So maybe it wasn’t a bombshell after all, the “news” yesterday that Larry Silverstein might not be able to finish 3 World Trade Center all the way, leaving it instead as a seven-story retail and mechanical stump for the time being. In a statement, the downtown don insists he will find a tenant, and he has about two years to do it before he must truly pull the trigger and decide to cap the tower or to keep building.
We are 100 percent committed and determined to build 3 World Trade Center to the top as quickly as possible. We agreed to a plan in 2010 that requires us to pre-lease 10 floors of office space before moving forward with the full tower. 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. 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.
As The Observer reported yesterday, Port Authority executive director Pat Foye expects the same outcome. “He needs a 400,000-square-foot tenant, or tenants, and my money’s on that he’ll get it and that tower will go forward,” he told reporters at an industry luncheon yesterday.
And yet the Post‘s Steve Cuozzo says the leasing and development scene is the quietest he’s seen it in too long. Not exactly a promising sign, but also not a death sentence given how much time there is to work this deal out. “We tried to coax developers and/or reps to put their sunniest spin on things, but — maybe because they’re being more honest these days — they wouldn’t bite,” Mr. Cuozzo wrote in his Realty Check column today. Perhaps everyone is just holding their breath until Europe sorts itself out. Not to mention the rumors about China and everywhere else.
One place Silverstein will not be looking for help? City Hall. Mayor Bloomberg told reporters yesterday that there would be no extra help for 3 World Trade Center.“We’re not in the business of supporting commercial real estate,” the mayor said, according to the Post.