Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Credit Suisse takes last space at 315 Park Ave. S.

Adds another 48,000 square feet to already-massive space; $70 rent seen as gilded throwback to pre-recession levels
By Theresa Agovino on February 15, 2011

Credit Suisse expanded its presence at 315 Park Avenue South by signing a six-year lease for an additional 48,000 square feet at the property between East 23rd and East 24th streets. The deal means the investment bank now leases about 90% of the 100-year-old, 330,000-square-foot building, which is now 100% occupied.

Most of the Credit Suisse employees housed in that location work in information technology and can always use more space, sources close to the deal said.

Credit Suisse is paying around $70 a square foot, said Craig Nassi, chief executive of BCN Development, which owns the building. He said that is a positive sign for the real estate market because that rent is similar to those the building commanded before the recession.

BCN worked directly with Credit Suisse on the deal, Mr. Nassi said. Credit Suisse declined to comment.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

BCN Plans Condos for Brooklyn Law School Property

New York–BCN Development has inked a deal with Brooklyn Law School to acquire 184 Joralemon Street, the school’s former residence hall, for $12 million. BCN plans to convert the 12-story, 30,000 square-foot Beaux-Arts style building into 24 two-bedroom condominiums.

The residences will feature Italian-style kitchens, high ceilings, hardwood floors, and washers and dryers, according to BCN. Most of the residences have views of the East River, lower Manhattan or the Verrazano Bridge. BCN also plans to renovate the ornate lobby with a capital improvement campaign of about $2 million and will do renovation work on the units as well.

BCN believes the fact that the building will be condos, as opposed to part of a co-op structure, will be a strong draw for buyers in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood where the property is located. The company is looking to sell to young professionals and families who are priced out of Manhattan and looking for larger homes elsewhere.

“Brooklyn Heights does not have many new condominium projects coming online, so we know people will be interested to buy from us because it is a desirable street and they can avoid the issues that sometimes arise when dealing with a co-op board,” Craig Nassi, CEO of BCN Development, tells MHN.

“With co-ops, the actual sale transaction can take a long time, dragging on because the buyer needs to go through a lengthy interview process with the co-op board,” Nassi continues. “Personal items come up and most boards require an in-depth look into the buyer’s financials. It feels like an invasion of privacy for some buyers, and many people would prefer to bypass this process, especially when there’s always the chance that the sale can be terminated due to something the board doesn’t approve.”

In late December, Manhattan-based United American Land filed suit against the law school, claiming that the school had promised to sell United American Land the property for $9 million. That case, which did not name BCN, is still pending, and it’s unclear whether it will have an impact on BCN’s plans.