The Real Deal New York

  • StreetEasy’s revenue skyrockets 73% in 2015

    Revenue more than doubled since Zillow acquisition in 2013
    February 12, 2016 11:05AM By E.B. Solomont
    Spencer Rascoff

    Spencer Rascoff

    Despite broker backlash over its agent advertiser programs, StreetEasy revenue grew a whopping 73 percent in 2015, parent company Zillow Group said Thursday.

    In a fourth quarter earnings call, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said the New York City-based listings portal “seems to be on a tear” with revenue that more than doubled since Zillow acquired the company for $50 million in Aug. 2013. [more]

  • City allocates $7.2M for two new 50K sf tech centers

    Brooklyn Navy Yard, Milstein Properties’ Midtown tower chosen as locations
    February 12, 2016 10:31AM

    Rendering of the New Lab at Brooklyn Navy Yard (Credit: New Lab)

    In the city’s continued push to compete with Silicon Valley, it will invest $7.2 million for two tech centers — one at the Brooklyn Navy Yards and the other at Milstein Properties’ 335 Madison Avenue.

    Under a program called UrbanTech NYC, the city will open the 50,000-square-foot business hubs this summer to boost tech jobs and tackle urban problems. The two locations will cater to companies that are too big for incubator programs, but are unable to afford to market-rate office space. [more]

  • Rosabianca’s ruin: From a life as a rising NYC real estate attorney to jail

    If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison for first-degree grand larceny
    February 12, 2016 10:00AM By Rey Mashayekhi

    Luigi Rosabianca (credit: Robert Caplin)

    From the February issue: As a lawyer who specialized in brokering luxury property deals for foreign investors, Luigi Rosabianca rode the wave that propelled the New York City real estate market in the years following the recession.

    As property values climbed and wealthy buyers the world over clamored for high-end Manhattan condos, Rosabianca built a seemingly lucrative career.

    He became a media darling, quoted frequently in publications like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and even The Real Deal, as an expert on the buying strategies of rich and foreign buyers. [more]

  • L train shutdown is Uber’s “wet dream”

    Reporters discuss what the disruption could mean for the real estate market
    February 12, 2016 09:34AM

    Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 9.11.13 AM

    The coming L-train shutdown, recently made official, is likely to hit Williamsburg rents hard, reducing them as much as 15 percent, said The Real Deal‘s Hiten Samtani told BRIC TV earlier this week when he appeared along with DNAinfo’s Gwynne Hogan. The sales market though, will remain largely unaffected as buyers “play the long game, he said.

    The Brooklyn-Manhattan line’s closure is also likely to affect another segment of the real estate world: Airbnb and other short term rentals. “Hosts” on these services, who habitually advertise units 15 minutes from Manhattan – “That’s never true, but it’ll be even more untrue,” Samtani said – are likely to see demand slide. Mobile ride hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, though, are likely to see a big boost, he said.

    Click here to watch the video

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  • Faith, hope and a little satire

    Twitter account parodies Elliman’s retail maven
    February 12, 2016 09:00AM By E.B. Solomont
    From left: Faith Hope Consolo and "Fake" Hope Consolo

    From left: Faith Hope Consolo and “Fake” Hope Consolo

    @FakeHopeConsolo eats “deals for breakfast, tenants for lunch, landlords for dinner and sexy junior brokers for dessert.”

    For the past month, an industry insider has been lighting up Twitter by parodying Faith Hope Consolo, mimicking the retail broker’s grandiloquence and showing a knack for lampooning both New York City brokerage and one of its more notorious personalities. [more]

  • It’s fine to covet your neighbor’s apartment, but you may have to pay

    Buyers shell out an extra 10% to expand into alluring adjacent units
    February 12, 2016 08:46AM
    Tina Fey and 300 West Street, and Adam Solomon

    Tina Fey and 300 West Street, and Douglas Elliman’s Adam Solomon

    With big apartments so hard to come by in the city, there’s no shame in dreaming of expanding your own cozy unit into your neighbors’ seemingly-equally cozy space. [more]

  • Silverstein talks 2 WTC, languishing luxury market

    Developer says he isn't worried about finding a new tenant
    February 12, 2016 08:00AM By Kathryn Brenzel
    Rendering of 2 World Trade Center (inset: Larry Silverstein)

    Rendering of 2 World Trade Center (inset: Larry Silverstein)

    When Larry Silverstein saw the design for 2 World Trade Center, he did not respond positively, especially given the site’s history. [more]

  • Most popular stories on The Real Deal

    February 12, 2016 07:30AM

    Current reader favorites:
    1. Landlords beware: Rental market could be set for a slowdown
    2. Lender Apollo defends economics of 111 West 57th St.
    3. Stellar Management sues Raphael Toledano for ditching $130M loan on EV deal
    4. PwC near deal for 250K sf at Vornado’s 90 Park
    5. The (kosher) power lunch

  • GTIS aims for $126M sellout at condos near Museum of Natural History

    Sponsor took over for embattled Newcastle Realty Services last year
    February 11, 2016 06:27PM By Katherine Clarke
    Tom Shapiro and a rendering of 101 West 78th Street

    Tom Shapiro and a rendering of 101 West 78th Street

    The developer of a long-anticipated condominium conversion across the street from the American Museum of Natural History is aiming for a sellout of $125.6 million, or about $4.5 million per apartment.

    GTIS Partners, the sponsor who took over the project from controversial developer Newcastle Realty Services last May, is slated to bring 28 new homes to the market at the property at 101 West 78th Street. The units will range from one- to four-bedrooms, in addition to a penthouse, according to an offering plan approved this week by the attorney general. Amenities will include a gym and a children’s play area. [more]

  • Barnett marketing Gem Tower condos to non-jewelers

    Extell pitching general office market on remaining 66K sf at Diamond District building
    February 11, 2016 06:00PM By Rey Mashayekhi
    Gary Barnett and the International Gem Tower at 50 West 47th Street

    From left: Gary Barnett and the International Gem Tower at 50 West 47th Street

    Gary Barnett is hoping to find a diamond in the rough.

    After struggling to unload the International Gem Tower’s remaining office condominium units to jewelers, Barnett’s Extell Development is now targeting a wider array of potential buyers.

    While Extell has succeeded in selling most of the office condos at 50 West 47th Street — and sold the upper portion of the tower, which holds office rentals, to SL Green Realty — around 66,000 square feet, or three full floors of condo units, remain on the market. [more]

  • Fallon Co.’s luxury condo project, 22 Liberty, has sold 102 units at a median price of $2.8 million

    Fallon Co.’s luxury condo project, 22 Liberty, has sold 102 units at a median price of $2.8 million

    From the February issue: The condo market in Boston reached record highs in 2015. The median price for condos in nine downtown neighborhoods, along with South Boston and Charlestown, rose nearly 10 percent to $680,000, according to real estate data firm LINK Smart. Meanwhile, prices for luxury condos rose roughly 20 percent to a median of roughly $1.8 million — an equivalent of nearly $1,200 per square foot. “It’s almost as though we’re approaching Manhattan prices,” Debra Taylor Blair, president of LINK, told the Boston Globe. “Demand for urban living is high.” [more]

  • Ceruzzi, partners file plans for 210-foot UES condo tower

    Stillman, Ceruzzi and Kuafu are jointly developing the $340M project
    February 11, 2016 05:10PM

    From left: Kuafu’s Shang Dai, 147 East 86th Street on the Upper East Side, and Lou Ceruzzi of Ceruzzi Properties

    Ceruzzi Properties, Stillman Development and Kuafu Properties’ development of a luxury condominium tower at 147 East 86th Street on the Upper East Side will rise 210 feet, and a permit application with the Department of Buildings to start construction on the 18-story, 210,000-square-foot building has been filed.

    The permit application shows the building at the northeast corner of Lexington Avenue and 86th Street will have 63 units. The condominium units, ranging from two- to five-bedrooms, will have average asking prices of about $3,000 per square foot. [more]

  • “Mexico’s Oprah” buys Manhattan House pad for $3.4M

    Media mogul Martha Debayle purchased a three-bedroom condo on the Upper East Side
    February 11, 2016 04:40PM

    From left: Martha Debayle (credit: Julius Caesar MMK) and Manhattan House on the Upper East Side

    “Think like a queen,” Oprah Winfrey once said. Media mogul Martha Debayle, often dubbed “the Oprah Winfrey of Mexico,” is doing just that — she purchased a $3.4 million apartment at the Manhattan House on the Upper East Side.

    Debayle, a businesswoman and radio host, purchased the three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment at the landmarked condo building, the New York Post reported. [more]

  • In 421a prevailing wage dispute, the real numbers are murky

    An independent report tying union pay to higher construction costs faces criticism
    February 11, 2016 04:20PM By Konrad Putzier
    Will developments using the 421a tax abatement be required to use prevailing-wage contractors?

    Will developments using the 421a tax abatement (like One57) be required to use prevailing-wage contractors in the future?

    The 421a tax abatement program remains in limbo, and its future hinges on one crucial question: should City Hall mandate prevailing construction wages at affordable housing developments that receive tax breaks?

    This week, opponents of the mandate received a major boost from the Independent Budget Office, which found that prevailing wages cause construction costs to soar by 28 percent (it had previously put the figure at 13 percent.) But critics counter that the report is flawed and could well be exaggerating the effect of prevailing wages on construction costs.  [more]

  • Manhattan office asking rents hit record high in January: report

    Asks continue to climb despite shrinking leasing activity, CBRE data shows
    February 11, 2016 04:05PM By Rey Mashayekhi
    Manhattan Office Leasing

    From left: 85 Broad Street, 1251 Sixth Avenue and 731 Lexington Avenue

    The average asking rent for office space in Manhattan broke $72 per square foot in “for the first time on record” in January, according to commercial brokerage CBRE. Total leasing activity during the month, however, was well below the recent average. [more]

  • The numbers don’t lie: The Real Deal’s Data Book is now available!

    Annual resource is the most comprehensive guide on New York-metro real estate
    February 11, 2016 03:40PM


    Envision a world where a reality TV star also happens to be New York City’s top residential broker. Or that communist China is on track to become one of the city’s biggest property investors. And that a penthouse unit sold for more than $100 million, smashing the city’s priciest condo record.

    It’s hard to imagine, but this year’s Data Book proves that the numbers don’t lie. [more]

  • Jewish Theological Seminary gets $35M for Morningside Heights building

    Deal comes amid ongoing plans to modernize campus
    February 11, 2016 03:10PM By Katherine Clarke
    Colton Properties CEO Steven Neuman and 3060 Broadway

    Coltown Properties CEO Steven Neuman and 3060 Broadway

    The Jewish Theological Seminary sold yet another building that comprised part of its large Morningside Heights portfolio.

    A joint venture between Coltown Properties, Esplanade Partners and Avenue Realty Capital acquired the property, a mixed-use multifamily-and-retail building at 3060 Broadway, for $35.3 million, or $734 per square foot, according to multiple people familiar with the deal. [more]

  • Tishman Speyer to buy CNN Building in LA for $127M

    Sale to close right after firm’s regional director resigns
    February 11, 2016 02:45PM By Hannah Miet
    The CNN Building in Hollywood and Rob Tishman, CEO of Tishman Speyer

    The CNN Building in Los Angeles and Rob Speyer

    From the Los Angeles website: Tishman Speyer has agreed to pay more than $127 million for the CNN Building in Hollywood in a sale expected to close by the end of the week, The Real Deal has learned.

    The deal has been in the works for months, sources said, and neared a close right as Mark Laderman, Tishman Speyer’s regional director for Southern California, resigned, according to sources. The reasons for his resignation are unclear. [more]

  • KBS filing details REIT’s plans for Israeli bond issuance

    Calif.-based company looking to raise between $100M to $150M on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange
    February 11, 2016 02:20PM
    KBS 110 William Street

    From left: Peter Bren and 110 William Street in the Financial District

    KBS Strategic Opportunity REIT filed a public draft prospectus with the Israel Securities Authority, detailing the company’s bid to become the first American real estate investment trust to tap Israeli’s burgeoning corporate bond market.

    The public, non-traded REIT, which is managed by Newport Beach, Calif.-based KBS Capital Advisors, is seeking to raise between $100 million and $150 million through an offering of Series A bonds on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. [more]

  • David Bistricer doesn’t seem to like jocks

    Clipper Equity threatens to terminate Equinox lease at 50 Murray Street
    February 11, 2016 02:00PM By Konrad Putzier
    Equinox Bistricer

    David Bistricer

    David Bistricer’s Clipper Equity threatened to kick an Equinox gym out of its Tribeca luxury rental building 50 Murray Street, claiming it produces “excessive noise.” Now, Equinox Tribeca has responded with a $8 million lawsuit.

    Clipper Equity served Equinox with “a notice of intent to terminate the lease” if the alleged noise issue is not resolved by Feb. 16, according to a complaint filed with the New York State Supreme Court Wednesday.

    In its suit, Equinox Tribeca disputes “that the very same noise and vibrations that have been associated with normal exercise at the health club for the last 14 years suddenly rise to the level of “defaults” under the Lease.” The gym claims it can address noise issues without having to move out, and alleges that Clipper Equity’s notice of default violates the lease agreement. [more]