The Real Deal New York

  • Qatar’s Empire State Building investment is rare move for foreign fund

    Sovereign wealth fund bought 9.9-percent stake in REIT for $622M
    August 25, 2016 07:00AM By Konrad Putzier
    From left: the Empire State Building and Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Thani

    From left: the Empire State Building and Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Thani

    The Qatar Investment Authority’s acquisition of a 9.9-percent stake in Empire State Realty Trust, announced Wednesday, is an unusual move for a sovereign wealth fund. But it offers several advantages, analysts say. [more]

  • Most popular stories on The Real Deal

    August 25, 2016 06:41AM

    Current reader favorites:
    1. Learning and earning: Hasidic Brooklyn’s real estate machers
    2. Meet the company that’s looking to take on CoStar in New York
    3. Forget cookies: Girl Scouts to sell Midtown office for $61M
    4. Toll Brothers profits by focusing on “moderate luxury”
    5. Blackstone to finance $620M Kips Bay Court buy with Fannie Mae loan

  • Slate to sell Bedford-Union Armory stake amid City Hall pressure

    De Blasio pledged a “hard look” at developer after Rivington House scandal
    August 24, 2016 06:00PM
    Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights (inset from left: Donald Capoccia and David Schwartz)

    Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights (inset from left: Donald Capoccia and David Schwartz)

    Slate Property Group agreed to sell its stake in the Bedford-Union Armory development in Crown Heights to BFC Partners amid pressure from City Hall. [more]

  • Late journalist Barbara Goldsmith and developer Michael Meldman

    Late journalist Barbara Goldsmith and developer Michael Meldman

    Home of late journalist Barbara Goldsmith slashed to $6 million
    Two months after the death of the author and founding editor of New York Magazine, Barbara Goldsmith’s children have slashed the price of her former 1.1-acre East Hampton estate to a sliver below $6 million — that’s $4.5 million cheaper than its original listing price of $10.5 million. The 5,000-square-foot home at 86 Georgica Road has been on and off the market since 2013, the New York Post reported. The listing brokers are Douglas Elliman’s Justin Agnello, Michaela Keszler and James Keogh. The estate includes five bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, three fireplaces, a chef’s kitchen and a terrace that overlooks the grounds. [NYP] [more]

  • Inside TheRealDeal
  • Inside the Hudson Yards financing playbook

    Breaking down the investments at Related and Oxford’s megaproject
    August 24, 2016 04:37PM By E.B. Solomont

    Related and Oxford have raised $14B at Hudson Yards (Illustration by Lexi Pilgrim for The Real Deal)

    After four months of negotiating to buy a 44 percent stake in 10 Hudson Yards, a twist of fate kept Christoph Donner stranded in Los Angeles on the day of the closing.

    “I was dialed in via email and phone,” the top real estate executive for Allianz said, recalling the culmination of the German insurer’s largest-ever real estate investment in the United States.

    But if the closing was anticlimactic for Donner, the deal itself was a robust endorsement of Hudson Yards, the $25 billion, 17 million-square-foot development by Related Companies TRData LogoTINY and Oxford Properties Group. Despite headwinds in the capital markets, the partners have locked up about $14 billion in debt and equity for the project to date. [more]

  • Commercial units make up a third of Airbnb hosts’ revenue: report

    Profit motive could push startup to focus more on “commercial units”
    August 24, 2016 03:54PM
    Map of Airbnb listings (credit: Inside Airbnb)

    Map of Airbnb listings (credit: Inside Airbnb)

    While commercial listings on Airbnb make up a tiny sliver of the total units available, they do account for an outsized portion of profits – and that could motivate the controversial startup to focus more on those commercial listings as it grows.

    Commercial listings — or units that are rented at least 180 days a year — make up 8 percent of the more than 30,000 units listed on Airbnb in New York City, according to an analysis by the data blog FiveThirtyEight. [more]

  • From the August’s issue’s “In their words” feature, a roundup of the funniest and most insightful comments on real estate:


    To read other smart and/or funny sayings, click here for the full feature.

  • The week in real estate market reports

    A weekly feature bringing you the industry’s latest intel
    August 24, 2016 02:30PM By Kyna Doles
    Marcus & Millichap and NYU Furman Center

    Click to enlarge (credit: Marcus & Millichap and NYU Furman Center)

    According to the latest batch of market reports, more than 30,000 new rental units are coming to the market by the end of the year, New York City’s homeownership rate is less than half the U.S. rate and most condominium buyers prefer all-cash deals. [more]

  • Robert Durst to be subject of Lifetime TV movie

    Film to be told from late wife's perspective
    August 24, 2016 02:12PM

    Robert Durst (credit: HBO)

    Robert Durst is about to get the Lifetime treatment. [more]

  • Hedge funds looking for big payday on defaulted mortgage bonds

    Prosiris and Tilden Park sued to get share of $8.5B settlement
    August 24, 2016 01:16PM
    Reza Ali and Joshua Birnbaum

    Reza Ali and Joshua Birnbaum

    Two hedge fund managers are hoping for a big payday on defaulted pre-crisis mortgage bonds by capitalizing on legal fine print.

    The funds, Prosiris Capital Management and Tilden Park Capital Management, bought defaulted bonds issued prior to the 2008 crash by Countrywide Financial Corp, now part of Bank of America. In 2011, Bank of America settled with the bond investors, agreeing to pay $8.5 billion to cover their losses. Most of that money has been distributed to investors like BlackRock and AIG, but around $600 million has yet to be spent. [more]

  • Union workers slam Wolkoff over jobs pledge at 5Pointz

    Trades, allies claim developer went back on his word to employ 100% union labor
    August 24, 2016 12:30PM
    From left: David Wolkoff and his father, Jerry Wolkoff 5Pointz in Long Island City and Gary LaBarbera

    From left: David Wolkoff, Jerry Wolkoff, 5Pointz in Long Island City and Gary LaBarbera

    Union construction workers and their allies gave developer Jerry Wolkoff an earful Tuesday, claiming he reneged on a promise to use union labor on his construction site at the former home of 5Pointz graffiti mecca in Long Island City. [more]

  • Fashion guru Tim Gunn, author Jay McInerney star in upcoming issue of LLNYC

    September/October edition is packed with fashion, politics and Manhattan luxury living
    August 24, 2016 12:18PM

    From left: Tim Gunn and Jay McInerney (photo credits: Twitter)

    Fashion week will soon be upon us, so what better time to talk to two of New York’s most fashionable gentlemen? Sartorial savant Tim Gunn and New York City writer par excellence Jay McInerney will soon land on the glossy pages of Luxury Listings NYC.

    In our September/October cover story, Tim Gunn opens up his Upper West Side home, talks politics, derides fast fashion and “bangs the tom-tom” for Hillary Clinton.

    Meanwhile, author Jay McInerney shares insights into his latest book, “Bright, Precious Days.” The writer of the iconic 1980s novel, “Bright Lights, Big City,” discusses how New York has changed over the years, and why he would never (and could never) live anywhere else.

    Also look out for features on the city’s top tailors, actress and Central Park obsessive Lois Robbins, a fashion week “party designer” and much, much more.

    To advertise in the upcoming issue, email For editorial inquiries, please email

  • HotelTonight, after rough patch, plans to go public

    Hotel booking startup's IPO slated for late 2017
    August 24, 2016 11:32AM
    Hotel listings on Hotel Tonight

    Hotel listings on Hotel Tonight

    Hotel booking startup HotelTonight is going public. [more]

  • Meet the company that’s looking to take on CoStar in New York

    Xceligent set to launch by May, but faces headwinds
    August 24, 2016 10:45AM By Konrad Putzier

    CoStar’s Andrew Florance and Xceligent’s Doug Curry

    Since the 1990s, New York brokers and investors have been dependent on a single data provider for commercial leasing information: CoStar. “We’ve all become addicted to it on some level, for better or for worse,” said Joel Herskowitz, COO of Lee & Associates. But that could change now that CoStar’s only true national competitor is preparing to expand to New York City.

    Xceligent, which has captured market share in numerous secondary markets, has been gathering data on New York properties for several months and aims to officially launch a New York database in May, the company’s CEO Doug Curry told The Real Deal. Local brokers say they would welcome a new entrant. “I believe by having two players in the game it’s going to up everybody’s game,” Herskowitz said. Still, Xceligent faces an uphill battle to unseat CoStar as the dominant player. [more]

  • MTA’s $1B bond sale gets high marks from rating agencies

    Transit authority set to launch offering in September
    August 24, 2016 10:21AM
    Hudson Yards and the MTA's Thomas Prendergast

    Hudson Yards and the MTA’s Thomas Prendergast

    There’s good news for New York City’s subway system: Two rating agencies have given strong marks to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s plan to sell $1 billion in bonds to pay for the transit system’s upkeep and expansion. [more]

  • Qatari fund pays $622M for stake in Empire State Realty Trust

    Qatar Investment Authority will own 9.9% of REIT
    August 24, 2016 09:34AM By E.B. Solomont
    From left: Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, Tony Malkin and the Empire State Building

    From left: Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, Tony Malkin and the Empire State Building

    Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has acquired a stake in New York City’s Empire State Building through a $622 million deal for a minority stake in publicly-traded Empire State Realty Trust. [more]

  • UK property values are down, but no one knows how much

    Estimates range from 2.8% to more than 5%
    August 24, 2016 09:21AM
    London office skyline

    London office skyline

    How much of a toll did Brexit take on the U.K.’s commercial property market? Top question, lads.

    With little data to go by and few deals since the June referendum, brokers and landholders are relying on educated guesswork to figure out on how much property values have slipped, with ranges running from 2.8 percent to 5 percent or more.

    Data firm MSCI, for example, estimated a 2.8 percent drop while property broker CBRE said it believes U.K. real estate values dropped 3.3 percent in July. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund came up with a 5 percent figure, as did Aberdeen Asset Management, which initially said property values were down 17 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal. [more]

  • Paramount, Morgan Stanley shop majority stake at 60 Wall St.

    1.6M sf tower could fetch $750 psf
    August 24, 2016 08:40AM

    60 Wall Street in the Financial District

    Paramount Group and Morgan Stanley are shopping a majority stake in downtown office tower 60 Wall Street. [more]

  • Spark Labs expands with 20K sf digs in Bryant Park

    Co-working firm will move from 833 Broadway to Thor Equities-owned building
    August 24, 2016 08:00AM

    From left: 25 West 39th Street, Joseph Sitt and Christophe Garnier

    Spark Labs, the media- and tech-focused co-working firm, is quadrupling its New York City footprint.

    The firm inked a 15-year lease for 20,000 square feet at 25 West 39th Street, roughly four times the size of its current digs at 833 Broadway near Union Square. [more]

  • How an Arkansas bank became one of NYC’s top lenders

    Bank of the Ozarks isn't concerned about the risks, either
    August 24, 2016 07:30AM By Rich Bockmann
    George Gleason of Ozarks Bank

    George Gleason of Ozarks Bank

    From the August issue: For the bulk of its 113-year history, Bank of the Ozarks was a small community lender with a few branches in Arkansas’ mountainous western region, from which it takes its name. But since the bank entered the New York City arena in 2012, it has become one of the most active construction lenders throughout the boroughs.

    Now, with its biggest competitors pulling back from ground-up condominium, office and hotel projects in need of debt, a growing number of major real estate players have started to call on Bank of the Ozarks as a key source of financing. [more]