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Real Estate Roundup 2.24.20

45 East 22nd Street (Credit: Continuum / StreetEasy)

Real Estate Roundup:

Acquisitions 

Michael and Cynthia Schlegel’s EcoRise Development has acquired 159-161 Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village from Joel Wertzberger’s Joyland Group for $36 million. The mixed-use property spans 28,380 SF, and contains 20 market-rate apartments, plus four office units.

  • Flashback: Joyland paid $20 million for the property in 2014. (TRD)

Leasing 

  • Slack, the cloud-based software company, has apparently ditched the deal for the entire 43,106-square-foot office component of Reading International’s 44 Union Square. (CO)
  • Ladybug Daycare has signed a 10-year lease for 2,800 SF on the ground floor at Garry Knopov’s 138 Union Street in Carroll Gardens. Asking rent on the deal was $55 per SF. This will be the daycare center’s fifth location in the area. (CO)
  • The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital has signed a 10-year lease for 12,000 SF of office space at Elie Hirschfeld’s 207 East 94th Street. Asking rents for the space on the second and third floors was $55 per SF. (CO)
  • Ian Bruce Eichner has found a buyer willing to pay $45 million for two penthouses atop his Madison Square Park Tower condo. The trophy units, which span 13,000 square feet across three floors, were most recently listed for $52 million. This deal brings the East 22nd Street building to more than 90% sold, according to the developer… Sales began in 2014 and Eichner bought more time to sell out units with a $167.5 million inventory loan from Madison Realty Capital in 2018. (WSJ)

Retail 

  • Walmart, Target, and other retailers are adding thousands of self-checkout machines to U.S. stores to save money on labor as they spend more to staff new services like online delivery. But self-checkouts come with new, sometimes costly challenges as retailers try to curb theft, cut wait times and keep customers happy… At Target, about one-third of shoppers choose self-checkout. (WSJ)
  • Supermarkets have begun relying on their own proprietary research to decide how and where to shelve certain products, rather than relying on companies that sell well-known brands to tell them what to put on what shelf at what price. Grocers are incorporating into the software’s algorithms such metrics as “walk rates,” which measure how much time a typical customer is willing to spend looking for certain products before giving up and leaving without buying anything. High-selling products with short walk rates get to be in the “strike zone,” just below eye level, where retailers often put products they want consumers to notice. (WSJ)

Politics

Graffiti comes back to haunt the Wolkoff Group… A federal appeals court in New York gave its approval Thursday to a $6.7 million award for nearly two dozen graffiti artists whose spray paintings at 5Pointz in LIC were destroyed to make room for high-rise luxury residences.

  • Dig Deeper: The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that a judge was correct to award the damages against developers who destroyed the aerosol artwork in 2013. The appeals court said the action violated the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, which protects art and has gained recognition. (NBC)

Other news 

  • Masayoshi Son will head to New York next month for the first time since the implosion of WeWork, seeking to persuade hedge funds and institutional investors that the fortunes of SoftBank Group. have turned since the disastrous investment. (Bloomberg)
  • U.S. home sales sputtered in January, the latest sign that some of the lowest interest rates in half a century are failing to offset the high prices and limited inventory keeping many buyers on the sidelines. Existing home sales fell 1.3% in January compared with December at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million. (WSJ)

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