CB Richard Ellis has been hired to manage the leasing of thebuilding. Adam Spies and Douglas Harmon of Eastdil Secured LLCmanaged the marketing on behalf of the seller. As GlobeSt.compreviously reported, four years ago, Harmon also handled the firm's$92.7-million or $350 per sf purchaseof the same building from SL Green Realty Corp. and Morgan StanleyReal Estate Fund III LP. The JV purchased the property in December2000 for $41.2 million.

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The property, built in 1927, stands 23 stories tall and islocated on the southwest corner of Madison Avenue and East 34thStreet. In addition its highly visible location, it is withinwalking distance of both Grand Central & Penn Stations hasaccess to 12 subway lines. The property offers full-floor layoutsranging in size from 8,000 to 15,000 sf. Clarett plans to furtherimprove the asset through a strategic renovation plan. FurtherQueries to the Clarett Group were unanswered by deadline, however aClarett source did tell GlobeSt.com that the property was first puton the market in June 2007.

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Veronica Hackett, managing partner of the Clarett Group, says ina prepared release that the company believes that the Midtownmarket is "poised for robust growth over the next several years."Hackett further notes that the high-quality asset's location willenable the firm to "achieve significant value appreciation."

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An anonymous industry source not involved with the same, butfamiliar with the Midtown market, tells GlobeSt.com that theyquestion where the robust growth will originate "with widespreaduncertainty and weakness in the credit and equity markets, stronginflation in food and energy prices, and an economy bordering onrecession."

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Deborah Jackson, executive managing director of Weiser RealtyAdvisors LLC, who was also not involved in the sale, tellsGlobeSt.com that although she isn't sure if Midtown is poised for"robust growth," she says that "demand should remain strong forspace in midtown-both from domestic and foreign firms." She saysthat "with the weak dollar, many foreign firms will find the costof space in the city as attractive alternative to other locations,"adding that "with healthy vacancy rates, high rents and limitedspace for future development, I believe that we will continue tosee positive trends for this market."

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As GlobeSt.com previously reported, the local office market herecontinues to feel the impact of the turmoil affectingthe global financial markets, and although brokerage firms seeoverall vacancy rates increase, the waters aren't as gloomy as theycould be. Richard Persichetti, manager of client services at Grubb& Ellis, previously noted that direct average asking rents havedeclined, however he said that "despite average asking rentsbeginning to trend downward, prime spaces continue to command highprices in select areas of Manhattan when compared to theirrespective submarket."

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Daniel Hollander, senior managing director of the Clarett Group,says in a prepared statement that "this acquisition is particularlysignificant as it underscores Clarett's ability to respond tochanging market conditions. Although Clarett is more known in NewYork for residential development, we have deep roots in commercialdevelopment and are currently active in office developments in LosAngeles and Washington, DC. We have leveraged our broad expertisein the commercial arena to underwrite this value-addedopportunity."

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According to MrOfficeSpace.com, asking rents at 180 Madison Ave.are $60 per sf. Current tenants include International Intimates,Vandale Industries Inc., Age Group Ltd., Kellwood Co., A.C.T.,Andrew Levin, Bendon USA, Next Generation Intimates, O'BrianBrothers, Pacific Group, Panties Plus, Paradise Lingerie, RiveriaTrading Inc., St. Eve International Inc., the Natori Co. Inc. andVivien International.

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.