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.
One World Trade Center
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.
Though the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey would like you to think it’s been smooth sailing finding tenants for One World Trade Center, their spending habits say otherwise. As Crain’s reported, more than a year after Condé Nast made the big move from 4 Times Square to One World Trade, the agency is still dropping $3 million a month to pay for the old lease. This deal came about in 2011 when the Port Authority offered the incentive to entice the media company to relocate amid floundering activity at the downtown tower. In 2015 alone, they spent $47.6 million, and the payments are expected to continue into 2019 (when the lease ends) unless building owner the Durst Organization can find a new tenant.
Big news on the 2 World Trade Center front. After several months of negotiation and hashing out design plans, News Corp. and 21st Century Fox Inc. have decided not to move into the new tower. The Post first broke the news, reporting that the media companies will remain at their Midtown headquarters at 1211 and 1185 Sixth Avenue where they currently have a lease in effect until 2020.
“After much careful consideration we have decided to maintain our New York headquarters and other business operations. We have extension options that could continue our occupancy on Sixth Avenue through 2025,” the companies wrote in a joint statement. Sources added that the move would have been “a huge distraction for the companies’ global operations.”
Thought that $100 New Year’s Eve cover at your favorite bar was steep? It’s nothing compared to the rates to ring in 2016 atop One World Trade Center. DNAinfo reports that the Observatory is hosting a black-tie-optional soiree for which tickets will range from $500 to $6,750, a far cry from the normal $32 rate to get to the top. The three-digit ticket will get you passed hors d’oevures, passed sweets, a four-hour open bar, a midnight champagne toast, and, of course, access to the DJ dance party and incredible views. If you’re a high roller, you’ll get guest admission for 12, as well as reserved seating on the 100th and 102nd floors with private waiter service and additional appetizers and bottles of booze.
Interested in spending New Year’s Eve on top of NYC? Check out all the ticket packages HERE >>
- The One World Trade Center Observatory Officially Opens Today!
- 1 WTC Observatory Elevators Will Give Riders a 515-Year Time-Lapse View of NYC Skyline
- It’s Expected That Tourism Will Bring in 25 Percent of One World Trade Center’s Revenue
2 World Trade Center rendering via BIG
The Post reports that the construction of the Bjarke Ingels Group-designed 2 World Trade Center will come with a $4 billion price tag. The 2.8 million-square-foot downtown tower will top out at 1,340 feet, just 28 feet shy of One World Trade Center, which currently holds the title of the world’s most expensive office building with construction costs coming in at $3.8 billion.
Instagram Photo Gets BK Bridge Climber in Trouble; Dropping Cold Hard Cash for a Luxury Storage Unit, Wed, July 1, 2015
- The NYPD is pissed at a selfie stick wielding tourist who climbed the Brooklyn Bridge for an Instagram-worthy photo. [Animal]
- You could downsize, get a Manhattan Mini Storage unit, or you can drop $65,000 on a steel cage in the basement of a luxury building. [Bloomberg Business]
- See the Manhattan isle fold onto itself like in “Inception” with BERG’s “Here & There” maps. [Untapped Cities]
- The re-designed Madison Square Park Shake Shack may be considered new and improved, but the lead designer of the original joint thinks it’s an “aesthetic disaster.” [Architect’s Newspaper]
- Everything you need to know about chowing down at One World Trade‘s One Dine, One Mix and One Cafe–pretty original names right? [Eater]
Images: The notorious Brooklyn Bridge selfie (L); Steel cage via Bloomberg (R)