WTC site lagging behind in leasing race

May.May 13, 2013 09:00 AM

The three buildings at the World Trade Center site have massive vacancies, and with over 5 million square feet of space in the complex on or due to hit the market, landlords are racing to secure tenants at the $14 billion development, Crain’s reported.

No office lease has been signed at the site since publishing giant Condé Nast took 1.2 million square feet at 1 World Trade Center two years ago. At the time, the deal was hailed as a sign of the area’s hot office prospects, but the site has since been unable to compete.

Time Warner, the biggest tenant currently shopping for Manhattan space, has set its sights on Hudson Yards, and has already spoken with several developers to ink a potentially 1.3 million-square-foot deal.

And Jones Day, which many real estate players believed would become the anchor tenant at the stillborn 3 World Trade Center, is instead close to a 400,000-square-foot-deal at Nearby Brookfield Place.

“It’s definitely disappointing,” Christopher Ward, former executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the World Trade Center site, told Crain’s. “Jones Day should have been the deal that 3 World Trade Center landed.”

The situation has led to a duel between developers to lock in tenants.

“There’s only one 1 World Trade Center,” Douglas Durst, chief executive of the Durst Organization, which co-owns the 3.5 million-square-foot tower with the Port Authority, told the Journal. “Those who want to be in the best building will come here.”

But Silverstein Properties, which is behind the 75-story, 2.5 million-square-foot 4 WTC, is confident that the building would be a better bet. “We have a building that’s going to feel like a tower on Park Avenue,” Janno Lieber, president of Silverstein’s World Trade Center Properties, told Crain’s. [Crain’s]  – Hiten Samtani

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