Deal reached to bring long-awaited performing arts center to WTC

Ronald O. Perelman center will include three theaters and span 200K sf

Feb.February 16, 2018 03:05 PM

Rendering of the Ronald O. Perelman Reforming Arts Center (Credit: Luxigon

The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center will make it to the World Trade Center following an agreement between the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, according to an announcement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

Squabbles between the two groups had previously threatened to derail funding for the performing arts center, as the Port Authority had refused to relinquish control over the land for the center until it was paid for the below-grade work required to prep the site. The agency argued it was owed $67 million for the work, while the LMDC argued it was owed $45 million.

Under the agreement, the Port Authority will accept $48 million in funding from the LMDC to cover below-ground construction costs. Work on the below-grade structure for the center should be finished by the end of the year.

The agreement also calls for the Port Authority to enter into a 99-year lease with the performing arts center for $1 per year. This lease includes an extension option for an additional 99 years under the same terms and an option for the Port Authority to transfer the site to the performing arts center itself.

The agency’s board of directors ratified the agreement on Thursday.

The center will span 200,000 square feet and include three theaters, rehearsal space, a gift shop and a restaurant. Its boundaries will be Vesey, Greenwich and Fulton streets, along with the newly created Washington Place Plaza.

This marks one of the last pieces of the World Trade Center Master Plan to take shape. The 9/11 Memorial Plaza and the Memorial Museum have both opened, as have Liberty Park, the transportation hub, 4 World Trade Center and One World Trade Center. Three World Trade Center should open later this year, while work on 2 World Trade Center has not started yet.

Port Authority executive director Rick Cotton said in a statement that he was “pleased to see the culmination of more than a decade of planning to bring this cultural facility to life at the World Trade Center.”

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