Another WeWork exec is out, Bank OZK’s construction lending is up: Daily digest

A daily round up of New York real estate news, deals and more for October 18, 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 in real time, starting at 9 a.m. Please send any tips or deals to

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Video produced by Sabrina He


Adam Kimmel (Credit: WeWork)

Adam Kimmel (Credit: WeWork)

Adam Kimmel is the sixth executive to resign from WeWork in the last month. Kimmel joined the company in 2017 as chief creative officer after a career in fashion, and designed the WeWork San Francisco office. The company is considering laying off as many as 2,000 people in the coming weeks. [Bloomberg]


Bank OZK’s construction lending is up. The Arkansas-based bank reported that its third quarter construction loan portfolio grew to $6.68 billion from $6.49 billion year over year. It originated $2 billion in loans during that period. The bank has more than $23 billion in assets and is one of the most active construction lenders in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami. [TRD]


Nicholas Forelli is moving to RXR Realty as vice president of retail leasing. The Massey Knakal Realty Services alum was most recently the director of leasing operations at the Feil Organization. [CO]


Avery Hall Investments and Tavros Holdings are making a Gowanus rezoning bet. In partnership with Charney Development and Construction, the firms bought two adjacent parcels which would allow for 233,000 of buildable space — if a proposed rezoning goes through. The site is currently in an Opportunity Zone and zoned for light manufacturing, but the designation would allow residential development. [TRD]


From left: WeWork co-CEOs Sebastian Gunningham and Artie Minson with Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

WeWork’s valuation might drop to $8 billion. That’s if it takes a lifeline from SoftBank. The figure is dramatically lower than the $47 billion valuation set earlier this year by the Japanese conglomerate, which has already sunk $10 billion into the company. [TRD]


Knotel takes long-term lease. The WeWork competitor has taken a 10-year lease of three floors at The Moinian Group’s 60 Madison Avenue. It just finished a $400 million funding round that placed its valuation at $1.3 billion. [CO]


Thor Equities' Joe Sitt and a closeup of 545 Madison Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Thor Equities’ Joe Sitt and a closeup of 545 Madison Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Marx realty evicted Thor Equities at 545 Madison Avenue. Thor ran into trouble earlier this year when its ground rent went up by $450,000 and a CMBS Barclays loan went into special servicing after “severe cash flow issues.” [TRD]

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WeWork landlords are feeling uncertain after the coworking giant’s troubles. Some are even turning to WeWork competitors in anticipation of having to fill space. [TRD]


Jay Martin, James Whelan and Joe Strasburg

Jay Martin, James Whelan and Joe Strasburg

Real estate industry experts say tenants’ new plan spells disaster. Not only will it halt construction and development, they assert, but the slew of new taxes on the wealthy won’t help housing affordability. And some insiders say the demands may face an uphill battle in Albany. [TRD]


One New York City developer is renting a 384-square foot studio apartment, but a national study shows the average studio square footage is more like 530 feet. The city with the smallest average studio size is Ferrelview, Missouri. New York is not far behind. [NYT]


Prologis, the nation’s largest logistics space owner, bought a former envelope factory in East Williamsburg. The $13 million acquisition is Prologis’ second purchase in the area this year. [CO]


In a market filled with glass and steel towers, some architects are going retro. Two buildings on the Upper East Side feature touches that are reminiscent of the turn of the last century. The buildings’ 104 units range from $2.3 to $20 million. The developer, Icon Realty Management, is hoping the nod to art deco style will stand out. [NYT]


NYCHA is bracing for winter with antiquated and disintegrating boilers. More than half of the 1,713 boilers are reaching the end of their lifespan. A federal monitor is overseeing the agency, which provides affordable housing to an estimated 400,000 people and has struggled to keep the heat on in recent winters. [NYT]


Commercial brokerage CBRE is under the microscope after procuring $2.4 million in tax credits for its client, a natural grocery distributor in Long Island City. Emails from a former CBRE director suggest the firm left out information to make its client’s application more attractive to New Jersey’s economic development office. [WSJ]


The New York City Council will vote on a $1.45 billion plan to build a series of barriers to protect the Lower East Side, East Village, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village from catastrophic flooding. But not everyone in the community is on board. The plan, which would take years to complete, would also down more than 1,000 trees and deposit eight feet of landfill on top of the coast.


Developers will ask the city to rezone a property in Dumbo for affordable housing and commercial space. Previously slated for a luxury hotel, instead the site would get 305 units for formerly homeless residents. The rest of the apartments would go to low- to moderate-income households. [Patch]


Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images)

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images)

The Cuomo and de Blasio administrations blamed each other for the city’s irrational property-tax system. The arguments were made as they attempted to kill a lawsuit filed supported by the big players in the real estate industry and advocates for minority tenants and homeowners. [TRD]


Officials at a Public Service Commission meeting said that there is a gas shortage, as National Grid and Governor Cuomo jostle over a moratorium on gas hookups. The utility service provider was ordered by Cuomo last week to provide service to 1,157 waitlisted customers. The company has refused to provide hookups until the state permits a gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to New York. [NYP]