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April 2021

April 2021 » Market Analysis » NY New Developments

April 2021 New York New Developments

New York New Developments

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a measure that expands commercial eviction and foreclosure protections for some small businesses until May.

Saadia Group, Lord & Taylor’s new owner, has found a new headquarters at 275 Madison Avenue.

The proposed development at 250 Water Street will look a bit different from what the developer originally envisioned. A revised design will shrink the project’s size by about 27%, from 757,000 square feet to 550,000 square feet. The tallest building will be reduced in height from 470 feet to 345 feet.

The Down Town Association, lower Manhattan’s oldest social club is going bankrupt. The club was founded in 1859 at 60 Pine Street. The club’s Chapter 11 filing indicates it hopes to emerge as the pandemic eases.

Equitable Life Insurance is moving its New York office by three blocks. The financial company will take 130,000 square feet at 1345 Avenue of the Americas. It will vacate its current location at 1290 Sixth Avenue.

Razing Midtown buildings to make way for an expanded Penn Station and nearly a dozen new towers isn’t going well with some community members and elected officials. The plan, announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, calls for 20 million square feet of new office, retail, hotel and residential space surrounding the transit hub and nearby. More than 50 properties would be affected, and eminent domain might be necessary. Revenue from the projects would help pay for the construction of eight tracks just south of Penn Station, through payments in lieu of taxes and other mechanisms.


New York City restaurants are floundering. 46% say that they will not survive without financial aid, such as rent support, and ongoing policies, like an eviction moratorium. Most failed to turn a profit in 2020, and 75% of respondents saw sales decline by more than half. In January, half of the respondents saw a 90% or greater decline in average weekly sales compared to the same month last year.

New York City officials are planning for Broadway shows to safely return in September. The city plans on setting up a vaccination site for theater workers over the next month. Pop-up testing units are in the works, as well as discussions on how to manage crowds before and after performances.

Jollibee, a Filipino fast-food chain, signed a lease for 3,127 square feet of ground floor retail space and 4,000 square feet on the lower level at 1500 Broadway. Jollibee has more than 1,300 locations worldwide.

MAC Cosmetics is looking to sublease at 165 Smith Street in Brooklyn, 210 East 86th Street, 853 Broadway and 689 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The subleases mean MAC has abandoned 10,000 square feet of space across the city. The lease terms range from 2024 to 2029.

Cuomo announced that clubs and theaters may reopen April 2 at 33% capacity, as part of a broader initiative to open up venues across the state.

The Comic Strip Live appears to be going dark at 1568 Second Avenue. Their old space is being marketed for lease. The venue encompasses 4,366 square feet spread out across a ground floor and a lower level.

As a result of cheaper asking rents and previous restaurant installations, new restaurant operators will be able to open in second-generation restaurant spaces.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the 11 p.m. curfew for certain recreational businesses will end April 5th. The change covers casinos, pool halls, movie theaters, bowling alleys, gyms and fitness centers but it won’t apply to bars and restaurants.

Signs of revival on commercial strips, as entrepreneurs look for deals as rents drop and vaccination rates rise. Leasing activity is heating up for vacant storefronts that could fill up with restaurants and shops related to health, pets and home delivery. Owners of home decor shops are also searching for deals to score more space.

Time Square was a hub of activity, with around 303,338 daily visitors on average but in January 2021, foot traffic had fallen 70% to 89,856. That drop in foot traffic has resulted in bankruptcies, lawsuits and closures and, consequently, hurt for landlords. The average asking rent per square foot in the area hit $1,643 in fall 2020, a 13% decline year-over-year.

Under Armour is subleasing 24,403 square feet of its total 53,000 square feet of space at the former FAO Schwarz located at 767 Fifth Avenue.

A bankruptcy court has approved the sale of flex-office provider Knotel to brokerage Newmark. The brokerage provided $20 million in debtor-in-possession financing after Knotel filed for bankruptcy, and its stalking-horse bid of $70 million brought it closer to acquiring the coworking company. While it is not clear how many Knotel locations will remain open, a filing with the New York Department of Labor indicated that Newmark plans to employ “many, if not most” of the 106 Knotel staffers in New York City.

Builders have been turning golf courses into warehouse locations as the industrial space boom continues. Golf courses are often zoned as commercial, recreational or open space.

Bolivar Development filed an application to build an eight-story school building at 401 West 218 Street, on a half-acre lot in Inwood. The proposed 118,000 square-foot building includes classrooms, offices, a gymnasium, and a kitchen and dining area.

Fetner Properties re-filed plans for the development at 270 West 96th Street, which will have 171 apartments and space for a community facility. Fetner will begin construction on the 235-foot-tall, 150,000-square-foot building during the fourth quarter of the year.

Sycamore Birch Management plans to construct a seven-story, 76,000-square-foot mixed-use building including 60 residential units, 16,000 square feet of commercial space and 7,100 square feet of community facilities and parking for 48 cars at 638 East 169th Street, Bronx.

Bolivar Development is behind an application for an eight-story educational facility in Mount Eden. The proposed 63,000-square-foot building includes classrooms, offices, multipurpose room, a music room, and an orchestra room at 1477 Macombs Road, Bronx.

Yehuda Mor’s Minrav Development plans to construct a 10-story mixed-use building in Gramercy. The proposed 55,300-square-foot building includes 50 residential units and 5,500 square feet of commercial space at 305 First Avenue.

Data centers appear poised for record growth this year. Data centers are essentially large warehouses filled with computing and data storage systems and are measured in power instead of square footage. The pandemic’s economic volatility prompted companies to freeze their information technology budgets, causing demand for data centers to dip 11%. Despite that, 2020 was still the second-best year on record for leasing.

Taconic Partners, in partnership with Nuveen Real Estate, recently secured $393 million in construction financing from Apollo Global Management and Oaktree Management for 125 West End Avenue. As part of a $600 million capitalization, LaSalle Investment Management has joined the project as an $207 million equity partner.

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