Three Rockefeller Center restaurants are closing shop, REIT execs charged with accounting fraud: Daily digest

A daily round up of New York real estate news, deals and more for August 5, 2019

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

This page was last updated at 4:00 p.m.


Trio of Rock Center restaurants about to close. The Sea Grill, Rock Center Cafe and Cucina will all close once their leases expire in January. All three are run by Patina Restaurant Group. Landlord Tishman Speyer said in a statement that they are “exploring other partners and concepts in food and beverage.” [NYP]

Compass wants laid-off Uber employees to join their company. Just one day after Uber laid off a third of its marketing team, Compass’ chief creative officer Matt Spangler tweeted that they should come check out the open roles at Compass. The brokerage firm just announced a $370 million funding round on July 30 and in the midst of tripling its product-and-engineering team. [TRD]

The former CEO and CFO of Brixmor Property Group have been charged with accounting fraud. Former CEO Michael Carroll and former CEO Michael Pappagallo resigned in February 2016 after the audit committee discovered that employees had been “smoothing” income in an attempt to make quarterly results look more consistent, according to Bloomberg. A recently unsealed indictment accuses Carroll and Pappagallo of manipulating the income to make investors think that Brixmor was achieving “predictable, consistent and stable growth” on a quarterly basis. Both men have pleaded not guilty to charges of making false statements, fraud and conspiracy. [Bloomberg]
Here are the $10 million to $20 million sales from New York last week. Sam Chang’s McSam Hotel Group bought a parking garage at 62 Mulberry Street in Chinatown for $18.75 million; an LLC bought two commercial condos at 43 West 64th Street in Lincoln Square for $14.5 million; and an entity linked to Feng Jin Wang bought the Kanes Diner at 44-15 College Point Boulevard in Flushing for $13.6 million. [TRD]


Manhattan is the most expensive city to live in. A study from the Council for Community and Economic Research found that Manhattan had the highest cost of living in American cities based on factors such as housing, utilities and transportation, according to Yahoo! Finance. It was followed by San Francisco, Honolulu, Brooklyn, Seattle and Washington D.C., and Queens was in the top 25 as well. [Yahoo! Finance]


Barneys might score a bankruptcy loan. The chain might file for bankruptcy as soon as next week and has been in talks with Great American Capital Partners, TPG Sixth Street Partners and Wells Fargo about a loan.The company would seek a loan that would let it remain open while developing a recovery plan under Chapter 11 protection, and it is still possible for bankruptcy to be averted. [Bloomberg]


De Blasio borrowed money from a bank whose founder has controversial ties. Abraham Podolsky’s bank Wall Street Mortgage Bankers provided Mayor Bill de Blasio with mortgages for his two Park Slope properties on 11th Street. Abraham is the brother of Jay and Stuart Podolsky, who sold 17 buildings to the city for $173 million earlier this year. That deal sparked concerns given the criminal history of Jay and Stuart, and the loans from Abraham’s company to de Blasio have sparked new concerns about conflicts of interest. [NYDN]


De Blasio also landed $90K from a fundraiser thrown by hotel owners seeking city help. Ira Drukier and Richard Born, the owners of the Chelsea Hotel, threw a fundraiser for Mayor Bill de Blasio in March a few days after seeking help from his administration as they looked to renovate the building, according to The City. The money came from people including Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg, along with developers Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs. [The City]


And he also reportedly had the NYPD move his daughter out of her apartment. Chiara de Blasio was moved out of her Sunset Park apartment about one year ago under cover of night. Sources described the move as an abuse of city resources and were confused about why de Blasio would use his Executive Protection Unit for such a task. [NYDN]


Assemblymember says Pacific Park developers won’t meet their affordable housing deadline. Greenland Forest City Partners pledged to build 2,250 affordable housing units at Pacific Park by mid-2025, but Brooklyn Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon told The City she does not think they will hit their goal. “I don’t think that’s possible,” she said. “That hasn’t been publicly acknowledged.” The developer has finished work on 782 units so far, with another 94 set to be part of a building currently under construction and about 200 more set to be included in a pair of buildings that would go up early next year. [The City]

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There were 14 luxury contracts totaling roughly $95.9 million signed in Manhattan last week. The number of contracts was the same as the week before, but the dollar volume increased from about $89.6 million. The properties spent an average of 408 days on the market and had an average discount of 9 percent from the original to the final asking price. [Olshan]


Brooklyn’s luxury market saw 13 contracts signed last week for a total of roughly $38.2 million. The market was down from the prior week, when 16 contracts were signed for about $51.7 million. [Compass]


A major art dealer is taking over more space in Chelsea. Larry Gagosian is adding to his art gallery — already the largest in the world — by renting 7,900 square feet next to his West 24th Street gallery spanning 26,000 square feet. He has agreed to a long-term lease with landlord Weinberg Properties. [Bloomberg]


Compiled by Eddie Small




Residential sales:
Cyrus Yaraghi and Marjan Yaraghi of the home furnishing company, Safavieh, bought a co-op for $10.8 million at 812 Fifth Avenue. [ACRIS]



Goldman Sachs provided about $227 million in financing for RXR Realty’s Brooklyn campus of Long Island University. [ACRIS 1,2,3]


The New York State Finance Agency provided roughly $111.4 million for 10 Brooklyn buildings that are part of Bushwick Gardens. [ACRIS 1,2,3]

Compiled by Mary Diduch