SJP Properties has broken ground two months ahead of schedule on a speculative 40-story office tower in Times Square. The 11 Times Square project is being built on one of the few viable development sites in midtown Manhattan. The tower, slated for completion in 2009, will be located on the southeast corner of 42nd street.

“This milestone would not have been possible without the unparalleled commitment of the 42nd Street Redevelopment Corp., Empire State Development Corp. and New York City Economic Development Corp.,” says Steven Pozycki, chairman and CEO of New Jersey-based SJP Properties.

Manhattan-based Cushman & Wakefield reports that average Midtown office rents hit $62.89 per sq. ft at the end of March, up 27% from the previous year. With vacancy around 5.2%, there were just four blocks of Midtown office space exceeding 200,000 sq. ft. available at the end of March.

11 Times Square will be located due north of the New York Times headquarters building, the 1.5 million sq. ft. tower on Eighth Avenue. The SJP office building will include 55,000 sq. ft. of retail space on three separate floors. The building will also feature bold signage in keeping with Times Square.

SJP Properties is also developing two residential high-rises in midtown Manhattan and now has more than $1.5 billion of development in New York City.