7 World Trade signs first official lease

It’s official: 7 World Trade Center has its first tenant. Developer Larry Silverstein announced Thursday afternoon that the New York Academy of Sciences has signed a 15-year lease for 40,000 square feet of space in the new, 1.7-million-square-foot tower at Ground Zero that’s may open otherwise empty in the first quarter of 2006. The academy’s lease takes up the entire 40th floor of the 52-story tower. Academy president Ellis Rubinstein participated in today’s announcement, which can only be seen as especially good news for both Silverstein and his tower. Before today, the only inkling of a lease in 7 World Trade came from Ameriprise Financial Inc., formerly part of American Express. The financial firm is reportedly close to leasing 20,000 square feet in the tower, but no official announcement has been made.

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