Farkas is the former Insignia Financial's CEO. He stayedthroughout the Insingia/CB Richard Ellis merger in 2003, but leftat the end of the process. Island Fund is an entity controlled byFarkas and other Insignia executives which purchased all ofInsignia's real estate investment assets for approximately $44million and assumed approximately $7.8 million ofemployment-related contractual obligations.

When the property was placed on the market last month, industryinsiders predicted it would attract intense interest and thatproved to be the case. "There was a lot of interest, a lot ofresponses," says a source. At the time it was estimated the sitewould command more than $600 million. It has undergoneapproximately $45 million in capital improvements recently andasking rents are within the $50-to $60-dollar range. The trophyasset last sold in 1998 for $250 million.

CBRE's Darcy Stacom and William Shanahan, executive vicepresidents and partners, marketed the site, also known as theHelmsley Building. CBRE officials would not comment. Office tenantsinclude Swiss Re America Holding Corp., Bear Stearns & Co. andHSH Nordbank. On the retail side, Bobby Vans Steakhouse, Starbucksand Wachovia Bank are on the roster. Earlier this year, theneighboring Metlife Building at 200 Park Ave. garnered the highestprice ever paid for a single asset commercial property in the US.Tishman Speyer acquired the landmark for $1.72 billion.

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