May 20, 1998 12:00 AM

A typical New York real estate story: Just when it looked like former President Bill Clinton had found the perfect office space, along comes a snag. In this case, the hurdle is none other than city mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a Republican (and onetime opponent of Hillary Clinton for the New York U.S. Senate seat). “This is business, it’s not personal,” Hizzoner assured The New York Times. But the Harlem office space that Clinton was eyeing after he backed out of a $700,000-a-year Midtown office deal now reportedly appears to be leased to another party: the city’s child welfare agency. Giuliani contends that the Harlem building’s landlords negotiated with Clinton (for a reported $210,000 a year) without first consulting the city, reports The Times. The Mayor added that he is more than willing to negotiate, however. “Maybe they will make an offer we can’t refuse,” he said of the Clinton team. Meanwhile, on the “Today” show Tuesday morning, comedian Chris Rock, who said that he has an office in the same building that Clinton intends to occupy, quipped about his potential new neighbor to a visibly nervous Katie Couric, “I just don’t know if he’ll be able to resist the big-butted black women in the neighborhood.”

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