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NEW YORK CITY-Downtown sources have confirmed that HSBC is in talks with developer Larry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties Inc. to lease nearly 300,000 sf on the top seven floors of 7 World Trade Center. Silverstein sources declined to comment, noting that they “cannot comment on lease negotiations,” but an unidentified Downtown real estate source confirms to GlobeSt.com that the deal is “at term sheet at the moment.”

The source says that rents at the 52-story building, which contains 42 tenant floors averaging 40,000 sf, range between $75 and $85 per sf. In May 2006, the firm opened the 1.7-million-sf tower at 250 Greenwich St., just north of the World Trade Center site.

Silverstein Properties owns, manages, and has developed 20 million sf of office, residential, and retail. HSBC tells GlobeSt.com that the firm “does not comment on market rumors or speculation.” When asked if a deal is struck, if the firm would sell its 500,000-sf building at 452 Fifth Ave., an HSBC representative says that “HSBC regularly reviews its real estate holdings in order to evaluate and leverage their overall value, and such reviews include our office property at 452 Fifth Avenue in New York.”

As GlobeSt.com has reported, Downtown is proving naysayer’s wrong. So said Silverstein, president and CEO of the firm, in regards to those who believed Downtown was finished after 9/11, when he spoke with the Center for Real Estate Studies at New York Law School breakfast. Hugh Finnegan, an attorney in the real estate group at Sullivan & Worcester LLP, tells GlobeSt.com that this potential lease is a significant boost for downtown. “It reflects a significant investment from a major international financial institution in the future of Lower Manhattan.”

The building is currently 75% occupied with tenants including ABM AMRO, Ameriprise Financial, Arnell Group, Darby & Darby PC, DRW Commodities, IVC America, Kostelanetz & Fink LLP, Mansueto Ventures, Moody’s Corp., National Cash Register Corp., New York Academy of Sciences, Scout Real Estate Capital, Scottsdale Insurance Co., Silverstein Properties, WhenTech, and World Trade Center Design Task Force.

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