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Technology-driven hedge fund Two Sigma is in the market for a major space expansion and consolidation that could be worth a fortune to a number of Manhattan landlords.
Although it’s rarely in the press, the international, privately held firm boasts $58 billion in assets under management. It’s currently headquartered in a mini-campus at 100 and 101 Sixth Ave. in Tribeca, according to its Web site.
Now, we’re told by sources that the setup and floor plates there no longer work for the company. With lease expirations looming in 2023, Two Sigma is prowling for larger new digs — of 400,000 to 600,000 square feet — in either the FiDi area or Midtown South. Cushman & Wakefield is said to be leading the search.
Landing Two Sigma would be a breakthrough for several older office buildings that are either vacant or soon will be. Among them: EQ’s 1740 Broadway, Paramount Group’s 60 Wall St., Rudin’s 3 Times Square and 80 Pine St., RXR’s Five Times Square and Nightingale’s 111 Wall St.
Large blocks are also up for grabs at Brookfield’s brand-new Two Manhattan West, Tishman Speyer’s Spiral and L&L Holdings’ 425 Park Ave., as well as at two completely redesigned towers — Brookfield’s 660 Fifth Ave. and Olayan Group’s 550 Madison Ave.
There’s life at last for the long-planned Alamo Drafthouse cinema complex at Fosun’s 28 Liberty St. The Texas-based luxury chain completed its bankruptcy sale to Altamont Capital Partners last week and plans to open the FiDi location this fall.
Progress was slow at 28 Liberty since we first reported Alamo’s 40,000 square-foot lease there back in 2017. Repeated delays were blamed on construction issues related to the tower’s landmark status.
However, the most recent stall clearly had to do with the company’s troubled finances after the pandemic shut down movie theaters in March of 2020.
Now, as cinemas reopen and Hollywood gears up for major production again, Alamo plans to expand with several new theaters around the United States, including one on Staten Island.
The popular Upper East Side eatery Flex Mussels will soon be flexing its muscles — and getting more legroom — when it moves later this year from cramped quarters at 174 E. 82 St. to more spacious digs at 1431 Third Ave., around the corner.
The new location was formerly Turkish cafe Beyoglu. Flex Mussels owner Alexandra Shapiro made the deal through CBRE brokers Gary Trock and Zach Parisi.
Shapiro wanted a new home nearby for Flex Mussels before the pandemic shutdown last year. Trock and Parisi saw an opportunity at the Beyoglu location, where the lease was expiring.
The new space has 1,690 square feet on the ground, 1,770 square feet on the second floor and 1,770 more in the basement — allowing for many more seats than the current 2,000 square feet on East 82nd Street.
In addition, Flex Mussels can also have 30 outdoor seats at its new digs, compared with only eight at the old spot. It will reopen on June 8 and move in the fourth quarter this year or the first quarter of 2022. Flex also has an outpost in the West Village.
The menu offers mussels in 22 different broths, from classic French white wine, garlic and herbs to Thai-style curry-coconut broth, lemongrass, kaffir lime, coriander, lime and ginger.
The Times Square Alliance has a new leader: Tom Harris, who served as acting president after former President Tim Tompkins stepped down in December after 19 years.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise. Harris — a 23-year veteran of the NYPD and a graduate of St. Joseph’s College and Marist College — has spent 13 years at the Alliance. Nonetheless, a search committee led by Alliance board Chairman Eric Rudi spent months on an “exhaustive” search for Tompkins’ permanent successor.
With Broadway theaters still dark and offices mostly empty even as tourists return, the alliance faces possibly the toughest challenge of all the city’s 76 business-improvement districts.
“Times Square is .1 percent of the city landmass and 15 percent of the city’s economy.” Harris said. “We will not recover from this pandemic until Times Square recovers.”
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