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NEW YORK CITY-Vornado Realty Trust will replace a $170-million floating rate loan on 770 Broadway with a $353-million fixed-rate loan at 5.68%. “We have a very focused strategy,” said Michael D. Fascitelli, Vornado’s president. “We’re a very simple company. We try to make money for you.” Officials from the REIT delivered a presentation during Wachovia Securities’ 9th Annual Real Estate Securities Conference here. “We’re not quarter to quarter focused, we’re in it for the long haul.”

The firm also has fielded unsolicited offers ranging from $130 million to $150 million on a 17,000-sf piece of Madison Avenue retail it purchased for $113 million earlier this year. The Westbury Hotel blockfront at Madison Avenue between 69th and 70th streets is currently 100% occupied. “People said we were crazy,” Fascitelli said. “But rents are approaching $1,000 per sf on Madison Ave. Paying over $600 per sf and getting $1,000. It‘s not stupid.”

The REIT is looking to rework a number of recently acquired mall properties including the Broadway Mall in Hicksville, South Hills in Poughkeepsie and Springfield Mall in Springfield, VA. “We buy property we can improve,” Fascitelli added.

In the long term, Vornado sees the potential redevelopment of the Hotel Pennsylvania on 7th Avenue at 33rd Street. The hotel portion contains one million sf with 1,700 rooms and a commercial portion contains 400,000 sf of retail and office space. “The Penn Plaza district is the most dynamic growth area in New York City,” said Fascitelli. Vornado and the Related Cos. were recently selected to redevelop the nearby Farley Post Office, to be dubbed Moynihan Station. Fascitelli said air rights and the possible relocation of Madison Square Garden are keys to the effort.

In another presentation during the conference, Kimco Realty Corp.‘s chief investment officer David B. Henry said there is still growth potential in its portfolio and that they’re looking to increase occupancy rates to 95%. “Our leasing agents tell us there is strong demand for small shops and large anchors. Tenants are looking for ways to expand.” One of the places tenants are looking to expand is in Mexico. “Mexico is particularly exciting to us,” Henry pointed out, adding that it is underetailed. “You can see over time that it should adjust to US standards. Over time, you‘ll see us do development, acquisition and preferred equity in Mexico.” He said the firm is in advanced discussions with a number of retailers looking for multiple locations in Mexico and other tenants have expressed interest in the market. And after Kimco gets Mexico “figured out,” Henry said it “would make sense to go to South America.

Henry said the company is “taking a hard look” at redevelopment as a way to increase earnings. The New Hyde Park, NY-based firm has 50 targets for redevelopment. “We have balance sheet strength,” Henry said.

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