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NEW YORK CITY-Rockefeller Group Development, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Tishman Construction held a “Topping Out” party at the structure of what will become 1,040,000 sf of office space at 745 Seventh Ave. this afternoon. The party began in the middle of 50th Street, where principals signed the ceremonial last steel beam to be erected at the site and smiled for the cameras, donning hard hats with various company logos. Then everyone walked through the construction site up to the skeleton of the third floor for speeches, food and the official hoisting.

“Eight months ago we started erecting steel,” Daniel R. Tishman, president and CEO of Tishman Construction Corporation began. He congratulated “the 500 construction workers” present and the “unique ability” of New York trade union workers to build in New York, which he said, “[is] the most difficult place in the world to build.” He noted its presence within the Times Square community, saying it was significant that this would be the third Morgan Stanley office in the “crossroads of the world.”

Morgan Stanley’s Stephan Newhouse, who was named co-president, a COO and chairman of Morgan Stanley International (to be based in London) on Sept. 25 of this year, spoke also. He noted the proximity of this new building to their 750 and 1585 buildings. Newhouse compared seeing the inside of the construction site to knowing about sausages, but seeing the inside of a sausage factory for the first time. He suggested said that after the initial planning was done it “has been downhill ever since,” but suggested by way of saying how pleased he was that this statement was to indicate smooth sailing and not a negative decline in the process or relationships.

The principals of the three companies, joined by Hines Interests Limited Partnership, development advisors to Morgan; Kohn Pedersen Fox, architects; Gensler, interior architects; Thornton-Tomasetti, structural engineers; Jaros Baum & Bolles, mechanical/electrical/plumbing engineers; Robert Derector Telecommunications; and Colliers ABR, a real estate brokerage service, stood around a cardboard cut-out picture of a remote control held to “start” the hoisting. The signed beam was raised with the traditional tree and flag attached and raised to the 32nd floor.

When completed, the building will connect with Rockefeller Center’s underground concourse system and provide an entrance to the N and R subway station. The plaza midway between Seventh and Eighth Avenue will be recreated. Morgan Stanley will be the principal occupant of the space, managed by Rockefeller Group, to be completed in 2002. It will occupy the length of the block from 49th Street to 50th Street, facing Seventh Avenue.

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