Steve Ross criticized for Trump fundraiser, Barneys gets a lifeline: Daily digest

A daily round up of real estate news, deals and more for August 7, 2019
August 07, 2019 04:00PM

Every day, The Real Deal rounds up New York’s biggest real estate news, from breaking news and scoops to announcements and deals. We update this page at 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 4 p.m. ET. Please send any tips or deals to [email protected]

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Real estate billionaire Steve Ross is facing criticism by his own employees for hosting a fundraiser for President Trump in the Hamptons on Friday. SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan sent a letter saying she doesn’t support the event. Kenny Stills, a wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins, wrote on Instagram that the event goes against racial equality efforts made by Ross’s own nonprofit. The full package — which includes lunch, a photo and a private discussion with the president — goes for $250,000. Afterward, there is a reception at Joe Farrell’s Bridgehampton estate. [Bloomberg]


Toll Brothers picked up the site of the Marrakesh Hotel on the Upper West Side for $44 million. The luxury homebuilder hasn’t made many acquisitions in New York in recent years. The seller just reached a $275K settlement with the city over using the property as an illegal hotel. [TRD]


Upper West Side advocates renewed their push to kill Extell Development’s planned tower at 50 West 66th Street. Landmark West and the City Club of New York brought their appeal to the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals, arguing the tower is taller than zoning permits. [Curbed]


Hedge funder Daniel Och is targeting an absolutely insane number for the sale of his 15 Central Park West apartment. The financier is seeking $12,200 a foot for the penthouse, far higher than most new development units currently on the market. [TRD]


Melinda Katz and Tiffany Cabán (Credit: Getty Images)

Melinda Katz and Tiffany Cabán (Credit: Getty Images)

Melinda Katz’s come-from-behind victory in the Queens DA primary has lifted the spirits of real estate executives. Katz, a former lobbyist with Greenberg Traurig, received heavy backing from the industry. Tiffany Caban conceded the race on Tuesday night. [TRD]


Compass poached Coldwell Banker’s top producer to buff up its presence in LaLa land. Chris Cortazzo, who nabbed more than $500 million in sales volume last year, will join the venture-backed brokerage. The Malibu agent’s 16-person team is joining him. [TRD]


Barneys secured a new offer from Brigade Capital Management and B. Riley Financial to keep it afloat until late October. The firms will inject $143 million in new debt while paying off a prior $75 million loan. As part of its bankruptcy plan, Barneys will continue to operate two stores in Manhattan, and locations in Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Boston and two warehouse stores. [CNBC]


Marcus & Millichap COO Mitch Labar plans to retire at the end of the year, the brokerage disclosed today. J.D. Parker and Richard Matricaria, who were appointed to be executive vice presidents in March, will jointly assume his responsibilities. [Seeking Alpha]


Is co-living starting to crack? An apartment-sharing startup, Bedly, last month closed all New York locations, leaving more than 600 tenants without valid leases and a month’s notice to find somewhere else to live. [TRD]


Douglas Elliman chairman Howard Lorber (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

Douglas Elliman has a new transfer tax to thank for a boost in revenue for Q2. The brokerage’s parent company Vector Group recorded an 18 percent jump as buyers rushed to close deals and avoid extra costs. [TRD]


Ashton Kutcher, Adam Neumann, and Martin Scorsese (Credit: Getty Images)

WeWork’s latest pursuits involve Martin Scorsese, Ashton Kutcher and an NBC show. The office space company sought the entertainment industry icons for a marketing efforts, in another example of the startup trying to move away from its image as a traditional real estate company. [Bloomberg]


The New York Times is moving some staffers across the East River. The Gray Lady signed a lease for 58,000 square feet at Court Square Place in Long Island City, in a deal brokered by JRT Realty Group, the real estate company announced on Tuesday. [TRD]


The man running a billion-dollar hedge fund purchased the East Village headquarters of the New York Boy’s Club. Aaron Sosnick, the founder of an investment fund A.R.T. Advisors LLC, paid $32 million for the 50,000-square-foot building at 287 East 10th Street. Sosnick has feuded with developer Gregg Singer over a plan to convert former P.S. 64 into a dormitory. [Crain’s]


From left: Wyndham New Yorker Hotel at 481 8th Avenue, the Grand Hotel at 1238 Broadway and the Imperial Court Hotel at 307 West 79th Street (Credit: Pixabay, Wikipedia, Google Maps, and iStock)

From left: Wyndham New Yorker Hotel at 481 8th Avenue, the Grand Hotel at 1238 Broadway and the Imperial Court Hotel at 307 West 79th Street (Credit: Pixabay, Wikipedia, Google Maps, and iStock)

One woman found a $99-a-month lease at an Upper West Side hotel. A taxi driver scored free rent at the Chelsea Highline Hotel. These are some examples of a “loophole” in rent stabilized hotels. Check out our comprehensive guide. [TRD]


National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre sought investment from the firm’s former ad agency to buy a $5 million Dallas mansion. The deal, which ultimately didn’t pan out, emerged in a probe by the New York Attorney General’s office into the group’s operations. [WSJ]


Last summer, Judge Eileen Rakower annulled the state’s new title insurance regulations. This summer, she did it again. (Credit: Getty Images)

Last summer, Judge Eileen Rakower annulled the state’s new title insurance regulations. This summer, she did it again. (Credit: Getty Images)

A judge has annulled title insurance regulations for the second consecutive summer. The Department of Finance rules barred firm’s from entertaining clients. [TRD]


SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son is banking that his firm can offload Sprint in a merger with T-Mobile. The mobile carrier has been a thorn in the side of SoftBank, and racked up $47 billion in debt. He said Wednesday that shedding Sprint will allow him to focus on Softbank’s Vision funds, valued at $200 billion. [Bloomberg]


Compass has a competitor in California’s East Bay. Red Oak Realty is now the largest indie real estate brokerage in the area after acquiring Marvin Gardens Real Estate, which will increase the firm’s headcount to 160 brokers. [Inman]


Far-left candidate Tiffany Cabán conceded the Queens District Attorney primary race to machine pol Melinda Katz last night. Katz, a favorite of the real estate industry, won by 55 votes following a weeks-long manual recount. [NYT]


Compiled by David Jeans and James Kleimann




Commercial sales:
EMP Capital sold the commercial condo space at 47 Greene Street in Soho for $24.8 million. [ACRIS]