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WEST PALM BEACH, FL-CityPlace is reported to be attracting substantial pre-leasing interest for the first of three office buildings slated at the Okeechobee Boulevard site. The shopping/entertainment component opens Oct. 27.

The joint venture’s owners are talking with Starwood Hotels and Resorts to operate a 350-room Westin at the complex. CityPlace principals are The Palladium Co. and The O’Connor Group, both of New York City, and the Related Group of Florida.

The first 15-story, 275,000-sf office building hasn’t broken ground yet and probably won’t be completed until 2002, but about 120,000 sf could be pre-leased shortly, according to NAI Merin Hunter Codman, the broker representing the property’s owners.

Prospective major tenants are First Union, Bank of America, BankAtlantic and the law firms of Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart and Holland & Knight.

The banks individually are vying for up to 30,000 sf. The victor will likely get the exclusive right to place its ATMs throughout the complex

Gunster Yoakley & Stewart is reported to be considering leasing up to 60,000 sf. The firm occupies 66,000 sf at the nearby Phillips Point twin-tower complex where rents have recently hit $38 per sf, triple net. Another Downtown law firm, Holland & Knight, is looking at about 30,000 sf. H&K currently leases 20,000 sf at the Bank of America Building on Flagler Drive.

Class A space rent in the central business district of West Palm Beach currently averages $19.45 per sf, triple net.

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