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Vornado: A Shopping Trip to Alexander's?

Vornado Realty Trust (VNO) which owns, leases, and manages various office, retail, and industrial properties, has become more alluring of late. So argue some value investors, who say Vornado might buy the 67% of Alexander's it doesn't already own. Alexander's owns seven properties in Greater New York. But the one Vornado covets, says Peter Doyle of Kinetics Mutual Funds, is the 1.4 million-sq.-ft. property at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. Construction of a multi-use tower edifice there has begun. Alexander's, whose CEO Steve Roth is also the CEO at Vornado, has obtained a $630 million loan commitment from a German bank. Bloomberg LP, the media-and-financial-data company owned by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has agreed to lease 700,000 sq. ft. for 25 years. Doyle figures that in five years the property will produce $115 million annually from rents. If Vornado purchases Alexander's even at thrice its market cap of $335 million, "it would still add tremendous value to Vornado," says Doyle, whose fund owns shares. He says Vornado, now 45, could double in a year. Vornado didn't return calls. By Gene G. Marcial

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