Elizabeth Warren slams WeWork rescue package, investors scrutinize SoftBank’s bookkeeping

A roundup of New York real estate news for November 26, 2019

Nov.November 26, 2019 01:23 PM
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Every weekday, The Real Deal rounds up New York’s biggest real estate news. We update this page throughout the day, starting at 9 a.m. Please send any tips or deals to [email protected].

This page was last updated at 1:23 p.m.

Brooklyn-based Golden Gate Management has purchased a one-story warehouse at 34 Steuben St., 11 months after filing plans to replace it with a nine-story, 110-foot building. The firm paid $4.9 million for the 10,100-square-foot property between Flushing Avenue and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. [Crain’s]

Elizabeth Warren (Credit: Getty Images)

Elizabeth Warren (Credit: Getty Images)

Elizabeth Warren calls WeWork an “example of a rigged and corrupt system.” The democratic presidential candidate pointed to CEO Adam Neumann’s “$1.7 billion golden parachute” on Twitter Friday, which comes as the co-working firm plans to lay off 2,400 employees, or about a fifth of its headcount worldwide. SoftBank’s $3 billion tender offer to WeWork is set to launch this week, following weeks of delays, and Neumann is set to net up to $970 million in the process. [BI]


After WeWork, investors are taking a closer look at SoftBank’s accounting. SoftBank has participated in fundraising rounds that have added more than $150 billion in value to private companies, a Bloomberg analysis found. Masayoshi Son’s firm can book a profit by buying shares in a firm and then investing again — resulting in gains that insiders say is “meaningless,” although current accounting rules offer no better alternatives. [Bloomberg]


Queens politicians who fought Amazon HQ2 are taking aim at Sunnyside Yards. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Council member Jimmy Van Bramer, and State Sen. Michael Gianaris have called out the city’s Economic Development Corporation for sidelining community concerns as it plans to redevelop the massive railyard in Sunnyside. “No one wishes to see the specter of luxury development that is Hudson Yards duplicated in Sunnyside,” Ocasio-Cortez and Van Bramer stated in a joint letter. [The City]

Michael Bloomberg (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Michael Bloomberg (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Michael Bloomberg’s NYC real estate record may polarize Democratic voters. As mayor from 2002 through 2013, Bloomberg’s pro-development policies were credited by business interests for powering New York City’s comeback and denounced by critics for increasing homelessness and inequality — and even his decisions that seemed moderate or progressive at the time no longer do in the context of today’s politics. The former mayor officially entered the 2020 presidential race on Sunday. [TRD]


Netflix has a lease agreement to save NYC’s last single-screen cinema. The 71-year-old Paris Theatre, whose previous lease expired over the summer, will be used for special events, screenings and the theatrical release of the streaming giant’s films. Netflix is also in talks to acquire Los Angeles’ Egyptian Theatre. [Bloomberg]


More Downtown tenants are taking the class action route in rent overcharge fight. Tenants at the 1,000-unit luxury complex at 63 and 67 Wall Street are seeking the return of back rent and new rent-stabilized leases, in the latest lawsuit to come out of a June ruling from New York’s Court of Appeals aimed at landlords who received the 421-g tax break. Meanwhile, one landlord has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reexamine the state’s ruling, claiming that it was unconstitutional. [The City]

Fritz Wolff (Credit: Katerra)

Fritz Wolff (Credit: Katerra)

A co-founder of SoftBank-backed Katerra has left the company’s board. Fritz Wolff, who also heads his family’s eponymous private equity firm, the Wolff Company, is no longer a board member but “maintains an advisory role as a co-founder of Katerra,” a company spokesperson confirmed on Monday after TRD noticed he had disappeared from Katerra’s website. The construction startup has been facing heightened scrutiny in the wake of WeWork’s botched IPO. [TRD]


Some NYCHA workers are still trying to hide issues from HUD inspectors. The city’s public housing authority quietly suspended three employees for falsely claiming that required repairs had been completed, on paperwork submitted during HUD inspections. NYCHA staffers have a long history of trying to deceive federal inspectors, a practice that was highlighted in a prosecutor’s report that led to an agreement to assign a federal monitor for the agency in January. [The City]

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