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NEW YORK CITY-Companies seeking smaller, high-quality blocks of space right near Grand Central Terminal will have a new choice in 2003 at 505 Fifth Avenue, a major project being undertaken by LCOR Inc. on the corner of 42nd St. The building will be marketed to tenants needing 20,000 sf to 75,000 sf of space

LCOR, which unveiled the design for the property this week, will begin razing the two existing buildings on the site in the second quarter of 2002 and expects to open the 275,000 sf class A building in 2003. Total development costs will be about $160 million.

The new building was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and will consist of 23 rentable stories, with three levels of retail space and a double-height penthouse. Amenities will include an attended security desk, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a naturally lighted lobby with a custom-designed art glass ceiling. The side-core floors will offer dramatic views of the New York Public Library and Bryant Park.

Insignia/ESG has been selected as the exclusive leasing agent for the office space and Cushman&Wakefield has been chosen to handle the retail leasing.

“We’re actively pursuing pre-leasing of the property,” Dan Lilie, vice president of LCOR Inc. tells GlobeSt.com. “We haven’t signed anyone yet but we’re in some serious conversations with potential tenants.” Asking rents in today’s dollars are in the mid-$70s to mid-$80s and include market-rate work letter and a free rent period, Lilie says.

LCOR Inc. acquired the property from a development firm headed by Mitch Rudder for approximately $150 a development sf in March 2001 according to Lilie. The acquisition and development will be paid for with construction financing, third-party equity and LCOR’s own equity.

Lilie hopes his firm’s timing is right with the 505 Fifth Avenue project, but he knows in commercial real estate development good projects will always carry the day. “It’s hard to time things in the development business,” he says. “You’re not necessarily a master of your fate.”

LCOR is a national development, asset management and operations management company specializing in large real estate projects and in public/private partnerships. LCOR’s New York office has recently completed the development of Terminal 4 at JFK International Airport, and has been designated to develop two other significant projects in the region, Queens West and JFK Corporate Square in Jamaica, Queens. The privately-held company is 60% owned by Lehman Brothers.

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