Browse Tag: New York City

The Island New York City Forgot

The view from North Brother Island in NYC

Introducing North Brother Island. It’s a once-developed island overgrown with trees. By itself, maybe not so interesting. But we are told in this business that location is everything, so it comes as a shock that this abandoned island is situated between Queens and the Bronx in New York City. You read that right: it’s New York real estate that has yet to be paved over.

The history of North Brother Island is fascinating, including a stay by the early 20th century legend “Typhoid” Mary Mallon, a hospital and a drug rehabilitation center, but most telling is the view from the highest point on the island. In the foreground, a broken brick chimney rises from the untamed trees, and in the background, the unmistakeable gotham skyline. Magnificent and creepy all at once.

Check out the entire photo essay at  An Abandoned Island Near NYC Used To House A Hospital.

[Photo credit:]

Commercial Real Estate News Roundup for Sept 17, 2014

Centre ville d'Atlanta, Géorgie, Etats-Unis

An Atlanta transit landlord goes vertical, avoiding the perils of studying the wrong thing, and Chicago’s River North celebrates its fifth decade of renewal.  Its’ all here in the Commercial Real Estate News Roundup for Sept. 17, 2014


Survey Finds Commercial Real Estate Executives Overwhelmingly Optimistic About Next Year,, Sept. 12, 2014 –  Law firm asks its commercial real estate clients what the coming year will bring, explosion of exuberance results.

Commercial real estate professionals cite pension reform and taxes among Illinois’ most critical issues, REJournals, Sept. 9, 2014 – Even though the commercial real estate industry in Illinois gets pretty favorable treatment from tax set-asides like TIFs, tax cuts named near the top of critical issues in the state.

The Rise of Real Estate Tech, CityLab, Sept. 11, 2014 – Bits and bytes reach dizzying heights in Gotham.

Banks shed bad loans, but Chicago delinquencies highest in U.S., Crain’s Chicago Business, Sept. 8, 2014 – Chicago lags behind in the unwinding of troubled loans.


Tech Turns Chicago Skid Row Into Top Market, BusinessWeek, Sept. 11, 2014 – Chicago’s River North renaissance since the 1970s era of post industrial blight is really something to behold.

Start-up looks to solve start-ups’ real estate problem, Baltimore Sun, Sept. 8, 2014 – Start-up starts up, stalls as it searches for office space, the turns its experience in to a solution.

Amazon files plans to build two more office towers downtown, The Seattle Times, Sept. 11, 2014 – Emerald City orders up two more downtown office towers from Amazon. No word if the free shipping option was used.

The victims of open offices are pushing back, BBC, Sept. 12, 2014 – A backlash is forming against the wall-free notions recently popularized in office layout trends. As it turns out, there’s benefit to focus and concentration.  Who knew?


Tulsa’s available industrial space continues to decrease, Tulsa World, Sept. 9, 2014 – The 1963 Gene Pitney hit recording of Burt Bacharach’s “24 Hours From Tulsa” notwithstanding, the trip downtown is seeing a little more commercial traffic.

E-retailing Boosts Industrial Demand, National Real Estate Investor, Sept. 10, 2014 – One more bit of evidence of the seesaw where online retail’s disrupting of traditional retail means heightened warehousing and logistics demand.


How Gentrification Impacts Retail Development, GlobeSt, Sept. 12, 2014 – When the neighborhood heightens, the same old retail solutions just don’t cut it.

Broker eats up data on New York City’s ever-evolving restaurant, retail scene, Real Estate Weekly, Sept. 15, 2014  – Wherein a young man is rescued from a diplomatic career to become an expert on Manhattan’s retail property scene.

MARTA moves forward to build atop rail stations, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Sept. 15, 2014 – Air rights in Atlanta are the topic as a transit giant decides to go vertical.


Developers warn of multifamily glut in NJ real estate, North Jersey Record, Sept. 12, 2014 – Is New Jersey building too many apartments?  Some developers think so.

Apartments on the rise? Applications for multifamily projects jump 86 percent in Oregon, Portland Business Journal, Sept. 10, 2014 – Oregon’s residential real estate picture has lots of room for multifamily, says recent report.

Even with rising rents, apartment living dominates Omaha housing landscape, Omaha World-Herald, Sept 13, 2014 – Raising the rent in a market like Omaha isn’t the most common local trend among the secondary markets, but it sure is a welcome one for landlords.

Closing The Deal With A Rebate

Illustration of a cash rebate

Do some major commercial deals in New York City represent a coming trend for tenant brokers across the country?

With no set rules, the task of figuring broker and rep commissions on commercial deals is left to the negotiators at the table.  In deals both large and not so large, brokers, tenant’s reps and landlord reps often look to the value of the lease, using that number first in the calculations for commissions.  But outside of that common first step, a deal can take any specific structure, from simple to complex to downright exotic.

When higher-end deals are negotiated, sometimes surprising commission split structures appear. In primary markets, where competition over space and tenants is fierce and the inventory is unique, the surprises can be striking.

How striking? How about rebates?

It may be tough to believe, but the good old-fashioned rebate is seeing use in some of the top-end deals in New York City. Laura Kusisto’s piece in the New York Times spells out the where (150,000 sq. ft and up), why (competition and major tenant leverage) and who (tenant’s brokers getting, landlord’s giving).

As rents rose during the boom years, a growing number of the city’s largest tenants began negotiating deals with their brokers to rebate a portion of their commissions. While it’s rarely publicly discussed, this practice continued following the bust and today big tenant brokers may give as much as 50% of their commissions back, according to multiple real-estate executives.

Typically they’ll do this by applying the commission towards a lower rent or the cost of building interior space. “Here’s the stealth reality: If you represent a major tenant, the landlords are perfectly willing to pay a full fee. But tenants will say, ‘If you’re going to make $20 million, I want you to credit or rebate 50% of the fee,'” says Robert Freedman, chairman of Colliers International’s tri-state office.

Read the entire article here.