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NEW YORK CITY-In a city with little new construction, new projects aremet with appropriate fanfare, as displayed today at the groundbreakingceremony for 300 Madison Ave. Executives and government officials,donning traditional hardhats and brandishing chrome-plated shovels,scattered dirt as a brass quartet played ragtime music.

“This will be a magnificent building, one that will be a source of pridefor all of us–the city, CIBC World Markets and Brookfield Properties.This is Brookfield’s first construction project in Manhattan, and itwill be the first of many,” said Brookfield Properties chairman JohnZuccotti.

Mayor Giuliani commented, “The development and leasing of 300Madison is a clear indication that the revival of the Grand CentralStation area of Midtown Manhattan is gaining momentum.” 300 Madisonreceived a package of tax incentives courtesy of the IndustrialDevelopment Agency.

In a transaction valued at $800 million, the property has been fullyleased to CIBC World Markets for 30 years. When CIBC completes its moveto the new building in 2004, it will house up to 3,000 employees,bringing all New York staff under one roof for the first time. Thecompany’s offices are currently spread among four buildings inManhattan.

The 35-story, 1.2 million-sf office tower is scheduled for completion bylate 2003. The subway station entrance at 42nd and Madison will berefurbished as part of the development.

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