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NEW YORK CITY-Developers for the Hutchinson Metro Center in the Bronx have begun constructing what will one day be a 42-acre office complex. Phase I of the project included 460,000 sf of office space, which was quickly leased. The second phase will include two 10-story office buildings totaling 520,000 sf of class A office space.

The first 260,000-sf building is currently under construction with the second to follow quickly after. The tower is slated to come online in February 2008.

“We are so confident in the success of this project that we are moving ahead quickly on construction of the first office tower. The Towers at Hutchinson Metro Center will build upon the unprecedented success we have enjoyed with our first phase of 460,000 sf, which is fully leased and occupied,” says Joseph Simone, president of Simone Development Cos., the developer and owner of the Hutchinson Metro Center.

Leases have yet to be signed for the new space, although the initial 460,000 sf is completely occupied. “We chose not to prelease this project until we began construction,” Simone says. “Now that construction is under way, we have started negotiating several major leases which we expect to announce shortly.” Cushman and Wakefield is the exclusive leasing agent for the property, with Tara Stacom leading the team.

“The amenities, infrastructure, proximity to a vast labor pool, as well as the areas largest airports has made Hutchinson Metro Center an attractive alternative to the declining availability and increasing rental rates companies are encountering in Manhattan,” Stacom says.

At full build-out the Hutchinson Metro Center will contain two million sf of office space.

As reported by last week, ground also broke on a 260,000-sf mixed-use development here called Fordham Place. The project will add 160,000 sf of office and 100,000 sf of retail in a 14-floor structure.

“The Bronx is one the hottest markets in the New York metro area. In addition to the exciting Yankee Stadium redevelopment project slated for completion in 2010, the Bronx is also enjoying an unprecedented boom in residential and retail development,” Simone says. “The Bronx has it all: convenient location, diverse and skilled labor pool, excellent highway and public transportation network and a pro-business environment. When it comes to doing business, it’s better in the Bronx.”

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