Ronald Perelman donates $75M to WTC performing arts center

Gift puts $240M project on track to reach funding goal
June 30, 2016 09:31AM

Rendering of the future Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center. (credit: DBOX)

Rendering of the future Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center (credit: DBOX)

Billionaire Ronald Perelman announced a $75 million donation to a planned performing arts center on the World Trade Center site Wednesday, giving the $240 million project a major boost.

The project had already won a $100 million commitment from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, and the center’s president Maggie Boepple told the New York Times it is now on track to be fully funded.

The site will be named after Perelman, who agreed to donate $5 million a decade ago at the behest of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Daniel Libeskind included a performing arts complex in his 2003 master plan for the World Trade Center site. Designed by Brooklyn-based architecture firm REX, the center will include three theaters seating 499, 299 and 100 people that can be combined into a single, 1,200-seat hall. Under current plans, the center will become the new home of the Tribeca Film Festival and host dance shows, concerts, chamber opera and theater. Officials scrapped a previous design by Frank Gehry.

Perelman, who recently stepped down as chairman of Carnegie Hall, made a fortune as the head of investment firm MacAndrews and Forbes Holdings. In 2014, the company paid $120 million for Lenox Hill rental building 27 East 62nd Street.

The former Carnegie Hall bigwig is just the latest in a string of business titans to have city arts institutions named after him. Stephen A. Schwarzman’s name adorns the New York Public Library’s Main Branch On Fifth Avenue, the New York State Theater is now named after conservative mogul David H. Koch, and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center is now named for David Geffen[NYT]Konrad Putzier