Village Retail Continues to Strengthen Amid Robust Economic Trends
4.18.2013 / Brendan Gotch
Low vacancy and relative optimism about the economy as well as several major construction projects characterized the first quarter retail market in Greenwich Village, the East Village, the Meatpacking District, and NoHo, according to the most recent quarterly market study by Massey Knakal’s Director of Retail Leasing Brendan Gotch. Having developed a consistent and rigorous method to determine these statistics, the report was released last week and is the only study focusing specifically on the neighborhood in such depth. View Article
Long Island City: Nice To See You Again
2.26.2013 / Evan Daniel
Well it's about time!
Anyone that has invested or lived in Long Island City and Astoria during the last few years can certainly relate to that statement. A 2001 zoning change to allow for a greater density of mixed-use and residential development led to the growth of a neighborhood that ran rampant through the peak years of 2006 and 2007. Long Island City was among the hardest hit when the economic downturn set in from late 2008 through 2010, a period where the vibrant growth of the area appeared almost frozen in time. Residents moving into their new homes were surrounded by stalled developments, abandoned warehouses, and vacant stores. The reality of the neighborhood they joined was an incomplete picture of where it was going just years before.
Message From The CEO - Fourth Quarter 2012
2.13.2013 / Paul Massey Jr.
At Massey Knakal, we’ve worked hard to foster and maintain a “People” culture. We believe this is one of our competitive advantages. As part of their on boarding process, I personally meet with every new hire to get to know them and to cover some ground rules regarding our company values and culture. View Article
2012 Year In Review: Northern Queens
2.13.2013 / Stephen Preuss
The year of 2012 was an overall positive environment for the commercial sales marketplace. Activity, pricing, sales volume, lending and just about any other relevant metric increased from the year before and greatly increased from the previous several years. The driving forces of the overall demand was the steady lack of available product throughout the year and the impending capital gains increase which pushed the sales activity to a sprint in the last few months of the year. In Northern Queens, which includes Flushing, College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Jackson Heights, Corona and East Elmhurst, saw a total of 123 commercial and investment property sales for a total dollar value of $288,000,000. These figures represent an approximate 25% increase from 2011 in both categories. The sales figures and marketplace activity in each of these geographic territories are summarized below. View Article
New Beginnings in Jamaica Center
1.28.2013 / Brian Sarath
Jamaica Avenue has always been synonymous with retail. Even in its earliest beginnings, the thoroughfare was known for fur trading and then in the 1700s as a farmers’ trading post. The early to mid 1900s brought Macy’s, Gertz department store, May’s and King Kullen. Although the neighborhood experienced hardship in the 1970s and ‘80s, losing many of its commercial tenants due to crime, inadequate infrastructure and overall deterioration of the neighborhood, the new millennium has sparked a phenomenal rebirth of Jamaica Center. View Article
Fourth Quarter 2012 - A Message From The Chairman
1.1.2013 / Robert Knakal
I gave three speeches last week about the results of the 2012 property sales market. I began all three by asking the question to the audiences, “Do you believe last year’s sales market in New York City was great, good, fair, or not so good? By a show of hands from those I had already not put to sleep, there was about equal sentiment for each of the choices. In certain ways, they all were correct. View Article
Message from the CEO: The Job Hunt Part I “The Informational Interview”
12.13.2012 / Paul Massey Jr.
In my last letter, I wrote about what defines a good career candidate. We are frequently asked by clients and friends for advice the early stages of a career search. I’ve had some recent experience in coaching a promising young candidate. View Article
Development and Conversion Sites on the Move in Staten Island
12.5.2012 / Michael Schneider
Despite the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy a few weeks ago, Staten Island is poised for new growth in both commercial and residential development. New constructions that were recently announced in Staten Island will ultimately spur economic growth and development, improve tourism, and create tremendous job growth with efforts of over $500 million in private investment. Throughout the energetic borough of New York City, regional and national attention is warranted. View Article
Williamsburg: No Longer a Community of Starving Artists
11.15.2012 / Andrew Clemens
It is no secret that the Williamsburg retail market has been undergoing a dynamic overhaul for the past 10-15 years. For most of that time, Williamsburg has been known as a retail community made up of hip bar and restaurant operators, pioneering local entrepreneurs, and eclectic boutique owners. Times have changed. Williamsburg is on the verge of the next big phase in its retail evolution. After 15 years of explosive growth, the Northside is finally gaining the attention of many large, national retail chains. View Article
A Retail-Eye View on the NYU Expansion Plan
9.12.2012 / Brendan Gotch
After multiple setbacks and a years long negotiation between New York University and its opponents, the New York City Council recently approved a modified plan for NYU’s expansion that includes a series of zoning amendments, map changes and permits allowing NYU to construct four buildings with a total of about 1.9 million square feet in Greenwich Village. Although this project has stirred some controversy in the neighborhood and will take nearly 20 years to complete, the long-term net effect on retail rents, occupancy, and sales in the area is expected to be a positive one.We anticipate that the expansion will begin to drive up retail rents in the near future as the first phases of construction get underway. This will be a direct effect of retailers’ anticipation of increased foot traffic, generated by the new buildings and their eventual occupants.
Message From The Chairman - First Half 2012
8.13.2012 / Robert Knakal
New York City’s investment sales market, in the first half of 2012, (1H12), had a much more positive and uplifting feeling to it than the statistics reflect.
The reason for this incongruity is mainly because the volume of sales has increased marginally but the number of buyers in the market has been overwhelming which has precipitated a significant increase in value. This was particularly true in the second quarter; however, this influence will not be reflected until 2H12 numbers are in as those transactions close. It is, however, interesting to look at what has transpired with investment sales volume in the first two months in the year.
In 1H12, the total dollar volume of sales in the city was $14.2 billion, reflecting a 3 percent increase over the $27.4 billion total in 2011, if annualized. We expect that this $14.2 billion of activity will more than double before the end of the year as we expect more robust activity in the second half of the year as additional supply comes on the View Article
Real Estate Investing For The Non-Professional
7.14.2012 / James Nelson
Trophy office building sales tend to dominate the headlines. Rightfully so, as large sums of money are changing hands. These transactions usually trade from one institutional buyer to another and involve complex capital structures fueled by private equity funds and the CMBS market. View Article
As Village Rents Rise, More Choose to be Landlords
7.11.2012 / Brendan Gotch
In the last ten years, retail rents in Greenwich Village, the East Village, the Meatpacking District, and NoHo have risen substantially. The most extreme example of this has been parts of Bleecker Street where rents have risen as much as 500%. As a result, when looking at Bleecker Street’s stores and restaurants west of 7th Avenue, essentially all of the businesses are operated by someone other than the property owner. View Article
Message from the Chairman: The Distressed Asset Cycle
4.23.2012 / Robert Knakal
Recently, I heard a panel of four sales brokers speaking about the sale of distressed assets and they were basically saying that as an investment strategy it was over. Clearly, appropriately leveraged assets are doing well, but over-leverage is still with us.Private lenders, banks and special servicers have been aggressive sellers of distressed loans and REO properties that they had foreclosed on. In 2009, and more so in 2010, there were hundreds of these distressed assets sold. The activity began to slow in 2011 as banks had dealt with, what were, the majority of their problem loans. Servicers were focusing on workouts and, while they have asked for hundreds of broker opinion of values, “BOV”, they were not selling as aggressively as the banks had.However, the pace of distressed sales is picking up again and this should come as no surprise. View Article
The New Timing to Find a New Tenant
2.29.2012 / Brendan Gotch
In Greenwich Village, the East Village, NoHo, and the Meatpacking District, there is an interesting trend in the timing that property owners use to find a new tenant as the lease on their retail space is expiring. Traditionally, many of these people would wait either for their space to become vacant or at least for their tenant to have indicated that they would be moving out. This way of doing business, however, is losing ground to another timeline. View Article
Message from the CEO: Integrity - Applying Our PIER Values to Company Titles
2.7.2012 / Paul Massey Jr.
We’ve noticed a proliferation over recent years of rather lofty titles and colorful team names bestowed by real estate brokerage firms (both commercial and residential) on their top agents. While we believe recognizing talent and achievement is essential, our firm has stuck to a very strict titling and brand name preservation policy that we believe has had some very positive results for our agents and for our company as a whole. View Article
Message from the Chairman: 2011 Market Recap
1.25.2012 / Robert Knakal
The New York City property sales market’s recovery is, generally, trending positive but remains uneven. In 2011, there were $25.6 billion of investment sales transactions city-wide. This figure is up 80% over 2010’s $14.25 billion. It is also over 4 times the $6.1 billion that occurred in 2009. These increases, while substantial, remain 58% below the 2007 peak of a whopping $62.2 billion. View Article
Greenwich Village & East Village Retail Study
1.25.2012 / Brendan Gotch
Massey Knakal’s Greenwich Village & East Village neighborhood expert, Brendan Gotch, recently concluded a study of the retail property in area. The study comprised mostly stores and restaurants, but also bars, clubs,
ground floor offices, and other retail uses throughout the area. The results of the study showed an overall vacancy rate of 4.6%. We view this as a healthy level and have seen that empty spaces are getting reabsorbed fairly quickly. In fact, we think that this vacancy rate may even be slightly low,putting upward pressure on lease rates, as we have witnessed several higher than expected deals in the last couple months. View Article
Downtown Manhattan Commercial Property Sales Market: 2011 in Review
1.11.2012 / Nick Petkoff
The number of property sales in Downtown Manhattan, below Canal Street, increased to 35 in 2011 from 31 in 2010. This is still below the average number of sales, which varies between 40 and 50 per year. An interesting statistic this year is that, of the 35 sales, ten were note sales or pre-foreclosure sales. Distressed sales in the Financial District (FiDi) included: 264 Water Street, 33 Beekman Street, 111 Washington Street, 104-106 South Street, 375 Pearl Street, 40 Broad Street and 32 Water Street. Distressed sales in TriBeCa included: 345 Greenwich Street (retail condo), 408 Broadway and 177 Franklin Street. Six of the ten were vacant sites/conversions, similar to 2010, when seven out of the twelve distressed sales were development sites. View Article
2011 Year-End Market Update: North Queens
12.13.2011 / Stephen Preuss
Flushing went through another transitional year in 2011. Many residential development sites have either begun construction or are in the process of completion after two years of sitting as empty lots from stalled projects. As there is more accessibility to construction financing this past year, commercial development sites have also began to rise from the ashes. For most of Flushing, retail and office rental prices have stabilized in $60 and $30 per SF range, respectively while Main Street continues to be the aberration with rents as high as $100 per SF. For the most part, the vacancies of 2010 have been filled, Industrial properties have also seemed to catch their footing but still carry an approximate 10% vacancy rate. Multifamily apartment buildings have remained the most desirable investment for investors and lenders alike with little to no vacancy and extraordinary overall property value. View Article
Message from the CEO: Helping Investors Get the Job Done
11.7.2011 / Paul Massey Jr.
Investors (or buyers) are an essential element to every commercial real estate transaction, and Massey Knakal is keenly aware of this. As such, we provide much benefit to buyers/investors as well as our clients. Massey Knakal believes in two fundamental procedures that benefit our relationships with buyers, stemming from one of our key company values: integrity. View Article
Message from the Chairman: Third Quarter 2011 Market Update
10.25.2011 / Robert Knakal
The investment sales market in New York City continues to trend positively as third quarter 2011 (3Q11) statistics show. This may not seem so apparent when looking at the data in isolation, but drilling down into the numbers reveals a more telling message.In 3Q11, there was $6.5 billion in investments sales activity citywide which was down from the $8.7 billion which occurred in 2Q11. On face value, it might appear that this slow down in activity is a negative signal for the market. But, when we look at the numbers more carefully, we see that the medium-term trend is positive. Notwithstanding the $2.2 billion reduction in dollar volume in the third quarter, with the exception of 2Q11 results, the $6.5 billion in sales in 3Q11 was the highest quarterly total the market has experienced going all the way back to 3Q08. View Article
Go West, Young Man/Woman, Go West
9.20.2011 / Ryan Horvath
Replace “from sea to shining sea” with the less glorious “from river to picturesque river” and much like 19th century Manifest Destiny sentiment, New York’s promised future lies West. Take a stroll from 14th Street to 20th Street on the original High Line (Section 1) and soak in the cultural experience that is New York’s Meatpacking District. Then journey into the unknown from 20th Street to 30th Street on the new High Line extension (Section 2) to revel in what was and what will be. View Article
Message from the Chairman: What's Driving Investment Sales - And Holding Them Up
7.18.2011 / Robert Knakal
Market for properties over $100 M. chugging along; under-$50 M. market anemic; pessimistically hopeful on interest rates, debt ceiling debate View Article
Message from the CEO: New Focus
7.14.2011 / Paul Massey Jr.
In our most recent issue of the Massey Knakal Building Sales Journal, we outlined the firm's expansion plans, especially into our new disciplines: financing and retail leasing. We're pleased to report that since the first of the year, we've added ten top performers to our roster. View Article
Tourism Is Key To NYC Retail
5.12.2011 / Benjamin Fox
In general terms there is no question that retail rents in Manhattan have moderated somewhat over the last couple of years in response to the economic downturn. On the other hand, rents in certain high traffic retail corridors have not decreased all that much and in some cases have even risen during this period. Why is this happening? Why are all these stores flourishing? Have New Yorkers all of a sudden found spare cash in their pockets while the rest of the country is still struggling? Three questions, one answer: tourism. View Article
Message from the CEO: Help Wanted!
4.14.2011 / Paul Massey Jr.
Massey Knakal’s vision for the next few years is to double the size of the firm not only by expanding our geographic Investment Sales territory footprint but also to staff our Massey Knakal Capital Services and Massey Knakal Retail Leasing Services divisions. View Article
A Lesson on the Need for 421-a
4.13.2011 / Robert Knakal
It is imperative that our housing system include a 421-a type of incentive program. No one can argue that our market doesn’t need new market-rate and affordable-housing units. They can be created utilizing a program that doesn’t cost a dime (just like our no-cost widgets). View Article
Northern Manhattan: Manhattan's Final Frontier
1.31.2011 / Robert Shapiro
The robust year over year expansion in both dollar and transactional volume clearly signaled a recovery in Northern Manhattan. We believe this is only the beginning of a sustained upward trend as numerous factors will continue to stimulate and encourage growth. The tremendous deployment of capital into Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood over the past real estate cycle has replenished the formally famished neighborhoods. Large scale institutional investments from hedge funds, international hotel chains, and Columbia University, have also played a significant role helping revitalizing the landscape uptown. View Article
The Threats to the Market in 2011
1.5.2011 / Robert Knakal
Inflation, devaluation, unemployment, the Fed and the feds: positive signs for real estate investment abound in the new year, but some things to watch
West Chelsea Rezoning: Five Years Later
12.8.2010 / Brock Emmetsberger
It has been over five years since City Council adopted the West Chelsea Special District, and it appears the results have turned out as planned. In addition to spurring mixed-use development, the implementation of the special district has preserved the integrity of West Chelsea’s commercially zoned properties while fostering the growth of the area’s various galleries. As outlined in City Planning’s “Zoning Handbook”, the rezoning was to:“…[provide] a regulatory framework for the continued development of a dynamic mixed residential and commercial area centered around the public open space to be created by the reuse of the High Line...” View Article
Forecasting for Investment Sales
10.15.2010 / Robert Knakal
The two main metrics we discuss when talking about the relative health of the
investment sales market are the volume of sales and the level of values. These
two indicators provide the best snapshot illustrating how the market is currently
performing, particularly relative to past performance. The volume of investment
sales in the New York City marketplace has clearly been improving steadily since
early 2009 (although third-quarter 2010 performance looks like it may have
suffered a setback). Additional activity in the distressed-asset market, from both
banks and special servicers, has helped with volume increases. View Article
Chasing The Market: Timing Vs. Pricing
6.30.2010 / Thomas Donovan
In certain segments and locations, the commercial real estate market has shown great resiliency and recently we were able to achieve relatively high sale prices for properly priced assets. However, other market segments remain more difficult to close transactions; some properties were not sold due to vacancy, a less desirable location, a lack of upside potential, or the property’s condition. View Article
The Investment Sales Mini-Bubble
6.30.2010 / Robert Knakal
When it comes to today’s investment sales market, the biggest question on everyone’s mind is the sustainability of the market’s present momentum. Can the currently elevated price levels continue on their current trajectory, or are we in a mini-bubble at a low point in this cycle? In order to answer this question, we shall look at present conditions and what they might say about where the market is headed. View Article
Message from CEO: Dominant in Bank Foreclosure Work
6.30.2010 / Paul Massey Jr.
The Massey Knakal team of 50 New York Metro Area agents utilizes our Territory System to make ours the company of choice for financial institutions looking to sell special assets. View Article
Northern Manhattan - Leading The Way Towards Recovery
6.2.2010 / Robert Shapiro
A sense of optimism has begun to return to the New York City real estate investment property market as transactional activity has been steadily rising quarter by quarter. Although this overall trend is being felt in neighborhoods all over the city, nowhere is this more prevalent than in
Northern Manhattan (East & West Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood). With over $116,000,000 in sales consisting of 35 transactions in the first quarter of 2010, it is clear that Northern Manhattan is experiencing one of the sharpest rebounds in activity. View Article
Valuing Properties In Today's Market
4.20.2010 / James Nelson
In a Manhattan property sales market where there were 63% less transactions in the first quarter of 2010, compared to the same quarter in 2007, how is it possible to accurately value a property? In some cases, such as multi-family sales, there have been enough sales to make a determination. Whereas with other product types such as land, it becomes a real art, as there have been virtually no sales. View Article
Message from the CEO
3.31.2010 / Paul Massey Jr.
Having recently undertaken a company-wide strategic planning exercise, we reaffirmed that Massey Knakal’s single competitive advantage is our Territory System™. Our territory platform is the cornerstone of our ability to provide 1)excellence in client service and 2)a workplace environment that is wonderfully unique. View Article
North Queens Market
3.31.2010 / Stephen Preuss
Flushing Area Arguably Queens’ most desirable real estate marketplace, Flushing, went through an eyeopening year in 2009. Dozens of residential development sites remain as vacant lots, construction sites have stalled, and those sites who were able to reach completion are sitting with many empty units or the constant churning of broken contracts. View Article
End Users Step Up To The Plate
2.10.2010 / James Nelson
Some would think that user groups would be paralyzed from purchasing in today’s transitional marketplace. However, many user groups are stepping up to expand their operations and take advantage of pricing that is well below previous levels. These organizations range from schools to cultural centers to foreign governments. View Article
Clear Skies Ahead For Washington Heights And Inwood
2.1.2010 / Robert Shapiro
As with the rest of the New York City investment property market place, Manhattan’s two most northern neighborhoods experienced a very trying year. However due to an abundance of medium sized, multifamily properties, they fared better than most. By thoroughly studying and dissecting real market data, neighborhood trends, and actively brokering properties everyday we are forecasting significantly clearer skies ahead in 2010. Readily available and attractive financing for this preferred asset class has also helped fuel a spike in activity in the Q4 2009 contract signings. The overall improved quality of life, decrease in crime, and geographical advantages, has also contributed to this sunnier outlook. View Article
Positive Signs In The New Investment Sales Market
7.8.2009 / Robert Shapiro
Overall, the beginning of the 2009 investment property market was nothing to write home about. However, as we bring the second quarter to a close and head into the second half of the year, we have begun to see some positive signs within the marketplace. A modest pick up in velocity at the end of Q2 has provided hard comparable sales data for today’s “new market”. With this new information we can now begin to draw some significant conclusions. Many people in the real estate community believed that there would be a flood of foreclosure properties coming to the market place. This has not happened thus far and in-turn has had a stabilizing effect on market values. Multifamily property owners also received some positive news from the shake up of the New York State Senate. A change in power in the State Senate has dealt a significant blow to supporters of the Bill State Legislation to reform housing. View Article
Is the Current Sample of Comparable Sales Relevant?
6.15.2009 / Brock Emmetsberger
Since comparable sales are lagging indicators to begin with, a significant sampling from the
third and fourth quarters of 2008 is now all but relics of better days. Without relevant
comparable sales, the next applicable indicator would be recent neighborhood contract
signings for similar properties. View Article
Maximizing Profits From An Estate Sale
1.28.2009 / Thomas Gammino Jr.
When it is imperative that real property from an Estate must be sold, it’s no surprise that the seller’s primary goal is to maximize profits. However, in today’s market the reality of these ‘need-to-sell’ scenarios is that Estates are not getting the most from a sale. Too often, an Estate ends up in a situation where they pay more in taxes than they should AND realize fewer dollars from a sale than they could. How much more? In some cases millions of dollars. Although you can’t avoid paying taxes, you can strategically--and legally-- minimize the potential tax burden and maximize your proceeds from a sale by understanding what influences an Estate’s tax liability and knowing where to go to get this information. View Article
Does LES Equal More? Much More.
12.16.2008 / Michael DeCheser
Statistically the most diverse neighborhood in Manhattan , it’s no wonder the Lower East Side in Manhattan attracts everyone from struggling musicians to wealthy celebrities. The age old destination for many newly arrived immigrants has evolved to become the destination of choice for those looking for culture, art, music, fine dining and nightlife. The influx of development has struck fear into longtime residents that the neighborhood character will be lost, but that is most certainly not the case. LES staples such as Katz’s Deli, Russ & Daughters, Guss’ Pickles and other establishments continue to thrive. View Article
Downtown Looks Up
12.8.2008 / Robert Burton
As the national spotlight targets the banking and real estate industries, analysts are divided over the future of NYC real estate, especially in regards to the last six months. In spite of what news sources have said about the current state of the market, we have found that although activity has been slow through late spring and the summer, prices have not decreased. However, there remains a static gap between what a seller expects their property to fetch and what a buyer can afford to pay given the lending situation. Larger property sales (over $50 million) have come to a virtual standstill, especially since banks have tightened their lending standards, expecting a higher return with some type of recourse in the event of a default. View Article
Demolition Non-Renewal - Fair Or Foul?
11.11.2006 / Thomas Gammino Jr.
Rent stabilized buildings traditionally have not been a target for developers. In order to vacate buildings, developers typically pay exorbitant amounts of money to current tenants, sometimes five, or in same cases, even seven-figure buyouts. Section 9 NYCRR § 2524.5 of the Rent Stabilization Code has changed that. Although not well-known by most developers or tenants, this section has significant implications on both parties, and has shifted the advantage from the rent-stabilized tenant to the developer in a buyout scenario. View Article