Roberta’s to open massive pizza joint near Madison Square Garden

Here’s proof that the Penn District really is on fire:

Roberta’s, the legendary Bushwick restaurant famed for its wood-fired pizzas, signed a lease for 5,200 square feet at Vornado’s PENN 1, which has gotten a new look and new amenities.

The new Roberta’s — its most ambitious foray outside Brooklyn — will actually occupy 1 Penn East, a one-story building that’s adjacent to the office tower at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 33rd Street. With a second floor added on top, it’s set to open in the fall of 2023 with a  roof deck and outdoor patio seating.

Roberta’s co-owner Brandon Hoy said, “We tend to gravitate toward interesting neighborhoods with a rich history and abundance of creativity, similarly to the opening of our original Roberta’s in Bushwick.”

The ongoing effort to revive the district could use more good news like this. As reported elsewhere in this column Monday, two city development honchos cheered Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin’s attack on the Gov. Kathy Hochul-backed Penn Station-area redevelopment proposal.

The real estate insiders, who unsurprisingly insisted on anonymity for themselves and their firms, said they don’t support Zeldin on some other issues — but cheered his thumbs-down of the Penn plan, which would give Vornado Realty Trust a head start in future office projects.

The Tisch family has reportedly become an investor in Roberta's.
The Tisch family has reportedly become an investor in Roberta’s.
Stephen Yang

As for the Roberta’s deal, Lee & Associates NYC’s Jeffrey Lopez represented the restaurant while Vornado was repped in-house. Lopez called it  “the ideal location in the center of midtown and the Penn district, “a stone’s throw from Madison Square Garden.”

CBRE hire

In an unusually interesting executive move, William Hartman is joining CBRE’s Advisory & Transaction practice in the city as a vice chairman.

A specialist in life science landlord and tenant representation, Hartman was with Cushman & Wakefield where he was an executive managing director. He  worked on more than 15 million square feet of leasing and sale transactions over 33 years.

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