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Marx Realty starts work on retail corner

10:36 am, August 23, 2011

By Roland Li

Marx Realty & Improvement Co., Inc broke ground at 201 East 57th Street last Tuesday, kicking off the redevelopment of a busy retail corner.

A four-story, 30,814 s/f glass box is planned for the site, which previously housed a bank and apartment house in a five-story structure, built in 1874. The new building will be called the Manufacturers & Builders (M&B) Building, joining the A&D and D&D Buildings to the north.

Claude Chadonnet, president and CEO of Marx Realty, said it sought to extend the presence of nearby furniture and design showrooms. The glass façade should provide strong visibility to the strong foot and car traffic in the area, he said.

“The views are just spectacular,” said Chadonnet. “It really shows the hustle and bustle of the city.

Marx Realty, a subsidiary of publicly traded Merchants’ National Properties, has a national portfolio of 72 properties and headquarters at 708 Third Avenue. It also owns 545 Madison Avenue and its largest property, Cross County Shopping Center in Yonkers, N.Y., is undergoing a $200 million renovation.

Construction of 201 East 57th Street is expected to take around 14 months, said Michael Pardee, vice president of Sciame, the project’s general contractor.

Sloan Rhulen, Susan Kurland and Gregory Tannor of CB Richard Ellis are the leasing agents. Asking rents are $85 to $95 per s/f for the upper floors and $400 per s/f for the ground floor retail, said Rhulen.

Earlier this year, TD Bank leased 4,000 s/f of the ground floor for $1.22 million, or around $305 per s/f, according to the New York Post. Securing an anchor tenant was crucial for the building’s development, which begins about a year-and-a-half after the demolition of the site’s previous buildings. “We just decided to be more conservative,” said Chadonnet of Marx Realty.

In the ground floor, 1,600 s/f remains available, while the second and third floors each have 7,723 rentable s/f, all with 17-foot ceilings. The fourth floor is 4,855 s/f, with a 20-foot ceiling, and a 4,819 s/f below-ground floor has a 10-foot ceiling.

CBRE’s Rhulen said she was in talks with multiple prospective tenants and is seeking full-floor occupants. A rooftop restaurant is also a possibility.

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