WTC complex progress stalls amid slow office leasing environment

Even as the World Trade Center complex takes shape, Larry Silverstein is still struggling to secure office tenants for two of his buildings, the Wall Street Journal reported. Even rumors surrounding potential tenants for these properties — especially 3 World Trade Center — have run dry.

The structure, at 3 World Trade Center, is now stalled at eight stories thanks to a deal that requires he fill at least 400,000 square feet of space to continue building the 80-story, 2.8 million-square-foot tower. UBS was previously in talks to take space at the building, but pulled out. Sources to the Journal said that Viacom and Citigroup were among other firms that had discussed leasing space in the tower, but they both decided to renew their current leases.

Without a tenant, the eight floors would have to top off the structure and potentially open it to retail, the Journal wrote, despite Silverstein previously denying these rumors.

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Meanwhile, plans for 2.4 million-square-foot 2 World Trade Center have been put on hold due to the lack of prospective tenants. Silverstein himself remains confident that he can resume building 3 World Trade Center, as does Janno Lieber, Silverstein Properties’ president of the World Trade Center properties. Lieber attributes the challenge in securing a tenant to the slow recovery — the predominant reason being lease renewals.

As previously reported, big lease renewals were a boon to the second quarter’s office leasing volume. [WSJ]