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Durst Lands Massive Lease for Empire State Development Headquarters at 655 Third Ave.

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The Durst Organization secured one of the largest office lease deals in Midtown so far this year with the signing of the Empire State Development Corp. (ESDC) at 655 Third Ave. The state agency signed a 20-year agreement for roughly 117,000 square feet of space and is moving its headquarters to the 30-story building from its previous location at 633 Third Ave., where it had a similar footprint.

The negotiations were held between Newmark’s Moshe Sukenik and Brian Cohen and, on behalf of the tenant, Manhattan Boutique Real Estate’s Joan Brothers, as well as Durst’s in-house team consisting of Tom Bow, Ashlea Aaron and Bailey Caliban. The reported asking price was $69 per square foot.

“We are proud that Empire State Development has chosen 655 Third Avenue for its New York City headquarters,” Jonathan (Jody) Durst, president of the Durst Organization, said. “[The building] has a prime location one block from Grand Central Terminal, offering unparalleled access to transit and convenience in New York City.”

ESDC will occupy five full floors at the property (floors two through six) and will take the place of former tenant Mitsubishi International Corporation. Japan’s largest trading company decided to downsize and move into Durst’s One Five One skyscraper last year.

Other notable tenants at 655 Third Ave. include software company Abacus Group and collegiate sports organization the Big East Conference, as well as Nippon Life Insurance.

Designed by Emery Roth & Sons and built in the late 1950s, 655 Third Ave. boasts 425,000 square feet of prime Midtown office space located between East 41st and East 42nd streets. The property at 655 Third Ave. also features a renovated lobby; double-glazed windows that deflect glare and reduce heat gain; and a 4,800-square-foot green roof.

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