Amazon eyes another NYC office building, former RHONY star Kelly Bensimon joins Elliman: Daily digest

A daily round up of real estate news, deals and more for August 14, 2019

Every day, The Real Deal rounds up New York’s biggest real estate news. 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 4 p.m.



There’s a petition to rename the block by Trump Tower after Obama. The petition has 100,000 signatures, and is requesting the mayor rename Fifth Avenue, between 56th and 57th streets, be renamed “President Barack H. Obama Avenue.” [PIX 11]


Rockaway residents are calling for a 2,200 unit development to be downsized. The owner of the shuttered Peninsula Hospital, Arker Companies, is trying to rezone the site to build 11 residential towers, with the tallest building standing at 19 stories. [Politico]


Amazon is in talks to lease 400,000 square feet at a Midtown building. The ecommerce giant has reportedly drafted paperwork for the space at SL Green’s 460 West 34th Street. Last month, the company was also reported to be discussing a lease at WeWork-owned Lord & Taylor building. [NYP]


Shake Shack is moving to the Theatre District. The fast food hamburger restaurant has signed a 15-year lease for a 3,268-square-foot space at 1700 Broadway. The deal with landlord Rockpoint Group pencils out to $300 a square foot. [NYP]


Guards charged with keeping watch on Jeffrey Epstein were sleeping instead. The financier accused of sex trafficking reportedly went unchecked for three hours at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. After realizing their mistake, two corrections officers falsified log records. The pair were reportedly working consecutive days of overtime. [NYT]


The battle over the Inwood rezoning is still going. More than a year after the rezoning was approved by the City Council, opponents have pushed their case forward in the Supreme Court. The suit, filed by plaintiff Northern Manhattan Is Not For Sale, claims that the city’s environmental review was flawed would increase density to 59 blocks in the neighborhood. [Curbed]


Kelly Bensimon (Credit: Getty Images)

Kelly Bensimon (Credit: Getty Images)

Another reality TV star has joined the ranks of Douglas Elliman. Former “Real Housewives of New York” star Kelly Bensimon will join the brokerage following stints at Warburg Realty and Dolly Lenz Real Estate. She will be on the Holly Parker team. [NYP]

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Columbia University is getting a new food hall overseen by a celebrity chef. Franklin Becker, who is featured on Bravo TV, will launch the university’s glitzy fast-casual dining area at its Manhattanville campus. [WSJ]


From left: The Chrysler Building, Beny Steinmetz, and 76 Eleventh Avenue (Credit: Unsplash, Getty Images, and The XI)

From left: The Chrysler Building, Beny Steinmetz, and 76 Eleventh Avenue (Credit: Unsplash, Getty Images, and The XI)

Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz will be tried for Guinean bribery scandal. The diamond mogul, who has reportedly backed the new owner of the Chrysler Building and developer HFZ, allegedly used Swiss bank accounts to bribe officials and secure a mining contract. [BBC]


850 Metropolitan Avenue and Brookland CEO Boaz Gilad (Credit: Google Maps)

850 Metropolitan Avenue and Brookland CEO Boaz Gilad (Credit: Google Maps)

Brookland Capital has lost another Brooklyn project. The firm, led by Boaz Gilad, was terminated as the sponsor at 850 Metropolitan Avenue in East Williamsburg earlier this year. Architecture firm ROART and BHM Realty LLC took over the 32-unit project, which is on the site of a former condensed milk factory. [TRD]


Compiled by David Jeans




Commercial sales:
Maddd Equities acquired a storage property at s in the Bronx for $42 million. [ACRIS]


Icer bought two multifamily buildings at 957 and 950 Woodycrest Avenue in the Bronx for $21 million. [ACRIS 1,2]


Oz Pearlman, an Israeli magician, and his wife Elisa bought a condo at 145 President Street in Brooklyn for $4.1 million. [ACRIS]


Compiled by Mary Diduch