Nation's most famous skyscraper faces sale

New York property mogul Peter Malkin has asked for investors' approval to bid up to $57.5 million to buy the Empire State Building from its owner, Trump Empire State Partners, controlled by Donald Trump and the heirs of a Japanese business tycoon. Malkin is the controlling partner of Empire State Building Associates, the association that holds the lease on the Empire State Building.

“There has been an indication from Donald Trump on behalf of the Japanese partnership that they would be willing to sell,” Malkin said.

Empire State Building Associates purchased the 114-year leasehold on the Empire State Building in a 1961 sale-leaseback transaction with Prudential Insurance Co. of America totaling $65 million.

The leasehold on the 70-year-old skyscraper entitles the owner to collect $1.97 million per year in rent on the entire building. That amount drops to $1.72 million in 2013. The lease runs through the end of 2076, incorporating four, 21-year renewal options.

If Malkin negotiates a sale, which may be concluded by the end of the year, the purchase would consolidate the leaseholder and ownership of the 2.25 million sq. ft. building. Discussions at press time were in the preliminary stages.

With Times Square office tower, New York City rises again

Undaunted by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that demolished the World Trade Center's twin towers, New York developers are forging ahead with new development projects in the hopes of revitalizing the city.

Boston Properties Inc., which officially broke ground on its 48-story Times Square Tower just days before the attacks, will continue work on the project as scheduled.

“The Times Square Tower project has not been delayed at all by the Sept. 11 events. It is proceeding on schedule,” confirmed Robert Selsam, senior vice president and regional manager at Boston Properties.

Times Square Tower is situated at the south end of Times Square and bounded by Broadway and Seventh Avenue, between 42nd and 41st streets. It will serve as the headquarters for global integrated professional services firm Andersen, which has leased more than 620,000 sq. ft. of the building's 1.2 million sq. ft. of space.

Andersen joins Condé Nast Publications, Reuters news organization and professional services firm Ernst & Young as the fourth major headquarters to relocate to Times Square since 1995. These major office projects are part of a huge redevelopment effort that is rejuvenating the area around the landmark intersection.

Slated for completion in early 2004, Times Square Tower still offers 540,000 sq. ft. for lease at the top of the building, including 60,000 sq. ft. of prime retail space. David M. Childs of New York-based architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill designed the tower.

N.J. office complex prepares for 711,000 sq. ft. expansion

The Siemens Corp. complex in Woodbridge Township, N.J., is about to undergo a 711,000 sq. ft. expansion. The redevelopment project will include three, 8-story buildings, plus an 1,800 car parking structure to replace the 450,000 sq. ft. of existing space at 186 Wood Avenue South.

Florham Park, N.J.-based Gale & Wentworth Construction Services will manage the construction and design of the project, which will include a 237,000 sq. ft. office building in each of the three phases.

Phase I, slated for completion in December 2002, includes a new 575-space parking deck and various site improvements. Phase II is scheduled for completion in third-quarter 2004.

Crescent Resources signs Walter Industries as tenant

Crescent Resources, Charlotte, N.C., the real estate subsidiary of Duke Energy Corp., has struck a deal with Walter Industries Inc. The global industrial and finance company has signed on as the anchor tenant for the 300,000 sq. ft. building at International Plaza in Tampa, Fla., moving its headquarters from the corner of Interstate 275 and Dale Mabry Highway.

The Class-A Corporate Center Two is adjacent to the new, 1.4 million sq. ft. International Plaza, and construction is slated for completion in October. Walter Industries will occupy 77,000 sq. ft. of leased space, becoming the anchor tenant for the building located at the intersection of Boy Scout Boulevard and Lois Avenue.