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NEW YORK CITY-Four years after signing a 99-year ground lease on the property, Bear Stearns this week will start moving employees into its newly constructed, $500 million Madison Avenue world headquarters.

Moving 6,000 workers into the 1.2 million-sf tower at 383 Madison Ave will take roughly five months. First to set up shop in the 45-story tower will the firm’s Private Client Services group.

Unique for its square, rather than rectangular footprint, the building has overcome numerous financial and design challenges, including coming to terms with the al-Babtain family of Saudi Arabia, who own the land, and constructing a major office tower over a labyrinth of commuter rail tunnels.

The building’s square base, which will house six trading floors, supports an octagonal office tower. It is built on the site of the former Knapp Building, a 12-story office property constructed in the 1920s. Bear Stearns reportedly rescued two mosaic murals of the Manhattan skyline from the razed building’s façade, at least one of which is said to be suitable for display in the new structure.

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