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CRE execs see Trump, interest rates as big risks for 2017

By: Konrad Putzier, The Real Deal, January 10, 2017

When the Urban Land Institute’s New York division gathered a year ago to give its outlook for the real estate market in 2016, fears over the Chinese economy and global markets dominated. Now, a year later, the outlook has reversed. Industry leaders now fear instability from within the U.S., and see foreign capital as a stabilizing force.

The key sources of uncertainty: rising interest rates and the next president.

“I think the offshore capital is saving the core and core-plus markets,” said James Kuhn, president of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. He argued that the prospect of rising interest rates in the U.S. has been putting upward pressure on record low cap rates on the lowest end, and that prices for trophy properties would be falling more rapidly if it weren’t for foreign investors still buying them up.

Lauren Hochfelder Silverman, head of the Americas at Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing, said her company is “looking for places where we can get (net operating income) growth that can outpace what we believe will be several rate hikes in the next couple of years.” She also said she hopes the Federal Reserve “doesn’t get ahead of us” in raising rates too quickly.

Peter Riguardi, JLL’s tri-state president, was more optimistic than Kuhn, arguing that “the modest increase in rates isn’t scaring anyone” and that cap rates have already corrected upwards. But he said he has noticed a decline in demand for office space.

Interest rates aside, the panelists also pointed to Donald Trump as another major source of uncertainty.

“My biggest concern, respectfully, is Trump,” Riguardi said, arguing that the actions of an unproven president could unsettle markets.

Bill Rudin, CEO of Rudin Management Company, said it’s too early to tell how the new administration will impact the real estate market, but he indicated big changes could be in store.

“We’re in a totally different world with the election and tax reform,” Rudin said.

REBNY members recognized for excellence in development

By REBNY President John Banks, Real Estate Weekly, December 22, 2016

Last week, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) New York announced the finalists for its 2017 Awards for Excellence in Development. I was proud to see that REBNY members were nominated in several categories for outstanding projects that are shaping the future of our city and growing its economy.

With its statewide awards raising the bar for New York real estate, ULI New York has advanced the same mission and principles that guide the global ULI Awards for Excellence.

REBNY’s presence on the list of finalists is just another reminder of the work our members do to provide mixed-income housing, commercial and mixed-use projects and new hotel development.

It should be no surprise that Related Companies’ 10 Hudson Yards tower is a ULI New York finalist for Excellence in Office Development. With an innovative, angular design by Kohn Pedersen Fox and tenants like Coach, Inc., L’Oreal USA and SAP, the 895-foot tower is already driving the broader Hudson Yards development and the rebirth of the Far West Side.

Another finalist in the office category is Edward J. Minskoff Equities’ 51 Astor Place – the home of commercial tenants like IBM and retail tenants like Flywheel Sports and Chop’t – which has combined cutting-edge LEED sustainability standards with unique green roofs, urban plazas and art installations.
In Excellence in Housing Development, we see three REBNY members who have taken different and equally exciting approaches to rethinking residential properties.

The Durst Organization and Bjarke Ingels have turned heads along the Hudson with their instantly iconic VIA 57 West, whose cut-out pyramid design brings together the intimacy of a courtyard building and the expansive views of a skyscraper.

At the other end of the spectrum, Monadnock Development gave us Carmel Place in Kips Bay, which is New York City’s first micro-unit building and the tallest modular building in Manhattan.

And finally, L+M Development Partners worked alongside Dunn Development Corp. and IMPACCT Brooklyn to transform a former federal prison near the Brooklyn Navy Yard into Navy Green, which is now providing much-needed low-income and supportive housing alongside middle-income and market-rate condominiums.
The high-profile City Point development has reinvigorated the Downtown Brooklyn retail corridor and justifiably earned a finalist nod in the Excellence in Mixed-Use Development category.

This 1.9-million-square-foot project by Acadia Realty and Washington Square Partners features an environmentally friendly design, tenants like Century 21 and Trader Joe’s, food vendors at the new DeKalb Market Hall and 250 units of mixed-income housing.

Last but not least, Silverstein Properties was nominated in Excellence in Hotel Development for its Four Seasons project in Lower Manhattan, which has set a new standard for meshing five-star hotel service with condominium living. The 937-foot property also includes Wolfgang Puck’s first New York City restaurant and an 8,5000-square-foot public plaza, continuing the trend that has put the Financial District back on the map as a true epicenter of quality real estate.

I wish the best of luck to these REBNY members and all other ULI New York finalists who are helping to build a better New York, both in our city and beyond.

City Point recognized for excellence in mixed-use development

By: Anna Spivak, Brooklyn Reporter, December 19, 2016

Downtown Brooklyn’s very own City Point shopping center has been recognized as a finalist by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) New York for a 2017 Excellence in Mixed-Use Development award, institute officials announced last week.

A true mark of its “exemplary” use of land, according to ULI New York, City Point was recognized – alongside other New York developments in several categories – for raising the bar for design, planning and sustainability.

“Our 2017 finalists are a testament to the outstanding quality of work from the preeminent leaders of the New York real estate industry,” said Marty Burger, chairman of the Urban Land Institute New York. “This diverse group of innovative projects are leading the way in new and creative approaches to design, development and sustainability, and they demonstrate why New York is a leader for the country and the world.”

Marketing itself as the “largest food, shopping and entertainment destination in Downtown Brooklyn,” City Point – which features the likes of Century 21, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Target, DeKalb Market Hall, Fortina and Trader Joe’s as its partner retailers  – is 1.8 million square feet of pure shopping and entertainment bliss in the heart of the borough.

Other Brooklyn entities nominated in this year’s round of awards are the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk for an Excellence in Civic Space award and Navy Green for an Excellence in Housing Development award.

ULI New York opened nominations for the awards on September 12 and the winners will be announced at the Awards for Excellence gala at Gotham Hall on April 3.

FINALISTS FOR ULI DESIGN AWARDS INCLUDE 10 HUDSON YARDS, VIA 57, CITYPOINT

By: Benjamin Mazzara, Bisnow, December 15, 2016

10 Hudson Yards, VIA 57 West and CityPoint are three of the 19 properties in the running for the Urban Land Institute New York’s second Awards for Excellence in Development.

The awards recognize developments across every asset class that use land responsibly and create sustainable communities. The entire development process, not just the architecture or design, must adhere to the institute’s standards and even the judges are chosen for their commitment to “responsible and inventive land use.”

Last year’s winners included Brookfield Place and the Sept. 11 Memorial Museum and Pavilion.

10 Hudson Yards (above at left), Related Cos and Oxford Property Group’s 52-story, 1.8M SF office tower, boasts a 1.2 megawatt co-generation plant, a gas-fired microturbine, protected fuel tanks and elevated mechanical equipment. The Kohn Pederson Fox-design building is slated to achieve LEED Platinum.

Many of the 709 residential units at VIA 57 West 709 (above center) have balconies overlooking its Hudson River-facing courtyard, combining a courtyard building’s density and intimacy with a skyscraper’s expansive views. The Durst Organization focused on sustainability in the tower’s design, by Bjarke Ingels Group, and construction.

Acadia Realty Trust and Washington Square Partners’ 1.9M SF mixed-use development, CityPoint (above at right), is designed by SLCE, COOKFO and Gensler. Its two LEED Certified residential towers share a mechanical plant and green roofs.

Other nominees include Minsokff Equities’ 25 Astor Place, Monadnock Development’s Carmel Place, The Javits Center, Urby Staten Island and the Four Seasons Downtown by Silverstein Properties.

The winners will be announced at Gotham Hall on April 3. You can find the full list of finalists here.

ULI NY Unveils Awards For Excellence Finalists

By: Rayna Katz, Globe Street, December 15, 2016

NEW YORK CITY—The Urban Land Institute New York has announced the finalists for its 2017 Awards for Excellence in Development, an annual event recognizing land use and development projects here that raise the bar for development, design, planning and sustainability. The finalists represent residential, commercial, mixed-use and civic space development and include entrants from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.

Nominees are as follows: Excellence in Office Development: 10 Hudson Yards, Related Cos.; 51 Astor Place, Edward J. Minskoff Equities. Excellence in Housing Development: Carmel Place, Monadnock Development; Breaking Ground/Boston Road Permanent Supportive Housing, Bronx, NY, Breaking Ground HDFC; Navy Green, Brooklyn, NY, Dunn Development Corp, L+M Development Partners and IMPACCT Brooklyn and VIA 57 WEST, The Durst Organization.

Excellence in Repositioning or Redevelopment: The Javits Center, The Javits Center; New Stapleton Waterfront Phase 1-Staten Island, NY, Ironstate (Urby), NYCEDC, and NYC Parks;

Tower280 at Midtown-Rochester, NY, Midtown Tower, J/V of Buckingham Properties and Morgan Management.

Excellence in Institutional Development: The Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center, New York, NY, Columbia University Medical Center and The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability at Sandy Ground-Staten Island, NY, NYC School Construction Authority.

Excellence in Mixed-Use Development: The Delaware North Building–Buffalo, NY, Uniland Development Corp.; City Point–Brooklyn, Acadia Realty Trust and Washington Square Partners; Excellence in Civic Space: The Hills on Governors Island, Trust for Governors Island;

Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk-Brooklyn, iStar Inc. and NYCEDC and Kaleidoscope at the Connecting Terminal–Buffalo, Foit-Albert Associates, Architecture, Engineering & Surveying PC and Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.

Lastly, Excellence in Hotel Development, The Beekman Hotel and Residences, New York City, GFI Development and Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown and Private Residences, New York City, Silverstein Properties and 1 Hotel Central Park, New York City, Starwood Capital Group.

“Our 2017 finalists are a testament to the outstanding quality of work from the preeminent leaders of the New York real estate industry,” says Marty Burger, chairman of the Urban Land Institute New York. “This diverse group of innovative projects are leading the way in new and creative approaches to design, development and sustainability, and they demonstrate why New York is a leader for the country and the world.”

The winners will be announced at the Awards for Excellence gala at Gotham Hall on April 3, 2017.

Judges serving on ULI New York’s awards committee include prominent figures in the city’s real estate, finance, academia, government, and architecture fields. The panelists were chosen based on their commitment to responsible and inventive land use and proven ability to generate transformative change in the field.

The 2017 Awards for Excellence co-chairs—David Schonbraun of SL Green Realty Corp. and Brian Collins of Fisher Brothers—oversee the multidisciplinary committee of 21 industry leaders. With representatives from the development, planning, and design disciplines, the Awards Committee represents the full process of bringing an idea to fruition.

Tower280 at Midtown finalist for development award

By Andrea Deckert, Rochester Business Journal, December 15, 2016

Tower280 at Midtown has been named a finalist for a 2017 Award for Excellence in Development from the Urban Land Institute New York.

The $59 million mixed-use project on the site of the former Midtown Plaza downtown is one of three finalists in the Excellence in Repositioning or Redevelopment category. The other two finalists are projects in New York City and on Long Island.

Developed by Buckingham Properties LLC and Morgan Management LLC, Tower280 at Midtown includes two-story penthouses, 80,000 square feet of Class A office space, 50,000 square feet of retail space and a three-story atrium and skylight. There is also a rooftop lounge, with a 2,000-square-foot dog park.

“Our 2017 finalists are a testament to the outstanding quality of work from the preeminent leaders of the New York real estate industry,” said Marty Burger, chairman of the Urban Land Institute New York, in a statement. “This diverse group of innovative projects is leading the way in new and creative approaches to design, development and sustainability, and they demonstrate why New York is a leader for the country and the world.”

The winners are to be announced at the Awards for Excellence gala at Gotham Hall in New York City on April 3.

Delaware North, Outer Harbor illumination up for statewide honors

By Jonathan Epstein, The Buffalo News, December 15, 2016

Two Buffalo projects were named Thursday as finalists for the 2017 Awards for Excellence in Development from the Urban Land Institute’s New York chapter.

Uniland Development Co.’s Delaware North Building at 250 Delaware Avenue is one of two finalists for the chapter’s Excellence in Mixed-Use Development award.

The illumination of grain elevator silos on the Outer Harbor, by Foit-Albert Associates and Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., is one of three finalists for its Excellence in Civic Space award.

In all, 19 projects will compete for honors in seven categories within residential, commercial, mixed-use and civic space development. Besides the two in Buffalo and one in Rochester, all are from New York City. The winners will be announced on April 3.

Trump’s policies will worsen next recession, top Moody’s economist says

By Konrad Putzier, The Real Deal, December 1, 2016

Donald Trump’s economic plans may worsen the next downturn, according to Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi.

“I think the economy is going to be more cyclical as a result” of Trump’s election, Zandi, a Democrat, said Thursday at a Urban Land Institute New York event.

Like several other commentators, Zandi expects that Trump’s plans to cut taxes and boost government spending this late in the economic cycle will drive up prices and in turn interest rates. “If you layer fiscal stimulus on top of a full-employment economy, what does that do? Well, it creates inflationary pressure,” he said.

The stimulus, combined with planned deregulation of bank lending, also “means we’re going to get more of an overheating economy more quickly,” Zandi said. And overheated economies tend to come down more forcefully than the well-tempered kind.

Commercial real estate markets could play a part in the increased volatility, he added.

Zandi’s remarks depart from more bullish recent statements by leading real estate investors. Last month, Blackstone’s real estate head Jonathan Gray said he expects Trump’s fiscal stimulus and possible boost to growth to benefit the real estate market.

Financial markets have largely cheered Trump’s victory as good for near-term economic growth in the U.S., and Zandi doesn’t necessarily disagree — he simply cautioned that there will be a price to pay later on.

In the medium term, Zandi doesn’t see a reason to change his expectation of 2 percent average annual GDP growth. Any boost to growth from lower corporate taxes or deregulation will likely be minor, he argued, and offset by a pinch to growth from possible new trade barriers. “Trump’s been saying ‘I’m going to get 4 percent GDP growth’ – that’s not going to happen,” Zandi said.

Zandi, one of the country’s best-known economists, had first claimed that Trump’s proposed economic policies would lead to a “lengthy recession” in a June report.

Hillary Clinton referred to the report in campaign speeches, falsely implying that Zandi is a Republican (although he did once advise John McCain). The Trump campaign, in turn, released a statement accusing Zandi of “causing the Great Recession,” because his employer, Moody’s, has a bond-rating business that did a poor job assessing risk in housing bonds prior to 2008.  The campaign’s statement omitted the fact that Zandi works for a different part of the company and is responsible for macroeconomic research and analysis, not bond ratings.

A key economist changes his tune on Trump

By Greg David, Crain’s, December 1, 2016

Before the election, the high-profile Moody’s economist Mark Zandi said the election of Donald Trump would be disastrous for the economy. About 3.5 million Americans would lose their jobs, unemployment would jump back up to 7%, home prices would fall and the stock market would plummet, he predicted.

He certainly convinced his own family. He was in London on election night, he told the Urban Land Institute’s New York chapter Thursday, and he was awakened at 5 a.m. by his daughter sobbing uncontrollably that “he is going to win.”

Today, Zandi has a different take on the consequences of a President Trump. The Republican is inheriting an economy that is so strong—nearing full employment, with the prospect of much higher wage growth this year and next—that his election will have few near-term consequences.

In fact, Trump was so unprepared to win that it will take months for his new team to settle in and begin to focus on how to implement all those promises the candidate made during the campaign. It was clear that Zandi has been in close contact with the economic advisers for Trump and knows what he’s talking about.

The same insight applies to the New York City economy, which is on track to add about 80,000 jobs this year and come close to that next year, according to local economists I talked to this week. It will be some time before Trump’s policies actually affect the economy or the budgets of the city or state.

Eventually, however, the consequences will be very significant. Americans voted for change, Zandi noted, and they are going to get it, because the Republicans will control both the Congress and the presidency—and especially because the Democrats previously weakened the minority party’s ability to block actions in the Senate via filibuster.

So, consider the next few months the interregnum.

Urban Land Institute New York Opens Nominations For 2nd Annual Awards For Excellence In Development

By ArchDaily

Awards to Honor Outstanding Projects Statewide in Categories of Office, Housing, Mixed-Use, Repositioning or Redevelopment, Hotel, Retail, Institutional, and Civic Space.

Urban Land Institute New York today announced it has opened nominations for its Second Annual Awards for Excellence in Development, a statewide contest that sets the standard for responsible land use and development practices. Developers and architects in the public, private and non-profit sectors are all encouraged to submit projects for New York’s top real estate industry competition. You do not have to be a ULI member to submit a project.

The Awards for Excellence in Development recognize leaders who demonstrate the strongest commitment to planning, design, sustainability and resilience, market success and community impact. The Awards categories include office, housing, mixed-use, repositioning or redevelopment, hotel, retail, institutional, and civic space. The new hotel and retail categories were added this year to recognize the growing number of innovative projects in these areas across the state.

“As developers face the challenges of a changing state and industry, the Awards for Excellence in Development will keep raising the bar for responsible land use in New York,” said Marty Burger, Chairman of ULI New York. “We look forward to recognizing projects representing the best of the industry and its role in strengthening communities and building our economy.”

Starting today, developers can download an Awards submission form and apply online at http://nygala.uli.org/apply/. The nomination period will run from September 12 to November 4, at which time all submissions are due. Finalists in each category will be announced in January and winners will be honored at an industry gala on April 3, 2017 at Gotham Hall in New York City.

The nomination process and Awards gala will be overseen by ULI New York’s 23-member Awards Committee, which is led by co-chairs Brian Collins, Head of Development at Fisher Brothers, and David Schonbraun, co-CIO of SL Green Realty Corp. Winners will be selected by ULI New York’s Awards Jury, which will conduct comprehensive site visits to review all finalists’ projects. The 12-member Awards Jury includes an elite group of developers, urban planners, architects and business leaders. A full list of the Awards Committee and Jury can be found at http://nygala.uli.org/about-the-awards/.

“As long as developers keep innovating, New York will keep growing — and we are committed to advancing those positive impacts statewide,” said Brian Collins, ULI New York Awards Committee Co-Chair and Head of Development at Fisher Brothers. “The Awards represent an important opportunity for real estate leaders who understand the future of our industry and want to make sure it benefits New Yorkers for generations to come.”

“We know that outstanding development is happening in all corners of our state, and we are ready to put the spotlight on elite projects from Brooklyn to Buffalo,” said David Schonbraun, ULI New York Awards Committee Co-Chair and Co-CIO of SL Green Realty Corp. “This is a truly exciting time for land use and urban planning across the nation and the world – but it all starts here in New York.”

The winners of the inaugural Awards in March 2016 were Hunter’s Point South Living, the No. 7 Line Extension Project, the East Harlem Center for Living & Learning, St. Ann’s Warehouse, the September 11 Memorial Museum & Pavilion, Brookfield Place, and Conventus. More information on last year’s winners can be seen here: http://nygala.uli.org/2016-winners/

For more information on the Awards, visit http://nygala.uli.org/home/.

About the Urban Land Institute New York

ULI New York provides leadership in the responsible use of land and in the creation of sustainable, thriving communities. ULI New York promotes an open exchange of ideas, information, and experience among industry leaders and policy makers dedicated to creating better neighborhoods. ULI offers in-depth analysis of current land use issues and educates real estate professionals on the impact of land use policies on the City’s future. The organization also invests in the professional and personal development of the next generation of community and real estate industry leaders. ULI New York carries out, at the local level, the mission of ULI, a global non-profit headquartered in Washington D.C with nearly 40,000 members worldwide.

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Urban Land Institute New York seeks projects nominations

By Andrea Deckert, Rochester Business Journal, September 13, 2016

Urban Land Institute New York has opened nominations for its second annual Awards for Excellence in Development, a statewide contest for responsible land use and development practices.

Developers and architects in the public, private and nonprofit sectors can submit projects. They are not required to be a land institute member to submit a project.

Rochester-area developers are encouraged to submit their projects for consideration, the institute said.

The Awards for Excellence in Development recognize leaders who demonstrate the strongest commitment to planning, design, sustainability and resilience, market success and community impact.

The awards categories include office, housing, mixed-use, repositioning or redevelopment, hotel, retail, institutional, and civic space. The new hotel and retail categories were added this year to recognize the growing number of projects in these areas across the state.

Developers can download an awards submission form and apply online at nygala.uli.org.

The nomination period runs through Nov. 4, at which time all submissions are due. Finalists in each category are slated to be announced in January, and winners are to be honored April 3 at Gotham Hall in New York City.

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ULI Calls for Development Award Nominees

By John Jordan, September 12, 2016

NEW YORK CITY—The Urban Land Institute New York has opened nominations for its second annual Awards for Excellence in Development contest.

This year’s competition will pit developers and architects from across New York State against one another to determine the top projects in the categories of office, housing, mixed-use, repositioning or redevelopment, hotel, retail, institutional and civic space.

“As developers face the challenges of a changing state and industry, the Awards for Excellence in Development will keep raising the bar for responsible land use in New York,” says Marty Burger, chairman of ULI New York. “We look forward to recognizing projects representing the best of the industry and its role in strengthening communities and building our economy.”

The nomination period will run until Nov. 4. Finalists in each category will be announced in January and winners will be honored at an industry gala on April 3, 2017 at Gotham Hall in New York City.

The nomination process and awards gala will be overseen by ULI New York’s 23-member awards committee, led by co-chairs Brian Collins, head of development at Fisher Brothers, and David Schonbraun, co-CIO of SL Green Realty Corp. Winners will be selected by ULI New York’s awards jury, which will conduct comprehensive site visits to review all finalists’ projects. The 12-member Awards Jury includes an elite group of developers, urban planners, architects and business leaders.

The winners of the inaugural awards in March 2016 were Hunter’s Point South Living, the No. 7 Line Extension Project, the East Harlem Center for Living & Learning, St. Ann’s Warehouse, the September 11 Memorial Museum & Pavilion, Brookfield Place and Conventus.

“As long as developers keep innovating, New York will keep growing — and we are committed to advancing those positive impacts statewide,” says Brian Collins, ULI New York Awards Committee Co-Chair and Head of Development at Fisher Brothers. “The Awards represent an important opportunity for real estate leaders who understand the future of our industry and want to make sure it benefits New Yorkers for generations to come.”

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Marketplace under Columbus Circle brings business to subway concourse

By Emily Julia Roche, 8/02/2016

In the passageways beneath the bustling transportation hub at Columbus Circle, commuters can find dozens of new cafes, restaurants and independent retail stores located between the train tracks and the street.

At a tour led by the Urban Land Institute’s Women’s Leadership Initiative on Tuesday, architect Marta Sanders described the vision of the project, named TurnStyle, as creating a “vibrant public space that is commercially viable.” Sanders said that the idea was “not to bring more people in, but to bring them in for different reasons and make them stay a little longer.”

TurnStyle is the city’s first privately funded underground marketplace, filling a 325-foot-long concourse with 39 individual storefronts. The project began in 2012 when the MTA sent out a request for applications to develop the 110-year-old corridor. Susan Fine, president of Oases Real Estate, submitted the winning proposal to reinvigorate a stretch that “looked worse than the rest of the subway.”

Despite the prevalence of retail in Grand Central, not to mention the Santiago Calatrava-designed retail hub at the World Trade Center and the Fulton Center complex, Sanders insisted that the new market’s relative size and location within an actual subway concourse differentiate it from other transit-center markets.

In 2015, the MTA ranked Columbus Circle as the seventh most used subway station in the five boroughs, with a ridership of over 23 million passengers that year, and about 90,000 passengers a day.

Inspirations for the hub included similar projects in transportation corridors in Seoul and Tokyo, as well as Grand Central Station.

Fine called TurnStyle, which is being operated under a 30-year master lease from the MTA, a “public-private partnership.”

TurnStyle features 20 food and drink destinations, ranging from Starbucks and Fika Espresso to locally-sourced health restaurants, such as Ellary’s Greens and Blossom Du Jour, and 19 retail storefronts.

The leases of each store are between one and 10 years long, with the duration of each lease staggered to allow for a rotation of new businesses.

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ULI announces committee and jury members for annual awards

By Real Estate Weekly, August 1, 2016

The Urban Land Institute New York has just  announced the Awards Committee and Jury members for its Second Annual Awards for Excellence in Development, a statewide contest that recognizes the best land use and development practices in the real estate industry.

Award categories include office, housing, mixed-use, repositioning or redevelopment, institutional, and civic space. The event also added a hotel and retail category to recognize the growing number of projects in these areas across the state. David Schonbraun, co-CIO of SL Green Realty, and Brian Collins, head of development at Fisher Brothers, were named co-chairs of the awards committee.

“Real estate fuels the economic engine of New York – and our industry must meet each challenge by becoming more innovative than ever before,” said Brian Collins, Awards Committee Co-Chair and Head of Development at Fisher Brothers. “By elevating the finest statewide projects, we can help drive the positive growth and change needed to sustain our cities for generations to come.”

“Contenders for the Awards for Excellence know that development means more than just topping out a building,” said David Schonbraun, Awards Committee Co-Chair and Co-CIO of SL Green Realty Corp. “We are excited to find the elite projects that go further by combining the best in planning, design, resilience, market success and community impact.”

Hunter’s Point South Living, the No. 7 Line Extension Project, the East Harlem Center for Living & Learning, St. Ann’s Warehouse, the September 11 Memorial Museum & Pavilion, Brookfield Place, and Conventus won during the inaugural staging of the event held last March.

The Awards Committee will begin accepting submissions on September 12. The Awards Committee and Awards Jury are composed of New York real estate insiders such as developers, architects, urban planners, construction managers and investors.

The awards gala is set for next April. A full list of the Awards Committee and Jury members is provided below.

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Industry giants talk Queens real estate 

By Andrew Benjamin

5762df40b6021.imageDeputy Borough President Melva Miller, second from right, moderated a discussion about real estate in the borough featuring, from left, Greater Jamaica Development Corporation President and CEO Hope Knight, F&T Group President Michael Meyer and Onex Real Estate Partners Vice President David Brickman.

“Queens is the new Brooklyn.”

That’s the tagline real estate developers have been using to sell the most diverse borough in New York City. Already places like Astoria, Long Island City and Ridgewood have seen significant increases in rent, artisanal coffee shops and hip bars, much like what has happened over the years in Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Queens has added over 16,700 residents since July 2015 — the most of any borough in New York City. The number is only to get bigger as the demand for housing won’t go down.

The Urban Land Institute New York, a nonprofit and research institute on real estate development, hosted a meeting last Thursday on June 9 at Spaces in Long Island City attended mostly by people in the real estate industry. The meeting was held to show why developers should look toward Central Queens as the next commercial and residential real estate hot spot.

“A lot of neighborhoods are growing in Queens,” said Deputy Borough President Melva Miller, who moderated the meeting. “We have now reached the point where folks want to come here and develop, start and run their businesses here and spend their money here. We welcome that and want as many partners as possible to help the borough grow.”

Michael Meyer, the president of the F&T Group, has developed one of the most notable mixed-use properties, Flushing Commons. “Flushing was a blighted area,” Meyer said. He elaborated that due to the development of the area, it has led to Queens being discovered by celebrities like Anthony Bourdain.

David Brickman, vice president of Onex Real Estate Partners, oversaw the development of the Skyview Park, a luxury condo development. He was upfront that central Queens could be difficult to develop for a few reasons, pointing toward the high usage of personal cars as transportation instead of public transportation.

“Long Island City has great transportation. As you move into Queens, unlike Brooklyn, the public transportation is not as robust,” said Brickman. “When you visit Jamaica and Flushing, especially in Central Queens, car ownership is way higher. Parking becomes a burden on development.”

Hope Knight, president and CEO of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, said Jamaica is in need of retailers more than anything else.

Knight said Jamaica currently has a focus on hospitality projects. A Marriott Courtyard and Hilton Garden Inn are in development.

“To support hotel growth, we are looking to diversify retail,” Knight said.

Not everyone has the same view as the panelists about the borough and real estate.

Paul Graziano, a resident from Flushing and an urban development consultant, thinks it’s “nonsense” that Queens is the new Brooklyn.

“Skyview has created an enormous amount of traffic,” he told the Chronicle. “There is a lot more people and cars and more congestion. Flushing Commons is a disaster.”

Graziano has yet to see neighborhoods thrive in this rapid urban development cycle. “I think the problem is that neighborhoods thrive when there is a balance between development and preservation and that balance doesn’t exist in Queens.”

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Panel looks at development potential in Flushing, Jamaica

By Madina Toure

realestate_2016_06_17_q01_i

Hope Knight of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (l-r) and Michael Meyer of F&T Group discuss developments in downtown Jamaica and downtown Flushing, respectively.

Developers and experts in Flushing and downtown Jamaica weighed in on how recent development projects have affected the two neighborhoods at a panel last week in Long Island City hosted by ULI New York, a nonprofit that provides leadership in land use policy.

The panel, moderated by Melva Miller, Queens deputy borough president, was held June 9 at SPACES at the Falchi Building, located at 31-00 47th Ave.

The panelists were David Brickman, vice president of Onex Real Estate Partners; Hope Knight, president and CEO of Greater Jamaica Development Corporation; and Michael Meyer, president of F&T Group.

“Queens is severely under-retailed and if you speak to your colleagues about development in Queens, as we develop housing we need to make sure that we have the infrastructure and the amenities, the commercial, to go along with that residential development,” Miller said.

Miller said downtown Flushing is mostly zoned for higher density commercial. In 2007, the Department of City Planning rezoned downtown Jamaica to maintain the character of the neighborhood and provide for a mix of residential, business and community activities. It also established a special district.

Flushing Commons, a 1.8-million-square-foot mixed-use development, will include residential, office, retail, parking and community space. The first phase was topped off in March.

The development, which is 90 percent sold out, will receive its first temporary occupancy certificate for the underground garage this month and the second for the office tower by early November.

Meyer said F&T Group, one of Flushing Commons’ developers, said he was working at Tishman Realty Construction when he was put on assignment for the Queens County Savings Bank to look at a development. F&T Group’s headquarters, Queens Crossing, is at the bank’s old site.

Michael Lee, F&T Group’s co-founder, put a request for proposal in the Wall Street Journal to attract interest to the site and ultimately succeeded.

Meyer said Flushing was blighted at the time and that he and Lee went to Shanghai around 1998, which was also blighted.

He noted that China and Flushing’s trajectories are parallel and that Chinese real estate focuses entirely on ownership, both residential and office.

“It’s almost like Flushing is a sub.urb of China…so as China has had its ascendancy in the geopolitical time, so Flushing has flourished as well,” he said.

The third and final building, SkyView Parc, a condominium located at 40-22 College Point Blvd., just topped off this quarter and roughly 5 acres of the 7-acre rooftop park will be complete.

Brickman, whose company is the developer for Sky View Parc, said that although it was challenging to complete a development on such a large, complex site in one economic cycle, big box retailers were scouring New York City because of the density and lack of retail and people were looking to move back into the city from the suburbs. Parking has also become a big concern.

“It was a confluence of trends, demographics that were happening,” he said.

Knight said there is proposal to create a hospitality hub for the AirTrain project, which connects John F. Kennedy Airport to the Jamaica LIRR station. The idea is to make the Sutphin Boulevard/AirTrain station a convenient destination for travelers to stay at a hotel close to the station.

She also said two hotels—Marriott Courtyard Fairfield Inn and a Hilton Garden Inn—are in development, along with a project on 160th Street and Jamaica Avenue that will house a TJ Maxx, Burlington and H&M.

“To support this hotel growth, we are definitely looking to diversify retail,” she said. “Jamaica does have a vibrant retail corridor along Sutphin Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue.”

Affordable housing is on the way, too. The Crossing at Sutphin Boulevard and Archer Avenue will have 600 units of affordable housing and another project behind it on 94th Avenue will have 380 units of housing.

“Land prices are such that market-rate rents are about 130 percent of AMI (area median income) so they really are affordable to middle class families,” she said.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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Queens Needs More Retail to Serve its Growing Population

By Felix Ciampa

 As new development continues to transform Queens, the borough desperately needs more diverse retail outlets to support that growth and strengthen the local economy.

Without more diverse options, Melva Miller, Deputy Borough President to Melinda Katz, is concerned that shoppers will be more likely to leave the borough and head to outlets on Long Island. Miller noted at ULI New York’s Borough Development Series forum on June 9, that shopping migration is already beginning to take place — and the numbers reveal why.

While Queens’ population of 2.3 million nearly matches Long Island’s 2.8 million, its supply of big-name retail — stores like H&M, Target and DSW — doesn’t even compare. The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) found that Long Island has around 170 of these high-profile shopping and dining outlets, while Queens only has 55, or less than a third as many.

That disparity will only lead to a widening gap and more missed chances for the borough’s economy as its population continues to grow. And that growth shows no signs of slowing down. According to U.S. Census data, more than 30 percent of New York City’s residential growth in 2015 took place in Queens, surpassing every other borough.

As officials consider tackling the issue, they should look first to Jamaica, where foot traffic is reaching all-time highs but retail diversity is sorely lacking.

Nearly half a million commuters pass through Jamaica each day, including more than 42,000 daily riders at the Jamaica Center subway stop, which is one of the busiest in the city. GJDC President Hope Knight told ULI New York’s audience that those visitors and residents simply aren’t able to access the retail options they want on Jamaica Avenue, which doesn’t provide the big-name options that shoppers are more likely to find outside the borough.

With thousands of mixed-income apartments and two chain hotels on the way, Knight called this an opportunity, rather than a problem — and real estate industry players should be listening. Jamaica is the kind of up-and-coming, transit-rich neighborhood that can and should serve as one of New York’s top hospitality hubs.

The good news is that the industry can also look to a few recent examples of successful retail growth in Queens, especially in Flushing. In that neighborhood, Sky View Parc has combined hundreds of condos with more than 700,000 square feet of retail space, providing the right mix needed to support a vibrant new community. Flushing Commons has taken a similarly effective approach by focusing on attracting a wide array of high-profile retail tenants, including Queens’ first Nordstrom Rack and Uniqlo outlets. Both developments have found success.

Applying those lessons to Jamaica and other neighborhoods will be the difference between losing more business to Long Island and building a diverse retail base that serves the needs of a growing borough.

ULI New York was proud to sponsor the June 9 forum to give voice to that important concern and help members of the real estate industry learn more about what can really drive the future of Queens. We hope public and private sector leaders will work together and make greater efforts to provide the borough’s residents and visitors with the retail diversity they demand and deserve.

Felix Ciampa is the executive director of the Urban Land Institute New York

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Urban Land Institute Names N.Y. Chairman

By Keiko Morris

Urban Land Institute New York has named the head of Silverstein Properties Inc. as its new chairman.

Marty Burger, chief executive of Silverstein and a longtime Urban Land Institute member, will take the reins from current chairman Robert C. Lieber on July 1, according to the New York chapter of the global nonprofit education and research organization. Urban Land Institute focuses on issues in land use and real estate development.

Mr. Burger, a trustee of the nonprofit, has been active on a national level and has served as chairman of one of the organization’s Urban Development and Mixed-Use Councils for the last three years, he said. Mr. Lieber approached Mr. Burger about the chairman post about six months ago, Mr. Burger said.

“I agreed because it’s a labor of love,” said Mr. Burger, whose career has included positions at Related Cos., Blackstone Group LP and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. He added, “It has been a part of my life ever since I started in the real estate business.”

Mr. Lieber, who has served as chairman since July 2013, will continue serving on the advisory board of Urban Land Institute New York after he steps down.

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ULI NY Appoints New Chairman

By Rayna Katz

NEW YORK CITY—The Urban Land Institute has named Silverstein Properties CEO Marty Burger the new chairman of ULI New York, effective July 1, 2016. Burger will succeed current chairman Robert Lieber, who has led ULI New York since July 2013.

Burger has been a ULI member since 1995 and has served on ULI New York’s advisory board since 2014. He is also a global ULI trustee, a governor of the philanthropic ULI Foundation and chairman of one of ULI’s Urban Development/Mixed-Use Product Councils. Burger was a co-chair of the host committee for ULI’s 2014 fall meeting, held here, and served this year on the jury for ULI New York’s first-ever awards for excellence in development.

“We all will benefit from Marty’s considerable talent, industry expertise, thoughtful guidance, and steadfast commitment to our organization,” says ULI Global CEO Patrick Phillips. “Our district and national councils are the foundation for ULI’s collective impact. They make an incredible difference in the quality of our work and the fulfillment of our mission.

Adds Burger, “It is an incredible honor to lead ULI New York and continue serving an institution that has had such a positive impact on development and on my own career. I thank Bob Lieber for being one of the true leaders of our industry.  He will always be a valued ULI colleague and friend.”

Burger will work closely with the advisory board, management team, and volunteer members to ensure that ULI New York continues to serve as a resource on land use and development policy for the public sector.

He was named CEO of Silverstein Properties in 2014 following his work to expand Silverstein’s global reach through new acquisitions and joint ventures across the world. As CEO, he leads the company’s day-to-day activities and continues to oversee efforts to develop new projects in China, Eastern Europe and Israel. Prior to joining Silverstein in 2010, Burger was president and CEO of Artisan Real Estate Ventures, a company he founded in 2006. He previously spent 15 years as an EVP at Related, and also spent part of his career at Goldman Sachs and The Blackstone Group.

In his new role for ULI New York, Burger will build on the work of Lieber, who reportedly was instrumental in organizing the ULI fall meeting here in 2014 and who brought the organization to the forefront of policy discussions on transit infrastructure and community growth.

“Marty is a real leader in our industry and in our region and I can’t think of a better person to carry the torch,” says Lieber, executive managing director of C-III Capital Partners. “I know the best is yet to come for ULI New York and its members.”

Under Lieber’s leadership, ULI New York in 2015 released a transit infrastructure report, “Keeping New York on Track,” that raised awareness around the importance of fully funding the MTA Capital Program. Prior to that, ULI New York launched its technical assistance panels program, completing two TAPs for the NYC Dept. of City Planning in 2014 that offered recommendations for mixed-use development and zoning and streetscape improvements in neighborhoods in the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Most recently, Lieber oversaw the launch of ULI New York’s inaugural awards for excellence in development, a showcase of outstanding projects that are driving innovation in development and placemaking across the state, which were announced in March.

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Silverstein’s Marty Burger to chair Urban Land Institute NY

By The Real Deal

Silverstein Properties CEO Marty Burger is set to hobnob and fundraise for the nonprofit Urban Land Institute’s New York chapter.

Burger was named the new chairman of the land use and development research and education organization, to replace its current leader Robert Lieber on July 1, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Silverstein chief executive is a longtime member of the nonprofit, and one of its trustees. He’s chaired one of its Urban Development and Mixed-Use councils for the past three years.

“I agreed because it’s a labor of love,” Burger told the Journal. “It has been a part of my life ever since I started in the real estate business.”

Burger joined Silverstein in 2010 as co-CEO, serving alongside founder Larry Silverstein. Burger officially took charge of the company in 2014. The Real Dealprofiled him in its “At the Desk” feature last June.

Urban Land Institute was founded in 1936 and has more than 38,000 members worldwide. It advocates for sustainability and smart growth in cities worldwide through research, education and strategic consulting.

Lieber, who became chairman in 2013, will continue to serve on the Institute’s advisory board. [WSJ]Ariel Stulberg 

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Brookfield, Related Among ULI Award Winners

By GlobeSt.com

NEW YORK CITY—Six of the seven inaugural awards for excellence in development were for projects in the five boroughs.

The winners of the inaugural “Awards for Excellence in Development” by the Urban Land Institute New York run the gamut from affordable housing, mixed-use, office, as well as entertainment- and civic-oriented projects.

Six of the seven award-winning projects are located in New York City. ULI-New York bestowed its Excellence in Office Development to Coventus Partners, LLP and developer Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. for the seven-story Class A office facility for the Center for Collaborative Medicine in Buffalo, NY.

The big names that took home ULI awards included Brookfield Property Partners, Related Companies, Jonathan Rose, New York City Transit and the September 11 Museum & Memorial.

“We are proud to help drive the conversation around sustainable development by recognizing leaders in our field who are changing the game and doing it right,” says ULI New York chairman Robert C. Lieber. “Our inaugural awards were just a first step in a long-term effort to raise the bar even higher for New York real estate. We look forward to making the Awards for Excellence in Development the top industry competition in New York for many years to come.”

The announcement of the seven award winners capped a six-month process that began when ULI New York opened nominations in September 2015. A total of 14 finalists across the six award categories were announced recently.

The award winners (with project descriptions) are:

Excellence in Housing Development
Hunter’s Point South Living – Queens, NY
Developers: Related Companies, Phipps Houses, and Monadnock Development

Hunter’s Point South is a multi-phase, mixed-use affordable housing development on a 30-acre post-industrial waterfront site in Long Island City. The development involves inter-agency coordination along with inter-sector collaboration, pairing private developers and these public agencies, ULI states. When completed, the project will include approximately 5,000 units of housing, making it the largest new affordable housing development in New York City completed since the 1970s.

Excellence in Repositioning or Redevelopment
Brookfield Place – New York, NY
Developer/Owner: Brookfield Property Partners

Located along the Hudson River just south of Tribeca, Brookfield Place is an 8-million square-foot office and retail complex formerly known as the World Financial Center. In 2011, Brookfield embarked on a $300-million renovation project to reenergize the common areas and redevelop the retail offerings to serve a growing Lower Manhattan. The changes expanded the retail to include 375,000 square feet of luxury and contemporary fashion, a 30,000-square-foot French style marketplace Le District, the 30,000-square-foot fast-casual Hudson Eats, and top-tier dining options. A new dramatic glass pavilion on West Street serves as the main entryway to the complex.

Excellence in Institutional Development (co-winners)
September 11 Memorial Museum & Pavilion – New York, NY
Owner: National September 11 Museum & Memorial

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum site, is a 314,000-square-foot complex. The museum opened to the public in May 2014 and has since experienced more than 4.3 million visitors. Complementing the power and simplicity of the pools and the trees, Snøhetta has designed a visually accessible, unimposing building which is fully integrated into the Memorial site. With its low, horizontal form and its uplifting geometry the pavilion acts as a bridge between the memorial and the museum. Concrete, raw and polished, is the predominant material of the floor and walls that survived within the 70 feet deep excavation of the remediated World Trade Center site.

St. Ann’s Warehouse – Brooklyn, NY
Developer/Owner: St. Ann’s Warehouse
St. Ann’s Warehouse is a 36-year-old performance organization based in Brooklyn Heights. A haven for foreign, avant-garde and puppetry performance, the theater was working out of temporary spaces in Brooklyn until now. Its new permanent home in an 1860s restored tobacco warehouse was developed in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Excellence in Mixed-Use Development East Harlem Center for Living and Learning – New York, NY
Developer: Jonathan Rose Companies (owner, apartments) and Harlem RBI (owner, school and office)

The East Harlem Center for Living & Learning at Washington Houses, located on the corner lot of 2nd Avenue and East 104th Street in East Harlem, is an approximately 160,000-square-foot multifamily and mixed-use building that consists of 89 affordable housing units, a 70,000-square-foot K-8 charter school and 6,000 square feet of nonprofit office space. New York City Parks’ Blake Hobbs Park was rehabilitated and reimagined as part of the project and serves as the entry to the DREAM Charter School from 2nd Avenue.

Excellence in Civic Space No. 7 Line Extension Project– New York, NY
Owner: NYC Transit
The new 34th St-Hudson Yards station features modern amenities that introduce subway service to the far West Side of midtown Manhattan, fostering transit-oriented development in the emerging, mixed-use neighborhood and supporting the Hudson Yards development. The station makes the No.7 line the only subway line south of 59th Street to provide service west of 9th Avenue. The design for this new deep station addresses passenger safety, comfort and convenience, as well as technical system requirements such as egress, power and ventilation. Designed to accommodate more than 35,000 passengers in a peak hour, the new station will be the busiest station serving a single line when the area is fully developed.