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Exclusive: Hines puts two midtown Manhattan office buildings up for sale

By Ilaina Jonas

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two midtown Manhattan skyscrapers owned by international real estate firm Hines are up for sale, according to a source familiar with the deal, as sales of New York office buildings show signs of heating up.

Hines, a privately owned, Houston-based real estate investment manager and developer, is selling 499 Park Avenue, the former headquarters of Bloomberg LP and the current headquarters of financial company Cantor Fitzgerald, said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the sale.

It also is putting up for sale 425 Lexington Avenue, the headquarters of law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, the source said.

In a rare twist, the properties are being co-marketed by Doug Harmon and Adam Spies of Eastdil Secured, and Darcy Stacom and William Shanahan of CBRE Group Inc .

Representatives from Eastdil and Hines could not be reached for comment. A spokesman for CBRE declined comment.

The source declined to give the reason for the sale.

The buildings are being marketed less than a week after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc agreed to sell 237 Park Ave, a 21-story, 80 percent-occupied midtown Manhattan office building located near Grand Central Terminal, for $820 million. The new owners plan to make additional investments on renovations.

The 499 Park property, located at Park Avenue and 59th Street, was designed by architect I.M. Pei and is considered a trophy property. Hines bought the 28-story, 298,485 square-foot building in 2003 from Sumitomo Life Realty, according to Hines's website. The building is nearly 100 percent leased.

The 425 Lexington Avenue building, located at 44th Street across from Grand Central, is a 31-story, 700,034 square-foot office building designed by the architectural firm Murphy/Jahn.

Hines' Core Office Fund, a partnership between Hines and Sumitomo Life Realty Inc, bought the building in 2003, also from Sumitomo Life Realty, the company's website said.

(Reporting By Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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