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News Archive
November 7, 2000
International Paper jammed over Connecticut land sale
New York developer Brickman Associates is suing International Paper...continued.


Stock exchange:

- Count out AIG as a tenant for the top - the dudes and dudettes are still working on desks from the 1950's. "Are they that new?," asked one AIG employee. The company does not spend money but is still trying to figure out how to get the dollars out of its three valuable Downtown buildings without spending more money. It is also sprawled at several other leased locations. These are candidates for taking a block of space at some old, funky building Downtown. i.e. they missed the early boat, and even the one that left at high noon.

Likely candidate for the top, one of the major financial services firms - Goldman, Merrill, Salomon. It will take ego to sign a $30 million a year deal for office space on top of the Stock Exchange tower that won't be completed for three or four years. But think of the bragging and natural advertising that can be garnered by using the tower as an icon and proclaiming: "Who knows the market better? We're the only firm that covers it 24 hours a day."

- Peter Grant in the Wall Street Journal says Tishman Speyer has the winning horse. We agree. Brookfield has embarrassed politicians with an insistence on their control of a site in Battery Park City. They also have too many projects downtown while Tishman Speyer has none - and Jerry Speyer is itching to build with or without a tenant. Remember, he is also working on a deal with Durst to develop some property.

World Trade Center:

The Port Authority is culling bids. Charles Bagli reported in The New York Times that Silverstein Properties, Vornado, Boston Properties and Brookfield Properties are left standing. "Who in their right mind would bid for the World Trade Center?," quipped Larry Silverstein with a sly grin to his NYU Real Estate Institute Class, the day that appeared.

- We've now learned that Silverstein, not known for his agressive bids, does know the Port Authority through his ownership of 7 World Trade Center. He knows how they think, what they need and above all, how to make it work for all. Thus, he's now the leader in that race.

Rockefeller Center:

Short list includes Equity Office and Vornado but most money is on Boston Properties walking away with Rockefeller Center. And now they're getting the money. On October 26 the company announced it sold 15 million shares of stock for a $556 million net through Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. The proceeds will be used to fund a portion of "development pipeline" i.e. Times Square Tower if need be, and "to fund other land and property acquisitions..."


- RFR contracted for the Seagram Building on Park Avenue for $380 million. Closing is expected by mid-December.

- Bruce Brickman closed on November 7 on his purchase of 660 Madison i.e. the office condo portion over Barney's. Isetan, the Japanese owner of the retailer sold the piece for $108 million through Scott Latham of CB Richard Ellis.

- The Sharpe pieces of the Carlyle Hotel are being scrutinized by folks like the Taj Hotel group of India. The hotelier formerly owned the Lexington Hotel but now does not have a New York base.

- Its deal for the Rihga Royal was dissed by Strategic Hotel Capital. There is too much work to be done, says our Royal Spy. [One day we'll learn how to spell it - and remember it for the next time.]


- Deutsche Bank, perennially on the prowl for 1 million sf, may actually mean it this time.

- Exodus, the Left Coast based web hosters of sites like Priceline.com and Rollingstone.com, are seeking 1 million sf in Jersey. The firm already has two data centers there - one in Weehauken and the other in Jersey City.




- Brickman Associates, the firm suing International Paper for reneging on a deal to sell it 110 acres and the Treetops mansion in Greenwich/Stamford, closed yesterday on its expected condo purchase of 660 Madision, the office portion of Barney's, for an unreported - except for here - $108 million. Scott Latham of CB Richard Ellis repped Isetan.

- Landmarks is mulling a proposal by the Witkoff Group to convert floors 28 to 57 of the Woolworth Building to residences. The most controversial change would be to create two penthouses with exterior glass walls on the rear of the building at the highest setback. Mechanical equipment would be moved to adjacent structures that Witkoff also owns.

Secrets: Which developer through a snit fit because his deal partner got his picture in the paper and he didn't? His head shot is now on the editor's desk.

Secrets: Move over Donald J. Trump. Another developer is talking with Columbia University about a new building. Trump would like to cut a deal with Columbia to create a mini-campus on his commercial site at Trump Place, and build three residence halls on what would otherwise become apartment buildings. But a nearby owner has other plans in mind. Columbia is all ears.

- Condolences to Newmark's Jimmy Kuhn whose wonderful mom, "Sunnie," passed away in late October.


- It's time to give out the first fire safety notices to residential tenants for the inside of their apartment doors and post the warnings in the common areas. You can also mail the notices in January with the annual window guard notices. But beware, test "stuffings" have found the envelopes to be way too thick.

- A proposed law would restrict parades. Most ominous, if you've never had a parade on Fifth Avenue, you can never get a permit to hold one on the avenue

© 2000 Lois Weiss

© 2000 Lois Weiss. All Rights Reserved.