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NEW YORK CITY-Locally -based ING Clarion Partners LLC has acquired a substantial ownership interest in a Midtown office building. Located in the Grand Central submarket, which is forecasted to remain strong according to the company, the 132,964-sf office building is owned in a joint venture partnership between DCD America and a commingled fund managed by ING Clarion Partners.

The 18-story, class-B+ building is located at 11 E. 44th St., between Madison and Fifth avenues, and is in walking distance of Grand Central Terminal. The building was constructed in 1927 and has undergone an extensive renovation program over the past two years, including $4.3 million in capital upgrades and $3.9 million in tenant improvements.

Newmark Knight Frank is the rental agent of the property. According to MrOfficeSpace.com, asking rent per sf for the fourth floor is $58. “With its recent renovation, this is an attractive building well positioned to take advantage of the demand for office space near Grand Central Terminal,” says Edward Rotter, managing director of ING Clarion. “We are pleased to have an interest in this project, investing alongside our partners at DCD America.”

The company has been in the news in the recent months for deals in other areas including: the recent joint venture acquisition of the Village Shopping Center in Boulder, CO for $55.5 million; Conroe Medical Arts and Surgical Plaza in Conrow, TX for $18.3 million; and Lincoln Park III, a newly developed office building in Herndon, VA for $47 million.

An August report from CB Richard Ellis says that the average asking rent in the midtown office area continued its steady year-long climb, increasing $1.50 in July to $8.35 per sf. Over the past 12 months, average pricing has increased $22.20 or 38% from July 2006′s $59.15 per sf.

As of June 30, ING Clarion Partners, the US investment management arm of ING Real Estate, manages $24.6 billion assets under management. DCD America’s total real estate investments in New York City and surrounding areas are in excess of $500 million.

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