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Cumming open house

Cumming Corp., a San Diego-based international project and cost management firm, delivered services on more than $7 billion worth of projects in 2012, according to company President Pete Heald at a recent open house at its headquarters.

Included in the 2012 projects were the $700 million Jacobs Medical Center, $36 million Viejas Hotel, $34 million San Diego County Administration Center (CAC) Waterfront Park, and the new landmark Legoland Hotel expected to open this April.

Since opening in 1996, Cumming's role in these projects ranges from program and project management to cost estimating and project controls, but always stays focused on serving as the owner's advocate, officials said.

The 10,000-square-foot headquarters is an open room housing 30-plus employees, reflecting the company's attitude toward its work.

"We have a complete 360 degree view of every project," Heald explained.

Beyond San Diego and Southern California, the firm serves Silicon Valley tech giants out of its San Francisco offices; hospitality leaders like Marriott, Hilton, Ritz Carlton nationwide; and other public and private sector clients, reaching as far as Beijing and Abu Dhabi.

Hines sells NY

(Bloomberg) -- Hines, an international real estate developer, is seeking to sell two Manhattan skyscrapers, the I.M. Pei-designed 499 Park Ave. and 425 Lexington Ave., home of the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

The Midtown office buildings may be acquired individually or as a package, Douglas Harmon, senior managing director of brokerage Eastdil Secured LLC, said. Harmon is marketing the towers along with Darcy Stacom, vice chairman of CBRE Group Inc. (NYSE: CBG).

“We have had outstanding success with these two assets over the last 10 years in terms of investment performance,” said Tommy Craig, director of Houston-based Hines's New York office. The properties should attract both domestic and foreign bidders, he said.

The offerings follow three deals this year for Midtown office towers.

Last month, Chetrit Group agreed to acquire the 37-story Sony Building for $1.1 billion, while RXR Realty LLC reached a deal to buy a 99-year leasehold interest in 75 Rockefeller Plaza.

Earlier this week, RXR said it and Walton Street Capital will purchase 237 Park Ave. from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

The price was about $800 million, said a person with knowledge of the sale.

The 28-story, 300,000-square-foot (28,000-square-meter) 499 Park Ave., known as the Black Diamond because of its dark glass facade, houses the headquarters of Cantor Fitzgerald LP the financial firm led by Howard Lutnick.

The property at the corner of 59th Street was completed in 1980 and was formerly home to Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

The 31-story tower at 425 Lexington, built in 1987, has 750,000 square feet, according to Hines. It is fully leased to Simpson Thacher and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Gleacher decides

(Bloomberg) -- Gleacher & Co., the investment bank started by Eric J. Gleacher, decided against a sale or merger after completing a six-month strategic review.

The firm will instead sell its ClearPoint mortgage unit to Ocwen Financial Corp. (NYSE: OCN), New York-based Gleacher (Nasdaq: GLCH) said Friday.

The company also posted a loss of $11.5 million from continuing operations in the fourth quarter of 2012 as the restructuring took up management's time.

Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE: SF), the St. Louis-based brokerage, was among the companies that bid on all or part of Gleacher, people with knowledge of the talks said in October.

Smaller financial companies including Gleacher have struggled amid a slump in trading commissions that pushed brokerages such as WJB Capital Group Inc. and Ticonderoga Securities LLC to close last year.

Eric Gleacher, who resigned last month, founded Gleacher Partners Inc. in 1990 and before that led mergers and acquisitions at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (PNK: LEHMQ) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS).

Sandy reimbursement

(AP) -- Federal transportation officials say they will spend $250 million reimbursing the state of New York for the cost of repairing roads and bridges damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

The money will come from the disaster relief act passed earlier this year.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the agency will use another $37 million appropriated in the bill to repair damages caused by previous weather events.

The department said it has also issued a new rule that will streamline the environmental review process normally required for transportation projects, in an effort to speed the recovery.

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