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ESB Having Money Worries?

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The ESB's recent freak-outs over 15 Penn Plaza and it's view-blocking-presence might have stemmed from financial concerns, the Observer speculates. The building is amidst a 10-year $646 million rehabilitation, trying to modernize the aging landmark. Rents are slipping slightly, but not at any drastic level, according to the Real Deal:

The average annual rent tenants are paying was $29 per square foot in 2009, a decline of $1 per foot compared with 2008 when they were $30 per square foot. Asking rents fell further, to a range of $32 per foot to $52 per foot, as of the end of 2009 compared with $50 per foot to $60 per foot at the end of 2008, the company's SEC filings show. The arrival of a flashy new kid in town definitely wont make the ESB look any younger or appealing to potential tenants. Do you guys think that Malkin & Co. are concerned about the diminishing demand and prestige of the ESB being totally battered by the arrival of 15 Penn Plaza? Doesn't seem too out of this world.

· What is the Empire State Building So Worried About? Money [Observer]
· ESB Coverage [Curbed]