- Last Updated: 1:57 AM, August 2, 2011
- Posted: 12:00 AM, August 2, 2011
A classic, only-in-Manhattan holdout struggle is unfolding at 48 E. 57th St., one of a half-dozen retail townhouses CIM Group wants to raze for its planned skyscraper on the former Drake Hotel site.
While CIM hopes to build a 1,000-foot-tall tower, at least one piece of the puzzle continues to elude it: the retail townhouse owned by Jacob & Co. The jeweler owns the building, and a source said Jacob and CIM are "at least $20 million apart."
In recent days, CIM nailed down an agreement for Buccellati to give up its lease at 46 E. 57th. CIM owns that building as well as vacant nos. 38, 40, 44, and 50 E. 57th St. Buccellati's exit is said to have been negotiated by Prudential Douglas Elliman's Faith Hope Consolo, who uncharacteristically didn't return a call.
CIM also finalized a long-expected agreement for Turnbull & Asser, which owns 42 E. 57th St., to swap it for 50 E. 57th St. CIM needs to demolish nos. 38-48 to create a new façade with 150 feet of sidewalk frontage.
After three years of marketing, just 45 apartments have been sold at Sky View Parc, the luxury-condo complex in Flushing, Queens -- a mere 10 percent of 448 units built so far in the $1 billion project's first phase.
Michael Dana, president of developer Onex, shared the stunning low number while expressing optimism about the project. He said 107 apartments are under contract and should "close in the next 45 to 60 days."
Ever since Sky View was launched by the Muss Organization in 2007, actual sales data have been secret. Muss's timing couldn't have been worse: It broke ground on the complex, aimed at affluent Asian and Asian-American buyers, shortly before the crash of 2008.
Onex took control early last year. Last month, The Post reported that Onex would refund 75 percent of $5 million in down payments on $50 million worth of apartments made by prospective buyers who sued under an arcane Federal disclosure statute.
Dana acknowledged that the suit "put a cloud over our marketing," but said that, with the issue behind it, Sky View Parc was ready to take off. "We've turned a corner and picked up tremendous momentum in the past six to eight weeks."
He said that much of the new, "unsolicited" interest was from Chinese buyers.
He also said Onex is "100 percent committed to building Phase II" with three more towers.
Sky View Parc's retail portion -- 800,000 square feet beneath the apartment towers and a private park -- has been a huge success. More than 75 percent has been leased to major stores, most recently to Sky Foods, a 36,000-square-foot Asian market.
Two leases have been inked for 200,000 square feet at 2 Park Ave., one of the year's largest absorptions at one address.
ASME, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, is moving to the Morgan Stanley-owned tower from 3 Park Ave., expanding from 66,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet.
Meanwhile, fast-growing online fashion retailer Gilt Groupe, which had been a subtenant at 2 Park Ave., more than doubled its space there and converted to a direct lease.
Both deals were negotiated for the landlord by a Cushman & Wakefield team of Tara Stacom, Mitch Arkin, David Green and Whitten Morris. Cresa's Marcus Rayner represented Gilt Groupe and Colliers' Leon Manoff and Marc Jaccom acted for ASME.
Asking rents at 2 Park Ave. are $50 a square foot.
Investor Joe Tabak has won a round in his battle to buy a share in the Ring family's Midtown office building portfolio. A judge just reinstated a temporary restraining order barring the secretive Rings from selling to anyone else the stake to which Tabak believes he's entitled.
The drama began last February when Michael Ring, who owns 50 percent of the 14 properties with his brother Frank, signed a contract to sell a stake to Tabak's Princeton Holdings for $112.4 million in debt and equity. The high-vacancy buildings include 212 Fifth Ave. and 119 W. 24th St.
Tabak, represented by law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, put down $10 million in escrow and tried to proceed with the purchase.
But Ring, represented by Meister Seelig & Fein, let the agreement expire, claiming it was not binding. In June, Tabak got a TRO against Ring's trying to sell or lease the properties to anyone else, but the judge later rescinded it.
Its reinstatement by an ap pellate judge means Ring can't make a move pending a hearing of a three- judge appel late panel, which will decide whether to keep the TRO in effect indefinitely as the case moves to arbitration. firstname.lastname@example.org