Silverstein may build 2 WTC on spec

Developer has struggled to land anchor tenant after News Corp. snub

2 World Trade Center and Larry Silverstein (Credit: Getty Images)
2 World Trade Center and Larry Silverstein (Credit: Getty Images)

After searching for years for an anchor tenant, Silverstein Properties may now go ahead and build the skyscraper on spec.

Given what he described as a strong economy and leasing momentum at nearby towers, the developer’s chairman, Larry Silverstein, said it might be a good time to move ahead with construction on the 80-story, 2.8 million-square-foot tower.

“I think we’re in an increasingly good spot, in a good position, to do that,” Silverstein told Bloomberg. “For all intents and purposes, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start on Tower 2 because it won’t be finished until about 2022, 2023.”

So far, work has started on the building’s foundation, but nothing else has been done due to the lack of an anchor tenant.

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The tower, to be designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, will be the final building of four at the Downtown site and would mark the culmination of Silverstein’s redevelopment of the World Trade Center complex after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

It has been difficult so far to find an anchor tenant for 2 World Trade Center thanks to competition from Hudson Yards and uncertainty among firms over whether they want to move that far Downtown. By far the biggest blow came in 2016, when Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and 21st Century Fox signed a non-binding letter of intent for a 1.3 million square-foot lease, only to back out and stay put at 1185 and 1211 Sixth Avenue.

But notable tenants have moved to the other WTC buildings, such as Moody’s and Spotify. Three World Trade Center is now over 50 percent leased.

Brookfield Properties opted to go the spec route with its 2 Manhattan West tower in Hudson Yards, moving forward on it without a firm commitment from a tenant. [Bloomberg]  – Eddie Small