Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Plans Unveiled…More “Starchitecture”? Really?   Leave a comment

The development of Brooklyn Bridge Park, starting just south of the Brooklyn Bridge, has been a wonder to watch unfold. Similar to the development of the High Line Park on the West Side of New York City, the park was designed with numerous attributes in mind; amazing skyline views, multiple areas for various types of functions, recyclable energy and water efficiency means, and proximity to residential areas with new hotel developments in mind.

Recently, the city unveiled the companies vying to develop the land just at the base of Pier 1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park where an empty plot of land awaits. The companies include Toll Brothers, Two Trees, SDS Procida, Extell Development, Robert A. Levine, Dermot Company, and Starwood Capitol each equipped with their own architect ready to be NYC’s latest and greatest Starchitect. They are all competing to build new high-rise luxury condos, hotels and event spaces. Click here to see a great slideshow provided by the NY Observer showcasing all of the renderings for the companies’ proposed plans.

This blogger’s reaction is ambivalent, to say the least. Having worked in real estate for over a decade now, I’m always interested in how new architecture unfolds, how it will fit high up in the NYC skyline or on the edges of a treasured waterfront, so I can appreciate what was presented without having an opinion either way. What’s most concerning about it though, is the attention it will bring to an already heavily populated tourist area.

I mean, can’t a park just be a park?

It took years for this park to be conceived, approved and built. And it’s not even halfway complete. The completion of both Piers 1 and 6 have been well received, but Piers 2-5 are still waiting to be developed due to a lack of funding to build and maintain the park as a whole. Therein lies the conundrum.

For the park to be fully completed and maintained, major funding is needed. And the development of this sought after plot of land will assist that feat in a major way. The city is anticipating that 1,200 condos, a hotel, and retail components will raise enough money to offset the $16MM in annual maintenance costs.

If all goes according to plan, as it always does, then a company/plan will be chosen in 2012 with construction scheduled to begin in 2013 and completed by 2015. Right.

So, it’s hard to argue with the naysayers, who just want their park. But unless they come up with a better way to fund the park and keep it progressing, they better get ready for some new neighbors…

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Posted December 16, 2011 by CBC REalta Group in REalta Spotlight

Featured Property: 600 West John Street, Hicksville, NY   Leave a comment

600 West John Street is an industrial flex building located in Hicksville, NY, a prime Nassau County located for both office and industrial tenants.

Situated just minutes from the Northern State Parkway and the Long Island Expressway as well as the LIRR (Hicksville Sta.), 600 West John Street is an ideal location featuring a large industrial space and office suites ranging from 4,085 to 29,105 square feet. The industrial space consists of 70,000 square feet with 3,500 square feet of office space, 14’ ceiling heights, 5 loading docks and 2 drive-ins. New T5 fluorescent high bay lights are in the process of being installed which will reduce overall utility costs for a tenant.

There is excellent parking available and a private 20,000 square foot yard in the rear of the building.

Contact Jay Silver at 516.294.9700 or jay@cbcrealta.com to schedule an appointment at the property.

Posted December 16, 2011 by CBC REalta Group in REalta Spotlight

Happy Holidays!   Leave a comment

From all of us at CBC REalta Group, we would like to wish you a wonderful holiday season and a new year of health and happiness. Best of times to you and your family.

Posted December 16, 2011 by CBC REalta Group in REalta Spotlight, Uncategorized

The Keys to Being a Successful Commercial Property Manager   Leave a comment

One of the great things about operating a 17MM sf commercial property portfolio spread throughout 17 states across the country is the opportunity to work with numerous commercial property management companies in different locales. Every location is different; each property manager has a different personality and their own way of doing things. And though no one site is alike, we’ve learned that there are always common qualities with the property management companies we work with.

The first quality we look for with any commercial property manager is the ability to follow up on a consistent basis. Follow up Follow up Follow Up is an incredibly important mantra…from both an owner’s and tenant’s perspective. As an asset manager, property manager and owner, we expect our property management team to keep us updated on property conditions at all times and providing keen insight into how/where we spend our money.

We also expect the property manager to maintain a good relationship with tenants which requires strong communication skills. In a market such as this, tenant retention is critical to the financial health of a property and we rely on the property management team to communicate efficiently and effectively on our behalf, keeping tenants content with their space while managing their short/long term expectations.

Here are a few other qualities we deem important to being a successful property manager:

–          Great Attention to Details & Organization

–          Knowledge of Local Ordinances and State Laws

–          Comprehension of General Construction Knowledge and Building Standards

–          Calm, Assertive Personality, Must Be Sociable

–          Strong Sense of Duty and Commitment

We understand that being a property manager is not easy, far from it in fact. Being that we are property managers as well as work with numerous property management companies throughout the country, for all those property managers out there, THANK YOU for all that you do.

Sorry, gotta run, have a roof leak to deal with…

Posted November 18, 2011 by CBC REalta Group in REalta Spotlight

The Sign of the Last Days? Jehovah’s Witness to Sell 3.2MM SF Real Estate Portfolio Has Brooklyn Praising Hallelujah for Largest Deal in Decades   Leave a comment

When I moved to Dumbo in 2007, my wife and I were sad to leave the city, but excited to be part of a blossoming neighborhood that seemed to be a hidden gem in Brooklyn for a long time. The first day we moved into our 10th floor apt, we were ecstatic to stand in the middle of our living room looking north just over the East River and then east with open views and lots of light. I don’t think we had any natural light in our old apt on 22nd St…

The open views to the east were preserved, we thought, because the neighborhood had been landmarked, but more importantly, there was a full block-wide parking lot owned and operated by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, long time residents in the hood with a large presence. Why would they ever leave? We thought we’d never have to worry about losing these views.

Now, this 3.1 acre lot on across the street at 85 Jay and 34 other beautiful properties throughout Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights are being sold by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who own one of the most sought after real estate portfolios in Brooklyn and Manhattan valued at over $1 billion. After years of acquiring these properties, it’s looking like the Jehovah’s Witnesses have decided to sell and hoof it upstate where they can build a brand new campus over 250 acres of land. As of now, the Witnesses have put eight Brooklyn Heights properties on the block—ranging from a carriage house to a seven-story apartment building, with a total of 58,000 square feet—with an asking price of $37.25 million.

Click here to the view the portfolio in its entirety.

There are plenty of mixed emotions that come with this news, from the developers and investors who are salivating over new development opportunities, to city officials who envision new schools, senior housing and nonprofit businesses returning to the city tax roll, and skeptical residents like me who are not sure what this means in the long term. After all, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are great neighbors, they are always cordial and easy going, take great care of their properties (note to local property management cos. in the area) and provide a very skilled workforce with carpenters, stonemasons and plumbers used by many throughout the surrounding neighborhoods.

On the positive side, numerous retail opportunities should arise paving the way for new restaurants, retail stores and groceries (WHOLE FOODS ARE YOU READING THIS?!). Also, it is quite possible that the sale of some of these properties could help fund the new Brooklyn Bridge Park’s long term plans which have yet to be finalized.

Yet, on the negative side, will the residential conversion or development of new properties overpopulate the Heights and Dumbo overall? Williamsburg, though still a prime spot for hipsters and young families, is now burdened with too much residential development, a ton of shadow inventory and a pure lack of pipeline commuter transportation to and from the city. The F-train is already a pain in the you-know-what, this will not help.

So, long story short, this is definitely exciting news for Brooklyn. The good or bad news, depending on your take of things, is that it will take years to unfold. And who knows, maybe they won’t sell off everything, nothing is final and they have not decided outright just yet.

And as for me, I’d prefer to keep my natural light and views a bit longer!

Posted November 18, 2011 by CBC REalta Group in CRE Trends

CBC Hunter Realty Relocates Leftfield Pictures, Producers of “Pawn Stars” & “Bridal Bootcamp”, Further West on 34th Street   Leave a comment

New York City’s Leftfield Pictures will relocate to 24,000 sf on West 34th Street, in “app.town,” as Coldwell Banker Commercial Hunter Realty has dubbed the neighborhood now teeming with technology firms.

The producers of such television shows as Bridal Bootcamp, Pawn Stars and What Not to Wear are relocating their production, post-production, casting and development groups from 545 Eighth Avenue, where it had 16,000 sf offices, to expanded digs at 460 West 34th Street.

“Rents are less as you go farther west,” said Neil Murray, of Coldwell Banker Commercial Hunter Realty, who described the space as “cost-effective while offering high ceilings, warehouse sort of space and open floor plans.”

Boasting tech properties like Google’s 111 Eighth Avenue and the office of Oxygen Media, the area has sprouted countless media, tech and entertainment companies while preserving its tech start-up spirit.

“We’re creating a tech community,” said Mr. Murray.

This is a continuing trend for CBC Hunter Realty. They are developing a strong reputation with local tech companies. Their knowledge of these types of companies and how they operate have made them the “go-to” experts in the field.

Posted November 18, 2011 by CBC REalta Group in REalta Spotlight

Featured Property: 99 Lafayette Drive, Syosset, NY   Leave a comment

99 Lafayette Drive is an industrial flex building situated in Syosset, NY, a prime Nassau County location for both office and industrial tenants.

Located just off of Jericho Turnpike approximately two and a half miles from the Long Island Expressway, 99 Lafayette Drive features industrial flex suites starting from 12,783 sf to over 48,000 sf. New parking lot repairs were recently approved and have begun onsite which will vastly improve traffic flow throughout the property for all types of tenants.

All suites have loading docks and drive-in ramps, adequate power requirements, ceiling heights ranging from 18’ to 24’ high, gas heat and are fully sprinklered. Lease rates start from $8.00 psf gross.

Contact Jay Silver at 516.294.9700 or jay@cbcrealta.com to learn more about our available commercial property listings.

Posted November 18, 2011 by CBC REalta Group in REalta Spotlight