Midtown East is getting a new food hall, Howard Lorber isn’t scared of a recession: Daily digest

A daily round up of real estate news, deals and more for August 21, 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 tips@therealdeal.com

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

Video produced by Sabrina He

Museum of Ice Cream is returning to NYC with a new location in Soho. The museum’s permanent flagship, spanning 25,000 square feet, will open at 558 Broadway. Current Real Estate Advisors’ Brandon Charnas and Adam Henick arranged the 10-year lease on behalf of MOIC, and the landlord, the Shemul Family, represented itself in the deal.
[NBC, Press Release]


Anna Castelini and 601 Lexington Avenue (Credit: LinkedIn and Andrew Moore via Flickr)

Anna Castelini and 601 Lexington Avenue (Credit: LinkedIn and Andrew Moore via Flickr)

Boston Properties is bringing a food destination to its renovated Citigroup Center. The real estate investment trust inked a lease with the creator of Downtown Brooklyn’s DeKalb Market Hall. Though the location has yet to open, there’s already some legal drama. A broker is accusing Boston Properties of cutting him out of his commission. [TRD]


Knotel CEO Amol Sarva (Credit: iStock)

There’s another real estate startup that’s achieved unicorn status. Knotel, headed by Amol Sarva, raised $400 million in its latest funding round, reportedly reaching a valuation of $1.3 billion. The news comes as the We Company’s IPO nears. [Bloomberg]


Jason Lee and a rendering of 517-523 West 29th Street

Jason Lee and a rendering of 517-523 West 29th Street

Jason Lee’s Six Sigma is in legal trouble — again. After multiple suits at a condo development on West 19th Street, the developer is being sued by his investors for fraud at a condo project along the High Line.


Flexible-office startup Breather hired a new CTO. Former Cision exec Phillippe Bouffaut has joined the Montreal-based company. In January, Breather tapped Bryan Murphy, a former eBay executive, as CEO. Founder and CEO Julien Smith abruptly stepped down from his post last September, shortly after the firm raised $45 million. [CO]


Meryl Streep’s Tribeca penthouse is relisted with a price chop. The Oscar-winning actress is seeking $18.25 million for the 4,000-square-foot apartment atop 92 Laight Street. It’s a 26 percent drop since Streep first listed the property a year ago. [WSJ]


Howard Lorber doesn’t fear a recession. As the Douglas Elliman chair prepares an entry to Houston, he has dismissed fears that recession would hurt the brokerage business. “Could things slow down? Yeah, they could,” he said. “I’m not sure they will, but it’s not something I worry about.” [Houston Chronicle]


Two new penthouses at 200 Amsterdam Avenue will ask $40 million a piece. The new apartments will be located inside the Upper West Side’s tallest new building, which will top out at 668 feet. The project has stirred controversy in the neighborhood, where the developer SJP Properties has met opposition from local residents. [WSJ]

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Douglas Durst

“Perhaps it has a business model that can be as successful as ours.” That was Douglas Durst’s rebuke of a WeWork claim that its business model can withstand all economic cycles, “something created by no other real estate company ever.” In a letter published by Crain’s, Durst proceeded to list the legacy of his family company, which has withstood wars, recessions, depressions, booms and busts. [Crain’s]


Opportunity Zones will blow holes through New York state tax balance sheets, a watchdog group found. The Citizens Budget Commission, which focuses on New York City and State financial reform, stated that without stricter oversight by Albany, the program will spur significant losses in tax revenue. [Crain’s]


Risky loans to homebuyers are on the rise. Protections put in place following the 2008 financial crisis, that bar borrowers from taking out loans they can’t pay back, are being avoided by a new mortgage category known as non-qualified loans. Last year $45 billion of these loans were issued, and 2019 is on track to top that figure. [WSJ]


Landlords are using co-working companies to fill space in Opportunity Zones. A major challenge for building owners has been to draw businesses, and tenants, to distressed areas. The answer, for some, is to introduce co-working companies to their buildings, which in turn, attract startups, and entrepreneurial activity, giving those areas a boost. [NYT]


CIM Group and LIVWRK sign a new tenant for their Front & York project. Life Time, a wellness and fitness club company, signed a 77,000-square-foot lease at the 1.1 million-square-foot building on Brooklyn’s Dumbo waterfront. The building will open in 2021, and Life Time will open the following year. [NYP]


A famed pizza shop has closed amid unpaid tax bills. Fans of Brooklyn’s famed Di Fara Pizza found the shop covered in state and city tax notices this week. A spokesperson for for the Taxation Department said the Midwood shop owes the state $167,506. [NYDN]


Owners of a Bronx Opportunity Zone development site are looking for a buyer. ABS Partners has been tapped by the owner of 40 Bruckner to find a developer to take over a 99-year lease at the site. The property has the potential for a 250,000-square-foot project. [NYP]


Rose Associates subleased its 50,000-square-feet at 200 Madison Avenue. The lease, which has five years remaining at the 26-story Midtown tower, was split between two new tenants, Havas PR Worldwide and McCubbin Hosiery. [NYP]


Two Trees Management might have a buyer for 111 Wall Street. Real estate investor David Werner is reportedly in advanced talks to take the building’s leasehold. It comes as tenant Citi Group is expected to leave building, vacating 900,000-square feet. [Crain’s]


From left: Rotem Rosen, Zina Sapir, Tamir Sapir, Bella Sapir, Elena Sapir, and Alex Sapir (Credit: Getty Images)

From left: Rotem Rosen, Zina Sapir, Tamir Sapir, Bella Sapir, Elena Sapir, and Alex Sapir (Credit: Getty Images)

Alex Sapir’s former brother-in-law is suing the family for $103 million. Rotem Rosen, who was previously CEO of the Sapir Organization, has accused Alex of mismanaging the family fortune, left by his late father, Tamir. Rosen alleges Sapir made improper distributions to beneficiaries and hid assets. The Sapir family has called Rosen’s complaint a “sham.” [TRD]




Financing: Amerant, a Florida community bank, provided $47 million for Ashkenazy Acquisition and Black Spruce Management’s buy of a 53-unit apartment building at 25 East 67th Street. The buyers paid Parkoff Organization $70 million for the property. [ACRIS]