Site for Sore Eyes... and Deep Pockets
The Real Deal is once again the source of the Full Story link below, this time with news from Bob Knakal himself.  It would seem that the Sopher family empire is divesting itself of a very serious piece of real estate in the midst of the Hudson Yards redevelopment area for an as yet unannounced price.
The five lot assemblage has an area of 14810SF, but a potential FAR of 20 under the rezoning and development incentives which make up the Northern Blocks of the Hudson Yards area.   The site sits a mere half block from the Hudson Boulevard and unless the Javits Center really does go away, will also have guaranteed water views.
What isn't to love here?
Currently everything.  The site is in the midst of a wasteland of underutilized space next to a busy avenue.  But real estate is a long game and anyone with the pocket depth to float the likely $65M plus (which here at Cubed Advisory is our best guest at Mr. Knakal's minimum sale price) and the $200M+ expected construction cost, is going to reap the benefits of the biggest transformation of a section of Midtown Manhattan since Rock Center.  It's just going to take some time.

(for bonus points... does anyone want to guess what the two remaining lots on the avenue will go for to complete the assemblage?)

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More Condo Goes Rental
It can be seen as a smart financial move or as an indicator that banks are getting through their large stack of unpaid notes that represent stalled projects.  Either way, the Full Story below is good news as 75 Clinton Street in Brooklyn is shifting from condo to rental.  As a project that started selling condos in June 2011, it was woefully late to the party.  A sale to Invesco for an as yet unrecorded amount will surely yield good returns as a rental property.
We couldn't agree more with Marketing Directors' Angela Ferrara who says of the current climate "The rental market is booming."
At Cubed Advisory, we have advised  clients on the money that can be made now by going rental rather than burning though capital sitting on an empty building waiting for the condo market to return.  The models on the condo returns can certainly be appealing, but with the exception of truly unique product, the reality of the current market does not bear them out.

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Would someone please put a fork in Lehman?
Haven't they been done for a long time?
This latest twist as outlined in the full story link below, in the never ending Lehman drama leaves one scratching their head.  How the holding company of an organization that bankrupted itself in real estate, can come up with $695M for the purchase of Archstone (a real estate company), is purely baffling.  The line of Lehman creditors is not short but the number of them who would prefer to see their Chapter 11 locked investments used for more investing is surely shorter.  If that doesn't smell bad enough, one only has to look back to December (story link) to see that Lehman was legally maneuvering to stop this sale on the complaint that the price was too low.  A price remarkable similar to what Lehman ended up paying.  Do we even need to mention that Lehman is acquiring part of this stake in Archstone from Barclay's, who in 2008 bought large (albeit different) parts of Lehman?
The day that Lehman's zombie corpse is finally put down is the day that the real estate industry can get back to more productive deals.

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