NEW YORK CITY—JLL has been selected byTIAA-CREF as the exclusive office leasing agent and propertymanager for 685 Third Ave.

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The team overseeing the assignment for the646,422-square-foot, Class A office building is led by PeterRiguardi, president of New York tri-state operations and MatthewAstrachan and Frank Doyle, vice chairmen; and includes JonathanFanuzzi, EVP; Clark Finney and Daniel Kollar, SVPs. Propertymanagement services will be led by Matt Duthie, managing directorof JLL's New York property management group.

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Newly renovated, the building was originally two separatetowers, giving it two cores with multiple sets of elevators andfire stairs, Astrachan tells GlobeSt.com. "What that allows tenantsto do in this new era of densification is put more employees on afloor and still meet fire codes without having to file for avariance. You could get down to 50 square feet per person, which isclose to double what you can do in a typical building. Hopefullythat allows tenants to create spaces that are conducive tocollaboration and are more productive."

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JLL says it plans to reposition the assetas Third avenue's most tenant- and broker-friendly address,providing a one-stop, full-service leasing and design/buildprocess. How will it do that? Through carefully selected vendors,Astrachan adds.

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"We worked to find third-party consultantsfamiliar with build-to-suits and what tenants want so that when weget asked questions, we can respond quickly. The kiss of death on aspace tour is answering a question with, 'We'll get back to you.'So to the extent that we have the answers up front, we can get tothe essence of a transaction faster.” The vendor group will be ledby LB architects and with that assistance, JLL plans to developrevised and scalable design standards for both turnkey andpre-built programs.

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TIAA-CREF acquired 685 Third Ave., locatedbetween East 43rd and East 44th streets, inmid-2010 from a large pharmaceutical company. The asset managerfully renovated and repositioned the building as a multi-tenantoffice property. The effort, designed by Gensler, included a newlobby, new elevators and the creation of a pocket park adjacent tothe building.

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"Teachers really invested heavily beforewe came on the scene," says Astrachan,"and made a tired assetthat's 200 steps from Grand Central (yes, I counted with my own twofeet) into a vibrant building."

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Originally constructed in 1962, anaddition to the office building was completed in 1974. The 31-storyproperty offers more than 300,000 square feet of office space inthe midrise and tower sections. Floor plates range from 22,692square feet to 29,930 square feet on the second floor to the 15thfloor; 6,912 square feet to 9,288 square feet on the16th floor and 17th floor; 17,600 square feetto 19,000 square feet on the 18th floor to the25th floor; and 13,600 square feet for the top sixfloors.

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TIAA-CREF recently completed a number ofleases at 685 Third Ave., including the Tribune Co.'s 10-year leasefor 27,453 square feet on the 30thand 31st floors; DeckerCommunications completing a five-year transaction for 5,449 squarefeet on the 18th floor and Luke's Lobster inking a deal for a new,ground-floor location—slated to debut this summer—that opens upinto the newly renovated park.

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Rayna Katz

Rayna Katz is a seasoned business journalist whose extensive experience includes coverage of the lodging sector, travel and the culinary space. She was most recently content director for a business-to-business publisher, overseeing four publications. While at Meeting News, a travel trade publication, she received a Best Reporting award for a story on meeting cancellations in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.