The Real Deal New York

LOL JK: 1 WTC isn’t for sale, says Port Authority

Put your $5B checks away
September 15, 2016 03:54PM

John Degnan and the Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center

John Degnan and One World Trade Center

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has no immediate plans to sell the 3 million-square-foot One World Trade Center, despite the idea given by a recent report.

“It’s certainly not on the block,” Port Authority chairman John Degnan told Politico on Thursday. “We’re not talking to any brokers about it.”

Back in 2014, the Port Authority released a report stating the bi-state agency should divest itself of non-transportation-related assets – such as its vast real estate holdings – and focus on its core mission.

A news report published in early September said the agency had plans in place to sell the tower, and executives believed the property could fetch as much as $5 billion.

The report drew the attention of many in the industry including Douglas Durst TRData LogoTINY, whose company owns a 10 percent stake in the building. Durst sent a letter to Degnan complaining that his employees were concerned about losing their jobs, and tenants and brokers were getting worried about the future of the building.

Degnan repeated the Port Authority’s position that it intends to divest of non-core assets, but said there is no imminent decision on One World Trade Center.

The agency has numerous real estate holdings throughout the tri-state region that it can monetize, but as The Real Deal reported in April, many observers are skeptical it would ever really sell the former Freedom Tower.

One site that has potential is the Authority’s Red Hook container terminal in Brooklyn. Chris Ward, a former top executive at the Port Authority who now works at the engineering and construction firm AECOM, recently helped produce a study for an ambitious transformation of Red Hook that, in part, would be built on the container terminal site. [Politico]Rich Bockmann