulting in Thor’s default on the loan, a source told Business Insider. Among those tenants was Knotel, but a spokesperson for the company declined to comment on the status of its rental payments at the building. A spokesperson for Thor also declined to comment to Business Insider.ADVERTISEMENT

Foreclosing on a property as a mezzanine lender means SL Green will have to take over payments on the building’s $83 million senior mortgage. [BI— Akiko Matsuda

Here’s the real estate record for Kamala Harris

California senator failed to go after Mnuchin’s OneWest, but secured a major settlement from big banks for mortgage-servicing violationsTRD NATIONAL /August 11, 2020 07:00 PM By Georgia Kromrei

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden (Getty)

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden (Getty)

While serving as California attorney general, Kamala Harris could have gone after Steve Mnuchin for alleged mortgage fraud at his company, OneWest, but didn’t.

OneWest foreclosed on more than 36,000 California homeowners in the years following the Great Recession. Harris’ office conducted a preliminary investigation, and deputy attorneys general recommended the state take action, but no charges were brought.

On other occasions, however, Harris, who was just named by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as his pick for vice president, has taken the battle to the industry.

In 2012, she negotiated the second-largest civil settlement in U.S. history for predatory practices that contributed to the foreclosure crisis, securing $25 billion for homeowners from the country’s biggest lenders, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup. Though the banks had agreed upon a far lower amount with the Obama administration and other states, Harris played hardball, walking away from the table until the banks agreed to cough up billions of dollars more.ADVERTISEMENT

Harris is the first African-American female vice presidential candidate — in a year when longstanding racial tensions have roiled communities. The police killing of George Floyd unleashed a public outcry and nationwide protests against police brutality. The haphazard federal response to the Covid-19 crisis has also given more force to criticism of President Donald Trump, whose Wall Street donors have mostly abandoned him in favor of Biden.

James Whelan, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, called Harris’ nomination an “exciting moment” that will impact generations to come.

“In a country as diverse as ours, we must continue to make strides like these to include a broader spectrum of voices in every industry and every institution, including the highest office in the land,” he said in a statement.

A lot has happened since Harris threw her hat in the ring for the Democratic presidential nomination. She officially withdrew her candidacy on December 3, 2019, and endorsed Biden three months later.ADVERTISEMENT

Her presidential platform, however, included points that may not sit well with real estate interests, including her position that “housing is a human right.” In November 2019, she and Rep. Maxine Waters introduced a bill that would invest more than $100 billion in affordable housing, including $10 billion to ease or eliminate zoning requirements.

Harris said she would pass legislation to provide a tax credit for renters spending over 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities, the level at which tenants are considered to be rent-burdened. She also supported a federal minimum wage of $15, which developers have said would drive up their construction costs.

Last year, she also teamed up with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – the subject of intense criticism from many in the real estate community – to eliminate the “one-strike rule” in public housing, a Clinton-era policy allowing residents to be evicted for violent or drug-related crimes. The legislation aimed to prohibit public housing authorities from denying someone housing if they had a criminal record.ADVERTISEMENT

Harris has challenged Trump’s tax cuts, calling them a “trillion-dollar tax scam” and said that she would reverse his 2017 corporate tax cut. And she joined 37 of her Democratic colleagues last year to argue against a capital gains tax cut, calling it an “illegal action that would defy longstanding Justice Department policy.”

(Biden has also called for a reform of the tax code, specifically going after real estate’s favorite tax loophole, the 1031 “like-kind” exchange. )

She has proposed additional taxes on the financial sector, calling for a new tax on banks with more than $50 billion in assets. Many of New York’s largest construction lenders would fall into that category.

But while she may take largely populist political stances, Harris’ personal taste, at least as real estate goes, runs more to the posh. She owns a 3,500-square-foot pad in the posh Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. The property, as per a Forbes article citing Zillow estimates, is worth $4.8 million.

Supertall Plans For 343 Madison Avenue Reveal New 55-Story And 1,050-Foot-Tall Office Tower, In Midtown East

343 Madison Avenue. Illustration by Mtoltethys343 Madison Avenue. Illustration by Mtoltethys


Plans for 343 Madison Avenue in Midtown East unveil the substantial size and scope of the supertall to take the place of the former Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) headquarters. Boston Properties is developing the project that would comprise 925,630 square feet and rise 1,050 feet tall, with Class A office space above ground-floor retail. The building would yield 5,357 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, 832,613 square feet of commercial office space above, and 84,593 square feet of dedicated mechanical space. The tower would sit on a podium 301 feet tall.

Schematics in the YIMBY Forum show how the proposed superstructure will impact the New York City skyline.

343 Madison Avenue. Illustration by Mtoltethys

The project site, known as located at 341-347 Madison Avenue, has approximately 200 feet of frontage along Madison Avenue and 125 feet of frontage along both East 44th and 45th Streets. It sits in a predominantly commercial area surrounded by high-rise office buildings, retail and hotels due to its proximity to Grand Central Terminal. According to the drafted Environmental Impact Statement, the building would also offer pedestrian access to Grand Central Terminal and the LIRR East Side Access concourse, currently in the works. It would also include a 3,067-square-foot easement for the East Side Access.

Midtown East Rezoning, image by The Wall Street Journal

343 Madison Avenue is expected to be completed by 2026, with excavation work beginning in 2022. Demolition would take place from October 2020 to November 2021.

Invictus and Fortis align for acquisitions in New Jersey

July 9, 2020 by Fortis marketing staff

Invictus Real Estate Partners and Fortis Investment Group are combining for a series of ventures into New Jersey mixed use and commercial real estate. Eric Scheffler of Invictus and Dom Marino of Fortis have worked out an arrangement wherein Fortis will take the lead in the acquisition and development process while Invictus provides needed funding and other valuable parts of its evergrowing assets and organization.

Marino has indicated that the partnership will be flexible enough to move on the swiftly changing and dynamic landscape of the New Jersey real estate market. ” With our close to the street resources and Invictisus’ financial market saavy and fluidity our relationship should prove highly worthwhile for both parties.” Mr. Scheffler was not available for comment at the time of this article but will submit a release as soon as possible.

450 Eleventh Avenue Prepares To Go Vertical In Hudson Yards

450 Eleventh Avenue by DSM Design GRoup


Construction is about to go vertical at 450 Eleventh Avenue, a 487-foot-tall, 531-room hotel from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in Hudson Yards. Designed by DSM Design Group and developed by Marx Development Group, the 43-story tower is one of several new high-rise structures sprouting up around the Jacob K. Javits Center.

Recent photos show the state of progress at the site, which is located between West 36th and 37th Streets. Since YIMBY’s last update in late March, the reinforced concrete slab has been fully formed and settled, and formation of the superstructure appears to be imminent. Steel rebar can be seen protruding along the southern edge of the property and around the street-level floor plate, and will soon receive the first concrete pour for the building’s columns and walls, as well as within confines of the street-level floor plate. The construction crane should also be assembled in the coming weeks.

450 Eleventh Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

450 Eleventh Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

450 Eleventh Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

450 Eleventh Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

450 Eleventh Avenue will bring a unique, striking design to the Hudson Yards district. Renderings show a lively, modern massing composed of an undulating array of glass boxes. Resembling a stack of Rubik’s Cubes, the glass-clad structure subtly twists as it rises to the flat roof parapet. The design scheme also incorporates a number of irregular cuts and angles in the surfaces of its cubic components, which should create interesting reflections and lighting patterns throughout the course of the day.

YIMBY last reported that 450 Eleventh Avenue is expected to be finished in the fall of 2022.

Silverstein, Kaufman plan $2B Queens development

Development team announces plans for five-block, 2.7K-unit megaproject

TRD New York /July 02, 2020 12:15 PMBy Rich BockmannLarry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties and George Kaufman of Kaufman Astoria Studios with renderings of the project (Getty, ODA)

Larry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties and George Kaufman of Kaufman Astoria Studios with renderings of the project (Getty, ODA)

A team of developers is planning a $2 billion, 2.7 million-square-foot mixed-use development in Astoria.

Kaufman Astoria StudiosSilverstein Properties and Bedrock Real Estate Partners unveiled their plans Wednesday for the Queens megaproject, which they’re calling “Innovation QNS.”ADVERTISING

The development will cover five blocks at the intersection of Steinway Street and 35th Avenue and will include 2,700 units of mixed-income housing, the developers announced. Of those units, 700 will be set aside as affordable housing. The project will also have 200,000 square feet of retail and 250,000 square feet of space set aside for what the developers called the city’s creative industries and other small businesses.

“This is a time when people desperately need jobs, and this project will serve as an enormously important stimulus for Astoria and New York City,” Silverstein Properties chairman Larry Silverstein said.

The development will also include 2 acres of open space, a movie theater, a grocery store, community health facilities and dedicated senior housing.ADVERTISEMENT

Architecture firm ODA designed the project.

Silverstein has spent the past two years assembling parcels at the development site, which is zoned for low-density manufacturing, meaning the development team will need a rezoning to move forward with their plans.

The developers said they plan to begin the city’s public review process next year, with construction slated to kick off in 2023 and the first phase slated to open two years later.