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Investor buys Midtown building with plans to compete with WeWork



midtown building

Broad Street Development closed this week on its $190 million purchase of 370 Lexington Ave. The firm plans to draw smaller tenants to the Midtown office building from major coworking companies like WeWork.

With about 315,000 square feet, the 27-story building has long catered to smaller tenants. In recent years, however, coworking firms have begun to dominate the market for pint-size office users, offering them the flexibility to grow and contract and amenities, such as like dining spaces, conference rooms and a fully equipped office installation.

But Daniel Blanco, chief operating officer of Broad Street Development, thinks some smaller tenants have grown tired of the communal atmosphere of many coworking brands and are returning to traditional office leases.

“You lose your identity in a WeWork space, and we can give a tenant that identity back,” Blanco said. “There are tenants who want to know a space is theirs and they’re not sharing it with a guy next door. They always talk about collaboration in coworking spaces, but oftentimes there really is no synergy.”
To help attract tenants to 370 Lexington Ave. who otherwise might take a coworking space, Blanco said, the firm will offer more flexible terms than most conventional office leases do, but they won’t be as flexible as the month-to-month agreements coworking providers allow. Broad Street Development will offer three-year leases.

“The rise of coworking has definitely forced landlords to build nicer spaces for tenants and give them more flexibility than in the past,” Blanco said.
Broad Street Development bought the building in partnership with Terra Capital Partners and secured a $155 million loan for the purchase from Invesco, consisting of a roughly $120 million senior mortgage and a $35 million mezzanine loan, Blanco said.

Blanco declined to say whether Terra Capital Partners owns the majority of the building’s equity, but he said Broad Street Development will operate the property.

The firm plans to invest as much as $30 million on upgrades, including renovations to the lobby and building systems, such as elevators and heating, ventilating and air conditioning. Some of the money will be spent building out spaces for tenants. About 80,000 square feet at the property is vacant.

Broad Street Development owned the building a decade ago. It sold it to Sherwood Equities for $155 million in 2008. Sherwood sold the property for $247 million in 2015 to the Japanese investment firm Unizo, earning a huge profit. Unizo took a nearly $60 million loss on the sale back to Broad Street Development.


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9-year-old genius to graduate university




Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne




Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem




Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.


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