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New York City Region, Expansions and Contractions

Expansions and Openings

A Brooklyn-based studio will convert a defunct Staten Island prison into a sprawling film and TV production complex, which will become the country’s second largest outside of Hollywood.  Greenpoint’s Broadway Stages won a bid from the state to buy the former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility for $7 million and spend $20 million to build five sound stages with 100,000 square feet of studio space on the 69-acre site.  According to forecasts, the plan will generate 800 jobs over the next two years and as many as 1,500 jobs over the next five years.

ADP Technology Services Inc. will invest more than $11.5 million to locate its new ‘Innovation Lab’ in New York City.  The company plans to establish a 25,000 square-foot software development facility that will create 110 jobs, including the hiring of software developers and data scientists.  Additionally, in order to secure the support of the New York City Regional Economic Development Council, ADP agreed to participate in an internship and work experience program such as Pathways in Technology Early College High School, or an analogous program that is consistent with the company’s staffing and internship plans.

Dropbox, the San Francisco-based file sharing company that recently raised $350 million in financing, is expanding into New York City. It is opening an office in temporary space near New York University, and plans to have 25 employees there by the end of the year. The company, which has 200 million users, plans to use its New York office to grow its base of business customers, which currently number around 4 million. Dropbox announced the office's opening and said it would soon hold a recruiting event. The move follows the re-launch in November of Dropbox for Business, a streamlined version of a product first introduced about a year ago. The new version includes controls for separating business files from personal ones, and has helped accelerate growth among business customers.

The Greater Jamaica Development Corp. announced that it has reached a deal to sell BRP Companies a development site near Jamaica station in Queens where the buyer will build a $225 million residential tower with retail space in its base. BRP Companies will build a 400-unit rental apartment building with 80,000 square feet of retail space in its base at the corner of Sutphin Boulevard and Archer Avenue, just steps away from the train station. BRP Companies became interested in the parcel when it lost out on a nearby site on Sutphin Boulevard and 94th Avenue. There another development firm, Able Management, won the bid to build a 24-story hotel on land that is jointly owned by Greater Jamaica Development and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Greater Jamaica Development has reached deals for other development in the neighborhood. The developer Blumenfeld Development Group is planning to build a $50 million retail project and parking garage near the corner of Jamaica Avenue and 168th Street, about a mile from the train station.

IBM announced Thursday that it's investing over $1 billion to give its Watson supercomputer its own business division and a new home in the heart of New York City. The new business unit will be dedicated to the development and commercialization of the project, including giving it new headquarters in the heart of NYC. About $100 million will go toward investing in startup companies that are building apps to be run through Watson. Eventually the business, which started out as a team of 27 people, will employ about 2,000, including several hundred at the new headquarters, IBM said.

Marriott International is opening the tallest U.S. hotel building in New York as tourism in the city reaches a record. The 68-story tower at the corner of Broadway and 54th Street houses a 378-room Courtyard hotel and a 261-room Residence Inn. The dual-brand short-/long-term stay concept is a way to appeal to different audiences and budgets and will be operated under a franchise agreement between Marriott and New York-based builder Granite Broadway Development. The property will have a shared entrance and lobby on 54th Street for both its hotels.

New York University is crossing the bridge to Brooklyn. In January, the university will open the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering—its 14th school in total—in downtown Brooklyn. The school is the culmination of NYU's merger with Polytechnic University. The engineering school has the potential to transform south Brooklyn into a hub of tech innovation that can eventually rival other parts of New York City and California. New York University has already added space in the area and has been sharing some courses with Polytechnic since the merger was announced in 2008. Katepalli Sreenivasan, the president of Polytechnic, will be the dean of NYU's new engineering school.

The first of six New York City walk-in clinics run by Cure Urgent Care will open in May on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The urgent-care facility at 2689 Broadway will take up 4,460 square feet on the ground floor of a supportive-housing building run by the West Side Federation for Senior Supportive Housing. . Cure Urgent Care is looking to "expand heavily in the city,"  with at least five more clinics opening in the next 18 months. The partners are considering relatively dense neighborhoods where hospitals have recently closed, including Greenwich Village, TriBeCa and Battery Park City. The company has another clinic set to open in Huntington, L.I., in April.

Email advertising company LiveIntent says email's actually more powerful than ever as a marketing tool. The Manhattan-based company has just raised $20 million to continue the rapid expansion of its service, which utilizes ad-tech tools to turn email newsletters into advertising platforms capable of real-time consumer targeting. All told, the company has raised nearly $33 million since its founding in 2009. In an interview, LiveIntent CEO Matt Keiser said the investment would help the company continue a growth spurt that saw revenue triple in 2013. He expects to double the number of employees this year from 85 and to expand the company's new lower Manhattan headquarters to 45,000 square feet from its current 21,000.

Home goods seller Room & Board has signed on for 60,000 square feet at West 17th St., between Seventh and Eighth avenues. The Minneapolis-based company will continue to operate its New York showroom on Wooster Street in SoHo, but the Chelsea outpost will become its main flagship. The retailer plans to open this location in early 2014.

New Jersey-based Sax Macy Fromm & Co. and Albany's Bollam Sheedy Torani & Co. intend to join forces and relocate to New York City, creating the region's ninth-largest accounting firm. The combined firm will have 220 employees and 49 partners who generate about $40 million in billings. Current CEOs of the two firms will serve as co-managing partners after the deal formally closes Jan. 1.

CityMD, a New York City-based urgent care provider, is bucking the long-time medical practice of leasing space on buildings' upper floors in favor of unfurling its flag at ground floor retail locations as the company expands across Manhattan and into the outer boroughs. CityMD's ambition is to bridge the gap between hospital emergency rooms and primary-care doctors by providing extended hours and last-minute access to board-certified physicians within neighborhoods. The company has plans to add up to 15 locations over the next year in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, as well as in Westchester County.

In another win for Downtown Brooklyn's once-beleaguered Fulton Street Mall, department store Nordstrom will open an off-price store at 505 Fulton St. Scheduled to debut in spring 2014, the 41,000-square-foot Nordstrom Rack will be located on the second floor of the building that houses T.J. Maxx and H&M on the ground floor.

When Whole Foods debuts its long-awaited Brooklyn location in the Gowanus neighborhood this year, it will boast another first—a commercial-scale rooftop farm. The 20,000-square-foot greenhouse facility, operated by local grower Gotham Greens, will produce the Butterhead lettuce, tomatoes and herbs that consumers will find downstairs in the vegetable aisle. The Gowanus store is expected to open in late fall. If the model proves successful, it will be repeated at other locations.

Food Cellar, a natural-foods supermarket based in Long Island City, has inked a deal for 14,500 square feet on the ground floor and basement of Linc, located at at 43-10 Crescent St., in the neighborhood's Court Square section. The store will open in the summer of 2014.

Global music streaming service Spotify announced that it would beef up its engineering team at its U.S. headquarters offices in New York City, adding 130 more technologists by the end of 2014, giving the company a total of approximately 200 engineers. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Spotify has been growing rapidly in the U.S. since its launch here two years ago. It is adding new features to its service while also building an advertising sales and marketing operation aimed at making the free service profitable. Engineers will be working on initiatives related to social, radio, mobile and music discovery in addition to building the advertising monetization platform.

On the playing field of local search, giants like Yelp, Citysearch, and Yahoo Local battle each other for market share. Meanwhile, a software startup that manages the online listings of businesses large and small across nearly 50 Web properties, Yext is unknown to consumers. The company is on a tear, having more than tripled its business in 2012. The firm will finish 2013 with around 300 employees, up from 175 right now, its CEO projected. And its customer list is growing even faster. Yext finished 2012 servicing 100,000 businesses, up from 30,000 the prior year, and expects its subscriber rolls to top 1 million by the end of 2015.

The Bronx is saying hello to Burlington Coat Factory. The New Jersey-based chain has signed on to open an outpost at 2543 Webster Ave., between East Fordham Road and 193rd Street, it confirmed following the announcement that Cookie's Kids Department Store in the same location would close in June than re-open at a new site later in 2013. Burlington, which currently operates six stores in New York City, plans to open the Webster Avenue outpost-its second in the borough-in the fall. The 500-store chain's entry into the Fordham neighborhood comes on the heels of the city's new push to revitalize the Bronx. Last week, New York City's Economic Development Corp. said it would be transforming the 1.5-mile stretch of Webster Avenue between Fordham Road and Gun Hill Road into a new cultural and shopping thoroughfare. The area, which is home to more than 100,000 residents and 7,000 Fordham University students, was rezoned in 2011 to allow for at least 430,000 square feet of new commercial development and 950 new residential units.

Downtown Brooklyn has lured a new tenant. New York University is launching an interdisciplinary center to train budding game makers in the design, coding and artistic theory of the rapidly growing game industry. The center-known as the Media and Games Network is slated to open in the fall in a 40,000-square-foot space in an office building at 2 Metrotech Center. It will house programs ranging from a master's degree in game design to a doctorate in educational communications and technology.

T.J. Maxx has come to Fordham Plaza. The 30,503 square foot designer department store opened on Sunday, March 24 2013. The chain is one of the nation's largest discount retailers, with about 1,000 stores in operation, and offers fashion and accessories for the family and the home, jewelry, and beauty and pet accessories.

Urban Outfitters is in major expansion mode in New York City, as the retailer just leased 21,000 square feet of space in lower Manhattan, right next to the new Fulton Transit Hub. News of the latest outpost comes a day after the trendy Philadelphia-based company announced that it was negotiating a deal for space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where its sister retailer, Anthropologie, is also eyeing another storefront. According to the industry sources, Urban Outfitters has also leased space at 180 Broadway and is said to be close to signing a deal for 61,000 square feet at 3 Herald Square.

Business software giant Infor had several reasons for moving its headquarters to the Flatiron district from suburban Atlanta last year, not the least of them being that New York City is a nice place to visit. Built from acquisitions of more than 60 companies serving sectors ranging from manufacturing to hospitality, Infor wanted to be where its customers were likely to travel for business or pleasure, so there would be more chances of meeting with them face to face. And this strategy proved successful. Since October 2012, when it moved into its new headquarters, Infor has hired close to 80 designers, which is more than it had counted on for its entire first year. The company is now negotiating for additional space as it looks to add another 40 designers. Inc. is looking to expand. The online retailer is looking for 300,000 to 500,000 square feet of office space in Manhattan, which would be a big jump from the approximately 100,000 square feet Amazon currently occupies. The search is said to be at early stages, but if it leads to a lease on the upper end of its range, it would be one of the largest expansions by a company in the city in years. A 500,000-square-foot space typically fits 2,000 to 3,000 workers.

Canada-based TD Bank is about to launch a major Big Apple expansion plan that will increase its presence here by 50 percent over the next three years. The bank, a unit of Toronto-Dominion Bank, with 97 branches in 2012 throughout the five boroughs, could grow to become the No. 2 New York City bank, by branches, after its move. While some banks are pulling back on the number of branches here, TD Bank wants to grow and compete with heavy hitters like JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and HSBC.  TD's 100th branch opened to much fanfare on Jan. 26 2013.

Facebook continued its push into the city by announcing that it will move part of its design team here to be closer to Madison Avenue. It will be Facebook's first design unit outside its Silicon Valley headquarters, and the company said it would recruit from the city's pool of design talent to add to its staff of 150 people already here. This is not the first expansion the company has made into the city. In December 2011, Facebook chose New York as its first city outside Menlo Park, Calif., to locate an engineering hub.

LinkedIn, the popular social network for business professionals, is expanding its office in the Empire State Building. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company has signed a 10-year lease for 40,780 square feet of space at the tower, bringing the firm's total footprint in the building to 73,000 square feet. LinkedIn moved into the building's 25th floor last year, establishing a corporate office mainly for sales staff.

Choice Hotels International, the company behind brands like Econo Lodge, Clarion and Comfort Inn, broke ground  for two Manhattan hostelries. The activity comes less than 24 hours after the Silver Spring, Md.-based outfit began work on a hotel just north of the city in White Plains. All three hotels will be under a brand aimed at business travelers, Cambria Suites. It will be Choice's highest-end option to date, according to Steve Joyce, the company's chief executive. The Times Square location will be the first to open in the city, in the winter of 2014. The Chelsea hotel is scheduled to open in the following quarter.

After spending the past two decades scouring Manhattan for the right location and the right deal, Nordstrom, the upscale department store, has finally found a home. The chain signed a binding agreement to open New York City’s first new full-scale department store, a 7-story, 300,000-square-foot behemoth in the base of a planned skyscraper on the north side of 57th Street, east of Broadway. But if the company spent two decades looking for the right site, it will have to wait until 2018 to move in.

Online auction giant eBay is the latest tech giant to expand in New York. The company announced that it would launch a Technology Center of Excellence in the Flatiron district. The company said the center would expand to more than 200 people over the next couple of years.  eBay is following in the footsteps of Facebook. The social media giant previously announced it would establish a major engineering center in Manhattan, and has been busy staffing it. Facebook, in turn, followed Google, whose meatpacking district offices are the search giant's largest operations center outside of California.

Microsoft announced it is opening a Microsoft Research Lab in New York the 13th such lab in the country. Microsoft is in the process of hiring an initial team of 15 researchers. The lab's location, still to be determined, will be in Manhattan.

Layoffs and Closings

Madelaine Chocolate, among the largest employers in Rockaway, has put its 5.4-acre building complex at the foot of the Crossbay Bridge up for sale.  The facility was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, causing about $50 million in property damage and lost sales.  The loss of the 65-year-old chocolatier, which at one time employed about 450 people, would be a blow to Rockaway’s economy.  Madelaine owners would only say in a statement that they could be moving to another location in or out of New York.  When the factory partially reopened in October, the owners said they were depending on lawmakers to help obtain grants and loans needed to rebuild.  At that time, the company was only able to bring about 125 employees back to work on a limited production schedule.

Loehmann's, after it's third trip into bankruptcy, is liquidating. All stores will be closed by mid-March 2014. At least 300 workers will lose their jobs.

Atlantic Bus Transportation filed a series of WARN notices after filing for bankruptcy. If they are unable to resolve their financial problems they will layoff more than 2,600 workers starting 12/31/2013.

Atlantic & Pacific Grill Associates LLC, operators of Park Avenue Cafe will close the restaurant and lay off 135 workers effective 1/1/2014.

Smithfield Associates LLC, will close it's Pastis Restaurant and lay off 200 workers on 1/1/2014.

The Bloomberg LP reorganized it's law unit laying off 17 workers on 9/30/2013. An additional 78 workers will be let go 12/31/2013.

Sky Chefs Inc, which provides meal service to airlines, will lay off 137 workers between 12/4/2013 and 3/31/2014.

ESPN is cutting its workforce, the latest Disney division to reduce staff. The company would not say how many jobs are being eliminated, but they include unfilled positions. ESPN has about 7,000 employees worldwide, with about 4,000 at its headquarters in Bristol, Conn. The vast majority work behind the scenes.

Zynga Inc., the biggest maker of online social games, said it will cut 57 jobs in NYC amid disappointing results from its titles outside the Farmville series. The cuts will be completed by August 2013.

Time Warner Cable announced that it will lay off 120 employees from its telecommunications provider sales-inbound department. The layoffs are expected to be completed by the week of July 11th, 2013.

The Children's Aid Society has lost one of its funding sources and announced that it will be shutting down its homemakers unit and cutting staff at other chapters. The total impact is expected to be approximately 135 employees, split between nine locations in the city.

Priority Production Services LLC, a outsourcing servies company specializing in broadcasting and audiovisual services, will lay off 102 staff effective 06/30/2013 because of the loss of a contract.

The South Bronx Mental Council is shuttering four of its New York City facilities and laying off 128 employees. Layoffs occurred on March 29, 2013.

EcoSys, a project controls software company that works in energy, construction and other industries, said it is relocating its headquarters from New York City to Broomfield, NJ and adding a training facility to its Denver-area operations. The privately held company said it's growing, and its customers will benefit from the new training facility it will have at its new Broomfield headquarters. The company has 75 employees, but didn't say how many would be moved to Broomfield.

CIFRA Escorts will lay off 154 workers at three locations, on each in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, because it lost a contract for bus services with the NYC Department of Education. The layoffs will begin 6/30/2013.

Hoyt Transportation will lay off 458 workers at it's Bronx facility and an additional 260 from it's Brooklyn because it lost a contract for bus services with the NYC Department of Education. The layoffs will begin 6/27/2013.

Rainbow Transit will lay off 269 workers at three locations, on each in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. The layoffs will begin 6/26/2013.

Boro Wide Buses (Kings County) will lay off 99 workers on 06/30/2013 because it lost a contract for bus services with the NYC Department of Education.

Four at YOTEL New York, a food company serving a chain of trendy budget Yotel hotels, has severed its relationship with its parent company. Richard Sandoval, a celebrity chef who also owns a dozen properties in Los Angeles and Miami, will close the four hotel-affiliated restaurants by the end of March. The company filed a notice with the NYS DOL that 102 people will be laid off.

BlackRock Inc., is cutting 3% of its workforce as part of a broader reorganization of the investment management firm. That share equates to a reduction of approximately 300 jobs, although the exact number has not been yet determined. BlackRock already rearranged the management structure last year, but the firm's president Rob Kapito said in a memo to company employees that the firm is further reorganizing the business to align with its "strategic priorities" and those moves include a reduction in its staff. The company did not say where the cuts would be made but said in a statement that "the reshaping is global in nature and is generally proportional across regions and businesses."

HMSHost International, a food service company, will lay off 128 people by 5/14/2013, as the company moves out of the space that is being renovated by Delta Airlines.

The Food Emporium, a struggling high-end outpost of the bankrupt A&P grocery chain, announced that it will close two of its Manhattan stores (the company has 16 in total in the borough). Between the two establishments, 178 employees will be laid off, with the final layoff date in the first week of June 2013.

Time Inc., home to venerable titles such as Time, People and Sports Illustrated, began a steep round of layoffs that claimed just under 250 jobs at its New York headquarters. CEO Laura Lang said she would slash a total of 500 jobs, or 6 percent of the global workforce, as the magazine publisher wrestles with falling print ad revenue. Time Warner announced plans to spin off it's Time magazine unit into a separate publically-traded coorporation after talks to sell some magazines to publisher Mereditn Corp. faltered.


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