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Realex in talks to sell 444 Madison.

444 Madison Avenue is in negotiations to be sold to Westbrook Partners for an undisclosed price. The sale, which is being done in a transaction that is said to have never hit the market, has entered into preliminary talks, according to Elie Gross, whose firm, Realex Capital, leads the group of investors that owns the building

Gross indicated that it is likely the transaction with Westbrook would close. Studley's leading investment sales broker, Woody Heller, is handling the trade but wasn't able to confirm if the deal was happening.

According to Mr.OfficeSpace.com, the building has only about 7,600 s/f of available space on the 7th floor with asking rents of $64 per s/f, a respectable, but not astounding rate in the soaring Midtown market. One source familiar with the building and its operation indicated that the 42-story, 400,000 s/f property could achieve higher rents if a new owner puts work into the property and markets it as a high-end building. As for its amenities, the criteria typically used to gauge a building's prestige, such as 444 Madison Avenue's lobby, look fine. Still, an owner could come in and renovate the property, which was built in 1931, to achieve higher rents.

It is uncertain if Realex Capital, which has space in the building, including on its 18th floor, will vacate or remain as a tenant.
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Comment:Realex in talks to sell 444 Madison.
Author:Geiger, Daniel
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 20, 2007
Words:231
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