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Brooklyn’s Industry City producing leases like crazy




Brooklyn’s Industry City producing leases like crazy

The owners of Industry City in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park suffered a setback last year when one progress-hating City Council member torpedoed a rezoning that would have allowed a few more buildings to rise at the 35-acre site.

But owners Belvedere Capital, Jamestown and Angelo Gordon Co. shrugged off the disrespect, at least for now (the rezoning never came to a  vote but was withdrawn by the developers when they saw it would fail).

“We’re looking forward, not backward,” said Industry City Chief Executive Andrew Kimball. He preferred to focus on the enormous strides the 16-building, 6-million-square-foot waterfront complex has made since it opened in 2013.

Industry City has leased an impressive 800,000 square feet of space — office, light manufacturing, studio and retail — since March of 2020, the pandemic’s local low point.

Deals with scores of new tenants brought the complex to more than 80 percent leased. Recent and new arrivals include 60,000 square feet for Porsche and Volvo with have showrooms as well as service centers, West Elm,  a longtime tenant that added a 10,000-square-foot retail store, and production company The Garage, which specializes in commercials for brands such as Coca-Cola, Hershey’s and Cadillac.

Kimball said, “It’s truly astonishing. Of 4 million square feet we’ve leased since 2013, the 800,000 in the past 18 months are the most we did in any 18-month period. And this was during the global pandemic.”

He attributed the success partly to $450 million the partners invested in new infrastructure for historic, century-old buildings at site, a former shipping and heavy-manufacturing center. Improvements included creation of five acres of open-air public space. 

Andrew Kimball stands outside Industry City
CEO Andrew Kimball has plenty of good news to report about Industry City — the pandemic notwithstanding.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Another factor is that, “we’re finding that people want their office next to their industrial and manufacturing spaces,” Kimball said. For example, Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group leases 20,000 square feet of offices within a 70,000-square-foot commissary facility, all in a single building.

Tenants have mushroomed from 150 in 2013 to 575 today. “Of those, 400 have less than 2,500 square feet. We’re an extraordinary incubator for small businesses,” Kimball said. Some 9,000 people now work at the complex compared with 2,100 in 2013.

Industry City’s success parallels that of Brooklyn’s other great industrial park, the Brooklyn Navy Yard. But unlike the Navy Yard, which is city owned and has enjoyed subsidies, Industry City is entirely privately owned and funded and is more public-friendly.

Kimball’s optimism extends to the new mayoral administration. “I feel very good about it,” he said. “I’ve worked with [former Brooklyn borough president] Eric Adams for many years, both at the Navy Yard and at Industry City,” he said. Kimball previously was CEO of the Navy Yard Development Corp.

A shot of all the Industry City buildings
Industry City is more than 80 percent leased.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“He cares deeply about economic development,” Kimball added. I’m hopeful that Eric really sees the value of this kind of jobs creation.”

It was a slightly shrunken but no less jolly Fried Frank real estate holiday party at Cipriani 42nd Street last week. Despite a smaller guest list, the annual industry blowout — on hiatus last year — was a full-scale affair with tons of food and free-flowing boozes.

The law firm’s real estate chairman, Jonathan Mechanic, effusively greeted arrivals as in the past.

A sign for Cipriani
Cipriani was the venue for the Fried Frank bash.
Getty Images

Guests had to show proof of vaccination as well as negative Covid-19 test results from not more than 72 hours before. Among the unmasked attendees: Tishman Speyer’s Rob Speyer, who’s overseeing Rockefeller Center’s restaurant revival, Empire State Realty Trust’s Tony Malkin, whose flagship skyscraper lights up the night sky, and L&L chairman David W. Levinson, the driving force behind the fast-moving Times Square TSX Hotel project.

Also celebrating were MSD Capital’s Jason Kollander, Cushman & Wakefield’s Bruce Mosler, JMB Realty’s Morris Bailey of JMB Realty,  Rudin Management’s  Michael Rudin, Eastdil’s  Roy March, KKR’s  Chris Lee, Vornado’s Michael Franko, RXR’s Scott Rechler, Rose Associates’ Amy Rose, Silverstein Properties’ Marty Burger, Morgan Stanley’s John Klopp and Lauren Silverman, and CBRE leasing gods  Mary Ann Tighe and Stephen Siegel.

 “I appreciated everyone for joining us in forging a path forward, supporting our city and our industry by coming together and celebrating our renewal,” Mechanic said.

If you’re in the restaurant business, it pays to have friends in real estate. Simon Oren, an owner or partner in a score of Manhattan eateries, knew two years ago that the building that was the 16-year home to his popular Cafe d’Alsace at 1695 Second Ave. faced demolition.

He started looking for a new location as the pandemic delayed the tear-down, but the bistro’s fate remained in limbo. Then, in October 2020, Richard Fodera, the landlord of the former Writing Room space one block north — once the site of legendary Elaine’s — approached Oren to say his own tenants were vacating.

Might Oren want to move Cafe d’Alsace there? They shook hands and swiftly made a deal. The restaurant reopens with its gleaming zinc bar, terrazzo floors and multicolored vintage bottles at 1703 Second Ave. on Dec. 15.

Zero Irving, the 21-story tower on the long-ago Palladium disco site has landed its first office tenant: fast-growing business-to-business payments platform Melio. The firm signed for 25,000 square feet on floors 15 and 16.

The starting rent for the 10-year deal is in the low triple digits. Melio is relocating from a smaller WeWork space at 18 W. 18th St. The tower has 176,000 square feet of state-of-the-art offices on the 14 top floors.

Melio CEO Matan Barr said, “We look forward to establishing our New York headquarters at Zero Irving,” aka  124 E. 14th St. The firm’s online platform allows small businesses to seamlessly transfer and receive payments. With offices here and in Tel Aviv and Denver, it recently announced an additional funding infusion that tripled its valuation to $4 billion.

Mitchell Konsker
Mitchell Konsker is in charge of office-leasing for JLL.

Zero Irving was developed by RAL Development Services and Junius Real Estate Partners. The tower grew out of negotiations for a 99-year ground lease from the city, which owns the land.

RAL managing director Josh Wein said the project aims to “create the optimal ecosystem for entrepreneurial companies to grow and thrive.”  

The ground floor is leased to a high-end food hall under the  Urbanspace banner. Floors two through 14 are earmarked for an 80,000-square-foot digital skills training center.

Office leasing is handled by a JLL real estate team headed by Mitchell Konsker with Benjamin Bass, Dan Turkewtiz, Kristen Morgan and Carlee Palmer. Konsker said, “Melio  was drawn to the property due to the amazing rooftop garden and outdoor area with spectacular views, 23 feet of double-height space,  a private  terrace, a  tenants-only gym and the quality of the new construction.”

The Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, which is known as a16z, has signed a 10-year lease for 33,560 square feet of offices at 200 Lafayette St. The new digs will serve as the firm’s New York headquarters, replacing a much smaller footprint at 11 Madison Ave.

The company boasts $19.2 billion in assets under management, including a $3.1 billion crypto fund that will be run out of 200 Lafayette St.

The 1893-vintage, seven-story building recently underwent a $36 million renovation. Swiss RE owns floors three to seven while Brookfield Properties owns the ground- and second-floor retail portion spaces.

JLL’s Barbara Winter and Carlee Palmer represented the ownership. Current Real Estate Advisors’ Adam Henick and Brandon Charnas repped a16z.

Office asking rents are $95 per square foot.


Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death




Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death

Legendary NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden died Tuesday morning at 85, the NFL announced. News of the football icon’s passing hit Twitter on Tuesday evening, and athletes, coaches and broadcasters from across the sports world reacted.

Fellow broadcasting legend Dick Vitale, who is currently battling cancer, called Madden “the greatest analyst of all time of any sport” in his Twitter tribute.

Former Yankees pitcher and notable Raiders fan CC Sabathia said “your legacy will live forever.” Madden coached the then-Oakland Raiders from 1969-78, a couple of years before Sabathia, a Vallejo, California native, was born. Lakers star LeBron James had similar words about Madden’s lasting legacy, adding an infinity emoji.

Former tennis star and social justice activist Billie Jean King recalled meeting Madden as a “privilege.”

Radio voice of the Rangers Kenny Albert, a five-sport broadcaster who’s been with FOX Sports since its inception in 1994, shared a photo circa 26 years ago to remember Madden.

ESPN’s Bomani Jones took a bit of a shot at current color commentators, noting that Madden “set an unreachable standard.”

Frank Caliendo, who’s made a career out of impersonations, including one for Madden, said he was surprised how emotional he felt.

Several football players, and others, including Saints running back Mark Ingram II and former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, credited Madden with being part of the reason why they love football.

Rams wide receiver and NFL MVP contender Cooper Kupp quote the late coach in his tribute: “The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.”

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Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence




Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence

MINNEAPOLIS — The Knicks got back another body in rookie point guard Miles McBride, who was cleared from protocols Tuesday and rejoined the team in Minnesota.

But there is no longer any hype for the rookie’s return. Kemba Walker is back as the starting point guard and coming off winning Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors with four standout games, including his Christmas Day spectacular. The Knicks have gone 2-2 since Walker regained the starting job.

“It’s great,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He had a great week. He’s playing great basketball. The team winning helps him get recognized and he was a big part of driving that winning. It’s great for the team.’’

McBride was also spectacular in his last outing before getting COVID-19, when he played the entire second half Dec. 16 in Houston and seemingly earned a spot in the rotation. In fact, McBride had strung together two decent outings before he was ruled out. But things have changed since his emergence and McBride is likely back to being a bit player.

Without a practice, McBride wasn’t even expected to see time when the Knicks faced the Timberwolves to kick off a four-game road trip.

Miles McBride
NBAE via Getty Images

Of course, with Walker’s arthritic knee, anything is possible. The Knicks play Detroit on Wednesday in a back-to-back, so it’s uncertain whether Walker will complete both contests. In addition, Immanuel Quickley is out of COVID-19 protocols but Thibodeau wasn’t sure he was ready for meaningful minutes.

That left Walker against the depleted Timberwolves, who were missing their three top players (Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell), all because of COVID-19 .

Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker

When McBride got sidelined by the virus and Derrick Rose needed ankle surgery, Walker was resurrected by Thibodeau and it’s been a stunning comeback story.

Though Thibodeau has clear reservations about Walker based on his nine-game banishment due to his defensive malaise as an undersized point guard, he admitted after the Christmas Day triple-double against Atlanta that Walker is playing “much more aggressive.”

Walker’s triple-double that featured 10 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds was a lot different than his prior outing, when he scored 44 points against Washington.

“I thought his passing was terrific,’’ Thibodeau said before the Knicks resumed their schedule.

“Kemba had control of the game. The game tells you what to do. That’s what I loved about the way he played. I don’t think he forced anything. They puts size on him and were aggressive in their pick-and-roll coverage. He didn’t fight it. He attacked pressure the way you like to attack pressure. You don’t fight pressure with pressure. Don’t try to split it. Get rid of it, go to the backside. Let the game tell you what to do.’’

The Knicks coach is finally seeing all the elements of what Walker can do. Before his demotion, Walker was nothing more than a no-defense, 3-point shooter whose plus-minus was an abysmal minus-122.

Thibodeau was also concerned about his durability in sitting out two of the three back-to-back sets. The last load management game in Atlanta in late November triggered Thibodeau’s decision.

But now it’s only superlatives from Thibodeau in judging the last four games.

“Sometimes it’s going to be his shooting, sometimes it’s his penetration and getting in the paint to force a collapse and sometimes they’re being aggressive with their traps get rid of the ball quickly,’’ Thibodeau said. “The overall play, his rebounding. When your guards rebound, those are key to fast breaks. The more guard rebounding we get the better we can be. ‘’

The Knicks still have three players in protocols — centers Nerlens Noel and Jericho Sims and the newly infected Wayne Selden. Quickley and Kevin Knox were cleared on Christmas but were held out for conditioning.

No matter. The Knicks go as Kemba goes.

“He’s much more aggressive,’’ Thibodeau said. “That was the challenge. At the beginning of the year he and Evan were two new starters. Sometimes guys are trying to fit in. he’s being very aggressive which is the way we want him to play. Not deferring at all. When he and Julius [Randle] are aggressive like that our team is different.’’

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Bar raises dramatically for Zach Wilson in matchup with Tom Brady, Buccaneers




Zach Wilson and Tom Brady

When Zach Wilson stares across the MetLife Stadium field at the opposite sideline this Sunday, it won’t be Trevor Lawrence he’ll be looking at as his game-day counterpart.

Lawrence, drafted by Jacksonville one spot before the Jets selected Wilson at No. 2 overall last April, is a contemporary.

This Sunday at MetLife, the Jets rookie quarterback won’t be staring at a contemporary on the other sideline. He’ll be staring at the GOAT.

Tom Brady.

The bar raises dramatically for Wilson and the Jets, who are coming off of their feel-good, get-well win over the woeful Jaguars and Lawrence this past Sunday.

Brady and Buccaneers, who are 11-4, NFC South division champions and seeking to repeat as Super Bowl champions, play the Jets, who are 4-11 and seeking more signs of development from their rookie quarterback.

To say this is a step up in competition for Wilson and the Jets going from Lawrence and the Jags to Brady and the Bucs is as obvious as pointing out that Tampa Bay receiver Antonio Brown has had a few off-the-field incidents during his otherwise stellar NFL career.

There hasn’t been a lot to keep the interest of the Jets fan this season — other than watching Wilson’s development. That took an unfortunate pause for the four games Wilson missed with a knee injury, but he’s been back for five games and has looked like a better quarterback, throwing only two interceptions in those games (none in the last three) since returning from his injury.

The problem, though, is that Wilson hasn’t been producing enough touchdowns, throwing for three of them and rushing for four others in the past five games.

Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg; AP

Baby steps, though.

Wilson was the better quarterback this past Sunday when matched up with Lawrence, who threw for more yards than Wilson did, but Wilson ran for 91 yards, including his electric 52-yard scoring jaunt, and made key throws when he needed them.

Wilson will not win Sunday’s game against Brady and the Bucs throwing for the 102 yards he had against the Jaguars. He and the Jets will need more.

Consider this: Brady enters the game having thrown 37 TD passes and for 4,580 yards this season and averages a league-high 305.2 passing yards per game.

Then this: The Buccaneers average 29.5 points per game this season, second most in the NFL.

And this: Wilson doesn’t have a single 300-yard passing game, averages 183 passing yards per game and has thrown seven TD passes in 11 games.

Seven TD passes is a pedestrian two-game total for Brady.

Wilson and the Jets are playing with house money anyway in what always has been a developmental season, so Sunday against Brady should, at its very least, be a great measuring-stick learning experience for Wilson, who’s studied Brady on tape.

Wilson revealed this month that he watched film of Brady before the Jets played the Eagles on Dec. 5 in an effort to pick up tips on how Brady worked against the Eagles defense when he played them earlier in the season.

“I thought it was really cool to see kind of how he went through his whole process, how he navigated the pocket, different things like that,” Wilson said at the time.

On Sunday, Wilson gets to see that process up close as Brady tries to dissect a Jets defense that has yielded 29.9 points per game this season, the most in the NFL.

That puts an added onus on Wilson to produce on the other side of the ball, because he knows Brady is going to get his. Wilson will likely need to produce four TDs — any way he can — for the Jets to simply remain competitive with the Super Bowl champs.

That’s a lot to ask of a 22-year-old kid who’s produced just 11 TDs in his 11 starts, up against Brady, who’s thrown 618 TD passes and for 83,784 yards in his remarkable career.

It, too, is a lot to ask playing against an aggressive Tampa Bay defense that’s ranked No. 9 in the NFL in points allowed (20.8 per game) and is led by former Jets head coach Todd Bowles, who’d surely like to send a holiday message to his former employer.

If you don’t think Bowles will be blitzing the bejesus out of Wilson, then you probably think Antonio Brown is a living saint.

The good news for the Jets is that Wilson has shown incremental improvements, particularly when it comes to his decision-making and quicker releases on his throws.

“He’s coming along, he’s getting more comfortable, he’s calmer back there,’’ Jets coach Robert Saleh said Monday. “He’s in a great headspace and it’s going to be fun to watch him grow, continue to grow.’’

A big part of that growth will take place this Sunday as he watches the GOAT operate from the opposite sideline at MetLife.

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