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NEW YORK CITY-Two Japanese organizations–one a non-profit and the other an international trading conglomerate—have inked deals for new office space in Midtown. The Japan Foundation, which promotes Japanese culture, international exchange and arranges grants for American artists and scholars, has relocated from the 39th floor of 152 W. 57th St., to 10,000 sf on the 17th floor. Kanematsu USA Inc. will move from 114 W. 47th St. to 13,496 sf on the 22nd floor of 75 Rockefeller Plaza.

Both deals were driven by a combination of economics and changes in long-term business strategies, according to Studley’s Key Otomo, managing director, who with Matthew Barlow, executive vice president, and Jason Perla, associate consultant, represented the Foundation in its 10-year deal. Otomo and Michael Goldman, executive managing director, represented Kanematsu. Billy Cohen and Matthew Leon of Newmark Inc. represented Rockrose Development Corp., ownership of 152 W. 57th St, while Robert Lowe of Cushman & Wakefield spoke for Time Warner, owner of 75 Rockefeller Plaza.

In fact, Japanese-native Otomo and his Studley team have created a specialty Japanese niche practice in the market. He says that Studley’s expertise in tenant representation “resonates with the Japanese business philosophy.”

The Japan Foundation will move into its new space in the third quarter of 2005. Office rents at the site, also known as Carnegie Hall Tower, are in the mid-$60 to $90 per-sf range. Other tenants at the 60-story, 547,000-sf building include Interactive Corp., Fenway Partners Inc., Kingdom Capital and Grubman, Indursky, Schindler. Kanematsu, which signed a deal for just under 10 years, plans to move into its new headquarters in June. It will join Robinson Lehr Montgomery, AOL, Warner Music Group, and Quinstar Group, among other tenants, in the 33-story 560,000-sf building.

“The Japan Foundation wanted to remain in proximity to its constituents,” says Otomo. “As an arts and cultural organization, it was crucial that its offices be close to both Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.” Kanematsu re-structured its operating units and will only be keeping its core business lines in New York City. “By downsizing its city operation by approximately 10,000 sf, Kanematsu is in a better financial position to upgrade both the office building in which it’s located, as well as its office space,” adds Goldman.

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