24 Hour Local Real Estate News

Middle Market Digest: The Northeast

Here is a roundup of recent deals, leases, executive moves, and other news from the past week.

Deal Tracker

NEW YORK, NY–CBRE continues to set the pace for deal-making in Manhattan, with 26 of the top 50 deals—and three of the top five—on CoStar’s list of “Top Manhattan Office Leases.” CBRE represented 21st Century Fox for 793,687 square feet at 1211 Sixth Avenue in the largest deal for the first half of 2017. CBRE represented 1199 National Benefit and Pension Funds along with Cushman & Wakefield in the second largest lease of the year for 577,541 square feet at 498 Seventh Avenue. And in the fifth largest deal, CBRE represented News Corp for 443,586 square feet at 1211 Sixth Avenue.

CLIFTON, NJ—In one of the largest industrial transactions in the North Jersey market in 2017, Damascus Bakery of Brooklyn, NY, has leased 65 Industrial Street South, a 204,000 square foot industrial/warehouse building in Clifton, NJ. Tulfra Real Estate and The Hampshire Companies own the property. The former GlaxoSmithKline building had recently undergone a major $10 million upgrade and renovation after Tulfra Real Estate, the Rochelle Park, NJ-based industrial real estate management and development company teamed up with Morristown, NJ-based Hampshire Companies to acquire the building in 2015. The partners, which have a decades-long relationship and have combined to develop more than three million square feet, launched a major repositioning of the former manufacturing plant for single-tenant use.  Damascus Bakery, a family-owned and operated bakery since 1930, has operation facilities in Brooklyn, New York, and in Newark, New Jersey.

NEW YORK, NY—Square Mile Capital Management originated a $90.5 million loan secured by the Fort Washington Technology Center, a 751,143-square-foot office building located at 1100 Virginia Drive in Fort Washington, PA. The loan was made to an entity owned by funds managed by Greenfield Partners, who acquired the property in 2013 as part of a large multi-state office portfolio. The financing was arranged by Jay Marshall of HFF. Square Mile’s loan includes proceeds to repay existing debt and fund future property improvements and leasing costs. Built in 1964, the property was long used as an exposition center. Today, the Fort Washington Technology Center is the largest multi-tenant office building in suburban Philadelphia and includes a fitness center, basketball court, Starbucks coffee shop and a cafeteria. Its open floorplates, high ceilings and large blocks of space have drawn significant interest from prospective tenants. With two new tenants taking occupancy of approximately 160,000 square feet before the end of 2017, the property is nearly fully leased. Greenfield Partners plans to use loan proceeds to rehabilitate remaining warehouse space, add an outdoor plaza and create a tech lounge as an additional tenant amenity.

BRICK TOWNSHIP, NJ—Olympic Gardens, a highly coveted mixed-use asset comprised of an 80-unit multi-family complex with an adjacent 14,336 square-foot single-story office center along Route 88, has been sold for $10.1 million in a transaction arranged by Gebroe-Hammer Associates, based in Livingston, NJ. Managing Director Joseph Brecher spearheaded the brokerage team, which included Vice President Adam Zweibel, in exclusively representing the seller, Longwood Ave, and securing the buyer, Brick APTS.

CAMBRIDGE, MA—LP Solutions, an affiliate of LIHC Investment Group, will donate its ownership stake in the Close Building ­to Just-A-Start Corporation, a community development corporation focused on the preservation and expansion of affordable housing opportunities in Cambridge, MA, and nearby communities. The Close Building is a 61-unit, 100 percent affordable building, which participates in the federal Project-Based Section 8 program. Under the ownership of Just-A-Start, the building will remain affordable and tenants will continue to pay no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. The donation is one of the largest donations of affordable housing in Greater Boston. The property is the second in the Boston area that LIHC Investment Group has donated to a community-based, not-for-profit operator. In 2015, the company donated its ownership stake in Dimock Bragdon Apartments, a 54-unit affordable building in Roxbury, to Urban Edge, a community development corporation working in Jamaica Plains and Roxbury.


NEW YORK, NY—Joel Stephen, an 11-year veteran of CBRE, has relocated from Hong Kong to New York City, as senior vice president, retail. Joel spent four years with CBRE in London, first working with the UK retail team, then expanding his reach to Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In 2010, Joel moved to Shanghai, where he spearheaded development of China’s retail tenant representation team, which quickly became the market leader, bringing 35 new brands to the Chinese market. For the past three years, Joel was responsible for running the 200-strong Asia retail team based out of Hong Kong, helping CBRE secure a definitive market-leading position in the region. In his new position, Joel will leverage his extensive experience in various brokerage, cross-border and management roles across more than 30 countries to advise retailers on expansion into the U.S. and internationally.

NEWARK, NJ—Lotus Equity Group named four world-class architecture firms that will lead the redevelopment of Newark’s Bears Stadium, transforming one of the downtown area’s most important sites into a thriving 24/7 community. The eight-acre site sits adjacent to the waterfront, steps from NJ Transit’s Broad Street station – accessible to Midtown Manhattan in 18 minutes. The redevelopment is Newark’s most ambitious project and is expected to provide up to 2,000 residential units, 400,000 square feet of office space, large and small-scale retail, cultural and public open space in the emerging Broad Street Station section of downtown. The four are: Practice for Architecture and Urbanism; Michael Green Architecture; TEN Arquitectos; and Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners.

CAMP HILL, PA—Ed Skonecki has joined Lee & Associates of Eastern Pennsylvania as a Senior Associate.  Located in the firm’s Central Pennsylvania office, Ed will work directly with the principals of the firm on key accounts, while focusing on owner and occupier representation, site selection and acquisition and disposition of industrial and commercial real estate. Before joining Lee & Associates of Eastern Pennsylvania, Ed spent 20 years in the corporate technology world. Since 1995, he has held leadership positions in product development, product management, account management, sales and strategic partnerships for companies such as KnowledgePlanet, Mzinga, Saba and CorpU.

NEW YORK, NY—Eastern Consolidated’s Retail Leasing Division has been retained as the exclusive broker to lease a 5,000-square-foot ground floor space at 7-9 West Eighth Street one block from Washington Square Park in the heart of Greenwich Village. Brad Cohen, Senior Director, and Jon Kamali, Associate Director, are marketing the space, which also includes 3,000 square feet on the lower level, new utilities, and sprinkler and fireproofing throughout.

BROOKLYN, NY—Tarter Krinsky & Drogin’s David Pfeffer and his team represented the joint venture behind the Brooklyn Mirage in its acquisition and development of the enormous dance club and entertainment complex in the industrial corridor of East Williamsburg.  The Brooklyn Mirage is an urban oasis which encompasses a 6,000-person, 80,000-square-foot complex that includes indoor and year-round facilities.  In addition to hosting the world’s top DJs, the Mirage will also host movie screenings, fashions shows and art events.  It’s decked out with thousands of plants and even palm trees.  The Brooklyn Mirage is designed to be a sensory experience for both the ears and eyes.

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