Top residential agents of the week

From left: Serena Boardman and 19 East 95th Street

From left: Serena Boardman and 16 East 95th Street

Price: $19,600,000
Listing broker: Serena Boardman of Sotheby’s International Realty
Address: 16 East 95th Street

From left:

From left: Cornelia  van Amburg and 169 Hudson Street

Price: $5,725,000
Listing broker: Cornelia van Amburg of Stribling & Associates
Address: 169 Hudson Street

From left:

From left: Susan Ruttner and 15 West 72nd Street

Price: $5,500,000
Listing broker: Susan Ruttner of Halstead Property
Address: 15 West 72nd Street

From left:

From left: Cindy Bernat and 45 East 62nd Street

Price: $5,425,000
Listing broker: Cindy Bernat of the Corcoran Group
Address: 45 East 62nd Street

From left:

From left: Alexandra Bellak, Joan Dunne and 255 East 74th Street

Price: $5,075,000
Listing broker: Alexandra Bellak and Joan Dunne of Douglas Elliman
Address: 255 East 74th StreetJulie Strickland

Sources: StreetEasy and The Real Deal. Footnotes: Data is for closed deals filed with the city this week through Friday. The chart only includes sellers’ brokers, because buyers’ brokers’ names are not available in city data or listings. The data does not include deals in contract. To obtain broker information, listing information was compared with sales records filed with the city. Only deals where an individual broker and address can be identified are included. As a result, private sales, listings where an address has not been provided and new development sales by a sales center are not included.


BHS to open downtown Fifth Avenue office this summer

BHS CEO Hall Willkie and 130 Fifth Avenue

BHS CEO Hall Willkie and 130 Fifth Avenue

Residential brokerage Brown Harris Stevens has inked a deal to open its new downtown office, at 130 Fifth Avenue between 17th and 18th streets, this summer, a spokesperson for the brokerage told The Real Deal exclusively.

The new 13,000-square-foot space, located on the second floor of the Olnick Organization-owned Class A office building, will have 64 desks for brokers.

The office will be designed by architecture firm Gabellini Sheppard Associates, the company behind the design of retail spaces for brands like Saks, Armani and Vera Wang.

Meanwhile, BHS will close its Village office at 2 Fifth Avenue, with the agents from that space moving into the firm’s new digs. The Tribeca office, at 43 North Moore Street, will remain open.

The building at 130 Fifth Avenue is home to companies such as Interbrand, a division of advertising giant Worth Global Style Network, and Earl Graves, the publisher of Black Enterprise Magazine.

BHS has a 15-year lease on the space. Eric Cagner of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented the landlord in the lease deal, while Joel Burris of Brown Harris Stevens Commercial Services represented the tenant.

The deal comes just two months after BHS announced that it was nearly doubling the size of its flagship office at 445 Park Avenue. The company leased the entire 12th floor at the commercial office tower, between East 56th and East 57th streets, in addition to its current space on the 11th floor, last year.

SL Green’s Holliday: Citi deal will allow us to play offense

388-390 Greenwich Street and Marc Holliday

388-390 Greenwich Street and Marc Holliday

SL Green Realty’s ability to persuade Citigroup to relocate its headquarters to 388 and 390 Greenwich Street was the real estate investment trust’s “crowning achievement” of the fourth quarter — and will allow the company to go on the offensive in 2014, according to CEO Marc Holliday.

The mid-December deal – which will see Citigroup renew its 2.6 million-square-foot lease at the Tribeca complex and shift its global power base from Boston Properties’ 399 Park Avenue – was the culmination of 18 months of work, Holliday said, speaking yesterday during the company’s quarterly earnings call.

He noted that the deal “made for good holidays for us.” Now that SL Green has secured anchor tenants for two of its biggest assets – the other being Viacom at 1515 Broadway — the REIT is free to pursue deals in the coming quarters, he said, according to a transcript of the call provided by Seeking Alpha.

SL Green’s Funds from Operations after transaction costs for the fourth quarter of 2013 stood at $134.5 million, or $1.38 per share, an increase from $107.2 million, or $1.14 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2012. The REIT signed 57 leases in Manhattan for a total of 3.39 million square feet, which included the Citigroup deal.

Holliday compared the Citigroup deal favorably to two other large leasing deals Downtown, namely advertising giant Group M’s decision to take 516,000 square feet at Silverstein Properties’ 3 World Center  and law firm Jones Day’s 330,000-square-foot deal at Brookfield Office Properties’ Brookfield Place. While Citigroup will be paying rents of about $80 per square foot, GroupM would pay $68 per square foot, and Jones Day would pay $60 per square foot, he said.

Holliday also shared the REIT’s ambitious leasing target for the year: two million square feet, or about 500,000 square feet per quarter. “I don’t know if Durels is that good,” Holliday joked, referring to SL Green’s director of leasing Steven Durels.

Extell pays $308M for Frank Ring’s stake in 13 buildings


From left: Frank Ring, 251 Park Avenue South, 212 Fifth Avenue and Gary Barnett

Gary Barnett’s Extell Development paid $308.2 million for Frank Ring’s 50 percent stake in 13 buildings, mostly located in Midtown South, city records show. The acquisition was announced in October when the contract was signed but the price had not been revealed.

Ring and his brother Michael each owned a 50 percent stake in those 13 properties, as well as each owning a 25 percent stake in an additional building, 251 Park Avenue South. Along with their father Leo, they built up the portfolio over several decades before Leo died in 1998.

The most expensive of the 50 percent stakes in buildings was the 184,890-square-foot 212 Fifth Avenue, which sold for $90 million. That was followed by the stake in the 46,600-square-foot 331 Park Avenue South, for $34 million, then the 56,200-square-foot 114 East 25th Street and the 150,000-square-foot 119 West 24th Street, which each sold for $30 million.

The least expensive property was a 50 percent stake in 23 West 24th Street, which Extell bought for $2.5 million. The transfer in the 13 buildings was completed January 13.

Extell and Ring announced in October that Extell reached an agreement to buy Ring’s stake in a 14-building package but the price was not revealed at the time. The 14th building was 251 Park Avenue South, however that transfer has not appeared on city records yet.

It was a short road for Barnett, who inked the contract with Frank on Oct. 7, but many other real estate operators tried and failed to win control of the package.

Joseph Tabak of Princeton Holdings with partners including his brother Eli Tabak signed a contract in 2011 to pay $112.5 million for a controlling interest in Michael Ring’s 50 percent stake in the portfolio, which then was 14 buildings. But Michael sought to back out, and fought them for years in court.

Barnett purchased Tabak’s contract to buy Michael’s stake for $64 million in June, and Michael Ring transferred his interests to a series of entities that are co-owned by Barnett’s Extell Development that month, city records show.

On the same day in January that Barnett purchased Frank’s stake, Barnett borrowed $315 million from Deutsche Bank, in one of the largest deals of the last 12 months. That loan is secured only by a 50 percent interest in each of the 13 properties, not on a full stake in each building.

Extell, as well as Frank and Michael Ring, did not respond to requests for comment.

The Observer first reported that some buildings in the portfolio sold but did not report a sale price for the entire package.

Atlantic Foundation sells West Chelsea property for $50M

From left: Stephen Powers and 540 West 21st Street

From left: Denham Wolf Real Estate’s Stephen Powers and 540 West 21st Street

Nonprofit feeder fund the Atlantic Foundation, founded by an heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, has unloaded a High Line-adjacent site for $50 million.

Foreign real estate investor Uri Chaitchik’s Casco Development Corp. purchased the property, Crain’s reported. Located at 540 West 21st Street, near the West Side Highway, the property hit the market in October and was expected to fetch around $45 million at the time.

“This is one of the few tower sites in a neighborhood where residential space is commanding prices close to $3,000 per square foot,” Powers told Crain’s.

Denham Wolf Real Estate Services’ Paul Wolf and Stephen Powers represented the Atlantic Foundation in the sale.

Nonprofit gallery and studio space Eyebeam, which is currently located on the site, is getting $8 million from the proceeds of the sale to help pay for a new space in Brooklyn, Crain’s reported.

The site currently holds a 70,000-square-foot, 250-foot tall building, but could house a property up to 100,000 square feet in size if additional air rights are arranged. [Crain’s] Julie Strickland

50 N. Fifth half sold in two months despite market’s winter blues

From left: a courtyard and an interior at 50 N. 5th Street

From left: a courtyard and an interior at 50 N. Fifth Street

Mack Real Estate Group’s 50 N. Fifth Street, a 229-unit luxury Williamsburg rental that claims it features “the services of a boutique hotel,” is 50 percent sold just two months after hitting the market, exclusive broker told The Real Deal today.

The brisk sales come despite the fact that winter is typically a dismal season for residential rentals, said David Maundrell, president of Aptsandlofts. Apartments at the seven-story building at Kent Avenue are also renting at higher prices than when they were initially released in November, he said, underscoring the health of the high-end market in Williamsburg.

“It’s not inexpensive,” Maundrell said of the building. Even so, affluent Williamsburg professionals seem undaunted. “Traditionally November through February is the worst time, so we were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves where we are at this time of year. We are fighting through the [polar] vortex.”

In fact, Maundrell said he believed the $80 per square foot the penthouses were getting was a record price per square foot for a residential rental in Williamsburg. According to StreetEasy, no apartments were listed for more than $80 per square foot in the neighborhood (132 Metropolitan Avenue, a studio asking $15,000 per month, was listed at $60 per square foot and the closest runner up).

Maundrell also underscores that the $80 figure is not for blended rents – only the penthouses, of which only one remains available.

Rents for the 10 penthouse two-bedrooms begin at approximately $7,000 per month, according to a representative for Aptsandlofts.

The whopping 34 penthouses feature private outdoor space while all units have access to the building’s other eye-popping amenity assortment, which includes a courtyard with a waterfall, bocce ball court, indoor basketball and volleyball court, yoga room, “billiards lounge,” bike parking, a concierge service and a roof top with barbecues and outdoor showers.

The remaining 17 penthouses will hit the market in the Spring, a representative for Aptsandlofts said.

Rents for non penthouses start at $3,000 per month for a studio, $3,200 for a one-bedroom and $4,800 for a two-bedroom, according to the representative. Maundrell said renters are still getting incentives, however, including one month of free rent in most deals.

The 248,000-square-foot building, once home to the Western Carpet Company, was converted from industrial use last year by Mack in partnership with Urban Development Partners, as reported.