Boston Properties restarts building Manhattan tower

Tue May 24, 2011 6:16pm EDT

* New anchor tenant for skyscraper

* Construction restarting in fall

* Shares steady after hours

LAS VEGAS, May 24 (Reuters) - Boston Properties LLP (BXP.N) said on Tuesday it would restart construction of a Manhattan skyscraper after securing a major tenant.

The law firm of Morrison & Foerster LLP has agreed to lease about 180,000 square feet at the 1 million square-foot building planned for Eighth Avenue and 250 West 55th Street, Boston Properties and the law firm said.

The lease at the 39-story building calls for the law firm to lease 7 floors for 15 years, with an option to add two more floors.

"Our decision to proceed with construction reflects the city's improving overall economy and the office market in particular," Mortimer Zuckerman, Boston Properties chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

The glass-paneled tower is being designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill. Construction is expected to start in the fall with occupancy in spring 2014, Boston Properties said.

Construction of the office tower began in late 2007, but was suspended in 2009 after another law firm, Proskauer Rose LLP, decided not to sign a lease and opted to become a tenant at 11 Times Square.

The company's incremental cost to complete the project, excluding capitalized interest, is expected to be about $400 million, bringing the total cost of the building to an expected $1.05 billion.

Paul Myers, John Maher and Tom Shirocky of CB Richard Ellis Group Inc (CBG.N) represented Morrison & Foerster. John Powers and Peter Turchin, also of CB Richard Ellis, represented Boston Properties.

Shares of Boston Properties closed down 0.24 percent at $103.27 and were steady after hours. (Reporting by Ilaina Jonas)

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