Contact Us
News

2009, In Two Words

New York

Want to get a jump start on upcoming deals? Meet the major New York City players at one of our upcoming events!

2009, In Two Words
Happy Holidays, all. Thank you for your friendship, support, and community spirit. We look forward to seeing you in 2010, and we truly hope it will be a wonderful year for everyone.
Perhaps Captain ‘Sully’ Sullenberger steering U.S. Airways Flight 1549 into a freezing Hudson in January—the same day as REBNY’s annual gala—was an indication of the year to come. Navigation and survival became two themes of ’09’s real estate market.
2009, In Two Words
There you are on that fateful day. The first half of the year was a slow-go on the leasing and transactional sides, as people put off decision making in hopes of lower prices and rental rates or waiting to see how the recession would impact their space needs, especially with the continuous decline in employment numbers. The bid-ask gap was wide, while many investors expected a deluge of distressed assets to hit the market and were surprised to only see a trickle.
2009, In Two Words
But we finally saw a pickup in leasing come summertime. Law firms led the pack, topped late this year by Paul Weiss’ 15-year, 19-floor renewal at 1285 Avenue of the Americas (brokered by Newmark Knight Frank’s Barry Gosin and Moshe Sukenik on behalf of the tenant, and Jones Lang LaSalle’s Peter Riguardi and John Ryan III on behalf of owner AXA Equitable). Among the mega leases inked:Gibson Dunn & Crutcher’s renewal and expansion to 260k SF at the MetLife Building until 2031, and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s 15-year, 213k-SF move to 51 W. 52nd St.
2009, In Two Words
June also witnessed a break in the financing rut since the markets crashed, when the 2.1M-SF Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park (above), a joint venture between BofA and The Durst Org., announced $1.3B in financing. Other deals: Africa Israel USA’s $267M financing of its Times Square Building; SL Green’s $215M refinancing of 100 Park and $145M leasehold mortgage for 420 Lexington; and Ritz Plaza Apartments’ $151M refinancing. The largest sales included two mega sale-leasebacks: The IDB Group/Midtown Equities’ purchase of 452 Fifth Ave. from HSBC for $330M and W.P. Carey & Co.’s purchase of the New York Times’ 620 Eighth Ave. HQ for $225M.
2009, In Two Words
Some of the biggest strides in positivity were felt in retail. We observed a change from shell-shocked to cautious optimism in one year alone at ICSC’s NY National Conference, earlier this month. CBRE Capital Markets’ George Good let us know that for the first time in 18 months, retail spending is beginning to show meager, yet positive increases, with retailers finally seeing bottom-line profitability, regardless of top-line sales growth. Let's hope this positivity leaks into other sectors, including office; Midtown trophy buildings saw rents fall at a smaller pace than was reported six months earlier, but Downtown's high-end properties recorded a significant drop in rents, according to JLL’s Fall ’09 Skyline Review .
2009, In Two Words
We also witnessed NY commercial real estate history when REBNY announced CB Richard Ellis’ Mary Ann Tighe as first woman chair in September, succeeding Related’s Steve Ross come January. She’s also the first brokerage professional to be named to the position in 30 years. We snapped this photo of Mary Ann, second from left, with REBNY’s Eileen Spinola, Eastern Consolidated’s Peter Hauspurg, and REBNY prez Steven Spinola in April. (She was also the recipient of REBNY’s ’09 Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Achievement Award—a well deserved recognition.)
Vornado’s Mike Fascitelli, CBRE’s Mitch Rudin, Cushman & Wakefield’s Bruce Mosler, Fried Frank’s Jonathan Mechanic, Fisher Brothers’ Winston Fisher, and Goldman Sachs’ Andy Jonas at Bisnow event
Of course, ‘09 was an amazing year for Bisnow, celebrating our first NY birthday in September. We’ve now over 20k readers in the Tri-State, making us Bisnow’s largest newsletter. In addition to DC, we also started real estate newsletters in Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth,Houston, and Boston. This year also marked the beginning of our NY Schmoozes, bringing out the biggest names in real estate for candid discussion on market trends. Over 650 of you joined us October 15 at Cooper Union, with Vornado’s Mike Fascitelli, CBRE’s Mitch Rudin, Cushman & Wakefield’s Bruce Mosler, Fried Frank’s Jonathan Mechanic, Fisher Brothers’ Winston Fisher, and Goldman Sachs’ Andy Jonas.
2009, In Two Words
A happy, healthy, and profitable 2010 to all of our readers! We’ll see you again in the new year.