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Developer Rockrose plans office tower in LIC

Manhattan's Rockrose Development Corp. is planning to construct a new office tower on Jackson Avenue in Long Island City at a site near Citigroup's 50-story tower, the development company's vice president said.

Patricia Dunphy, Rockrose's vice president, said the company plans to build an 800,000-square-foot tower, which could be as high as 24 stories, at a site known as 10 Court Square in Long Island City. Rockrose hopes to find a tenant for the building, start construction on the tower next year and open for business in 2011, she said.

Dunphy said the building, which would be on Jackson Avenue near Citigroup's Court Square tower, could potentially be used by a financial services company, following the move by the United Nations Federal Credit Union, a full-service financial institution, to Court Square several years ago.

"If we find a tenant for the building, we'll go ahead and build," Dunphy said.

Rockrose has been planning to put up a tower at the site for 20 years, she said, but there is currently no estimated cost for the building, which will be designed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill.

The developer has also begun work on its 720-unit apartment building at 43-00 Crescent St. in Long Island City, she said. That building, which will be completed in two years, will have 25,000 square feet of retail, she said.

"Hopefully, that will help improve the neighborhood," she said. "We've long been saying there needs to be more retail."

Dunphy said 10 Court Square's ground floor would likely be comprised of mostly retailers, such as a coffee shop, a take-out food service or a grocer. The tower would be located near the E train stop, which is a quick ride to the Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street subway station in Manhattan, she said.

She said rents at the new building would probably be significantly cheaper than Manhattan, where space often rents for as much as $100 per square foot.

"Here, we're looking to do in the high-60s per square foot," she said. "But there are benefits for moving into the neighborhood that could put [rents] in the mid-40s."

The building would be an office tower and would not include any rental units, she said.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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