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ltsmotorsport Apr 29, 2016 4:27 AM

Can't wait to see the real thing once it starts rising. Those mock ups are such a tease.

NYguy May 3, 2016 1:49 PM

Inside the ownership structure of 111 West 57th St.
AmBase dilution suit against JDS, PMG offers rare glimpse into 2013 organizing structure of $1.45B project

May 03, 2016
By Will Parker


Who really owns the city’s biggest development projects? It’s a question that has stumped industry observers for years, as investors typically operate from behind LLCs and ownership stakes are closely-guarded secrets.

On Friday, AmBase Corp, a Florida-based investor in 111 West 57th Street, filed a $105 million lawsuit against JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group, alleging the developers engaged in a scheme that diluted AmBase’s equity stake in the supertall condominium project.

Contained in the lawsuit was an exhibit that detailed the ownership of the Billionaires’ Row tower. Though the document detailed ownership at the time the partnership was first struck in 2013, and there have been changes since then, it still provides a rare look into the labyrinthine structures used on large-scale projects.

The tower is slated to rise to a height of 1,438 feet, and has a projected total sellout of $1.45 billion for its 60 units, according to an offering plan filed with the New York Attorney General. JDS and PMG have delayed sales at the tower, acknowledging the market isn’t as receptive to high-end project as it was a year ago.

According to the exhibit, behind a web of shell corporations there were five principal investors in 111 West 57th Street at the project’s outset in 2013: PMG principals Kevin Maloney and Elliott Joseph, JDS principal Michael Stern, an entity tied to AmBase and Masood Bhatti, a managing director at Silverpeak Real Estate Partners who was previously an investment banker at Lehman Brothers.

As of June 2013, the structure looked like this (see chart): Maloney, Joseph and Stern controlled an entity named 111 West 57th Control LLC, while AmBase and Bhatti controlled an entity called 111 West 57th Manager Funding LLC. Together, the LLCs owned an entity named 111 West 57th Manager LLC, which owned 36 percent of the sponsor. The rest, 64 percent, was controlled by JDS and PMG, which means that together, the two developers owned about 96 percent of the sponsor entity.

The sponsor entity, in turn, owned 41 percent of the project, while AmBase, through an entity named 111 West 57th Investment LLC, owned the remaining 59 percent. AmBase pumped $56 million into the project in June 2013 for that 59 percent stake, according to its June 2013 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The structure is fairly typical of a condo project, said Carl Schwartz, co-chair of the real estate practice at Hunton & Williams. The managing entity, in this case the sponsor LLC, typically handles day-to-day operations while the investment entity only weighs in on major decisions, he said.
In this case, however, the investment entity also has a stake in the sponsor entity......

punchydj May 8, 2016 1:59 PM

Hi guys!

There is the progress during the month of April.

Video Link

Thank you!!!

NYguy May 9, 2016 6:42 PM



You might think that 111 West 57th Street is an extremely thin building.

But 111 West 57th Street is undeniably slender in highrise terms – a super-slender building certainly, and perhaps even a ‘mega-slender’ one. In the global race to build tall, it’s no longer all about height. The other number that everyone wants to know is the aspect ratio: the relationship between a building’s height and its width. 111 West 57th is one of a new breed of towers that are pushing that ratio to previously impossible levels.

New York building codes consider a building to be slender when its height is more than seven times its width at the narrowest point. But the recent crop of luxury residential towers in the city’s Midtown go far beyond this. In 2014, One57 raised eyebrows with an aspect ratio of 8:1, becoming the tallest residential building in the city at 1,005ft (306m). It has been quickly overtaken in both senses by 432 Park Avenue, its 1,396ft (426m) height 15 times the width of its base. There are more under construction: 56 Leonard Street (10.5:1), 30 Park Place (12:1) and 53W53 (13:1).

But 111 West 57th Street beats them all with a staggering aspect ratio of 24:1. Rising from a plot of just 80ft by 590ft, it is 1,435ft tall (437.5m).

“It’s almost three times more slender than what used to be considered a slender building,” says Silvian Marcus, director of building structures at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff in New York, the structural engineer on the project. “It’s going to be a world record. But we are working on others that are going to be even more slender.”

The logic of slender buildings is to derive the greatest possible value from expensive, constrained city-centre plots. So it’s no surprise that the super-slender revolution began in New York, a pioneering skyscraper city with some of the most sought-after real estate on the planet and a clamouring global customer base.

“There’s something unique about living in Midtown and having that perfect view,” says Koster. “Everyone understands the beauty and value of being able to build something like this in this location.”

Where these towers differ from previous generations is that they are not commercial but residential – typically, each floor comprises a single luxury apartment. This only adds to the challenge for the structural engineer. High-rise engineering is a very specialised discipline, and many of the technologies used in conventional low-rise construction would be too heavy, inefficient and expensive if applied to tall buildings.

But super-slender changes the game yet again. There is no theoretical limit to how tall a building can be, but the taller you go, the stiffer and stronger the structure needs to be. A skinny building will also need to be stronger than a broad one to withstand wind and seismic forces – but the structural components must also be kept as unobtrusive as possible to maximise usable space and uninterrupted views. A building’s core is an important source of stiffness but this can be proportionally smaller in a residential tower than a commercial one. Conversely, the higher a tower and the more people living there, the greater the elevator capacity needs to be, and the amount of mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure increases. “All of this can swell the core and encroach on living space,” says Fatih Yalniz, vice president of building structures at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff in New York, who carried out analysis to establish the most effective frame for 111 West 57th Street.

Hundreds of metres above the ground, wind flows are completely different – more akin to what an aeroplane would experience. In managing the building’s response, their goal is not to eliminate all movement, but to control the pace of acceleration. Marcus likens it to being in a car: passengers only sense the movement when accelerating or braking, not when travelling at a constant speed.

“It’s impossible to stop a building from moving, but we can control that movement so the majority of people will not feel it.” As residential buildings, these towers must meet more stringent standards than offices: there is no question of evacuating an apartment tower in the event of a hurricane, and people need to feel safe and comfortable in their homes no matter the weather. “A person coming home to the 50th floor does not expect to move in the wind,” he points out. “Slender towers have such a small plan area, we have to mobilise everything possible to achieve that.” does not expect to move in the wind,” he points out. “Slender towers have such a small plan area, we have to mobilise everything possible to achieve that.”


As in the last golden age of New York skyscrapers, every developer wants to set their building apart with an iconic design as they compete to attract the attention of a very discerning global client base.

“Every building is unique and it needs a unique structural concept,” says Hezi Mena, senior vice president of building structures at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff in New York. “There is no set formula.”

.....Dana Getman, associate principal at SHoP Architects, the lead designer, argues that far from being a new typology for New York, super-slender is just a return to its classic era of skyscrapers. “That’s what’s interesting about this new generation of towers,” she says. “Pre-war, before airconditioning, buildings tended to be thinner to get people closer to light and air. In these new buildings, because they’re residential, light and air again becomes an issue and we have an opportunity to look back to historic buildings and what makes those so special.”

With this in mind, SHoP has approached 111 West 57th Street with the ambition of creating a classic Manhattan skyscraper. In fact, while the building’s super-slender form
may look startlingly new, it is itself a heritage project. As well as the construction of the tower, the scheme involves the complete restoration of the 1923 Steinway building, an Art Deco landmark for the city.

The tower has been carefully located in deference to its historic neighbour. “We could have built a tower directly adjacent to the Steinway building without city approval, but it wasn’t what was right for the landmark and it wasn’t right for the tower,” explains Getman. “So we worked with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to relocate the
tower further back on the site. It’s really set back so you don’t really perceive it from the street, and instead we’re creating a very open atrium that frees the landmark building to be read in its historic context.” This lower section of the scheme will offer shared recreation spaces, a lobby and high-end retail. Above, there will be 77 floors of
luxurious apartments.

NYguy May 18, 2016 5:14 AM


NYguy May 25, 2016 4:28 AM

MAY 24, 2016

NYguy Jun 2, 2016 2:18 AM

Stern looks like he would make a good villain...

How high can Michael Stern fly?
With a softening market and two of NYC’s tallest residential towers in the works, the developer is taking riskier bets

June 01, 2016
By Konrad Putzier


Like Manhattan’s jagged skyline, the history of its real estate industry is shaped by steep rises and swift falls. There is William Zeckendorf, who rose from small-time broker to seminal developer of the 1950s and 1960s only to die bankrupt. Decades later, Harry Macklowe rose from college dropout to real estate mogul, lost it all in the 2007 downturn and landed back on his feet in the years after.

The latest developer to climb the industry’s peak at breakneck speed is Michael Stern, the 36-year-old head of JDS Development Group.

Stern began building his first low-rise properties in the outer boroughs just 16 years ago. Now he is co-developing the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at 111 West 57th Street and the tallest building on the East Coast outside of Manhattan at 9 DeKalb Avenue in Brooklyn — as well as three other New York high-rises.

When you tally in the buildings JDS and its partners have already completed — such as Walker Tower in Chelsea and Stella Tower in Hell’s Kitchen — you’d be hard-pressed to find many other developers leaving a bigger mark on the city’s skyline in today’s market.

But JDS isn’t just building more than its peers, it is also taking on more risk at a time when the luxury residential market is showing signs of slowing and lending volume is contracting.

A fellow high-rise developer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he “doesn’t understand the economics” behind 111 West 57th, which JDS is co-developing with Property Markets Group on Billionaire’s Row, the nexus of the luxury condo boom.

The two projects that will make or break JDS’s standing as one of New York’s great development firms are its tallest and boldest. But a look at the cost structures of the projects shows how thin the line between success and failure may be.

The Steinway Gamble

When PMG founder Kevin Maloney told Bloomberg in April that 111 West 57th would hold off on marketing condos for at least a year, due to slowing demand, he seemed to prove all the project’s doubters right.
The tower will include 60 condos with asking prices averaging $5,700 per square foot, according to an offering plan.

But despite slowing demand for high-priced units and increased competition at the top of the market, JDS and its partners remain optimistic that the development will succeed, according to sources involved in the project’s financing.

That’s partly because the tower is not scheduled to be complete until early 2018 and the developers’ construction loans don’t mature until mid-2019, meaning they can wait for the luxury market to recover. And even if it doesn’t, JDS and PMG are betting that a comparatively low cost basis will protect them financially.

“I think they, and we, still feel very comfortable with the basis,” Scott Weiner, head of Apollo Global Management’s commercial real estate debt business and a mezzanine lender on the project, told analysts during a February earnings call. “I can’t speak to their strategy in terms of how they want to approach presales, but they don’t have to sell anything right now.”

The developers estimate the glass-and-steel tower will cost between $2,300 and $2,500 per square foot to build, while the project’s break-even is only a little higher than that, around $2,800, according to sources in the know. That gives JDS and PMG a nice cushion against a possible market downturn.

By comparison, Extell’s condo tower One57, which is nearly sold out, and CIM Group and Harry Macklowe’s 432 Park Avenue, which is selling now, reportedly cost well above $3,000 per square foot to build. Meanwhile Vornado Realty Trust’s 220 Central Park South is expected to cost a staggering $5,000 per square foot.

Aaron Appel, a broker at commercial firm JLL who arranged financing for 111 West 57th, said the comparatively low price the developers paid for the land cannot be overlooked.

JDS and PMG assembled the project by buying a development site as well as the operating lease on the neighboring, landmarked Steinway Building and going through a complicated landmarks approval process. The co-developers paid $131.5 million for the site, or around $400 per buildable square foot, according to property records.

Brooklyn’s tallest

Across the East River in Brooklyn, JDS and the Chetrit Group are working on a similarly ambitious project: the 1,066-foot-tall mixed-use tower at 9 DeKalb that would shatter the borough’s height record by around 400 feet. The project won landmarks approval in April.

Here, too, Stern managed to assemble the site on the cheap.

In June 2014, he and Chetrit bought the development site at 340 Flatbush Avenue for $43.5 million. Then in December 2014, the adjacent, landmarked Dime Savings Bank hit the market along with 285,000 square feet of air rights.

JDS and Chetrit were in the best position to buy the bank site “because no one else could use the air rights,” Ofer Cohen, founder of Brooklyn-based investment sales brokerage TerraCRG, told TRD. The developers paid $90 million for the building and filed plans for a 556,000-square-foot tower. The two deals put the developers’ cost basis at roughly $240 per gross buildable square foot — versus the much higher $350 to $400 per buildable square foot that sites in the area often trade for, according to data from TerraCRG.

“Their basis is really attractive and enables them to do either rental or condo,” Cohen said, adding that the retail space in the historic Dime Savings Bank will likely provide another major revenue source.

...The developers funded their acquisition and pre-development costs of 9 DeKalb with a $115 million loan from Fortress Credit, a subsidiary of the private equity firm Fortress Investment Group. Though the terms of the debt were not disclosed, Fortress has a reputation as a hard money lender with a strong appetite for risk. The firm subsequently sold a portion of the loan to Kushner Companies for $57.5 million, making company head and fellow real estate wunderkind Jared Kushner one of Stern’s lenders.

...JDS and Chetrit aren’t yet in the market for a construction loan, according to sources, but they will need to secure one to replace the financing from Fortress.

JLL’s Appel said he’s not worried about Stern landing a construction loan for the project. “Look, any large construction loan right now is challenging,” he said. “But I don’t see him having any more challenging of a time that any other developer.”

Crawford Jun 2, 2016 2:20 AM

Michael Stern is awesome. In the NYC development game, only rivaled by Gary Barnett.

NYguy Jun 2, 2016 3:04 AM


Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 7460424)
Michael Stern is awesome. In the NYC development game, only rivaled by Gary Barnett.

It's no coincidence that they seem to shadow each others developments.

pico44 Jun 2, 2016 3:22 AM

Stern is the best developer in New York right now. He is building two masterpieces. Hines is close behind. Barnett is nowhere close.

ILNY Jun 3, 2016 5:03 AM

NYguy Jun 6, 2016 2:59 PM

Things are clearly moving up here. It's harder to distinguish because this is more of a modification to an existing building, so it's hard to see most of the actual work taking place, and I think some were expecting to see more demolition. But things are going according to plan.

JACKinBeantown Jun 7, 2016 9:57 PM


Originally Posted by NYguy (Post 7460420)
Stern looks like he would make a good villain...

And/or the guy who would offer to pick your nose for you.

Busy Bee Jun 8, 2016 12:14 AM

It looks like he's filling his pants in that photo.

JACKinBeantown Jun 9, 2016 2:02 AM


Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 7466762)
It looks like he's filling his pants in that photo.

He actually does. And he doesn't care who knows. :shitstorm:

He reminds me of Lumpy Rutherford.

chris08876 Jun 29, 2016 1:06 AM
Credit: walpole

chris08876 Jun 29, 2016 11:19 PM

ILNY Jul 6, 2016 3:50 AM

Moving at snail's pace.

Look at the right side, will the tower be even slimmer that we originally thought?

NYguy Jul 6, 2016 4:23 AM

^ The plans haven't changed. And this one was expected to be a slow riser, unlike 53W53 which is rising slowly due to the changes there. It's worth the wait, on both accounts.

BrandonJXN Jul 6, 2016 11:49 AM

This building is pluked right out of 1932 NYC, polished a bit, and placed right in 2016.

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