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NEW YORK CITY-The embattled Macklowe Properties may be in the midst of a family rift that could lead to a breakup of the father and son team that head the development company. A representative of the firm said William Macklowe had no comment on a report in Crain’s New York Business that he might be leaving the company headed by his father Harry and setting up a new office on East 56th Street.

The report states that William Macklowe recently reached an agreement to lease space at Tower 56, a former Macklowe property, at 126 East 56th St. A call to leasing agent First Service Williams was not returned at press time.

Macklowe Properties is headquartered in the General Motors building at 767 Fifth Ave., which it sold to Boston Properties in 2008. The deal was part of a multi-building sale by Macklowe to a partnership led by Boston Properties valued at approximately $4 billion in cash and debt.

Earlier this year, Macklowe sold three residential high-rises in Manhattan—RiverTower at Sutton Place and 54th Street, 777 Sixth Ave., and Longacre House at 305 West 50th St. for $475 million to Equity Residential. The deal totaled 910 luxury apartment units, 23,339 sf of residential space and 50,000 sf of parking.

The Macklowe firm is currently embroiled in a battle for control of 510 Madison Ave., a 350,000-sf office building that was heavily damaged by a fire in February 2009. SL Green Realty purchased the first mortgage on the property from The Union Labor Life Insurance Co. in December 2009. Macklowe is currently in court trying to prevent SL Green from foreclosing on the debt, according to published reports.

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