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NEW YORK CITY-L&L Holding Co. LLC has purchased 200 Fifth Ave. for $500 million from a firm owned by Joseph Chetrit. The 800,000-sf building, located between 23rd and 24th streets, is poised to receive at least $75 million in renovations to turn the facility into class A office space.

“We are very excited about this opportunity,” says David Levinson, chairman and CEO of L&L, in a statement. “This is a majestic structure located at the eastern gateway to Chelsea, one of the city’s hottest development areas.”

The basically vacant former International Toy Center, restaurant Cipriani is the only tenant, will undergo a “substantial multimillion-dollar renovation,” that will cost a minimum of $75 million exclusive of tenant build-outs, according to an L&L spokesman. He tells GlobeSt.com work should begin in late spring.

“We intend to transform 200 Fifth Ave. into a very chic and exciting office building befitting its history and location. Everything but the facade of this building will be new.”

Beyond renovating the interiors, L&L plans to convert an open courtyard into a “sun-filled series of hanging gardens” and is also exploring the possibility of creating a sky lobby on the top floor that will give tenants access to an open roof garden.

Tenants will be able to occupy space beginning in Q4 2008 and the spokesman tells GlobeSt.com the firm is actively looking for “quality cutting-edge tenants” and “high-end, stylish” retailers. He says retailers and possible office tenants have not been identified yet.

“We believe that having the largest block of available class A space in New York City will attract the attention of a variety of large tenants in the market. We have already had some inquiries,” says Robert Lapidus, L&L president and CIO.

Lapidus and colleague Yong Cho oversaw the acquisition. Eastdil Secured’s Doug Harmon brokered the deal, and financing was provided by Lehman Brothers.

Last week the Chetrit Group purchased 855 Sixth Ave. with the help of a $105.3-million loan from Fremont Investment & Loan. As reported by GlobeSt.com Chetrit along with Tessler Developments plans to construct a 37-story mixed-use building on the site.

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