The Real Deal New York

  • Fake real estate agent convicted in elaborate Harlem scam

    Dan Stern stole $250K in down payments and opened a phony brokerage
    October 26, 2016 02:50PM By Chava Gourarie
    Cyrus Vance, Jr.

    DA of New York County, Cyrus Vance, Jr.

    A man who posed as a real estate agent — and even opened a brokerage in Harlem — admitted to being a con artist who defrauded potential buyers and walked away with their down payments.

    The 52-year-old Dan Stern pleaded guilty last month to charges brought against him by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for his outlandish scam, and was sentenced to three-to-six years in prison on Wednesday.

    Stern opened a brokerage called Harlem Vintage Realty on East 126th Street in October 2014 and advertised run-down properties throughout Harlem, unbeknownst to their owners. [more]

  • Equity Residential offers dour look for the rest of 2016

    REIT executives say “high probability” revenue growth will be negative this year
    October 26, 2016 02:20PM By Rich Bockmann
    400 West 37th Street (inset: Sam Zell)

    400 West 37th Street (inset: Sam Zell)

    Equity Residential downgraded its outlook for its New York City rental portfolio, saying revenue growth may actually be negative by the time the year closes out. [more]

  • WATCH: Shahab Karmely on his $100M in SoFla purchases

    He is developing one of the Miami River's most ambitious condo projects
    October 26, 2016 01:52PM By Alistair Gardiner and Sean Stewart-Muniz


    From the South Florida website: Shahab Karmely is developing arguably one of the Miami River’s most ambitious condo projects, a pair of 60-story luxury residential towers connected at the top by ritzy “Sky Club.” But the New York developer didn’t get here all on his own: He took his cues from Swire Properties. Click here to watch the full interview and more.

  • Brexit fears are driving London home prices down: report

    UK-based Cebr predicts 5.6% plunge next year
    October 26, 2016 01:20PM
    Kyoto Garden in London (credit Alan B. via Foursquare)

    Kyoto Garden in London (credit: Alan B. via Foursquare)

    London home prices are falling down, falling down, falling down.

    Property values in London are forecast to fall next year as the uncertainty surrounding Brexit strangles the market, according to the U.K.-based economics consultancy Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).

    Home prices, especially in London’s priciest areas, are predicted to drop 5.6 percent in 2017, according to Cebr’s research. Property values across the United Kingdom are set grow 2.6 percent next year, down from 6.9 percent in 2016, Bloomberg reported. [more]

  • Inside TheRealDeal
  • City wouldn’t let Trump slap name on Columbus Circle globe

    Sculpture would have had 3-foot-high lettering
    October 26, 2016 12:50PM
    The globe outside Trump International Hotel in Columbus Circle

    The globe in Columbus Circle

    For New York City, putting Trump’s name on the globe was a step too far.

    In 1996, the Republican presidential nominee apparently wanted to emblazon the globe sculpture outside Trump International Hotel & Tower with three-foot lettering that would spell out “Trump International.” The city, however, wouldn’t allow it, the New York Times reported.

    According to a 20-year-old Department of City Planning memo, the city viewed the lettering as illegal signage and a possible obstruction to the streetscape. [more]

  • Office supply surge slowing down rent growth: Owen Thomas

    Boston Properties CEO riffs on impact of Hudson Yards and World Trade Center
    October 26, 2016 12:20PM By Konrad Putzier
    Hudson Yards and Owen Thomas

    Hudson Yards and Owen Thomas

    A surge in new supply in Manhattan’s office market is starting to make a dent on rents, Boston Properties CEO Owen Thomas said during an earnings call Wednesday. [more]

  • “RHONY” husband defrauded famed composer by claiming he owned a unit at the Apthorp: suit

    Michael Wainstein allegedly accepted rent on ex's apartment
    October 26, 2016 11:52AM By Katherine Clarke and Kyna Doles

    Great night love u MW @mwainstein

    A photo posted by Julianne Wainstein (@juleswainstein) on

    “Real Housewives of New York” star Julianne Wainstein’s estranged husband allegedly defrauded composer Jonathan Sheffer by renting out the reality star’s apartment at the Apthorp — and keeping all the money for himself, according to a new lawsuit. [more]

  • Telecom mogul to create Greenwich Village megamansion

    Altice head Dexter Goei paid $31M for five-story multifamily building on West 11th Street
    October 26, 2016 11:40AM By Chava Gourarie
    138 West 11th Street

    138 West 11th Street

    Telecom hotshot Dexter Goei has been thinking big of late. In June, the Netherlands-based company he heads bought Cablevision for $17.7 billion. And a month earlier, Goei stealthily bought a five-story multifamily building in Greenwich Village with plans to convert it into a megamansion. [more]

  • Modell’s set to open flagship store at Rudin’s 845 Third Avenue

    The space was formerly home to now-bankrupt retailer Sports Authority
    October 26, 2016 10:47AM
    845 Third Avenue

    845 Third Avenue

    To the victors go the spoils.

    Modell’s Sporting Goods is leasing 21,000 square feet at 845 Third Avenue for its new flagship, filling the space once occupied by its now-bankrupt rival Sports Authority.

    The 21-story  building, which is at the northeast corner of East 51st Street, is owned by Rudin Management. Modell’s new space will span across the ground and second floors, and will also include storage in the basement. Asking rent for the ground floor is $250 per square foot, the New York Post reported. Robert Steinman represented Rudin Management in-house. [more]

  • Fifth Avenue plagued by rise in vacant retail space

    Shopping corridor seeing record availability rate
    October 26, 2016 10:11AM

    Fifth Avenue Retail strip

    One of the city’s best known shopping districts is starting to look a little like a ghost town (relatively speaking).

    Experts point to climbing rents in the district as one of the driving forces behind the glut of open space. Spaces along Fifth Avenue from 49th to 60th streets — one of the priciest retail locations in the world — have an average asking rent of $3,213 a square foot, Bloomberg reported. In 2011, asking rents were $2,075 a square foot on the stretch. [more]

  • Pearl River Mart finds new home in Tribeca

    The store will eventually take 8K sf at 395 Broadway
    October 26, 2016 09:51AM
    395 Broadway

    395 Broadway in Tribeca

    A year-and-a-half after it shuttered its Soho location amid rapidly rising rents, Asian food emporium Pearl River Mart has announced it will re-open in Tribeca.

    The store will open first as a pop-up store at 395 Broadway in late November, Crain’s reported. It will close for a short time in February to allow the owners to build out the full retail space. The store will eventually take a total of 8,000 square feet across the entire basement and first floor of the building, Crain’s reported. The new store is slated to open in May. Lee & Associates’ Peter Braus and JP Sutro had the listing for 395 Broadway. [more]

  • Keeping your enemies close: Vornado mulls selling DC spinoff to rival

    Deal with JBG Companies could be worth as much as $6B
    October 26, 2016 09:14AM
    Steven Roth

    Steven Roth

    Vornado Realty Trust is mulling selling a spinoff of its Washington, D.C., business to rival JBG Companies in a deal that could be worth up to $6 billion.

    The Washington portfolio consists of more than 16 million square feet of office space, which would be spun off into its own company and then acquired by JBG, Bloomberg reported. The deal — if it goes through — could be worth $4 billion to $6 billion. No final decisions have yet been made. [more]

  • ABS, Benenson teamed up to buy 3 properties, including $63M Hammacher Schlemmer building

    The venture also closed on a $17M medical building
    October 26, 2016 08:34AM
    145 East 57th Street in Midtown and ABS Partners Real Estate's Gregg Schenker

    145 East 57th Street in Midtown and ABS Partners Real Estate’s Gregg Schenker

    ABS Partners and Benenson Investment Company have had a busy month, closing on three different properties —including the Hammacher Schlemmer Building. [more]

  • Construction groups say city’s crane wind-speed rule is “arbitrary and capricious”

    A petition seeks to block the regulation
    October 26, 2016 08:00AM By Kathryn Brenzel
    From left: Lou Colletti and scene from February crane collapse on Worth Street

    From left: Lou Colletti and scene from February crane collapse on Worth Street

    Construction groups think a “new” city regulation on operating cranes in high winds is full of hot air.

    The Building Trades Employers Association — which represents groups such as the Contractors Association of Greater New York and the Allied Building Metals Industries — seeks to block a city regulation that requires crawler cranes to stop operating when wind gusts exceed 30 mph. On Tuesday, it filed a petition against the Department of Buildings and Commissioner Richard Chandler to appeal the rule, which was revived following a fatal crane collapse in February. [more]

  • David Lukes and Hans Nordby

    David Lukes and Hans Nordby

    From the October issue: This September, investors who bet on the stock market’s broad indexes got a new tool. They can now invest in real estate investment trusts separately from financial stocks and insurance firms — a category that REITs had been lumped into for more than 15 years.

    The strong performance of the sector prompted that coding change. Since 2000, REITs have returned an average of 12 percent a year, versus 7.9 percent returns on high-yield bonds, and 4.1 percent returns on large-cap U.S. stocks, according to JPMorgan Asset Management. [more]

  • The Long View: NYC is yet to tax foreign buyers — but could that soon change?

    Many world cities have steep taxes on foreigners and pieds-à-terre, but New York doesn’t face the same kind of political pressure
    October 26, 2016 07:00AM By Konrad Putzier

    (Illustration by Lexi Pilgrim for The Real Deal)

    (The long view is a new biweekly column that analyzes big-picture real estate issues through a global lens.)

    When China’s property market took off in the years following the 2008 global financial crisis, so did Hong Kong’s. The city was an ideal target for the growing class of wealthy Chinese apartment buyers: geographically and culturally close, yet still somewhat safe from the ruling Party’s reach. As Chinese investors flocked in, prices ballooned. In the two years leading up to the first quarter of 2011, the average price for a mid-sized apartment rose by 65 percent, according to Hong Kong government data. [more]

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  • HFZ in talks for $1.2B construction loan from TCI

    UK hedge fund among potential lenders for Chelsea megaproject
    October 25, 2016 06:00PM By Mark Maurer and Hiten Samtani
    HFZ Chelsea

    Ziel Feldman and a rendering of 76 11th Avenue in Chelsea (credit: Bjarke Ingels Group)

    Ziel Feldman’s HFZ Capital Group is in advanced discussions to line up about $1.2 billion in construction financing for its Chelsea mixed-use megaproject known as the Eleventh, The Real Deal has learned. The loan, if it closes, would be one of the largest construction loans of this cycle. [more]

  • Co-working company Industrious NYC taking 17K sf at 215 PAS

    Asking rent at the SL Green-managed building is $70 per sf
    October 25, 2016 05:24PM
    215 Park Avenue South

    215 Park Avenue South

    Brooklyn-based co-working company Industrious NYC has inked a deal to take 17,255 square feet of space at 215 Park Avenue South, marking the company’s first foray into Manhattan.

    The lease is for 15 years and Industrious will take the entire 12th floor of the 20-story building, Commercial Observer reported. The building is owned by Dever Properties and managed by SL Green. The asking rent is $70 a square foot. [more]

  • Filing for DOB permits is not lobbying: city officials

    The Office of the Clerk opinion clarifies an earlier lobbying law
    October 25, 2016 03:55PM
    NYC City Hall

    NYC City Hall

    A 2013 update to the city’s lobbying laws had some developers, engineers and architects, who regularly file for permits from the Department of Buildings, wondering if they counted as lobbyists.

    The Office of the City Clerk, which regulates lobbying activities in the city, issued an opinion Monday clarifying that participating in the DOB filing process for matters “relating to the issue of permits, approvals or other construction related documents” does not constitute lobbying, Crain’s reported. [more]