The New Coney Island - Brooklyn's Times Square by the Sea

Monday, September 28, 2009

Rumor - Thor signs Amusements of America to Coney Lease

This could mean the City and Thor are very close to finalizing their splitting of Coney East

Some background on Amusements of America

Friday, September 25, 2009

Nets one step closer to Brooklyn

Forest City Subsidiary and Onexim Group Announce Partnership for NBA Nets and Brooklyn Project

CLEVELAND, BROOKLYN, N.Y. and MOSCOW, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Forest City Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:
FCEA and FCEB) today announced that its New York-based subsidiary, Forest City Ratner Companies, Inc. ("FCRC") and Nets Sports and Entertainment ("NSE"), have signed a letter of intent with an affiliate of Onexim Group, an international private investment fund, to create a strategic partnership for the development of the Atlantic Yards project, a 22-acre residential and commercial real estate project in Brooklyn, and the Barclays Center arena, the future home of the NBA's Nets.

The partnership will help ensure achievement of Forest City's goals of bringing the economic and housing benefits of the Atlantic Yards Project to Brooklyn, creating a world-class sports and entertainment venue, and relocating the Nets basketball team.

As part of the agreement, entities to be formed by Onexim Group will invest $200 million and make certain contingent funding commitments to acquire 45% of the arena project and 80% of the NBA team, and the right to purchase up to 20% of the Atlantic Yards Development Company, which will develop the non-arena real estate. Forest City will retain a minority ownership stake in the Nets, and will be managing partner of the arena and majority owner of the balance of the Atlantic Yards real estate.

Bruce Ratner, chairman and chief executive officer of FCRC, said, "Mikhail Prokhorov and Onexim will be great partners for this project. Our company has a long-standing commitment to Brooklyn, and I am thrilled that smart global investors appreciate the exciting economic potential here. We are one step closer to achieving our goals of creating much needed jobs and economic development for Brooklyn and the city."

Mikhail Prokhorov, president of Onexim Group, said, "We are delighted to join in this exciting project and to participate in the landmark development of global sports in this entertainment arena in the heart of New York City. I have a long-standing passion for basketball and pursuing interests that forward the development of the sport in Russia. I look forward to becoming a member of the NBA and working with Bruce and his talented team to bring the Nets to Brooklyn."

NBA Commissioner David Stern said, "We are looking forward to the Nets' move to a state-of-the-art facility in Brooklyn, with its rich sports heritage. Interest in basketball and the NBA is growing rapidly on a global basis and we are especially encouraged by Mr. Prokhorov's commitment to the Nets and the opportunity it presents to continue the growth of basketball in Russia."

The transaction is expected to close by the first quarter of next year upon certain conditions being fulfilled, including approval by the NBA's Board of Governors. The Raine Group and Goldman, Sachs & Co. advised FCRC and NSE. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as legal counsel to FCRC and NSE. Hogan & Hartson advised Onexim Group.

BJ's Wholesale on Shore Parkway

NY Observer excerpt-

Sitt Comes Back to Bloomberg, This Time for a Brooklyn BJ's
Eliot Brown
September 21, 2009 12:54 p.m

Joe Sitt, the landlord who battled with the Bloomberg administration at Coney Island, is coming back to city officials with a new request: He wants to put a big-box mall in South Brooklyn.

Mr. Sitt’s Thor Equities is seeking to build a 214,000-square-foot mall
highlighted by a BJ’s Wholesale Club, along with space for three other retail stores. The company has filed for a rezoning of the site, a peninsula off Shore Parkway in Bensonhurst. The current use: a bus parking lot.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Financial Times - Thor optimistic

Excerpts -

Mr Sitt’s Thor Equities has accumulated 11 acres of the 13-acre amusement area in dozens of small-scale acquisitions in recent years, spending an estimated $100m on buying up land from family businesses that in some cases have operated in Coney Island for a century.

His detractors claim he bought the land in order to “flip” it at a profit to the city once the rezoning went through. But the developer defended his record on Friday, telling the Financial Times he was optimistic he “and my friend Mayor Mike” could soon reach a deal that would benefit the depressed area.

The Bloomberg administration says its plan would restore Coney Island’s status as a world-class entertainment destination by providing new year-round indoor attractions and shops. It would also create thousands of jobs in a working-class area where the unemployment rate among its 60,000 inhabitants is more than 3 per cent above the citywide average of 9.6 per cent. The project is on hold, however, until the mayor reaches a deal with Mr Sitt, whose own plans to revitalise the area have been compared with creating a new Las Vegas just a $2 subway ride away from 8m New Yorkers.

Mr Sitt said on Friday his company had done “the heavy lifting” for redevelopment by buying up dozens of stakeholders.

Mr Sitt, in his first interview since the rezoning plan was passed, said he hoped he and Mr Bloomberg were approaching the end of their sometimes abrasive negotiations on Coney Island’s fate, including veiled warnings that the city could compulsorily purchase the land.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thor sells Flatiron District property for $25 mil

Globe St excerpt -

Flatiron District Landmark Trades for $25M

NEW YORK CITY-The original home of the Lord & Taylor Dry Goods Store has sold to a Spanish investor in an all-cash deal worth $24.6 million, has exclusively learned. The 14,336-square-foot, five-story Flatiron District property at 901 Broadway traded for $1,716 per square foot at a 5.6% cap rate, according to Massey Knakal Realty Services, which arranged the sale.

Robert Knakal, chairman of Massey Knakal, tells that the seller, Thor Equities, had acquired the 142-year-old, landmarked 901 Broadway in October 2006 for $17.4 million and subsequently made extensive renovations. Thor also bought out two rent-stabilized tenants on the property’s top floor and procured the 7,000-square-foot ground-floor retail tenant, Miss Sixty, at $313 per square foot, Knakal says.

More here as well -

The 14,336-square-foot building sold for a jaw-dropping $1,715 per square foot.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Joe Sitt to speak at the Real Deal forum Oct 14th

Excerpt -

Nouriel Roubini, Joseph Sitt to speak at next month's The Real Deal forum

Looking to explore and identify opportunities in the distressed marketplace? At next month's fifth annual The Real Deal forum, a panel of leading real estate experts and economists will debate what the future holds for the New York City real estate market and how they are coping with the downturn. The panel includes world famous economist Nouriel Roubini, co-founder and chairman of RGE Monitor and NYU professor of economics; Coney Island developer Joseph Sitt, CEO of Thor Equities; Plaza developer Miki Naftali, president and CEO of the Elad Group, and Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's