September 9, 2016

ANC 6E Supports Planned 40-Unit Condo Project in Mt. Vernon Triangle


On Tuesday, ANC 63 voted in favor of a planned residential project in Mt. Vernon Triangle. UrbanTurf was the first to report of the ANC’s support, further writing that the project will redevelop a historically protected, single-story building with an additional nine stories and penthouse constructed atop it.

According to UrbanTurf, "The ANC voted, with one abstention, to support the design concept on the condition that an additional setback is created to delineate the historic ground floor from the floors above."

Located at 925 5th Street NW, the planned project will house 40 condos with studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms, and one-bedrooms with a den. There will either be an amenity or retail on the ground floor.

Back in February 2014, the owner of the Shaw beer garden, Dacha, planned on opening a second location at 925 5th Street NW. According to the MVTriangle Blog, the original plans for the site were to convert the empty plot into a one-story pavilion with an open air beer garden-style sitting area. The ANC Finder website indicates that ANC 6E showed support for the project with 5 yeas and one nay. The new location would have been called Dacha 2. A source at Dacha told Curbed that while they had an LOI, they did not agree on all terms in the end. What terms these were were not specified.

On September 22 or 29, the Historic Preservation Review Board will consider the application. The developer of the project is Peebles Corporation, while the architect is WDG Architecture.

June 15, 2016

Mecklenburg County Selects $683.3 Million Vision for Brooklyn Village Project

BK Partners, a group headed by African-American developer Don Peebles, has been selected by Mecklenburg County to transform 17 acres in Second Ward into Brooklyn Village, a massive mixed-use project of retail, apartments, offices, open space and a 280 hotel rooms. Courtesy of BK Partnership

By Steve Harrison

BK Partners has been selected by Mecklenburg County to transform 17 acres in Second Ward into Brooklyn Village, a massive mixed-use project of retail, apartments, offices, open space and 280 hotel rooms.

Don Peebles’ group, which is incorporated in Washington, D.C., was picked over two other developers by a selection team of county officials, including County Manager Dena Diorio. Commissioners ratified that recommendation in a 5-3 vote Wednesday.

Uptown’s Second Ward was once home to Brooklyn, one of the city’s oldest black neighborhoods before it was razed during a nationwide movement for “urban renewal” in the 1960s. The area now includes the shuttered Board of Education building, Marshall Park and Bob Walton Plaza.

BK Partners said it will spend $683.3 million on the project, which will be split into two areas.

Brooklyn Village South will be built south of Stonewall Street, across from the Mecklenburg Aquatic Center. It will have more than 500,000 square feet of office space, retail and apartments, and a 150-room hotel.

Brooklyn Village North will be built in between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Third Street, mostly on the site of Marshall Park. It will be a mix of apartments, retail, offices and a 130-room hotel. There also will be open space.

InterContintental Hotels will develop both hotels for BK Partners. There will be 1,244 residential units on both sites, with 10 percent set aside for affordable housing.

The county said The Peebles Corp. is the nation’s largest minority-owned real estate developer. Peebles has built projects such as Lincoln Place in Miami Beach.

A local firm, Conformity Corp., which built the Southborough project in South End that includes a Lowe’s home improvement store and apartments, is also a partner. Stantec Consulting Services is also part of BK Partners.

Peebles said the project won’t be a cookie-cutter development.

“This won’t look like a master-planned community,” he said after the meeting. “It will be organic, with three different designers.”

County officials said BK Partners was a unanimous selection over two other developers, CitiSculpt and Crescent Communities.

BK Partners will pay the county $50.18 million for the land.

Diorio said the BK Partners proposal was the best financially for the county. She said Crescent hadn’t given a specific dollar amount for its offer to buy the land, and that CitiSculpt wanted the county to pay for some of the “horizontal improvements” to the site to get it ready to build.

Citisculpt proposed building more housing units, 1,378 units. Crescent’s proposal was less dense than the BK Partners’ plan, with 875 total units.

Commissioners Pat Cotham, Ella Scarborough and Matthew Ridenhour voted against the recommendation for BK Partners. Jim Puckett didn’t attend the meeting.

One sticking point for Cotham and others was a belief that BK Partners and the other proposals didn’t have enough open space. Leading up to the vote, groups such as Sustain Charlotte questioned why the county would give up 5-acre Marshall Park in exchange for less than 2 acres of park space.

The BK Partners proposal calls for 1.9 acres of open space.

Cotham said she didn’t know the county was losing so much park space in the proposal.

“I didn’t realize that we would be losing 5 acres of Marshall Park,” she said. “I would have been jumping up and down (had I known).”

Commissioner Bill James, who voted for BK Partners, said the county never made a promise that there would be 5 acres of open space in Second Ward.

Diorio said her staff focused on what commissioners told them were their priorities: honoring the history of Brooklyn and bringing affordable housing to the area.

Diorio also set strict parameters on the selection process. She asked that commissioners not speak to the developers making the proposals out of fear it would lead to accusations of undue influence. In addition, the developers did not make formal proposals to commissioners; county staff handled all of the negotiations.

Scarborough said the plan didn’t reflect what people wanted.

“You aren’t including the people, what the people want,” she said. “I don’t see them at the table.”

The next step is for Peebles to negotiate with the county over final terms. He said he expects that to take a year.

BK Partners told the county the project would open in phases, starting in 2021.

Steve Harrison: 704-358-5160, @Sharrison_Obs

January 8, 2016

Peebles Closing $334M Construction Loan for 108 Leonard

Don Peebles may not sound bullish on the future of the city’s luxury real estate market, but that’s not stopping the developer from going ahead with his luxury condo conversion of in Tribeca.

Peebles is close to sealing a $334 million construction loan from Bank of America that will finance the conversion of the 13-story, 419,000-square-foot building. The deal is expected to close Friday.

Miami-based Peebles Corp. acquired the property – the single largest building ever sold by the City of New York – for $160 million in December 2013, according to the New York Observer. The developer partnered with Israel-based real estate firm Elad Group on the project, which will be designed by architects Beyer Blinder Belle.

The redevelopment of , which has an alternate address of , will result in 151 new residential condo units set across 364,000 square feet of residential space, according to filings with the city’s Department of Buildings. The property will also hold a 7,200-square-foot community facility and around 2,200 square feet of commercial space.

The project, which is Peebles’ only active development in the city, was previously slated to also include a boutique hotel – but those plans were not specified in building permit filings.

The 19th century-era, Landmarked Building Once Served As The Headquarters For New York Life Insurance Company And More Recently House The New York City Criminal Court, according to the Observer.

Peebles, who is reportedly mulling a possible mayoral run against incumbent Bill de Blasio, recently told Bloomberg TV that the city’s luxury residential market is due for a “slow down” after seeing “rapid [price] appreciation” in the past several years. [NYO]Rey Mashayekhi

November 5, 2015

The Peebles Corp.’s ‘The Viola’ Receives Unanimous Board Approval for Parcel 13

Boston, MA The Peebles Corp. has received unanimous approval from both the MassDOT Board and the Fiscal and Management Control Board of the MBTA to authorize the negotiation and execution of the Station Improvements Agreement for Parcel 13.  This is the first new real estate transaction to be approved by either Board in the Baker administration. “The Peebles Corp. would like to thank the state, MassDOT/MBTA, the city and the community for assisting us in reaching this critical milestone,” said Don Peebles, chairman and CEO. “We are honored to have the opportunity to develop and deliver this transformative project to the historic and inspiring Back Bay neighborhood in collaboration with this forward-thinking Administration.” Tawan Davis, Peebles’ chief investment officer said, “We are proud to partner with the state of Massachusetts on this unprecedented deal structure; MassDOT and the MBTA worked efficiently and nimbly to structure the terms of the development agreement that incentivizes private investment in public infrastructure. Under our shared and innovative vision, The Viola will become a landmark project, uniting the Back Bay and Fenway communities in many ways beyond transportation.” Peebles was selected in January of 2015 by MassDOT and the MBTA to develop this critical intersection at the corner of Boylston and Massachusetts Aves.  Peebles is proposing a transformative 390,000 s/f mixed-use development that will complement and enhance the existing neighborhoods with its distinctive design and diverse mix of uses.  The Peebles team is committed to providing maximum air rights coverage to link the Back Bay and Fenway neighborhoods with its planned lifestyle hotel, 170 residences, retail and parking with two public plazas.  Peebles is working with Handel Architects of New York and Boston-based urban design think-tank, Utile Inc., to design the building. As required by the RFP, a new state-of-the-art, universally accessible Hynes Station will be integrated into the Viola’s ground floor with a new entrance off Boylston Ave. HDR, Inc., an architecture and engineering specializing in transit projects firm, will work with the team as the station designer. The vast majority of the financial obligations relating to the new Hynes Station will be funded by The Peebles Corp. The Peebles Corporation is a privately held national real estate investment and development company specializing in residential, hospitality, retail, and mixed-use commercial properties. Founded in 1983 by R. Donahue Peebles, the company has become an industry leader with a portfolio of completed and current developments totaling 5 million s/f and more than $5 billion in markets including New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Boston, Miami and Miami Beach.

July 31, 2015

Here’s the Peebles plan for a hotel-apartment house in Mount Vernon Triangle

An overview of the Peebles project slated for Fifth and Eye streets NW in Mount Vernon Triangle. The first eight floors will house a hotel, while the top four floors will be home to market-rate residential.


The Peebles Corp. has submitted plans to construct a combination hotel-apartment building at Fifth and Eye streets NW in Mount Vernon Triangle, on a D.C.-owned site that the city has attempted to redevelop since before the Great Recession.

According to a zoning application filed Friday, the Fifth and Eye project, at 901 Fifth St. NW, will include a 153-room hotel on the first eight floors and a 52-unit “apartment house” on floors nine through 12. There will be 5,500 square feet of meeting/function space, roughly 7,000 square feet of restaurant and cafe uses on the ground floor, and 86 parking spaces — well shy of the 127 required under the zoning regulations. The 174,278-square-foot building will rise to 130 feet.

The development plan appears to be a downward shift from the previous incarnation, which called for a 200-room Standard International Hotel and 60 market-rate condos.

TPC 5th & I Partners LLC, led by Peebles, is seeking variances from parking and rear-yard requirements, spurring its Friday application with the Board of Zoning Adjustments.

Peebles was selected to develop the site in May 2014, by former Mayor Vincent Gray's administration. The deal, which calls for the Peebles-led LLC to pay $28 million for a half-acre lot assessed for less than $18 million, was approved by the D.C. Council in December.

The District chose Peebles (with partners MacFarlane Partners and The Walker Group LLC) for the project over bids from three other teams: Akridge, The JBG Cos. and Trammell Crow Co. The District has said that Peebles’ offer included the most money for the land and the most affordable units.

Peebles has agreed to construct 61 units of affordable housing off-site, in a new seven-story building at 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE — on the parking lot of an office building Peebles already owns. Peebles also said it will renovate the Seaton and Milian parks in Mount Vernon Triangle.

The redevelopment of Fifth and Eye is a decade in the making. Donohoe Development was selected to tackle the site a week before Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008. The Arts at 5th and I, as Donohoe called its project, was at first scaled back, and then canceled by the District in February 2013.

February 28, 2014

First Major Hotel to be Owned by Black Firm to Open in Philly

Plans to develop black-owned boutique hotel at city landmark

Artist rendition of the proposed hotel


In a landmark deal, Peebles Corporation (No. 96 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE list with $22.9 million in revenues) entered a deal to develop and own the first major hotel to be owned by an African American firm.

In partnership with P&A Associates, a real estate development company, the companies will develop a new 199 room hotel at 1801 Vine Street in Philadelphia to be managed by Kimpton, a boutique hotels operator. The development team will acquire the property for $4.5 million and invest a total of $85 million for the redevelopment. Peebles Corporation will own a 90% equity interest in the project.“It will have a significant amount of ballroom and meeting space, 14,000 square feet and the space is just spectacular because the building is a local state landmark and in the process of being a nationalstate landmark,” says R. Donahue Peebles, CEO of Peebles Corp.

Peebles also says the deal will be historic from a minority participation perspective. The general contractor is McKissack & McKissack, a black-owned architecture and construction company. “Weare going to bring in and ensure that the talented minority subcontractors in that market get opportunities and McKissack & McKissack has had a major business in Philadelphia,” says Peebles. “We’re going to charge them with making sure that there is historic minority businessparticipation and make sure there’s opportunity for career advancement for minority professionals at the hotel.”

The new hotel will feature 199 guest rooms, 16,000 square feet of spa and fitness space, 14,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and 5,800 square feet for a restaurant and bar. This marks another deal in the Northeast for the formerly Florida-based entrepreneur. In March 2013, BEreported that Peebles Corp., acquired the iconic 346 Broadway, a 13-story office building and original headquarters of the New York Life Insurance company in downtown Manhattan for $160 million. The Peebles Corporation has $2.5 billion in projects in the pipeline and is eyeing additional projects in Brooklyn, Oakland and Detroit.

December 11, 2013

Peebles, Elad partner on $400M Tribeca restoration

The Peebles Corporation has enlisted Elad Group as a partner in acquiring a landmarked 400,000-square-foot building at 346 Broadway — also known as 108 Leonard Street — in Tribeca for $160 million. The developers closed on the deal today, Peebles Corporation said.

The city selected Miami developer Don Peebles’ company in March to reposition the 13-story building, which currently houses the New York City Criminal Court.

After a yearlong application and proposal process, the company will now proceed with plans to transform it into condominiums and a hotel. This is Peebles’ first acquisition in the city.

Peebles told The Real Deal he teamed up with Elad for its expertise with restoring landmarked buildings such as 250 West Street in Tribeca And The Plaza Hotel on the Upper West Side. The city approved the partnership soon after.

The pair is investing $100 million, roughly one quarter of the $400 million that will be spent on the restoration, a source told The Real Deal. Goldman Sachs also provided an acquisition and pre-development loan of an undisclosed amount, the source said. The remainder of funds is from other debt.

After the city evacuates the building in May, the developers aim to start interior demolition. Sales would then launch late next year, with a 2016 opening date. The architect has yet to be announced.

The hotel component will include 50 to 100 Rooms Over Two Floors On The Eastern Broadway side of the building. Peebles said he is in talks with two five-star hotel brands, but declined to disclose which ones.

Plans call for 100 to 140 condo units, the prices of which are yet to be determined. Peebles said in May that prices would start at about $1,500 to $1,600 per square foot, but said now they would be much higher. He dubbed this project the “prewar alternative to 56 Leonard,” referring to the blockbuster new construction condos down the street.

“The market has really moved and created tremendous strength,” Peebles said.

Udi Erez, CEO of Elad, could not be immediately reached for comment. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz first reported Elad’s involvement. [Haaretz]Mark Maurer

March 5, 2013

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Agreement To Sell Two City-owned Buildings To Reduce Office Space And Further Increase Efficiency Of Government Operations

Sale of Two Civic Center Buildings Will Reduce City's Real Estate Footprint by Nearly 600,000 Square Feet

City on Track to Surpass Goal of Reducing 1.2 Million Square Feet of Office Space; Total of $470 Million in Rent and Operating Expense Savings Achieved for the Next Two Decades

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway, Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Edna Wells Handy and New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth Pinsky today announced an agreement to sell two City-owned buildings for nearly $250 million as a part of the Administrat  ion's government consolidation plan to reduce City government office space by 1.2 million square feet by 2014. The Mayor first announced the intention to sell the properties – 49-51 Chambers Street and 346 Broadway – in his 2012 State of the City address, and it represents a major step in the Administration's efforts to increase efficiency by eliminating underused office space and relocating employees to office environments that better serve the City's needs. The agreements for the sale of the buildings, which will be presented to the Manhattan Borough Board for approval,will generate an estimated $120 million in net revenue for the City, after the costs of relocating various City agencies and the creation of a space for public use for the community. In addition, the City will save approximately $120 million in operating expenses over the next two decades. The Mayor was joined at the announcement at 49-51 Chambers Street, formerly the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Council Member Margaret Chin, R. Donahue Peebles, Chairman and CEO of the Peebles Corporation and Joseph Chetrit of the Chetrit Group.

"In 2010, we set a goal of reducing City agency office space by 10 percent within four years – equivalent to 1.2 million square feet," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Today's agreement brings us more than 80 percent towards that goal, dramatically reducing the amount of office space used by City agencies and making agency operations more efficient and less costly. Moreover, it will continue the revitalization of Lower Manhattan, stimulate economic development and bring more than $100 million into the City's treasury."

In 2010, the Mayor announced plans to consolidate City-owned real estate, eliminating 1.2 million square feet of City office space over four years. After the sale of the two buildings announced today, the City will have eliminated a total of 1,067,000 square feet since 2010, producing at least $470 million in annual rent and operating savings over the next 20 years. Through a competitive Request for Proposals, the Chetrit Group and the Peebles Corporation were selected to purchase 49-51 Chambers Street and 346 Broadway, respectively. As a part of the agreement and following extensive community input, the City worked with the Peebles Corporation to convert 16,000 square feet of 346 Broadway into a digital arts and media space dedicated to public use.

"In the modern office environment designed to foster collaboration through open seating plans and fewer offices, the City currently occupies more office space than it needs." said Deputy Mayor Holloway. "The sale of these two Civic Center buildings and relocation of City employees to modernized office space will save money and give many City employees brand new work spaces that encourage open communication and teamwork."

"With the sale of these two buildings, we will see the fulfillment of long-desired mayoral goals," said Commissioner Handy. "First, we bring these buildings to a higher and better use. In addition, we further the Mayor's goal of space optimization and utilization, reducing the City's use of leased office space in favor of existing city-owned property and providing an opportunity to upgrade the workspaces for a new generation of city workers. Finally, we meet the Department's goal to provide service that is better, more efficient and greener while bringing in much-needed funding to the City coffers."

"With the sale and redevelopment of these historic buildings, they will not only be restored and put to better use, but they will also bring a significant economic and cultural impact to Lower Manhattan and the entire City," said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky.

"A year ago we raised concerns over the lack of community-oriented uses associated with the Civic Center sale, and since that time, we have been able to work with Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway, DCAS, and EDC to modify the plan in a way that can meet both the City's fiscal needs and those of the community," said Borough President Stringer. "The new plan will create and fit-out a 16,000 square-foot, youth-oriented digital arts space. To compliment this programming, the city's proposal has provisions for hiring low-income New Yorkers through the HireNYC program and including Minority and Women Owned Businesses/Enterprises. I would like to thank the administration for working collaboratively on this project and look forward to continuing to resolve any outstanding issues, such as the programming of the community space and ensuring a high economic benefit through the inclusion of good paying jobs."

"I want to thank the City for engaging the Lower Manhattan community to help determine the use of these publicly-owned buildings," said Council Member Chin. "I am pleased at the inclusion of community space for downtown youth programming in 346 Broadway that ultimately will reinvest $35 million in our community. The sale of these buildings will help generate much-needed revenue for our City and will cut down on operating expenses. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway and offer my support in their drive to make our City's government more efficient."

"Not only has DCAS led the effort to revitalize and optimize City government space – but these sales will create new life for distinctive buildings that have been an integral part of Lower Manhattan for more than a century," said Joey Koch, DCAS Deputy Commissioner and Chief Asset Management Officer. "These buildings have great bones and they will be restored to their historic grandeur."

"I would like to express my gratitude to the Mayor and to the City of New York for the opportunity to restore and develop this very significant building," said Joseph Chetrit of the Chetrit Group. "The Chetrit Group looks forward to working with the City and the Lower Manhattan community as this project moves forward."

"On behalf of The Peebles Corporation, we are honored by the trust Mayor Bloomberg and the City of New York have placed in us by awarding The Peebles Corporation such a significant and iconic landmark," said from R. Donahue Peebles, Chairman and CEO of The Peebles Corporation. "Since the inception of The Peebles Corporation, we have excelled in public-private partnerships and engaged in restoring and reusing landmark buildings for the purpose of historic preservation, economic development, job creation and community transformation.  Over the past 25 years, we have continued this tradition in Washington, D.C., South Beach, Miami Beach, San Francisco and now New York City."

Since 2010, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services has also completed a total of 50 City agency relocations, consolidations and space termination projects – with 21 currently underway and 15 additional projects in the development phase. In addition, the Department has created new metrics for agencies to track square feet per employee to hold agencies accountable for space usage and identify trends and opportunities for reductions within their real estate portfolio.

The City, in part, has been able to consolidate office space because of a reduction in the City workforce by approximately 18,000 employees since the start of the Bloomberg Administration – with a City government that is providing more services with fewer employees through innovation and efficiencies.

Located at 49-51 Chambers Street and 346 Broadway, the properties – which currently house various City agencies – will be redeveloped as a mix of hotel, residential and community uses under the agreements, which will be presented to the Manhattan Borough Board. Together, these projects are anticipated to bring in excess of $500 million in private investment, generate more than $70 million in additional tax revenue over the next 30 years and create more than 550 construction jobs and 60 permanent jobs. The developers have committed to following a minority-owned business enterprises and women-owned business enterprises plan and HireNYC program, which require good faith efforts to achieve the hiring and workforce development goals.

The Peebles Corporation, a certified minority-owned business enterprise and one of the country's largest African-American owned real estate development company, will buy 346 Broadway for $160 million and is expected to convert the property into a mixed-use building with residential, hotel, retail and community facility components. The agreement also includes the establishment of a 16,000 square feet digital arts and media community facility located at 346 Broadway for public use. The Chetrit Group, one of the most active developers in New York City, is set to purchase 49-51 Chambers Street for $89 million and expected to convert the property into residential and retail uses. Approximately 30 percent of the building at 49-51 Chambers Street is currently vacant or used for storage – an inefficient use of valuable real estate.

The City created a Community Task Force – comprised of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, local elected officials including Borough President Stringer and Council Member Chin and representatives from the community board – to incorporate community feedback and recommended uses for a public facility at the location following the sale. Based on recommendations from the Task Force, the City worked with the Peebles Corporation to integrate the 16,000 square feet community facility for digital arts and media within 346 Broadway.

In the 1960s, the City acquired 49-51 Chambers Street and 346 Broadway as part of a larger plan to improve the Manhattan Civic Center that ultimately never came into fruition. Since then, the buildings have been primarily used as offices for City agencies. In April 2012, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the City's Economic Development Corporation issued a Request for Proposals for the disposition and redevelopment of the buildings – both of which have already been approved through the City's uniform land use review procedure. As well-positioned properties in Lower Manhattan, these buildings are strong candidates for adaptive reuse.