The Real Deal New York

Posts Tagged ‘peter duncan’

  • peter_duncan_illustration.jpgPeter Duncan, the president of George Comfort & Sons, would probably not be faulted by many in the real estate community for whooping it up with a big “I told you so” to all those who predicted he would never seal the deal on the purchase of Worldwide Plaza. But unlike many of his contemporaries, Duncan refuses to take a victory lap to celebrate the deal, or boast about his prowess in timing the market.

    “It’s like any acquisition. Buyer’s remorse kicked in immediately,” Duncan told The Real Deal, in a half-joking sort of way. Read the full story from the September 2009 issue here.

  • Although developers Larry Silverstein and Harry Macklowe headlined the impressive list of speakers at Massey Knakal’s Commercial Real Estate Investment today, it was developer Sharif El-Gamal who jazzed up the audience at the second-floor auditorium in the McGraw-Hill Building in Midtown.

    Speaking as part of a panel that included Brookfield Properties CEO Richard Clark, George Comfort & Sons CEO Peter Duncan and Himmel + Meringoff Properties’ managing partner Stephen Meningoff, El-Gamal talked about his company’s competitive advantages. … [more]

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    Peter Duncan, president of George Comfort, and 119 West 40th Street (building photo source: PropertyShark)

    L.H. Charney Associates and George Comfort & Sons have reached an agreement with lenders on a deal that would save their struggling office tower at 119 West 40th Street from going into receivership.

    High-level sources familiar with the negotiations say they have reached an agreement to settle a lawsuit by mezzanine lender Wein & Malkin and are finishing up a deal with their senior mortgage lenders.

    “It’s done,” Leon Charney, chief executive of L.H. Charney, confirmed to The Real Deal, in a brief telephone interview.

    On Oct. 16, W&M, now called Malkin Properties, filed suit against Charney, George Comfort President Peter Duncan and Fortis Property principals Joel and Margaret Kestenbaum alleging they defaulted on a $22.25 million mezzanine loan with the original mezzanine lenders, Wachovia Bank and Greenwich Capital, who issued the loan in April 2007. … [more]

  • After closing a blockbuster deal to relocate Starwood Hotels & Resorts from its White Plains headquarters to Stamford, Conn., outgoing Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy said the deal may be the first of several announcements over the next few weeks.

    “We have deals that could be announced literally any day,” Malloy told The Real Deal.

    Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell said this week that Starwood signed to relocate its corporate headquarters to a 250,000-square-foot space at Stamford’s new Harbor Point development at 333 Ludlow Street by January 2012. Starwood will team up with its new landlord, Building and Land Technology, to renovate the new space at a price of $40 million.

    Starwood will save 20 percent in rent at its new headquarters, but officials declined to comment on specific prices. Existing tenants at the site include Deloitte & Touche and Pitney Bowes. According to a second-quarter report by Cushman & Wakefield, the average asking rent for Class A office space was $48.36 per square foot in downtown Stamford and $38.71 per square foot in the rest of the city. … [more]


  • From left: Worldwide Plaza, Peter Duncan, president of George Comfort & Sons

    Worldwide Plaza has seen no shortage of interested tenants, said real estate investor Peter Duncan, president of George Comfort & Sons, which purchased the 49-story building from Harry Macklowe in July. Comfort now has 1.5 million feet in “active negotiations” for potential leases on the 700,000 square feet vacated by advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather this summer, Duncan said, adding that Third Avenue tenants have shown the most interest. The 14 empty floors make up the second largest empty space in the city. Comfort paid $590 million for the property at 825 Eighth Avenue, roughly a third of what Macklowe paid for it in February 2007. Asking rents are between $52 and $59 per foot. Last month, Colliers predicted that if Comfort proves successful in leasing Worldwide Plaza, that could encourage other investors to start buying New York’s distressed office buildings, too.

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    From left: Worldwide Plaza, Peter Duncan

    Real estate investor Peter Duncan, who scored a deal on the 49-story Worldwide Plaza building in July, now has the chance to shape the New York commercial real estate market’s investment landscape. Duncan, who is president of George Comfort & Sons, purchased the property at 825 Eighth Avenue for $590 million, roughly a third of what Harry Macklowe paid for it in February 2007. The price means Duncan might be able to lease out the first 14 floors, which stand vacant as the second-largest empty space in the city, for as little as $30 or $40 per square foot, according to Robert Sammons, research director at Colliers ABR. Whereas Midtown office buildings have had a rough year — CB Richard Ellis Group reported that there have been no single leases in the area for more than 250,000 square feet — low prices may hasten leasing activity for the space in Duncan’s building formerly occupied by advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather. That could, in turn, encourage other investors to take on risk in buying up more New York office buildings, said Jim Frederick, also of Colliers.

  • George Comfort & Sons President Peter Duncan blamed lender Deutsche Bank for the breakdown in a deal to buy the former Macklowe Properties Worldwide Plaza west of Times Square. The real estate firm and investment partner RCG Longview were “disappointed that the seller, Deutsche Bank AG, has decided not to honor the contract,” Duncan said in a statement. The companies were in contract to purchase the 1.8 million-square-foot office tower at 825 Eighth Avenue between 49th and 50th streets after the bank took it back from Macklowe Properties. Duncan held out hope the deal could still be finalized. “We have an executed sales contract, a significant hard deposit in place, and even a closing date of June 30th from the seller’s attorneys. We are ready to close,” he said. TRD