As the decade draws to a close, we’re reflecting on the growth and evolution of New York City during the 2010s. In the past 10 years, the city has seen the rebirth of neighborhoods, the creation of a totally new one, the return of a major sports team to Brooklyn, and the biggest subway expansion in decades. We’ve asked notable New Yorkers to share which project of the past decade they believe has made the most significant impact on the city, from the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site to the revival of the Coney Island boardwalk.
One World Trade Center
Image courtesy of Michael Vadon’s Flickr
According to the building’s landlord, the Durst Organization, the 104-story, 3-million-square-foot One World Trade Center tower contains more tech and creative tenants than any other in the city. That’s 26 TAMI (Tech, Advertising, Media and Information) tenants, to be exact, 20 of which are in tech, Crain’s reports.
The holidays are always a special time in New York City, with tons of events and attractions to keep busy from Thanksgiving to New Years. But most festivities don’t take place over 1,200 feet in the sky. One World Observatory does just that during their “Winter ONEderland” event, which transforms their 102nd-floor observatory into a magical winter oasis beginning on Nov. 26. Starting with a snowy ride to the top of One WTC, the event features interactive multi-media installations, visits from Santa, and holiday-themed fare and beverages.
Image courtesy of Michael Vadon’s Flickr
It was recently revealed that One World Trade Center still has a 25 percent vacancy rate four years after opening its door, and that number is about to grow. The first tenant to move into the building in 2014, Condé Nast is now looking to sublease a third of its one-million-square-foot office space. As part of its consolidation plan, the media company on Monday said it’s looking to sublease seven of the 23 floors it currently rents as a way to cut costs, according to the New York Post. It’s estimated Condé Nast paid roughly $50 per square foot when it moved in nearly four years ago–space at One WTC is now worth $75 per square foot.
Image: Michael Vadon via Flickr
In 1962, nine of the world’s tallest buildings were south of 59th Street in Manhattan–and things hadn’t changed much by 1981 when five of the tallest towers were concentrated on the same tiny island, which, with Chicago’s three, gave the U.S. nine of the world’s top 10 tallest skyscrapers. If you added Toronto’s entry that made 10. Today, the only U.S. entry the top ten is lower Manhattan’s One World Trade Center. This same tiny island though, is still number two in the world when it comes to concentration of tall towers.
An architect from Georgia sued architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) on Wednesday for allegedly stealing his design for One World Trade Center. Jeehoon Park says the firm has unfairly taken credit for the tower, a design he says he developed in 1999 as a graduate student at the Illinois Institute of Technology, as the New York Post reported. At 1,776 feet high, One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the sixth tallest in the world.
SL Green Realty CEO Marc Holliday said Thursday that the midtown office tower One Vanderbilt is expected to pull in as much as $198 million a year in net operating income when complete in 2020 and fully leased, The Real Deal reports. That figure, in 2028 dollars, likely includes $42 million in admission fees for the building’s planned observation deck and is based on the assumption that the tower will be leased out at an average of $155 per square foot. If realized, that figure would put the 1.7-million-square-foot, 1,401-foot-tall tower in a league with some of the the city’s significantly larger trophy properties.
Tenants at One World Trade Center who occupy floors above 65 are required to change elevators at the 64th floor. When the building opened its doors two summers ago, the Durst Organization noticed that these elevator banks became a natural mingling area, and so decided to forego plans to make the space into offices and instead keep it open as an open sky lobby. Commercial Observer got a first look at renderings of the commons designed by Gensler, whose principal and design director Tom Vecchione referred to it as “a shared piazza for the entire building.” In addition to a cafe, it will offer a game room and a 180-person meeting room that can be split into two or host fitness and yoga classes.
Last week, 6sqft reported that the Port Authority would sell One World Trade Center for up to $5 billion due in part to vacancy issues and the fact that the tower only brought in $13 million in revenue last year, a mere 0.35 percent return on the agency’s investment. But Authority chairman John Degnan said yesterday to Politico that “It’s certainly not on the block. We’re not talking to any brokers about it.” This doesn’t however, mean that the agency has changed its stance that it will one day “divest and monetize in non-transportation-related holdings.”
It’s been almost two years since Condé Nast’s 3,400 employees moved into One World Trade Center. At the time, only 58 percent of its 3 million square feet of space was leased, but the hope was that the media company’s presence and perceived confidence in the $3.8 billion tower would attract more tenants. This didn’t quite pan out, as it’s still one third empty, and the Port Authority continues to drop $3 million a month to cover Condé Nast’s old lease (this amounted to $47.6 million in 2015 alone).
Due to these issues, along with the fact that the tower only brought in $13 million in revenue last year– a mere 0.35 percent return on its investment–the cash-strapped Port Authority has made plans to sell One World Trade Center for as much as $5 billion. As Crain’s notes, this would be the highest price ever paid for an office building in the country.