Developer ditches JDS for Collective, BKLYN Commons expands

A daily roundup of New York real estate news, deals and more for Nov. 6, 2019

Every weekday The Real Deal rounds up New York’s biggest real estate news. We update this page throughout the day starting at 9 a.m. Please send any tips or deals to

This page was last updated at 6:55 p.m.


Developer jumps ship to co-living firm. Simon Koster joined UK-based the Collective as its U.S. head of development last month. He previously was a principal at JDS Development, the firm behind 111 West 57th Street and Brooklyn’s future tallest building at 9 DeKalb Avenue. [Bloomberg]


Moody’s Analytics abandons investment in data firm led by former Xceligent founder. The data giant divested its stake in Australia-based Empirical CRE, a firm launched by Doug Curry. The move came after another competitor, CoStar Group, won a copyright-infringement judgement against Xceligent. [TRD]


Brooklyn coworking firms triples footprint. BKLYN Commons, a firm launched by Jack Srour, expanded its space at 495 Flatbush Ave. in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. It now takes up 45,000 square feet in the building. [Crain’s]


CrowdStreet raises $12 million. The Portland, Ore.–based firm, which crowdfunds investments in real estate, has raised $25 million since 2013. But the new investment comes amid a deep slump for It also hired a new CTO, CFO and head of capital markets. [TRD]

The Sand Castle apartment complex at 7-11 Seagirt Ave in Far Rockaway (Credit: Google Maps)

The Sand Castle apartment complex at 7-11 Seagirt Ave in Far Rockaway (Credit: Google Maps)

Former owners of a rental building in Far Rockaway have agreed to pay $1 million to settle a federal lawsuit accusing them of discriminating against people who had been incarcerated. Sandcastle Towers Housing Development Fund Corp., Weissman Realty Group and Sarasota Gold settled the case Tuesday. It centered on the 917-unit Sand Castle apartment complex, the Daily News reported. [DN]


Jamie Dimon

Jamie Dimon admits some lessons learned with WeWork. “Just because a valuation prints at a certain level by one investor doesn’t mean it’s the right valuation,” said the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, which has done business with WeWork, on CNBC. He added that companies preparing for an IPO should have proper corporate governance and independent board members in place before going public. [Bloomberg]


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Landlords call for REBNY to do better. After losing the rent reform battle to tenant advocate groups, the city’s real estate industry group is taking friendly fire for losing the narrative and its political traction in Albany. “There was a collective failure across the entire industry to not recognize this sea change,” said one major landlord. [CO]


Douglas Elliman’s net income plummeted last quarter. Its parent company, Vector Group, plans to cut back on payouts to investors and will halve its quarterly cash dividend to $0.20 per share starting in the first quarter of 2020, CEO Howard Lorber said Tuesday. [TRD]


Gowanus could be in for another facelift. The Department of City Planning is drafting a rezoning of the neighborhood that would pave the way for thousands of apartments and affordable units, retail and manufacturing developments. A set of NYCHA buildings could also be in for a revamp. [Crain’s]


Work starts on conversion of Bronx jail. A mixed-use development that will include affordable housing, retail and recreational space is replacing the notorious Spofford Juvenile Detention Center in Hunts Point. The project is a joint venture of Gilbane Development Company, Hudson Companies and the Mutual Housing Association of New York. [Curbed]

Paying prevailing wage could cripple low-cost housing construction. That’s the warning from a group of below-market builders and homelessness advocates to the City Council, which is considering forcing low-cost developers to pay union rates. [Crain’s]


NYCHA is cautioned against using no-bid contractors. The federal monitor overseeing the embattled public-housing agency has raised concerns over the agency’s practice of awarding thousands of small contracts to the same vendors. The monitor also said the agency has not addressed complaints of rat and bed bug infestations. [The City, NYDN]


Fifth Avenue retail rents are slipping. Between 42nd and 49th streets, rents on the famous strip dropped 25 percent from the same time last year, according to a JLL report. But between 49th Street and Central Park, lease prices declined only 0.7 percent. [Bloomberg]


Mack Real Estate issues $390 million loan. The financing was provided to Slate Property Group and BentallGreenOak to refinance a 412-unit luxury property, at 420 East 54th Street in Midtown East. [CO]


Compass is shifting from offering equity stock options to restricted stock units. The tactic, seen as away to retain talent, will force employees to forfeit their restricted stock units if they leave the company before the units vest. Many agents sign a two- or three-year deal when they join the brokerage. [Inman]