Taconic Investment Partners and Nuveen Real Estate Acquire Over-Three-Acre Property in Manhattan

Taconic Investment Partners, with Nuveen Real Estate, today announced the acquisition of two commercial buildings, 125 West End Ave and 320 West 66th Street, along with an adjacent unbuilt site. The property totals nearly 500,000 square feet of commercial space and was purchased for $230 million from Silverstein Properties.

Located in the Upper West Side submarket, the property is leased to ABC/Disney through 2021. 320 West 66th Street is a unique, purpose-built television studio with over 100,000 square feet. The additional office asset, 125 West End Ave, was originally constructed as an automobile facility and features large floorplates and high ceiling heights.

“We are excited to add this mixed use asset to our portfolio and redevelop into what first class users are demanding in the market today. In partnership with Nuveen, our combined breadth of experience in the New York City office market positions us well to take advantage of growing demand in the studio and office sectors,” stated Chris Balestra, Chief Investment Officer of Taconic Investment Partners.

“This acquisition further solidifies our relationship with Taconic Investment Partners, who shares our vision to maximize investment returns and reimagine NYC’s office space,” said Nadir Settles, Senior Regional Head, New York Office Investments, at Nuveen Real Estate.

Taconic Investment Partners is a fully integrated owner, operator, and developer of commercial and residential real estate with a focus on New York City.

Nuveen Real Estate owns over 119 office assets throughout the US and has $16.8bn AUM in the US.

About Taconic Investment Partners

Since 1997, Taconic Investment Partners has acquired, redeveloped and repositioned over 12 million square feet of commercial office and mixed-use space, as well as 5,000+ units of luxury and workforce housing in the New York metropolitan area. As a fully integrated real estate operating company with a keen eye for uncovering value, its diverse capabilities are evidenced by its multifaceted success with luxury properties, as well as adaptive reuse and urban revitalization projects. In New York City, Taconic is currently developing 619 West 54th Street, 817 Broadway, 311 West 42nd Street and Essex Crossing on the Lower East Side. The firm also manages various real estate funds on behalf of institutional and pension fund investors. For more information visit: www.taconicinvestments.com

About Nuveen Real Estate

Nuveen Real Estate is one of the largest real estate investment managers in the world with $130 billion of assets under management. Managing a suite of funds and mandates, across both public and private investments, and spanning both debt and equity across diverse geographies and investment styles, we provide access to every aspect of real estate investing. With over 80 years of real estate investing experience and more than 500 employees* located across over 20 cities throughout the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific, the platform offers unparalleled geographic reach, which is married with deep sector expertise. For further information, please visit us at nuveen.com

Essex Crossing organic farm launches in Lower East Side

The farm will hawk fresh produce including carrots, radishes, and arugula.

A new farm, now among the largest in the borough, launched Wednesday at the Essex Crossing megaproject in the Lower East Side.

Located on the sixth floor of The Essex at 125 Essex Street, the quarter-acre farm will be run by Project EATS—a nonprofit that operates farms across the city—and will grow organic carrots, radishes, beets, turnips, and baby greens, such as kale, mustards, and arugula.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming the LES community to the farm and providing fresh produce for the neighborhood in the Market Line,” said Debbie Kenyon, vice chair and senior partner at L+M Development Partners, in a statement.

Produce from the urban grange will be sold at the Farmacy, a stand at the megadevelopment’s upcoming Market Line, which will run below Essex Street Market. Until then, the Farmacy will temporarily sell the fresh veggies at a recently opened public park that was similarly developed by Essex Crossing’s development team, Delancey Street Associates (a collaboration between L+M Development Partners, BFC Partners, Taconic, Prusik Group, and the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group).

That stand will be open for business on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m until the Market Line stall is up and running.

The farm will also feature programming for public schools on the importance of nutritious food and will offer free Saturday breakfast for seniors living in the neighborhood. Healthy lifestyle workshops, neighborhood forums, and community dinners are also in the works.

Opportunities for workforce development are another component of the project, as Project Eats will train and employ students from Seward Park High School to work at the farm and the Farmacy.

Just over a month ago, Essex Crossing debuted its 15,000-square-foot park, and earlier that month, the new version of Essex Street Market opened its doors to much fanfare.

Taconic Revamps a 19th Century Skyscraper at 817 Broadway

Three years after Taconic Investment Partners, Nuveen and Squire Investment purchased 817 Broadway, their redevelopment is drawing to a close just as the building was designated a historical landmark on June 11.

SEE ALSO: Taconic, Nuveen Seeking $400M in Construction Financing for 2 Hudson Square
“We are really excited to bring this to the community and launch it,” said David Falk of Newmark Knight Frank, the exclusive leasing agent for the owners. “We know that when brokers get to this building, they are going to be wowed because these floors are special.”

The 140,000-square-foot building, located between East 11th and 12th Streets in the East Village, traces its history back to the late 1800s, according to Christopher Squeo and George Tsapelas of Taconic. While only 14 stories tall, it was considered one of the city’s first skyscrapers when it was designed in 1895.

It’s one of the few remaining structures designed by architecture pioneer George Post. His accomplishments include helping to design the first building with passenger elevators, the Equitable Life Assurance Society building and the 20-story New York World Building, which was the tallest building in New York City at the time it was built, according to Curbed.

The owners took steps to maintain many of the building’s historic features, according to Squeo and Tsapelas. The steel beams—made by the Carnegie Steel Company before their merger with the United States Steel Corporation in 1901—were maintained on the upper floors of the building. Also, the limestone and terra cotta-paneled facade was cleaned and left intact. Lights were added to the exterior of the building to highlight the detailed patterns and carvings in the facade.

The building was constructed as the industrial and office building for clothing manufacturer Meyer Jonasson & Company, and it has now been reconfigured with 3,240 square feet of ground retail space and 13 floors of office space, according to Falk. The redevelopment called for the removal of water-powered elevators and coal-fired boilers, while the office floors are made of concrete and include air conditioning, baseboard heating and internet access.

“This is basically a building that is, in a sense, brand new from the inside,” Falk said. “There are tenants out there that just don’t want to be in a glass building…This building would check that box for someone that wants new and old at the same time.”

Ribalta pizzeria has renewed their lease on the ground floor, Squeo and Tsapelas said. SDC Capital Partners has already signed a lease for almost 10,000 square feet on the 10th floor and will move in by the end of the year, as Commercial Observer reported in May.

The office spaces have large windows that overlook the bustling neighborhood. Additionally, tenants will have access to the 4,000-square-foot rooftop, which is bordered with brick arches that are original to the building. Tenants of the top floor, and possibly the floor below, will have reserved access to half the roof deck, according to Squeo and Tsapelas.

The property sits catty-corner to 828 Broadway, home of the famous Strand Book Store, which was also designated a historical landmark in June despite vehement opposition from its owners, according to media reports.

Essex Street Market’s new home opens its doors

Take a look inside the new Essex Street Market, located across the street from the old space.

A week after New Yorkers said goodbye to the beloved, nearly 80-year old Essex Street Market, the new version across the street opened its doors. Neighbors, members of the community, and city officials, gathered on Monday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new location at Essex Crossing.

“It’s bittersweet, that was my home for so long, I grew up in there,” said Eric Suh, whose family owns the 25-year-old New Star Fish Market. “But at the same time I’m excited about this beautiful new building—we are just excited about having more opportunity to serve the community.”

“Yes, that old building has a ton of character, but the heart and soul of Essex Market really lies within the vendors and the shoppers who make-up this community,” Suh added.

The new 37,000-square-foot market is triple the size of the original one, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), which led the relocation project. The new space houses 37 vendors, including the 21 that operated in the old location, as well as newcomers like Don Ceviche and the Lower East Side Ice Cream Factory.

The space also features a demonstration kitchen for cooking classes and other programming, as well as two restaurant spaces.

“It’s [been] 80 years since LaGuardia Essex Street Market has been the place to find food from cultures around the world, and the Lower East Side is a community that comes together around great foods since forever, whether it’s empanadas or egg creams, it’s always here,” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said at the opening event.

Brewer also spoke about the years-long relocation process and its complexities.

“There was a lot of drama—I must have been to a hundred meetings to figure out how we’re gonna pull this off,” Brewer added.

Following the ribbon-cutting, vendors rang bells in unison and clapped.

“It was worth it, everything is different, but it’s really nice,” Ramona Rodriguez, one of the owners of Luis Meat Market, said about the move.

Some vendors also applauded the relocation process. “I think it’s a really good model to help support small businesses, because we really need that sort of thing in our communities, to keep the character of our neighborhoods, because they’re becoming so homogenous,” Rhonda Kave, owner of Roni-Sue’s Chocolates said.

“That’s the thing that makes our communities vibrant and attractive, it’s the small mom-and-pop operations and the one-on-one interaction; so it’s important to maintain that,” Kave added.

ULI NY Awards


Larry A. Silverstein Honored With First-Ever Visionary Leadership in Land Use Award.

On April 4, ULI New York announced the winners of the annual Awards for Excellence in Development, which honors exceptional development projects that exemplify ULI New York’s mission and values. Development teams receiving this prestigious award must demonstrate innovation, responsible land use, and beneficial community impact. ULI New York presented awards to nine development teams for their groundbreaking work across the city at the organization’s annual gala at 583 Park Avenue.


Excellence in Market-Rate Housing Development:

Denizen Bushwick – Brooklyn, NY (All Year Management)

Excellence in Affordable Housing Development:

Landing Road – Bronx, NY (Bowery Residents’ Committee)

Excellence in Repositioning or Redevelopment:

70 Pine Street – New York, NY (Rose Associates and DTH Capital)

Excellence in Mixed-Use Development:

Essex Crossing – Phase 1 – New York, NY (Delancey Street Associates; a JV of L+M Development Partners, Taconic Investment Partners, BFC Partners, the Prusik Group, and the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. Public Sector Partner – New York City Economic Development Corporation)

Excellence in Institutional Development:

Columbia University New Manhattanville Campus – Phase 1 – New York, NY (Columbia University)
Excellence in Civic Development:

WTC Cortlandt Street Station – 1 Line – New York, NY (MTA Capital Construction and New York City Transit)

Excellence in Office Development:

3 World Trade Center – New York, NY (Silverstein Properties)

Excellence in Industrial Development:

Building 77 – Brooklyn, NY (Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation and City of New York)

Excellence in Hotel Development:

citizenM New York Bowery Hotel – New York, NY (citizenM)

To view the Visionary Leadership in Land Use Award video honoring Larry A. Silverstein, and learn more about the award, visit nygala.uli.org/visionary-leadership-award

Taconic JV to reposition 440 Ninth Avenue

Taconic Investment Partners, in partnership with TH Real Estate (an affiliate of Nuveen, the investment business of TIAA), have acquired the mixed-use office and retail tower at 440 Ninth Avenue.
The 411,000 s/f commercial building, located at the nexus of the Hudson Yards neighborhood on the corner of West 35th Street, was purchased for $269 million.

The property was sold by Japan-based real estate company UNIZO Holdings Company, Limited. Darcy Stacom and Bill Shanahan of CBRE repped the seller.

Metlife Real Estate Investors provided the mortgage financing for the acquisition and redevelopment.
The venture was represented by Evan Pariser and Michael Gigliotti of HFF and Tom Traynor and James Millon of CBRE on the debt placement.

“The area is a hotspot for mid-sized and supporting service businesses eager to be part of the undeniable excitement happening on the far West Side,” stated Chris Balestra, chief investment officer of Taconic Investment Partners.

“440 Ninth will serve as a compelling, competitive alternative for tenants seeking immediate proximity to the multi-billion-dollar Hudson Yards redevelopment, and the revitalized Penn Plaza subdistrict.”

Originally built in 1927, 440 Ninth Avenue — also known as the Harding Building — was designed for the garment industry and features a stone masonry façade and terracotta details with multiple setbacks beginning on the 13th floor, in addition to outdoor terrace space.
Floorplates within the 18-story building range
between 15,000 and 25,000 s/f.

Plans to reposition the asset into a Class-A office tower include building-wide capital improvements such as updating the lobby, elevators and mechanical systems.

“This acquisition not only places us in the heart of the action, but also further solidifies our long-standing relationship with Taconic Investment Partners which shares our vision to maximize investment returns and reimagine NYC’s office towers,” said Nadir Settles, senior regional head, New York Office Investments, at TH Real Estate.

Family-Owned Manhattan Office Building Sold for $109 Million

Developer Taconic Investment Partners and a division of TIAA Global Asset Management closed on a $109 million deal to buy a Manhattan office building that has been family-owned for the last several decades.

Taconic partnered with TH Real Estate, a division of TIAA, and Squire Investments LLC to purchase 817 Broadway, which sits just south of Union Square, a sector of the hot Midtown South office market where high-end boutique office buildings can fetch rents of more than $100 a square foot….