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NEW YORK CITY-Newmark & Co. Real Estate Inc. has been busy in Manhattan’s office sector lately. The brokerage firm recently garnered the marketing rights for office and retail space at the 186,000-sf 52 Vanderbilt Ave. and sealed the deal for the sale of 20,600-sf 12 East 52nd St.

Brause Realty Inc., which has owned the Vanderbilt property since 1978, recently named Newmark the building’s exclusive agent. Brokers David A. Falk and Stephen J. Schofel will head up the marketing efforts.

Currently, there are five 8,900-sf floors available in the property, which sits adjacent to Grand Central Station. Asking rents were undisclosed, but according to a Cushman & Wakefield first quarter 2003 report, class A office space in the Grand Central neighborhood rents for an average $51.96 per sf. The building offers direct access to the train station.

Schofel adds that, “Brause Realty is embarking on a program to prebuild offices for businesses in the 2,000-to-6,000-sf range.” Construction is slated to begin by the end of this month.

In addition to the office component, Newmark New Spectrum’s Jeffrey Roseman and Kenneth Hochhauser will market the 7,000-sf retail portion of the property, which consists of more than 100 ft. of wrap-around frontage. “Because it is surrounded by several million square feet of office space and across from one of the city’s major tourist attracts and transportation hubs, the location affords retailers non-stop pedestrian traffic,” says Schofel.

Just down the road from the Vanderbilt building, Newmark closed on the purchase of 12 East 52nd St., between Fifth and Madison avenues. Terms of the deal were undisclosed, but industry sources tell GlobeSt.com the transaction is valued at approximately $11 million.

Newmark’s Paul Davidson, senior director; Roy Lapidus, managing director; and Ben Gaynor, associate, handled the deal for the buyer, Axium International. Noel Berk of Mercedes Berk Co. and Harry J. Greeley of Cushman & Wakefield stood in for the seller, LBS Bank, which formerly occupied the entire seven-story property.

Axium, a payroll-services property for the entertainment industry, plans to occupy three floors of the building beginning this June, leaving Newmark to lease up the remainder of the property. 12 East 52nd contains both retail and commercial space.

Axium’s “former offices were in 13,000 sf of leased space at 71 West 23rd St., and it wanted a building it could own in Midtown,” explains Davidson.

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