The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Board of Commissioners and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Board (LMDC) voted today to approve the recommendation of the selection committee for the Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop World Trade Center Site 5.
A partnership led by Brookfield Properties and Silverstein Properties has been selected to enter into exclusive negotiations for a lease for the development of a residential tower on the World Trade Center Campus.
The proposal for the future 1.56 million gross square foot mixed-use building currently anticipates approximately 1.2 million square feet of residential space or 1,325 residential rental units – of which 25 percent, or approximately 330, would be permanently affordable. The building would also include approximately 190,000 s/f of office space.
The building would have a 12,000 square foot community facility space, as well as 55,000 square feet of public amenity space and 7,000 square feet of retail.
The development will be the first residential project on the World Trade Center Campus and is expected to generate more than 10,000 job years of work during construction, over 1,900 permanent jobs and fuel $1.9 billion in economic output.
“The Port Authority’s dedication to rebuilding the World Trade Center has helped restore Lower Manhattan and brought life back to the campus following the September 11th attacks. Today’s Board action to choose the development team for 5 WTC is the realization of a nearly two-decade long commitment to that work,” said Kevin O’Toole, Chairman, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“Completing the build-out of the World Trade Center campus is one of the highest priorities of the Port Authority. The 5 WTC tower is a project that will contribute to the economic recovery and to the continuation of the agency’s work to deliver a vibrant campus in Lower Manhattan,” said Rick Cotton, Executive Director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“Silverstein Properties has been intimately involved in the redevelopment of the World Trade Center since 9/11. It has been a long, challenging, but deeply fulfilling journey, and we are very proud of our contributions, as well as our excellent working relationships with the Governors of New York and New Jersey, the Port Authority, ESD, LMDC and other stakeholders. We are grateful to have been selected to co-develop 5 WTC along with Brookfield, Omni and Dabar. We look forward to developing a sustainable, energy efficient, healthy building with community facilities, sorely needed affordable housing, great architecture and first-class retail, office and rental housing that fits into the World Trade Center campus and the broader Downtown neighborhood. This announcement is a giant vote of confidence for Lower Manhattan,” said Larry A. Silverstein, Chairman, Silverstein Properties.
“5 World Trade Center represents an extraordinary opportunity to propel Lower Manhattan’s ongoing development as a vibrant, 24/7 community, and we are thrilled to be chosen to fulfil its promise. With great attention to sustainability and design, and a deep commitment to affordability, we believe our plan will result in a fitting final piece of the WTC site that will benefit the Lower Manhattan community for decades to come. We want to thank Governor Cuomo, the Port Authority and LMDC for the opportunity, and we look forward to working with Silverstein Properties and Omni and Dabar, as well as the spectrum of local stakeholders, to make it happen,” said Brookfield Property Group Managing Partner Ben Brown.
Located directly south of Liberty Park, the 33,000 s/f lot in the heart of the Financial District is accessible from more than a dozen subway lines and the PATH train system, making it an exceptional opportunity for new development in Lower Manhattan.
The site was previously home to the Deutsche Bank Building, which was extensively damaged in the 2001 World Trade Center attack. LMDC, a subsidiary of Empire State Development, purchased the site in 2004 and completed deconstruction, abatement and excavation in 2011 – work which was funded by a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant.
In June 2019, Governor Cuomo announced an RFP issued jointly by the Port Authority and LMDC seeking a development team to lease or purchase and redevelop Site 5 with a commercial or mixed-use project. The RFP selection committee, comprising representatives of the Port Authority, LMDC, and the City of New York, received five responses. The selection committee weighed the proposals on four criteria: 1) Financial Proposal, 2) Project Program, Design and Community Benefits, 3) Respondent Experience and Execution, and 4) Diversity Practices.
In accordance with the recommendation from the selection committee, the Port Authority and LMDC Boards have approved the designation of a partnership among Brookfield Properties, Silverstein Properties, Omni New York, and Dabar Development Partners. The designation is conditioned on the partnership successfully securing all necessary public approvals for the project. The Port Authority Board of Commissioners will consider approval of a finalized lease within six months.
The General Project Plan (GPP) governing the World Trade Center Site originally envisioned a commercial office building on Site 5. The RFP allowed for either commercial or mixed-use proposals, with the possibility of modifying the GPP if needed.
The selected residential project requires a modification to the GPP, which requires public meetings, comment periods, LMDC board approval and an environmental review pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). Other necessary approvals required to effect the disposition include but are not limited to the Empire State Development Board of Directors, the Public Authorities Control Board, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The award for Site 5 comes as the World Trade Center Campus is showing the green shoots of New York’s recovery.
Construction resumed in late May on the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center which is projected to open in 2023. In August, Governor Cuomo and His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America announced the start of construction on the new Saint Nicholas National Shrine in New York City. Last fall the campus hosted a fall festival, Oculus Outdoors, featuring socially distant outdoor movie nights, public art installations and the opening of the Oculus Beer Garden. Essential construction on the PATH station at the World Trade Center continued through the pandemic.
Savills’ Capital Markets Group served as the financial advisor to the Port Authority for this transaction.
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