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GREENWICH, CT-Ziff Brothers Investments LLC, has signed a 15-year lease for 61,177 sf of space at 55 Railroad Ave. here, according to officials with Hines, a partner in the ownership of the four-story, 132,000-sf building.

The deal brings 55 Railroad Ave. to full occupancy and marks the successful completion of Hines’ renovation and repositioning of the property, Hines officials note. The building is owned by National Office Partners Limited Partnership (NOP), a partnership of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and Hines. Marcus Rayner of CRESA Partners and Amy Lerner and Barbara Holdgrafer of AMBAR Realty Group represented Ziff Brothers in the transaction. Hines represented the owner. Other tenants at the building are Viking Global Investors, Tontine Associates, ABS Investment Management and Axiom International Investors.

In April 2002, the building ownership announced that work had begun on a $6 million renovation to the 55 Railroad Ave. property. The program was completed last year, during which time a number of tenants moved out of the building, including Boardroom Reports and AON, an insurance firm.

Commenting on the deal, Tommy Craig, senior vice president of Hines, says, “With this transaction, we have successfully concluded the redevelopment and leasing of this asset within 12 months of the termination of the master lease in place when we acquired the property.”

Ziff Brothers Investments, which is the primary investment vehicle for the Ziff family, is expected to take occupancy of its new Greenwich offices in early 2004. A company spokesman says the lease at 55 Railroad Ave. will establish a presence in the Greenwich investment community for the firm. The company plans to shift some operations, including those of its US investment advisor ZBI Equities from Manhattan to 55 Railroad Ave.

The company did not divulge how many workers will be shifted from Manhattan or how many employees will be working out of its new Greenwich office once it is operational. A Ziff Brothers Investments spokesman stresses that the company will retain a major presence in New York City. The company’s corporate headquarters is at Citicorp Center. Ziff also has offices in London which is where ZBI Europe, its European investment advisor, is located.

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