The Real Deal New York

story index

Editor's note

August 2011
  • New Yorkers are fleeing the city in the scorching summer heat, trading subway cars for the Jitney and business casual for beachwear. The Real Deal heads to the Hamptons, where we look at hedge funders’ impact on the market and interview mega developer Joe Farrell. We also talk to Jersey Shore brokers about how Snooki and the ‘Situation’ are impacting the improving market there. Back in New York, brokers are divided on whether it makes […]… [more]

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  • The food chain of distress

    A step-by-step breakdown of how five troubled NYC deals came back to life

      Clockwise from left: Jamaica, Queens, 230 Park Avenue, Yitzhak Tessler, Bob Toll, Sam Suzuki and 621 Manida StreetFor the owners of distressed properties, it’s a harrowing ride to stabilization. Note sale, foreclosure, bankruptcy or recapitalization, there is no easy path from financial trouble to stable footing. And while some savvy investors have seized control of valuable New York City properties, many owners and lenders have lost billions of dollars through distressed real estate sales […]

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  • Sternlicht’s next stop: New York City

    Active elsewhere in the country since the bust, Barry Sternlicht's Starwood Capital has recently ramped up its deal-making here

    Barry SternlichtBarry Sternlicht started his company, Starwood Capital Group, during a downturn — and recently he’s been expanding it, especially here in New York. Since the beginning of the year, Sternlicht, the firm’s chairman, has been ramping up his Manhattan deal-making. The brains behind the iconic “W” brand, he’s picked up a slew of Manhattan properties in the last few months, including 1414 Avenue of the Americas, and the former Donnell Library on West 53rd […]

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  • Real estate’s cyber-wars

    Website ‘squatting’ has been on the rise, industry observers say

     Late last month, Heddings Property Group broker David Innocenzi logged on to domain registry GoDaddy.com to renew his ownership of TheInnocenziTeam.com. No such luck — it was already taken. He said agents from Prudential Douglas Elliman had purchased the domain name, and ostensibly set up the Innocenzi website so that it would redirect traffic to their own. “It was a total shock,” Innocenzi said. “For maybe 30 seconds it was even flattering that someone would […]

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  • The biggest new development marketers

    In changed landscape, Corcoran and Citi Habitats take top slots as the brokerage firms representing the most new developments

    Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats (seated), and Cliff Finn, managing director of new development marketing, at rental tower New York by Gehry In the past, top-of-the-line, modern finishes just weren’t available in most New York City rentals. Not so in 2011. The economic conditions of the past few years have ushered in an era of new luxury rental buildings, catering to would-have-been condo buyers looking for high ceilings, European-designed appliances, and plush amenity packages […]

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  • Hotel investments: Inn fashion

    Attractive cap rates pull private investors into hotel game alongside REITs

    From left: Mark Gordon of Tribeca Associates, Ron Burkle a stakeholder in Morgans Hotel Group, Gary Barnett of Extell Development and Tommy Hilfiger, who purchased the MetLife clocktower For the last few years, investing in New York hotels was like scoring the Presidential Suite at the Plaza — an experience reserved only for a select few, primary real estate investment trusts. Indeed, as the stock market roared back, these publicly traded REITs were able to […]

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  • Office leasing tightens — but for how long?

    Economic uncertainty could soon derail progress

    Economic clouds gathered on the horizon last month, amid legislative battles over the country’s debt ceiling and talks of layoffs at major financial firms. Still, Manhattan office leasing continued to tighten. July brought no eye-popping deals, unlike June, which saw Condé Nast ink a 1 million-square-foot lease at One World Trade Center Downtown, and Nomura Holding America taking 900,000 square feet at Worldwide Plaza in Midtown. Still, the overall market last month did see a […]

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  • From top left: Attorney Edward Harris, Bluestone Group’s Eli Tabak and Lowell Dansker of Intervest Bancshares. Bottom: Jamaica streetscape The setup In a strategy that many insiders say was highly unusual (and very creative), the Bluestone Group wrested control of a 200-plus-unit apartment building in Jamaica, Queens, by getting its hands on the owner’s line of credit. The property owner had taken out both a first mortgage and a revolving line of credit from a […]

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  • The setup Many struggling owners rescue distressed deals by bringing in a new partner. Although known euphemistically as a “recapitalization,” such a deal is often tantamount to a sale, and can be painful for the original owner. At 230 Park Avenue, which had a particularly opaque capital stack, one owner hung on (with a significantly reduced stake), while another lost hundreds of millions of dollars and limped away. In 2007, at the height of the […]

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  • The setup Some owners fight to the bitter end, but ultimately don’t have enough money to hold on during a hostile takeover. That’s what happened to Tessler Developments and the Chetrit Group at 855 Sixth Avenue, a development site just a few blocks south of Herald Square, when Durst Fetner Residential stepped in. In March 2007, Yitzhak Tessler of Tessler Developments partnered with Meyer and Joe Chetrit of the Chetrit Group to shell out $140 […]

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