Clifford Chance is currently operating out of three locations,with the majority of its staff lodged in a 330,000-sf space in theMet Life Building, 200 Park Ave. Aside from giving the firm anextra 50,000 sf and the capacity to house 500 lawyers, he new deal,includes expansion options in 10 and 15 years. The lease commencesin May 2004 and the space will be built out beginning this summer.Financials on the transaction have not been released.

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"This is a unique time in the New York real estate market, wherewe have an opportunity to secure premium space which will wellserve us and our clients for many years to come," says JohnCarroll, Clifford Chance's regional managing partner for theAmericas. "We've outgrown our current space spread out over threeNew York buildings, so we are delighted to find this new facility,which will allow us to consolidate our New York practice in onestate-of-the-art space and will offer our clients and our peoplethe best amenities and technology."

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Insignia/ESG' Robert Stillman, Bob Alexander and DavidMauer-Hollander reportedly brokered both sides of the deal, whichcould be worth more than $20 million, but Insignia officials wereunavailable for comment by press time.

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As to the two new buildings, Boston Properties looked to havethe edge on the Clifford Chance deal until Harry Macklowe enteredthe fray, reportedly offering rents $15 per sf below what BostonProperties was asking. Meanwhile, the 1.1 million-sf 7 TimesSquare, still stinging from Arthur Andersen's bailing on its621,000-sf commitment, is said to have leased less than 10% of itsspace, and 340 Madison has yet to reveal a single completedlease.

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