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NEW YORK CITY-MetLife has completed its acquisition of 575 Fifth Ave here. The insurer brought on a number of real estate firms to manage, consult and lease the site.

MetLife officials did not reveal specifics of the deal; however, sources previously told GlobeSt.com that the acquisition price was approximately $385 million. The firm appointed Jones Lang LaSalle to serve as office and leasing agent and brought in RKF to consult on the retail component for JLL. Cushman & Wakefield was awarded the property management assignment. L’Oreal USA occupies approximately three-quarters of the office space and other office tenants include Barney’s, McDonald Investment and Westpac Banking Corp. Retail tenants include Ann Taylor, Cingular Wireless, Gateway Newsstands, Rippulu Lingerie Boutique, Starbucks, the Company Outlet and Watabe Sporting Goods Shop.

The 522,346-sf, 40-story office, which is currently fully leased, was completed in 1983 and is located on Fifth Avenue between 46th and 47th streets. William Engel, together with Gregory Reed and Donald Svoboda, of MetLife’s Northeast Regional Office, led the acquisition effort, which is a part of the firm’s multi-tiered acquisition and development program that targets office, apartment, retail and industrial opportunities in major markets.

“We see tremendous opportunities in 575 Fifth Ave., with the building’s office portion fully leased and a high-end retail component located in a busy shopping district,” says Robert Merck, head of real estate investments for MetLife. The JLL team includes Peter Riguardi, president, David Arena, chief strategy officer, Frank Doyle, managing director, and Cynthia Wasserberger, senior vice president, all with Jones Lang LaSalle’s New York office. Robert Futterman, chairman and CEO, and Howard Gilbert, senior managing director, of Robert K. Futterman & Associates LLC will serve as consultants to on leasing strategies within the retail portion. “The building affords MetLife the opportunity to reposition the retail component and to capitalize on rising retail rents,” Doyle says.

C&W’s Joseph A. Lagano, managing director of asset services, Louis Mantia, director of asset services and portfolio manager, and Stephen M. Soviero, managing director of project management, will handle all management operations.

This site was the first acquisition for MetLife which had been selling assets here of late. Tishman Speyer Properties’ spent $1.7 billion for the landmark MetLife Building at 200 Park in the first half of the year. SL Green inked a deal for the fee interest in MetLife’s 1 Madison Ave. for $918 million a few weeks prior.

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