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JERSEY CITY-Published reports have stated that financial services giant AXA had signed a lease for between 240,000 sf and 245,000 sf at Brookfield Properties’ Newport Tower at 525 Washington Blvd. here. Details have been slow to emerge, but several parties involved in the transaction now confirm it.

“We signed a new 15-year lease with AXA Equitable Life Insurance for 245,000 sf at Newport Tower in Jersey City,” a spokesperson for the New York City-based Brookfield tells GlobeSt.com. “It brings that building’s occupancy to 98.5%. We acquired the building in October 2006 with the Trizec acquisition.”

Reports say Scott Panzer, Deborah Vanderheyden and Steve Rotter of Newmark Knight Frank represented AXA. A request for comment brought a confirmation of the deal but a referral to an AXA spokesman, who did not respond by deadline. Brookfield was represented by Ed Duenas of Cushman & Wakefield’s East Rutherford office, and Kevin Daly of that firm’s Midtown Manhattan office. The brokers declined to comment.

The New York City-based law firm Loeb & Loeb issued a statement, “Raymond A. Sanseverino, chair of the firm’s real estate department, and associate Dana A. Rosenthal represented Loeb & Loeb client Brookfield Properties in its lease…in Newport Tower…to AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. Sanseverino has handled Brookfield Properties’ leasing work for more than 10 years.”

On the legal side, AXA was represented by the New York City-based Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, the statement says. Other than the 15-year term of the lease, further details were not disclosed. The space had been listed with an asking price of $40 per sf, and sources say the final number is in the $35-to-$40 range. Sources also say that the aggregate value of the transaction is in the $135-million to $140-million range.

Built between 1990 and 1992, the 37-story Newport Tower totals just more than one million sf with 24,000-sf floorplates, situated near this city’s Hudson River waterfront. According to reports, AXA Equitable will move as many as 850 staffers across the river from the company’s New York City headquarters on Sixth Avenue by next year.

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