NEW YORK CITY-The first shovel of dirt is in for 11 Times Square, two months ahead of schedule. SJP Properties will finish its 40-story, 1.1-million-sf spec office and retail building in 2009.

“We have been able to significantly expedite the development process and commence construction two months ahead of schedule,” Steven J. Pozycki, chairman and CEO of SJP, tells The building is going up with help from the 42nd Street Redevelopment Corp., Empire State Development Corp. and the New York City Economic Development Corp., all of which Pozycki credits for the sped-up schedule.

The total construction cost is projected at $1.1 billion, around $1,000 per sf. That includes the $306-million price of buying the land, which SJP partnered with Prudential Real Estate Investors to buy the L-shaped parcel for $306 million, about $350 per sf.

The tower is at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, a block north of the new New York Times building. As described in a Real Estate New York feature, the tower’s floor plates range from 29,914 sf to 41,035 sf. Some of the larger spaces are on the upper floors, due to the building’s outward slope design. The 55,000 sf on the first three floors will be retail, with the building’s architecture with distinctive different designs for the retail and office sections. Asking rents for the space have not been disclosed yet.

“There are few large-scale blocks of class A space or development sites available in Midtown,” Pozycki says. “11 Times Square represents a vital opportunity for the city and state to retain large corporations looking for sizeable floor plates of new generation space in this core commercial district.”

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