Tower 3 tenant issue is ‘old news’

A rendering, courtesy of Silverstein Properties, of 3 W.T.C.

Media reports published in the last week concerning the building of 3 World Trade Center are partially inaccurate and are otherwise relaying old news, according to Silverstein Properties spokesperson Dara McQuillan.

On Sunday, Crain’s New York first came out with a story highlighting developer Larry Silverstein’s troubles in securing a 400,000-square-foot office tenant in order to complete the tower. Citing “sources close to the company,” the article reported that Silverstein was planning to halt construction by the year’s end if the developer was unable to secure a “major office tenant” by then.

The latter statement is not true, McQuillan said. According to a pre-leasing agreement made in 2010 between Silverstein and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the developer would build a temporary roof atop a seven-story retail and mechanical podium at 3 W.T.C. — and thereby halt construction of the upper floor office space — if he doesn’t find a 400,000-square-foot tenant by the end of 2013 and not by the end of 2012. Silverstein is also required to secure a $300 million equity loan by that time.

“There’s nothing new here,” said McQuillan. “This is exactly what was called for in the 2010 agreement with the Port Authority, the city, and the state. Keep in mind that, with 7 W.T.C., we didn’t sign any leases until we opened the building in 2006. Obviously, this is a different situation with a pre-lease requirement, but it’s still early.”

Responding to the media reports, Silverstein himself issued a written statement insisting that the firm is 100 percent committed to complete 3 W.T.C. “as quickly as possible.”

“We are currently speaking with a number of potential tenants and remain fully optimistic that we will sign a lease in time to complete the tower as scheduled in 2015,” said Silverstein. “That agreement, which anticipated the completion of the podium in 2013, in no way prevents us from moving full steam ahead as soon as we secure a tenant.”

— Aline Reynolds

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