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Magnum/40 North J-V to Develop Student Housing in Manhattan

24 Jan 2014, 5:55 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The School of Visual Arts, one of the largest independently regionally accredited art colleges in the country, will add a new dormitory building to its campus in the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan. The Real Dealreports that the 14-story residence hall will be developed by a joint venture between Magnum Real Estate Group and 40 North Properties, a local development company focused on commercial and residential developments across the five New York City boroughs.

School of Visual Arts Dormitory at 407 First Avenue on 24 Street

Set to occupy an existing parking lot of 4,200 square feet at 407 First Avenue on 24 Street, the building was designed by Ismael Leyva Architects as an L-shaped structure that will allow the construction of a six-story wing on First Avenue. Reportedly, construction at the 147,000-square-foot residence hall will start in spring 2014 with a completion date set for the beginning of the fall semester 2016.

Once open, the new School of Visual Arts residence hall will provide over 500 dormitory beds within 242 suites. The building will also include administrative and faculty offices, as well as a public terrace on the seventh floor.

“We will design a comfortable living environment for students in a functional building, keeping in context with the surrounding neighborhood,” said Ismael Leyva, AIA, president, Ismael Leyva Architects, in a press statement.

According to The Real Deal, the Magnum/40 North partnership acquired the development site in April 2013 for $32.25 from the nonprofit International Center for the Disabled.

Rendering credits: Ismael Leyva Architects

Triangle Equities’ $200 Million Lighthouse Point Adds to Staten Island Wave of Developments

10 Jan 2014, 7:28 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor


Lighthouse Point project rendering – St. George, Staten Island

Queens-based Triangle Equities is finally moving on with one of the largest mixed-use projects to be developed on the North Shore of Staten Island since Hurricane Sandy hit the area. Though the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) green lighted the development plans in early 2007, the project faced several years of hurdles mostly because of the economic downturn that affected the real estate sector.

Just like the adjacent New York Ferris Wheel project that was announced in September 2012 and approved by the City Council one year later, Triangle Equities’ $200 million development will be a key piece in the revitalization puzzle on the northeastern side of Staten Island.

Slated for ground breaking in mid-2014, Lighthouse Point will be developed in phases and will replace a three-acre waterfront parcel that is currently occupied by a vacant lighthouse facility in the neighborhood of St. George, which is the gateway to the borough for more than 65,000 commuters and tourists each weekday. The historic structure located near Bay Street served as the U.S. Coast Guard Station Administration building until 1966.

Lighthouse Point project rendering – St. George, Staten Island

According to the Staten Island Advance, development plans call for a residential tower with 96 rental units and retail space and a new 180-room hotel that will incorporate a historic building as the entrance way. Some of the six historic buildings included on the development site will be renovated for new uses such as dining areas. The first phase of the project is estimated to last around 18 months with a focus on completing the three-story retail structure that will serve as a base for the rental tower. Depending on how fast the construction moves forward, the first residential floors could be developed during this phase. Phase two will see the construction of the new hotel and the renovation or repositioning of the historic buildings.

The Lighthouse Point project will reportedly create nearly 700 construction jobs and almost 380 permanent jobs.


Renderings via Triangle Equities website

Terreno Realty Corp. Pays $53.1 Million for Industrial Buildings in Queens, NY

3 Jan 2014, 3:24 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

San Francisco-based Terreno Realty Corporation recently acquired a real estate portfolio marketed under the name JFK Airgate and an adjacent parcel in Queens for a purchase price of $53.1 million, or around $232 per square foot. According to a blog post by Philip Blumberg, JFK Airgate’s previous owner was AMB Property Corporation (it later merged with Prologis) which purchased it for $34.4 million in 2005.

Terreno Realty Corporation logo

According to a press release from the company, JFK Airgate is located one-half mile north of John F. Kennedy International Airport and close to Rockaway Boulevard, the Belt Parkway and the Van Wyck Expressway, while the 0.2-acre paved and fenced land parcel is located at Baisley Boulevard and 132nd Avenue and has 27 parking spaces.

Totaling nearly 230,000 square feet of space, JFK Airgate includes four commercial buildings which were 98.6 percent leased at the time of acquisition by 18 tenants, including some of the largest international air cargo and logistics firms.

The buildings acquired by Terreno Realty Corporation are as follows:

-          Airgate I – a two-story warehouse located at 151-02 132nd Avenue. According to data from PropertyShark.com, the facility was built in 1987; it has approximately 65,000 square feet of usable storage space and parking spots for 56 cars.

-          Airgate II – a 66,000-square-foot front-load warehouse with 12 dock-high and 3 grade level loading positions. The building is located at 150-10 132nd Avenue and has 76 parking spaces.

-          Airgate III – a two-story warehouse located at 152-02 Baisley Boulevard. The building contains 73,000 square feet of storage space and features 18 dock-high and 1 grade level loading positions, as well as 138 parking spaces.

-          Airgate IV – a 25,000-square-foot office building with 58 parking spaces located at 152-01 133rd Avenue.

Terreno Realty Corporation is a San Francisco-based company that focuses on acquiring and  operating industrial real estate in six major U.S. coastal markets.

Flatiron-Shaped Condo Tower Underway in Soho

30 Dec 2013, 8:44 am

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A 16-story residential tower is underway in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood as the city Board of Standards and Appeals unanimously recently approved the construction project proposed by Madison Equities and Property Markets Group. According to The Real Deal, the joint venture needed a variance change because the construction site was zoned for commercial and industrial use.

10 Sullivan Street – Soho, NYC

Designed by NYC-based architect and designer Cary Tamarkin, the flatiron-shaped condo tower will rise on the site of a former car wash on the northeast corner of Sixth Avenue and Broome Street—though Corcoran Group Real Estate will market the building under the name 10 Sullivan Street. As reported by Curbed NY earlier this year, the triangular-shaped site was purchased by the development partners in June 2012.

Reportedly, the condo tower will have up to 27 units and nearly 4,000 square feet of ground floor leasable retail space and will feature four attached 4-story townhouses of around 4,500 square feet each, with backyards and parking space. According to the original plans filed for approval by Madison Equities, the tower will include a triplex occupying the 16th and 18th floors of the building. Furthermore, the tower’s ground floor will also contain a 1,500-square-foot residential lobby and a 3,800-square-foot parking garage with 11 spaces.

The development plans include a small plaza which will be located at the narrow point of the site facing the intersection of Broome Street, Sullivan Street and the Avenue of the Americas will serve as an entrance and will be included in the leasable retail space.

According to The Real Deal, the developers hope to complete the condo tower by mid-2015.

Rendering Madison Equities and Property Markets Group

Citigroup Signs $1B Lease Extension to Relocate Headquarters in Lower Manhattan

20 Dec 2013, 8:06 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Citigroup Inc., the third-biggest bank in the U.S., and SL Green Realty Corp. recently signed a $1 billion lease agreement and renovation deal that will allow the financial giant to relocate its headquarters from the existing offices at 399 Park Avenue to a twin-building complex on Greenwich Street through December 31, 2035.

388 Greenwich Street

Crain’s New York Business reports that Citigroup owned the 39-story 388 Greenwich tower and the adjacent 390 Greenwich, an eight-story building offering 94,000 square feet of prime office space, until 2007 when the two buildings were sold to SL Green and Ivanhoe Cambridge for $1.6 billion. The newly signed deal includes an option for Citigroup to buy back the two properties during the period from December 1, 2017 through December 31, 2020, as well as a thorough renovation of the office buildings which were built in the 1990s.

Reportedly, Citigroup already occupies space at the office complex in Lower Manhattan. According to the newly signed deal, the financial giant can also extend the 2.7-million-square-foot lease by at least 15 years.

390 Greenwich Street

According to an official statement from SL Green, Citigroup was represented in this transaction by Robert Alexander, Michael Geoghegan, Andrew Sussman and Michael Wellen from CBRE and received legal counseling from law firm Fried Frank, while SL Green acted on behalf of the landlord partnership.

“We worked tirelessly to structure a transaction that is advantageous to all parties, and we are extremely pleased that Citi has extended its long-term commitment to Downtown Manhattan,” said Marc Holliday, chief executive officer of SL Green Realty Corp. “Citi is one of the world’s great financial institutions. SL Green has enjoyed being its largest landlord and we are pleased to continue this strong and highly valued relationship.”


Images of 388 and 390 Greenwich Street courtesy of SL Green Realty Corp.

25 K Sq. Ft. Retail Condominium in Manhattan Sold for $50 M

13 Dec 2013, 5:23 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

200 West End

As the Manhattan commercial real estate market heats up, a retail condominium on the Upper West Side changed hands last week in a $50 million transaction.

The 25,000-square-foot property was sold to an unknown entity by real estate fund manager ALTO Private Investments which, according to an official statement, almost doubled its investment two years after the acquisition. The property consisting of four retail units had been purchased by ALTO with Florham Park, N.J.-based real estate firm The Klein American Group in 2011 for $31 million.

“Two years after the acquisition and with the improvements we instituted, we sold the property at a gross return of almost three times our original equity investment,” said Mody Kidon, ALTO chairman and co-founder.

Located at the intersection of 70th Street and West End Avenue on the ground floor of 200 West End Avenue, the 173-unit luxury condominium tower was built by Clarett Capital LLC in 2008; the retail property was leased to CVS for 13 years at the time of purchase. Immediately after purchasing the retail units, ALTO signed three additional tenants, each with 15-year leases, increasing occupancy and rental revenues by 40 percent.

ALTO focuses on the acquisition of value-add commercial properties by forming local joint ventures and co-investing with partners in local real estate assets. The company has invested $285 million in 14 commercial properties totaling 1.8 million square feet of space in top markets in the United States.


Image via Rubenstein PR

Seventh Hyatt-Branded Hotel in Manhattan to Open on New Year’s Eve

9 Dec 2013, 5:25 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

With the holiday season in progress, the Big Apple is as ready as ever for the winter wave of tourists, seasonal shoppers and business travelers. Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the grand opening on New Year’s Eve 2013 of its seventh flagship hotel in the heart of New York City, just steps away from Times Square, Broadway theaters, Fifth Avenue shops, Rockefeller Center, the Museum of Modern Art and all that buzz that Manhattan has to offer.

Hyatt Times Square New York

“We are rolling out the red carpet, eager to welcome our first guests and future guests to come,” said Richard Morgan, general manager of Hyatt Times Square in a press statement. “We are especially delighted to share our local lore and favorite neighborhood spots so guests can enjoy Hyatt’s authentic hospitality as well as enjoy an authentic New York experience,” he added.

Standing 54 stories high at 135 West 45th Street, Hyatt Times Square New York is the tallest newly built Hyatt-branded hotel in the country. Construction at the new hotel broke ground in mid-2011 with Extell Development Company spearheading the operations. The 4-star hotel was designed by SLCE with interiors by Broadway-based SPaN Architecture. It offers a total of 487 guest rooms designed by George Wong—with only 11 rooms per floor—and 49 suites with modern amenities such as 47-inch flat screen TVs, ergonomic workspaces and multiport connections, in-room refrigerators and coffeemakers. A fully equipped 24-hour fitness center will be open to all guests. The hotel also includes a George Wong-designed restaurant with delicious signature dishes by New York-native Chef Nick Pelliccione.

By early 2014 Hyatt Times Square will feature additional amenities such as a 4,200-square-foot spa, a 2,000-square-foot meeting center with pre-function areas and three adjacent rooms equipped with state-of-the-art audio and video facilities, and a SPaN-designed rooftop lounge on the 54th floor where guests can enjoy indoor/outdoor fireplaces and spectacular views of Manhattan.


Image via Hyatt Times Square New York Facebook page

709-Unit Luxury High-Rise Opens in Long Island City

2 Dec 2013, 7:38 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Linc LIC – the newest luxury rental tower in Long Island City

Manhattan-based Rockrose Development Corporation officially opened its newest signature residential high-rise in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, where real estate experts predict a housing boom in the next few years.

Located in Court Square at 43-10 Crescent Street, Linc LIC is one of the tallest and largest structures in Queens, offering 709 luxury rental apartments. The development broke ground in 2011 under plans designed by Avinash K. Malhorta Architects (AKM), with interiors by Moed de Armas & Shannon and Matthews Nielson as landscape architect.

According to DNAInfo.com New York, the developer had been leasing the 42-story tower for quite a while, so as much as 40 percent of the units were already under contract at opening date. With rents ranging from $2,200 for a studio and $4,4750 for a three-bedroom unit, Linc LIC provides high-end amenities such as a tenant lounge on the 31st floor, a fitness center, interior basketball and squash courts, children’s playroom, Wi-Fi lounge and screening room, a roof deck and a green park accessible to residents. There is also an underground parking garage with 175 available spaces. The first floor of the building will be occupied by retailers, which are yet to be named; although DNAInfo.com New York reports that a Food Cellar gourmet grocery store is set to open there in late 2014.

Linc LIC – residents lounge

A $155 million investment backed by Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Helaba and Capital One, Linc LIC is the first residential project that Rockrose has completed in Long Island City’s Court Square, an area mostly known as a hub for white collars. A 50-story tower with almost 1,000 apartment units will open in 2016 at 4325 Hunter Street, while a smaller rental tower with 800 units will replace a vacant warehouse at 43-22 Queens Street. Additionally, Rockrose will develop a 100-unit condo building on Crescent Street. The total development costs for the four residential projects are estimated to exceed $750 million.


Images via AKM Architects and Rockrose Development



Construction Starts on $80 Million Soundview Housing Project in the Bronx

25 Nov 2013, 6:09 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Soundview Family Homes

The first phase of construction at a new affordable housing community in the Soundview neighborhood of the Bronx has begun.

A joint venture between CPC Resources, Inc., L + M Development Partners, Lemle & Wolff and The New York Housing Partnership, the $80 million Soundview Housing project will be developed under the New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s multi-billion initiative to finance 165,000 units of low-income housing by the close of the 2014 fiscal year.

Soundview Housing is located next to Soundview Park, a 205-acre green public space along the Bronx River. As reported by Crain’s New York Business, the residential project will occupy a vacant lot owned by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). Scheduled to be built in three phases, Soundview Housing will provide 206 units of affordable housing for the borough’s low-income families and also for individuals and families on NYCHA’s waiting list.

Soundview Family Housing, the project’s first and largest stage of construction, will cost $46.9 million to build. According to an official statement, the funds will be provided by a combination of tax exemptions from HDC, HPD, NYCHA, Wells Fargo financing and Resolution “A” funding.

Designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning to reference mid-20th century brick structures already existing in the area, the eight-story building will comprise 120 rental units of various sizes which will be available to families earning up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income (or less than $51,540 annually for a family of four). Residents will also have access to 42 parking spaces.

The second phase of the project, a $34 million complex called Soundview Senior Housing, will break ground by the end of 2013 and will include 86 affordable senior housing units. Phase III of construction, which would comprise 16 two-family market-rate townhomes, will be developed depending on market conditions.

Soundview Family Homes rendering by Magnusson Architecture and Planning

Javits Center Completes $465 Million Make-Over, Boasts Largest Green Roof in the Northeast

21 Nov 2013, 1:33 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Javits Center

The expansion and revitalization process of the iconic Jacob K. Javits Convention Center has reached completion after a four-year-long process.

Considered the country’s largest and busiest venue for conventions, trade shows and large-scale events (in 2012 alone it hosted more than 140 events that generated nearly $1.5 billion for New York City and New York State), the Javits Center is located in the heart of the city, on Manhattan’s West Side. Designed as an innovative frame structure by a team of I. M. Pei architects lead by James Ingo Freed, the center was built between 1980 and 1986 as a replacement of the New York Coliseum.

As a direct response to the growing demand for convention and trade space, in 2009 the center embarked on a $465 million renovation project managed by the Empire State Development and The New York Convention Center Operating Corp. as the property owner, in collaboration with the Hotel Association of New York City, FXFOWLE, Epstein and Tishman Construction. Phase I of the project was completed within one year with the addition of an 110,000-square-foot hall known as Javits Center North.

Javits Center Green Roof

One of the project’s goals was for the center to achieve LEED Silver certification, so the development team created a 6.75-acre green roof—the second largest in the United States and the largest in the Northeast on a single, stand-alone building—to reduce water run-off and help conserving energy inside the building. The green roof is expected to achieve more than 25 percent in energy use reduction.

As part of the “green” improvements at the Javits Center, the existing curtain wall was replaced with 3,722 panels of energy-efficient glass and 2,400 skylight panels that allow the maximum usage of daylight.

Photos by David Sundberg/Esto

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