• 2021 February 13 14:16

    Port Authority and LMDC approve selection of the development team for 5 World Trade Center

    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%, or approximately 330, would be permanently affordable. The building would also include approximately 190,000 square feet of office space.

    Importantly, 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. The project 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.

    “The 5 WTC project is one of the region’s most-anticipated development opportunities, and we are pleased with the selection committee’s choice of Brookfield/Silverstein. The rise of this new mixed-use tower will bring the first residential property to the World Trade Center campus with 25 percent designated as permanently affordable,” said Jeff Lynford, Vice 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.

    "Governor Cuomo's commitment to complete the rebuilding of the World Trade Center campus is fulfilled with today's selection of a development team for 5 WTC. Construction of 5 WTC represents not only an important final step in Lower Manhattan's recovery from that dark day nearly two decades ago, but also reminds us of the importance of emerging from tragic events stronger and more committed to the future of this State than ever," said Steven M. Cohen, Chairman of Empire State Development.

    "Today's announcement demonstrates New York's resilience to rebuild even in the face of current economic challenges caused by a global pandemic. The vision for this new development for 5 World Trade Center marks an exciting new chapter for this parcel, including the first residential project on the campus, and its development will undoubtedly lead to greater economic development in the surrounding neighborhood," said Eric Gertler, Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate of Empire State Development.

    “With this project, the LMDC will fulfill a central goal of its creation: to complete the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site,” said Holly Leicht, Chair of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. “This is the right capstone project for the campus, reinforcing Lower Manhattan as a live-work community and bringing much-needed affordable housing and a new community facility to the neighborhood. We look forward to working with the development team and the residents of Lower Manhattan to make this project a reality.”

    “This project is more than an exciting new addition to the neighborhood. It’s a powerful symbol of this city’s resilience and an important step toward delivering a recovery for all of us,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. "This public-private partnership is a significant investment in Lower Manhattan’s future. It will create thousands of jobs and deliver hundreds of permanently affordable homes to an area that lacks enough affordable options. The City is pleased to support this final component, and we look forward to welcoming the residents, and especially the residents of the affordable homes, to this iconic neighborhood.”

    “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 square foot 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. This announcement furthers Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's efforts to strengthen New York's economy and continue Lower Manhattan's recovery from the September 11th attacks.

    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 6 months.

    Brookfield Properties is an institutional real estate developer and owner, with a global portfolio of commercial and residential properties, including Manhattan West and Brookfield Place. Silverstein Properties is a New York City-based real estate developer and owner with portfolio of commercial and residential properties, including roughly 7 million square feet of Class A office space at 3, 4 and 7 WTC. Omni New York is a developer, owner, and manager of affordable housing nationwide. Dabar Development is an MWBE developer and owner’s representative.

    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.

    Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit.

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