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News Archive
November 27, 2000
November 17, 2000
November 7, 2000
October 27, 2000


Update on RFP

We can now add

Gruzen Samton Architects Planners & Interior Designers, LLP to the STV/Fox & Fowle team. Gruzen Samton is providing transportation design and planning.

Also, sorry about my Davis Brody Bond typo. It's not David.


Friday May 17, 2002

We did a lot of digging and uncovered the architectural and engineering teams that are finalists for the urban design RFP issued by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and the Port Authority.

Whoever gets this assignment will get to plan the next World Trade Center - both below ground as well as the massing and many details above ground.

The six finalists were interviewed last Wednesday and Thursday. They were advised on Friday that the winner would be told on Monday. A Port Authority spokesperson told me they would make an announcement on Monday or Tuesday, although Newday reported on Sat.

Not in any particular order:

1. Beyer Blinder Belle

Parsons Brinckerhoff

Sam Schwartz Company


2. Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn

URS [a mega engineering firm No. 1 in world, which is buying firms next and right]


3. Fox & Fowle 4 Times Sq. was the winner of NY Post reader vote for early WTC plan

STV engineering firm currently doing train to the plane

DMJM Harris

Kenneth Greenberg contextural streetscape and urban planner

Gruzen Samton Architects Planners & Interior Designers, LLP is providing transportation design and planning.


4. Kohn Pedersen Fox aka KPF 5 Times Sq.

Arup formerly Ove Arup engineering one of largest in world


5. Davis Brody Bond 9 West 57th

Rem Koolhaas edgy creative Prada store in Soho

Arup engineering


6. lead is not architectural here:

Earth Tech/TAMS Consultants the transportation consultants for JFK's Terminal 4 but they are teamed with

Robert A.M. Stern, architect Times Sq. master plan/Chatham apt. tower


Sam Schwartz

This team is heavily rooted in the transportation scheme arena combined with the Dean of the Yale Architectural School and deeply rooted New Yorker.

The Port will advise the winner on Monday and possibly the

public later that day or on Tues.




April 19, 2002

What were they thinking?

The cover of SL Green's annual report has an artsy sunset photo of a worker on a scaffold.

But last year, a scaffold improperly erected by a non-union subcontractor at 215 Park Avenue South caused the death of five workers and injured several others. The company is being sued over that incident.


Which developer who owes thousands to contractors paid for his son's recent bar mitvah bash with company checks? Now, now, it probably wasn't you, but fair warning, copies of the checks came through the fax tonight.


Lingerie queen Josie Natori's husband is in the middle of a legal battle over real estate brokerage fees that could cost him as much as $5 million for transactions involving 1 East 57th Street and a golf club.

Kenneth Natori was part of a group that bought the ritzy Glenarbor Golf Club in Bedford, NY from Daiichi America in 1999. Then known as the Lakeover Club, it's where members like George Soros like to putt around.

Westchester-based broker Philip G. Longo sold the Japanese company the club in 1989, and worked for them as a consultant on its redesign which included the construction of residential units and other club facilities.

While he received a commission in 1989, Longo is now suing Dai-ichi, the club and Natori in State Supreme Court in Westchester for more than $2.5 million in fees on that deal - which he claims went for more than the $9.15 million stated in the contract.

In his complaint, Longo says he believes Dai-ichi was given 50 memberships in the club to keep to sell plus consulting agreements - all worth another $16.2 million.

He is also suing Natori for 5 percent - or $2.55 million - in brokerage fees he claims were promised in connection with Natori's June 2000 $51 million purchase of 1 East 57th Street from Dai-ichi.

Cornelius W. Keane, Longo's attorney, said his client introduced Natori to the deal to buy the golf club. According to him, Natori told Longo he would pay him 10 percent of the sales price if he bought the golf club, and 5 percent of the sales price for any other properties he bought from Dai-ichi.

In the legal papers, Longo claims Natori also said he would give him, "a new Mercedes Benz automobile, a membership in the golf club, and a house on the golf club grounds equal in value to his existing home." "There was no commission paid to Mr. Longo," said Keane.

Attorneys for Dai-ichi and Natori declined to comment on the pending litigation. The building at 1 East 57th Street on the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue had been leased to Warner Bros. and upon its purchase by Natori, was immediately re-sold to a group led by Richard, Josh and Eric Hadar and Allied Partners. Ironically, the Hadars were later sued by their own partners over the sale of that building to LVHM for its Louis Vuitton store. #



April 12, 2002

The dearth of Class A product and a skittish stock market have building buyers scampering to outplay, outwit and outinvest their competitors.

Ethics, fairness and businesslike manner have apparently been checked at the door.

Although some bidders were assured the State Comptroller would not act on his option for 450 Park and other bidders were warned away from wasting their time because he was going to make a run with Taconic Investment Partners, Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs won the bidding - then watched their prize evaporate. Their atttempt to halt the sale was withdrawn from court on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the new Normandy Partners team stormed in and put in a pre-emptive bid of just under $150 milion to grab 450 Park's sister building, the 340,000 sf 1370 Avenue of the Americas, through Eastdil. The building was being sold by Larry Gluck and Westbrook Partners.

Normandy consists of David Welsh, formerly of Gale Co. and Morgan Stanley, and Scott Landis.

Both deals are being brokered by Eastdil with Doug Harmon in charge.



March 8, 2002

Should we say that my story in yesterday's NY Post created a firestorm?

While both CB and Insignia/ESG released total denials, my phone has continued to ring off the hook with knowledegable insiders whose basic line has been, "Whoever told you that was right on! This is happening."

The discussions were ongoing at the very highest level between Andrew Farkas and CB execs- but all are now vigorously denying them.

That means a deal won't be concluded so fast, especially with the cards on the table and the top level managers ticked off. Ooops.


Monday February 4, 2002

National Realty Club lunch Monday at the Williams Club

Tues: Larry Silverstein talks at YM/WREA at University Club lunch


-National Association of Home Builders in Atlanta: former Mayor Rudy Giuliani gives Keynote on Friday morning



November 29, 2001 Donald Trump is taking home the Delmonico prize. The developer plunked down his signature and a deposit on the $115 million purchase last night.

Trump will keep the hotel operating as is until he decides whether to create only luxury condos, luxury rental or a hotel/condo combo as he did across the Park at Trump International Hotel and Tower.

Mark Gordon of Sonnenblick-Goldman gets the broker fee. The seller is the Estate of Sarah Korein. Her daughter, Elysabeth Kleinhans will create a not-for-profit theater on the Kaplan's Deli site next door.


Consumer tip: If you ever get weird or harrassing emails from people, the hosting companies will very helpfully and quickly cut off their accounts.

Simply forward the offending email to the host with the address of webmaster and voila, they are stricken from the service.

It is almost as good as a knife....


Novmeber 16, 2001: Ken Patton - who holds the Larry Silverstein chair at NYU's real estate institute, who I adore and is good friends with Larry Silverstein - does not want to minimize Silverstein's rights under his lease to the Trade Center.

As Patton has written: if the affected area is designated an Urban Renewal District, "these powers are not intended to undo the rights of the World Trade Center lesser. The developer was a victim of terrorist acts; he should not be the victim of a government act."

As I recounted, he told me that he thinks any developer who comes along with a tenant ought to be allowed to build a building.

BUT I somehow missed an earlier remark which he clarified to me last night at the CREW dinner honoring Mary Ann Tighe. IE: Another developer with a tenant should get the parcel only if Silverstein passes on the parcel, and sells it to the other developer.

I profusely apologize to Ken for misinterpreting what he said.

Patton is also one of the believers in the 32-acre area being reconnected to the street grid, and the parcels divided into financeable hunks.

My intentions were to make people aware that there are developers in the industry that are trying to get in on the rebuilding action, and to show that there are varying ideas that will be taken seriously about what the site should look like.

Ken, of course, is interested as an academic, planner, owner and lover of New York, and is NOT trying to get a piece of the development for himself.


David Childs, who was hired to work on a massing and master planning scheme by Silverstein and is also the architect of the NYSE building revealed at a forum that the walls of the NYSE box are four feet thick and have no windows. Talk about bunker mentality!

November 15, 2001

Site stuff: Bechtel, the Bush-connected San Francisco company that has been in charge of the very late and over budget Boston Big Dig, has dibs into manage the World Trade Center cleanup efforts.

When our locals went nuts, the city asked Bovis Lend Lease to submit a proposal. They did and are waiting to hear from the city.

Sources tell us Bovis put in two proposals. One is for construction management, which they really want, and includes the four other firms now on the job: Turner with Plaza, Amec and Tully.

The other Bovis proposal is for program management, which is Bechtel's forte and involves budgeting and scheduling - don't laugh because of the problems with the Big Dig. In fact, Bovis, sources tell us, would not mind Bechtel running that part of the job - if they get the construction management piece.



For those of you that do not understand the daily press - and here I admit to being shocked on a daily basis - there are at least two to three people that get to have an editorial swipe at my musings before they appear in print. If there is another name on the piece, chances are even more folks worked on it. I also have no control over headlines and captions. So I am often as mystified as you are as to what actually appears and how it is twisted.

My intentions are still to educate and inform, and to be as nice as I can be.

But if you owe others money or are not nice yourself, your major transgressions may be exposed. Pay up. Be nice.


November 6, 2001

Larry A. Silverstein continues to keep his dibs and dollars in the World Trade Center rebuilding.

He has hired David Childs of Skidmore Ownings Merrill to design 7 World Trade Center. That site is clear, he said, and because there were no souls lost in its collapse, he can start rebuilding within months, likely right on top of the previous foundation. Floors will likely be smaller, he said last week, than the 47,500 sf in the old building. While those were good for financial firms, he told the REBNY luncheon, they did not work for law firms. Look for floors closer to 38,000 to 42,000 sf when the building reopens in 2003 or 2004.

Once construction issue may revolve around the Con Ed substation that was under 7 WTC.


Meanwhile, both Silverstein and Brookfield have independently hired Skidmore Ownings Merrill and Alex Cooper to re think the World Trade Center and the World Financial Center's Winter Garden.

This will allow a close collaboration - providing the city, state and feds stay out of the way.

The members of the downtown task force appointed by Governor Pataki and expected to include Mayor Rudy Giuliani, should be announced next week.


Silverstein also said he would like to have a panel empowered to select a design for a memorial through a contest open to all Americans.


In other news:

The members of NACORE and IDRC are having their first joint board meeting this week as the groups grapple with their merger into Corenet Global. Coincidently, both co-chairs Greg Weisser and Gerard Vanella, come out of JP Morgan Chase.


Who will end up with the management of 200 Park Avenue? With its headquarters in the Met Life-owned tower, heavy money is on Insignia/ESG. Seven firms are in the running.





September 15, 2001 It is hard to imagine New York City without the Twin Towers as our moorings - when we fly, when we drive, we use them to center ourselves, as they call to us, You are home.

First, I'm personally very angry that movies, CD covers and advertisors are seeking to blot them out, as if they never existed. Yes, we might get teary when we see them, but to erase their existence from our history is even more disturbing - as if we were in Russia and they are destroying images of Lennin.

Thank you to CoStar Group for leaving up the pages of information, even while noting they were destroyed.

Our heartfelt condolences to all the families, and to Silverstein Properties/Lloyd Goldman and Westfield America that had just taken over its operations. Larry has told Howard Rubenstein he would "love to rebuild," while PA Vice Chairman Charles Gargano says its finances are in order and they have insurance money too, and will be discussing rebuilding in the future.

Many of you knew Jim Gartenberg who had worked for Newmark Partners in New Jersey, and was finishing his last day at his Studley Downtown office job - on the 86th Floor of Tower 1. There is a wonderful story of his last hour in Saturday September 15, New York Post as he reached out to family, friends and the media to let them know that he and Patricia Puma were trapped and could not get to the stairs.

In other sad news:

PETER ROSENTHAL DIES AT 54 Longtime Howard Rubenstein public relations senior executive vice president Peter Rosenthal died on Monday, September 10. Rosenthal, 54, had been ill for some time, and died of kidney failure. He is survived by his wife, Terri Thomspon, his mother, Rita Rosenthal, brother Tom and two sons, Daniel and Joel. Condolences to all.

ALVIN SCHWARTZ DIES Longtime Harry Helmsley partner and one of the founding principals of Hemsley-Spear, Alvin Schwartz, passed away on September 12th at the age of 89.

He is survived by his children, Jane and Edward Stein, Amy and Charles Spielman and Thomas and Lonnie Schwartz, and numerous grandchildren, his sister Carol Rozen and brothers Lester and Henry Schwartz.

Schwartz was responsible for many large land deals, and the merger of Spear and Company and Dwight-Helmsley to form Helmsley-Spear, Inc. whose offices were closed on Friday in his memory. Services took place at 12:30 pm on Friday at Temple Beth El of Great Neck, Old Mill Road. In lieu of flowers the family asks that contributions be made to the temple, or North Shore LIJ Health Systems or the charity of your choice.


My PWC panel on development will now take place at the Yale Club on October 9 at 8 am.

The Building Congress lunch at the World Trade Center for September 19th with Andrew Cuomo as the speaker will - unfortunately - have to be relocated. They were still checking with Cuomo as to his schedule, too.

........ I've left this posted below to remind us of a time we could smile and not choke back tears, feeling the collective screams as the Towers pancaked.....

Flash: July 24, 2001

The governors of New York and New Jersey will join Port Authority folks tomorrow morning at 10 am to announce the completion of four, 99-year leases of the majority of the World Trade Center to Larry Silverstein, and his partner, Lloyd Goldman and separately, the lease of the Mall to Westfield America which will rename it Westfield Shoppingtown World Trade Center. The retail leasehold covers approximately 427,448 square feet containing 75 stores that have average sales in excess of $900 a foot. The group expects to build out at least another 150,000 square feet on the plaza where the announcement will be made.


I was the speaker at the National Realty Club lunch on Monday July 9. Thanks to all for your kind welcome and I hope I made your time worthwhile with some inside outlooks.


A lot of deals are chugging up to the precipice and tottering on the way to getting completed. The changing market has got everyone trying to renegotiate. Those that look long term and not over the next few months will move forward. Think about Silverstein making a deal for 99 years. You know inevitably there will be some lean years down the road.

Lots of Jersey deals happening. One Left Coast firm just can't make the Hudson River jump to higher rents and could land on the Jersey shore. Another huge tenant is ready to spring - 500-600,000 square feet and everyone is bowing and scraping to get them. It should get done within a month. Oh, but which building will it fill?


Bernard H. Mendik died suddenly on Sunday, May 27 at New York Presbyterian Hopital.

He had turned 72 on May 24.

Mendik was in his tenth year a chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York.

He actively pursued legislation to allow real esate investment trusts to become legal in New York. Weeks away from rolling out his own REIT, and understanding that bigger is better, he folded Mendik & Co. into Vornado Realty Trust. He remains a large stockholder.

In 1998, the entrepreneur left Vornado and a year later, founded BHM Co. as his new investment vehicle, dropping cash on young turks like his friend Kevin Wang, to invest in properties.

This year, he purchased back 570 Lexington Avenue, one of the properties he had given up to Vornado.

Mendik worked tirelessly to improve relations with City Hall and became a friend of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani who chose him as the 1996 recipient of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia Award.

Mendik was the Mayor's appointee to the Business Advisory Council and Commission on Youth Empowerment Services.

Mendik is a 1993 recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

He is a member of the Bar, and is an active Trustee of New York Law School.

The funeral will be at Temple Emanuel on Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Mendik is survived by his wife Susan, four grown children Kevin, Todd, Alexander, and Laurie Mendik; four grandchildren, a sister Sandra Getz, and sister-in-law Nancy Troy.

We will always remember the beaming smile on his face and his ethusiasm for life


Current Downtown Plan was expected to be further extended through June 17 retroactively to May 20th.

Current Downtown Plan recipients are NOT affected. Your benefits continue as is.


April 19, 2001:

The Downtown plan sunsetted on March 31. It was extended through April 22 and has now been extended again through May 20th with the other budget bills. It was NOT going to be extended at all but the January leasing numbers came in and everyone got worried and is pushing for this to be extended for three to five years.

One issue: the treatment of the World Trade Center. Leases there are not eligible for the $2.50 cut on real estate taxes, but are eligible for other portions of the program.

But some new tenants there are starting to pay escalations.When the property is transferred to Larry Silvestein next week things could change again. There are conferences now ongoing as to how to treat the tenants under the Downtown program. Stay tuned.

read the New York Post for daily info.

sign up for the weekly newsblast at Cityfeet.com



Vornado OUT, Silvestein & Westfield America IN


Re: Net Lease of World Trade Center In connection with the net lease of the World Trade Center, on February 22, 2001, the Port Authority entered into an exclusive negotiating period with Vornado Realty Trust. During this period, Port Authority staff and its advisors, JP Morgan, Cushman & Wakefield and Milstein Brothers Realty Advisors, have worked with representatives of Vornado to complete the contract and associated transactional documents. In view of the lack of a final agreement at this time, the Port Authority's Board of Commissioners has instructed staff and our advisors to engage in exclusive negotiations with Silverstein Properties and Westfield America to conclude a 99-year net lease transaction.

Larry Silverstein was eating dinner but was described as "jumping for joy."

Vornado simply issued a statement saying it had been "unable to conclude a lease" with the Port Authority


3/14/01 3:20 pm


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is arguing this afternoon over the Vornado deal. As expected, no deal could be reached in the 20 day period, and other sources say Vornado wanted to change some of the terms of the deal.

It could still be that the deal will fall into Silverstein Properties' lap.

They are waiting for the markets to close to make the announcement.

Stay tuned.





© 2016 Lois Weiss. All Rights Reserved.