It’s been almost 13 years since Frank Gehry initially designed the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center (PACWTC). After his plans got shelved in late 2014 due to fundraising issues and construction delays on the transit hub below, it seemed like the last vacant site at the complex would forever remain that way. That is until this past fall when a $75 million gift from billionaire businessman and philanthropist Ronald O. Perelman brought the $243 million project back to life and made it possible to proceed with new designs. Despite this new optimism, it looks like the Center will be delayed yet again, as Crain’s reports that unresolved issues between the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and the Port Authority are setting things behind schedule, which could cost the project $100 million in federal funds.
Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
The Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center has seen a lot of ups and downs since it was first conceived over a dozen years ago. The biggest shakeup occurred a year ago, when Frank Gehry’s design for the center got dumped by officials, followed by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s decision earlier this year that the project should cost no more than $200 million, far less than the original estimates of $350 to $400 million. In July, LMDC funded a $500,000 study to explore how the “current conceptual design” could work within those cost restraints, and since then they’ve been working with a yet-unnamed architectural firm to reimagine the plan, according to the Wall Street Journal. The paper reports that “their latest take envisions a roughly 80,000-square-foot building, rising three to four stories aboveground, where new works of theater, dance, music and digital art would be produced.”