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NEW YORK CITY-Morgan Stanley, the World Trade Center’s largest tenant until Sept. 11, recently made headlines by selling its brand new Midtown building to competitor Lehman Brothers. Now the financial giant has signed a five-year lease at One Hudson Square, giving the firm more than 220,000 sf of Downtown office space.

Morgan Stanley already occupies 73,000 sf on the third floor of the 1,063,269-sf office building at Varick and Canal streets. The firm will triple its Downtown presence by taking immediate occupancy of the entire fourth and sixth floors of the 19-story property. The two floors are roughly 75,000 sf each.

The deal, signed last Wednesday, is a sublet from Getty Images with an aggregate rental of roughly $50 million. Phil Sprayregen of CB Richard Ellis represented Morgan Stanley in the transaction. Stuart Christie and Stephen Heyman represented building owner Trinity Real Estate. Tim Kucha and Mark Thompson of Plymouth Partners brokered for Getty.

According to Kucha, the need to quickly seal a deal on a large contiguous space was the biggest challenge faced by all three interested parties, particularly Morgan Stanley. “They needed the space immediately. The operations that they are placing at One Hudson Square were displaced by the World Trade Center tragedy, so the challenge was to get it done right away,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “And because ours was one of the largest blocks of space available in close proximity to the trade center, Morgan Stanley still has a strong presence Downtown.”

The “Hudson Square submarket” is suddenly attractive to large businesses looking for big chunks of class A space, Kucha says. “This was an area that was mostly occupied by printers up until about two years ago.” The dot-commers, he says, displaced the printers, who were in turn displaced by the economy, leaving a lot of unsung prime space vacant. “It’s directly north of TriBeca and west of Soho. This is an area that companies did not even consider a few years ago.” Bank of New York recently set up shop at One Hudson Square, taking over the former Star Media space. Saatchi & Saatchi is a major tenant at nearby 375 Hudson St.

Getty originally leased 225,000 sf at One Hudson Square in one of the largest deals of 2000. The firm is retaining 75,000 sf of that space as well as 37,000 sf across the street at 200 Hudson St.

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