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Simone Development tops off new Bronx office tower.

The resurgent Bronx economy received another boost as the developer of the Hutchinson Metro Center recently celebrated the "topping off" of the first of two Class A office towers to be built on the 42-acre office campus.

"What we're building is more than an office tower. This is the start of a multi-building office campus that eventually will have nearly 2 million square feet of the finest Class A office space to be found anywhere outside of Manhattan," said Joseph Simone, President of Simone Development Companies, the developer of the Hutchinson Metro Center. Speaking at a ceremony held recently at the site, Mr. Simone added, "Today's topping off is a milestone event for this project, our company and the Bronx economy."

The topping off of Tower I, which marks the completion of the building's highest floor, is the latest chapter in the ongoing success story of the Hutchinson Metro Center, which is the first Class A office project to be built in the Bronx in over a decade.

Tower I, which will feature 260,000 square feet of Class A space, is the first of two 13-story office towers comprising the Towers at Hutchinson Metro Center. A total of 520,000 square feet of Class A space is planned in this next phase of this highly successful office complex. Construction of Tower I will be completed in December with tenant occupancy scheduled for February 2008. Newman Design Group is the architect for the project.

Mr. Simone said there is strong interest from tenants for space in the new tower. "We expect to make an announcement soon about some major lease transactions that will take up a good portion of the building. As we move ahead with our leasing activity for Tower I, we look forward to starting construction soon on Tower II," he said.

Unlike other office developers who pre-lease before starting construction, Mr. Simone prefers to build on spec, fully confident that the space will be leased. "We built the first phase of this project on spec and we leased up the building in less than two years. Now that we have established a track record of success with this project, we feel very confident that this new space will lease quickly, especially with today's tight office market in Manhattan. There is a growing demand for the kind of top-quality, well located office space that we are offering in the Bronx," he said.

Tara Stacom, David Green and JoAnn Stock of global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield are the exclusive leasing agents for the Hutchinson Metro Center.

"The aggressive pricing, coupled with savings from REAP benefits and other economic incentives, make Hutchinson Metro Center considerably more affordable than comparable space in Midtown Manhattan, where class-A asking rents now exceed $70 per square foot," said Ms. Stacom, a vice chairman at Cushman & Wakefield.

"Hutchinson Metro Center's convenient location, extensive amenities, and proximity to Manhattan have made it a destination for leading corporations and organizations," said Mr. Green, an executive director at Cushman & Wakefield.

"Several tenants have already expressed interest in Tower I, and we expect continued success at Tower II," said Ms. Stock, a senior director at Cushman & Wakefield.

Located directly off the Hutchinson River Parkway in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx, the Hutchinson Metro Center offers Class A office space and world-class amenities and services in a suburban campus setting that's convenient to the city as well as the suburbs.

Amenities include full-service Metro Cafe with Cyber Lounge, fitness center, state-of-the-art teleconferencing center, on-site child care facility, attended gatehouse with 24/7 security, landscaped courtyards with gardens and seating/dining areas, ATM, dry cleaners, sundry shop and complimentary shuttle service to nearby subway. The complex also provides abundant free parking as well as four levels of covered parking below the new Tower I.

For businesses relocating to the complex, they may qualify for business and property incentives resulting in a net effective rent as low as $13 per square foot.

Less than 30 minutes from Manhattan and major airports, the Hutchinson Metro Center has one of the most convenient and central office locations in the tri-state region. The complex is easily accessible to major high ways including the Hutchinson River Parkway, I-95, Bronx River Parkway, New York State Thruway and the Cross Bronx Expressway. The George Washington, Whitestone and Triborough bridges are less than 15 minutes away. And nearby bus and subways provide service to Manhattan, the outer boroughs and the northern suburbs.

The Hutchinson Metro Center is also less than a mile from four major medical institutions--Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Jacobi Medical Center and Calvary Hospital. In addition to its close proximity to major medical facilities, the complex offers medical practices access to a large and growing patient base.
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Comment:Simone Development tops off new Bronx office tower.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jul 11, 2007
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