With Norman Foster back as the architect, 2 WTC construction could begin soon

September 9, 2021

Photo by Phil Dolby on Flickr

Twenty years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan’s World Trade Center complex is nearly complete. But one tower still hasn’t got off the ground. After architecture firm changes and financing problems, developer Silverstein Properties said construction is set to begin in the coming months on 2 World Trade Center with a new design from Norman Foster’s Foster + Partners. As first reported by Commercial Observer, the developer is close to securing an anchor tenant, which would lead to a construction loan and the start of work within “the next six to 12 months.”

Foster + Partner’s initial design for 2 WTC was unveiled in 2006 and featured a “faceted form and diamond topper,” as 6sqft previously noted. In 2015, Larry Silverstein and Silverstein Properties scrapped that design for a tower envisioned by Bjarke Ingels that would appeal to media tenants.

Ingels’ design for the second tallest World Trade Center tower, located on the corner of Church and Vesey Streets, called for an 80-story tower made of glassy boxes with setbacks.

The project failed to move forward after Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and 21st Century Fox pulled out as tenants.

Now, Silverstein Properties has decided to bring back Foster+Partners for the project, along with a new design for the tower. As Commercial Observer reported, the start of construction is looking more promising as the developer expects to have “commitments to the building” within the next six months to a year.

Finding an anchor tenant would make securing a construction loan much easier, as it gives lenders confidence in the project. Jeremy Moss, Silverstein’s executive vice president and director of leasing, told the website that technology and finance companies have expressed interest in leasing 2 WTC.

While the pandemic has led to low occupancy of the city’s office buildings, Moss said there is still demand from companies for quality office spaces.

“The demand for high-quality office space is probably greater than it’s ever been,” Moss told Commercial Observer. “Even during, and coming out of, the pandemic, there is a clear flight to quality, as companies place more value on the quality of their space than the cost of their space. It’s worth every penny to make sure they are creating the ideal environment.”

Joining 2 WTC in completing the complex is 5 World Trade Center, the former site of the Deutsche Bank Building that was damaged on 9/11 and later demolished. Earlier this year, the boards of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation voted to approve a recommendation for the proposal from Silverstein and Brookfield Properties to build a 900-foot mixed-use tower with 1,325 units of housing, the first residential building at the complex.

[Via Commercial Observer]


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