The Real Deal New York

March 2011
  • The money spigot opens

    A breakdown of some of the banks busy funding NYC acquisitions, refis and (gasp!) even developments

    It isn’t a flood just yet. But observers say the flow of funds from the money spigot for New York real estate deals has intensified in recent months. And this new stream of lending — which is enabling mostly refinancings, but some developments and acquisitions, too — is coming from many directions, according to bankers, brokers and developers. Brand-name national banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America are finally taking risks on a range […]… [more]

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  • Jones Lang’s big play

    JLL has shelled out an estimated $20 million on new broker teams. A look at whether the poaching is paying off.

    On an island with 450 million square feet of office space, an early 20th-century Midtown building of less than 100,000 square feet is a drop in the bucket. But in January, the 13-story 681 Fifth Avenue was one of the flash points in a frantic contest between commercial brokerage rivals Cushman & Wakefield and Jones Lang LaSalle. At issue was control of roughly 20 properties, in play because JLL poached five top leasing brokers from […]

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  • Managers with listings

    In break with past, heads of brokerage offices do more deals themselves

    It has long been a cardinal rule in residential real estate in New York that those who are running the show and managing the office don’t actually sell apartments. While they must be licensed to do so, the thinking goes that managers are there to help train their agents, help their agents navigate deals, and divvy up any leads that come in. “Managers do not sell,” but instead make their money from salaries and bonuses, […]

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  • Not just Google

    Tech firms gobble up office space -- but more caution than during dot-com bubble

    Quirkily named Internet startups were dominant in last month’s Super Bowl advertising. Initial public offerings for these companies have recently been splashed throughout the business pages, and Wall Street analysts are valuing some of them in the range of tens of billions of dollars. Then, of course, there’s the gorilla in the room, Google’s recent $1.9 billion purchase of 111 Eighth Avenue. These days it seems you can’t escape that eerily familiar sense that we […]

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  • They’re back

    A look at NY's new investors, the last bastion of undervalued nabes, and inflation's role in today's purchases

    Investors have long viewed prime Manhattan residential real estate as the equivalent of a blue-chip stock: expensive, but virtually guaranteed to appreciate over time. That is, until the 2008 Lehman Brothers crash sent prices plummeting, turning the conventional wisdom on its head. After Lehman, foreclosures appeared in investor-owned apartments all over Manhattan as the chasm between monthly costs and rental income widened. Buying an investment property in Manhattan suddenly seemed like a terrible idea, and […]

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  • The extra mile

    Despite some black eyes, upstart Square Mile Capital becomes a big player with a take-no-prisoners approach to delinquent borrowers

    From left: Square Mile co-founders Craig Solomon and Jeff Citrin In 2007, a little-known real estate fund called Square Mile Capital Management made $38 million in loans to Kent Swig, then a red-hot New York City real estate player, for him to complete his high-profile condo conversions at both the Sheffield and 25 Broad Street. Square Mile forced Swig to pledge equity in his condos as collateral for the funds, but by 2008, Swig’s empire […]

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  • House Proud

    A behind-the-scenes look at the insular world of townhouse brokerage and the new competition for megadeals

    156 West 88th Street On the gutted second floor of 34 East 68th Street, residential real estate broker George van der Ploeg is giving a mini-lecture on 19th-century architecture. A rectangular staircase pillar isn’t original to the 1879 brownstone, says van der Ploeg, who is marketing the $11.975 million listing with fellow Prudential Douglas Elliman broker Nancy Aryeh. (To read the sidebar on Manhattan buyers’ preference for historic townhouses over newly built houses, click here) […]

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  • Beyond the ‘bottom-out’

    Movie moguls sign lease, but other tenants 'bummed' as landlords scale back incentives

    Last month brought some high-profile lease signings in Manhattan — including by the Weinstein Company, headed by movie mogul brothers Harvey and Bob, OppenheimerFunds and Bloomberg LP. But landlords in many buildings are still solidifying their competitive market edge. Coming off its success with the Oscar-nominated “The King’s Speech,” the film company took an eight-year lease for the entire second floor of 99 Hudson Street in Hudson Square, which is part of the Midtown South […]

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  • Developer and New York Mets co-owner Fred Wilpon has been building his real estate empire since the early 1970s. But, as has been widely reported, the fall of Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff has been wreaking havoc for him. Last month, Madoff said that Wilpon, who was invested in his funds, “knew nothing” about his scam. But Madoff’s victims are going after Wilpon and his partners for millions, and now he’s shopping for new Mets investors. […]

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  • Tishman Speyer regains footing

    After major suffering during downturn, firm is now buying, selling, leasing and restructuring at a fast clip

    Stuyvesant Town Tishman Speyer Properties may have suffered one of the biggest debacles of the downturn with Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village, but the firm appears to be getting its footing back. Over the past year, the 33-year-old Manhattan-based company has gone on a spree of buying, selling, developing and leasing buildings, as well as restructuring some of its debt. Last year, the firm bought around $1.06 billion of property around the world, up […]

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