Vornado

Midtown, real estate trends

Rendering courtesy of Vornado Realty Trust

Facebook has signed a lease for 730,000 square feet at the former James A. Farley Post Office, a Midtown landmark currently being converted into a mixed-use building, Vornado Realty Trust announced Monday. Reports of the deal first surfaced last December, but the coronavirus pandemic put into question the need for massive office space with thousands of workers. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the deal shows New York’s resilience as the city recovers from the crisis. “Vornado’s and Facebook’s investment in New York and commitment to further putting down roots here – even in the midst of a global pandemic – is a signal to the world that our brightest days are still ahead and we are open for business,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This public-private partnership fortifies New York as an international center of innovation.”

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Midtown West, real estate trends

Apple signs lease for four floors at 11 Penn Plaza

By Michelle Cohen, Tue, February 25, 2020

11 Penn Plaza, apple, vornado

Streetview of 11 Penn Plaza, Map data © 2020 Google

After the Post first reported speculations of the deal in January, they now report that Apple will lease four floors of space at 11 Penn Plaza. Sources told the Post that the tech giant became interested in the 1.15-million-square-foot building that stretches along Seventh Avenue between West 31st and 32nd streets across from Madison Square Garden after losing out to Facebook on a spot in the Farley Building. However, those with knowledge of the deal say that Apple has only signed a five-year deal, which may suggest that they are still keen on finding a larger, more permanent home in NYC.

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Central Park South, Midtown, New Developments

29 west 57th street, billionaire's row

Cafe Classico, a kosher delicatessen that has occupied the storefront on West 57th Street next door to an 1891 French-style townhouse for 19 years has asked a judge to spare it from eviction, the New York Post reports. The LeFrak Organization and Vornado Realty have plans to build a high-rise tower on the next-door property at 29 West 57th Street, and the deli’s landlord, 35 West Realty Co., has threatened to evict the longtime business over insufficient insurance coverage.

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adaptive reuse, Architecture, Chelsea, New Developments

260 Eleventh Avenue expansion (Vornado Realty Trust)

A high-tech future awaits the 235,000-square-foot building at 260 Eleventh Avenue that served as headquarters for the iconic Otis Elevator company from its construction in 1911 until the company’s move to midtown 1974. For the site’s next life, REIT Vornado Realty Trust plans to renovate and expand the property, which they purchased in 2015, for commercial tenants. Now, CityRealty reports, a trio of renderings from Vornado’s latest investor report provide a peek at the planned design overhaul by British architect Richard Rogers. Evoking the “inside-out” structure of the Pompidou Center in Paris and the high-tech Lloyd’s of London building, the new addition displays exposed structural and circulation systems and a multi-story atrium beneath glass-enclosed floors.

More Renderings this way

Architecture, Major Developments, Midtown West

Just a day after Penn Station‘s long-awaited West End Concourse revealed itself to the public, for the first time allowing Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road, and NJ Transit passengers to enter and board trains through the historic James A. Farley Post Office across 8th Avenue, Governor Cuomo has announced that Empire State Development signed the final financial agreement with Related Companies, Vornado Realty LP, and Skanska AB for the $1.6 billion Penn-Farley Complex. After decades of delays, construction will now begin to transform the historic post office into the Moynihan Train Hall, a new 255,000-square-foot train hall housing both Amtrak and LIRR ticketing and waiting areas, as well as 70,000 square feet of new commercial, retail, and dining space. But a development announcement from the Governor is never complete without a fresh set of renderings, and Cuomo did not disappoint this time.

All the renderings and details ahead

Midtown East

666 Fifth Avenue, Kushner Companies, Jared Kushner

A rendering of 666 Fifth Avenue. Credit: Kushner Companies/Zaha Hadid Architects

“Kushner Companies is no longer in discussions with Anbang about 666 Fifth Ave.’s potential redevelopment, and our firms have mutually agreed to end talks regarding the property,” a spokesman for the developer told the Post. The timing of the Chinese insurance company backing out of the deal–which the Kushners hoped could increase the Midtown’s skyscraper’s value to a whopping $12 billion and include a flashy new Zaha Hadid design–is uncannily timed with investigations into Jared Kushner’s supposed meetings with a scandalous Russian bank. But despite the controversy surrounding ex-CEO and current White House advisor Jared, Kushner Cos. “remains in active, advanced negotiations around 666 Fifth Ave. with a number of potential investors.”

The full story ahead

Midtown East, Starchitecture

666 Fifth Avenue, Kushner Companies, Jared Kushner

A rendering of 666 Fifth Avenue. Credit: Kushner Companies/Zaha Hadid Architects

As 6sqft previously reported, 666 Fifth Avenue owners Kushner Companies and Vornado Realty Trust have been seeking financing for a new skyscraper planned for the site of the Midtown office tower that Kushner purchased for $1.8 billion in 2007; Chinese company Anbang Insurance Group is said to have been considering a substantial stake in the tower. Though it was reported that the redevelopment could be valued at $7.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal now cites sources who say the value could be as much as $12 billion, and that a reported deal with Anbang may be far from a sure thing. That huge number represents the projected value of what Kushner envisions as a 1,400-foot-tall mixed-use luxury tower with a design provided by the late Zaha Hadid in 2015, nine floors of retail, a hotel and big-ticket luxury condos on its upper floors.

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Midtown East

666 Fifth Avenue, via Vornado

Anbang Insurance Group, the Chinese company who bought the Waldorf Astoria in late 2014 for nearly $2 billion, is now making headlines for another high-profile real estate transaction, this time against a controversial political backdrop. Bloomberg reports that Anbang is considering a stake in Vornado and Kushner Companies’ office tower 666 Fifth Avenue, a deal that Jared Kushner reportedly set into motion before resigning as CEO of his family’s company to serve as a presidential advisor to his father-in-law. If the deal goes through, not only will the Kushners profit some $400 million, but they’ll receive an equity stake in the new partnership, which will refinance $1.5 billion in existing mortgage debt. The deal values the tower at $2.85 billion, and if Anbang’s receives its proposed $4 billion construction loan to turn the top floors into condos, it will be the largest such loan for a single property in NYC history.

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Policy

President Trump, Budget Proposal

President-elect Donald Trump has previously outlined his $1 trillion infrastructure plan not just as a means to repair and build bridges and roads, but as a real estate platform for private entities to build and subsequently own public works such as schools, hospitals, or energy pipeline expansions through $137 billion in tax credits. So it comes as no surprise that he’s tapped two of his longtime buddies and big-time New York real estate developers to head up the new council that will monitor this spending. The Wall Street Journal reports that Trump asked Richard LeFrak and Vornado’s Steven Roth to manage this council of 15 to 20 builders and engineers, referring to the men as “pros” because “…all their lives, they build. They build under-budget, ahead of schedule.”

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Central Park South, condos, Construction Update, Midtown, New Developments

220 central park south, Billionaires' Row, Robert A.M. Stern, Steven Roth

Robert A.M. Stern‘s latest Billionaires’ Row blockbuster continues its rapid ascent into the sky. As CityRealty.com reports, 220 Central Park South (220 CPS) is now two-thirds of the way up, construction having knocked out about 600 feet of the tower’s eventual 950-foot height. Application of the limestone cladding started in April and has thus far been installed across over one-third of the building. When finished in 2017, the two-winged skyscraper with its rare and direct Central Park South frontage will host 118 luxurious homes across 66 stories—and it will be one of the city’s most expensive residences. Jump ahead to see more photos of all the work that’s been completed.

More photos of the tower under construction here

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Archtober2020