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ECB Tower Lifts Frankfurt Office Leasing Market, Cushman & Wakefield Says

The construction of the European Central Bank’s new headquarters will help Frankfurt’s office leasing market show a “slight” improvement this year, Cushman & Wakefield Inc. said.

New leases totaled 230,000 square meters (2.5 million square feet) in the first half, the New York-based property broker said in a report today. That included the 104,000 square meters that the ECB will occupy at its new home in the German city’s Ostend district when the building is completed.

“Overall, we expect a moderate upturn in the market in the second half of the year and an annual result that is a slight improvement on 2009,” Inga Schwarz, head of research at Cushman & Wakefield in Germany, said in the statement.

Developers are constructing offices in Frankfurt to replace older buildings. The city, which houses the headquarters of Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s largest lender, has a vacancy rate of 15 percent with 1.75 million square meters of space available for short-term leases, the broker estimates.

The ECB is currently based in a building close to Frankfurt’s main railway station. Cushman & Wakefield is the world’s largest closely held real-estate broker.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Woodifield in Edinburgh at pwoodifield@bloomberg.net.

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