Last week’s announcement that the state has planned Brookfield and Silverstein Properties for a supertall, mostly residential tower at Five World Trade Center overlooked the more compelling case of Two World Trade Center – the office skyscraper that Larry Silverstein built and built. Have tried to make more than 15 years.
Some news reports last week made the absurd claim that 5 WTC was the “final piece” of the complex, apparently forgetting that the 2 WTC site – which would eventually complete the tower quartet at “Ground Zero” – was a small-scale art installation. made of.
The 2WTC saga involves a fruitless search for an anchor tenant after New York Post parent News Corp decided not to pursue a non-binding agreement in 2016; A failed flirtation with Deutsche Bank, and several major design changes.
“We are actively seeking an anchor tenant for 2 WTC and are optimistic that we will find one,” a Silverstein spokesperson said Friday.
Silverstein’s confidence is based on success at the rest of the 16-acre WTC. The developer’s 3 WTC and 4 WTC are on 90 per cent and 100 per cent leasehold respectively. Durst Organization and Port Authority’s 1 WTC is also almost full.
The rep confirmed that architects Foster + Partners had redesigned 2WTC when Silverstein brought in Foster to replace a more state-of-the-art plan by Bjarke Ingels’ firm, BIG.
In January 2020, Silverstein told us during a discussion about a potential 5 WTC, “The closest to my heart is Tower Two.”
He also said, “With the level of lease-up activity at Tower Three, I anticipate that the announcement regarding Tower Two will not be long in coming.”
But then the pandemic intervened.
Meanwhile, Five World Trade still faces its odds. Critics, including former Mayor Bill de Blasio and several elected officials, are demanding that the entire residential portion – some 1,200 planned apartments – be used as “affordable” housing, a requirement that would not be affordable to developers.
The current plan seeks to set aside about 25% of the units for low-income tenants. Grips will be broadcast at several planned public hearings.
It’s a sure bet that both new skyscrapers will one day rise. The only real question is, which one is first?