2014 year in review
The year that’s winding down was one of superlatives. The city’s most important anchor tenants began to assume occupancy in the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. One of the most prestigious department stores took a 250,000-square-foot lease in a planned neighborhood expected to be larger than most American cities’ central business districts. And one of the most progressive mayors in the country spent his first year in office implementing one of the most ambitious agendas.
But regardless of the headlines and the show-stopping deals that happened in 2014, concerns and controversies also linger, and questions about 2015 abound.
Getting timing right is always a tricky proposition. But at Commercial Observer‘s breakfast panel discussion on development in Lower Manhattan in honor of the launch of CO‘s 2014 Owners Magazine, Mary Ann Tighe, CEO of CBRE decided to get specific about when Lower Manhattan was going to kick into gear.
2014 Owners Magazine
Just how hot is Lower Manhattan? So hot, so in demand and so desirable that the advertising firm Droga5 (a $100 million business and the 10th fastest growing business in the city) decided to eschew the normal Madison Avenue address for new offices at the World Trade Center.
Silverstein Properties Chairman Larry Silverstein, CBRE New York tri-state CEO Mary Ann Tighe and the rest of the panel featuring five of Lower Manhattan’s top developers, brokers and tenants shared their assessments of the World Trade Center area’s progress at Commercial Observer’s Owners Magazine breakfast panel yesterday morning at 7 World Trade Center.
of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson
‘s real estate department moderated the discussion and Brookfield Property Partners
CEO Dennis Friedrich
and ad agency vice chairman Andrew Essex
also contributed their own upbeat takes on downtown on the week that 1 WTC
anchor tenant Condé Nast
Despite the fact that World Trade Center retail developer Westfield Group has yet to announce any tenants for the retail component in the Santiago Calatrava-designed Oculus transportation hub at the WTC site, the hub will open fully leased next year, a trio of CBRE retail brokers predicted earlier this week.
The global shopping center company that bought the eventual 440,000 square feet of retail space planned for the transit hub and towers 2,3 and 4 from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey for $1.4 billion is looking for tenants who can offer omni-channel retailing, the new trend in which stores offer customers the ability to purchase products through a variety of mediums and devices, as well as a unique customer experience, the brokers said at a briefing for the media at CBRE’s Midtown offices.
World Trade Center
World Trade Center master planner Daniel Libeskind’s office library contains nearly a dozen bookcases filled with books about philosophy, religious studies, history, travel, literature, art, architecture, design and other fields and genres. And when Commercial Observer visited Studio Daniel Libeskind three blocks south of the trade center site, he described the necessity in his work of the same four components Herman Melville wishes for in Moby Dick: time, strength, cash and patience.
He had invoked the same line a few days days earlier during a trade center construction update event at 4 World Trade Center timed for the week of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The four necessities have helped rebuild the site where 2,753 New Yorkers lost their lives and fulfill the vision that guided the nation-sized group of stakeholders to the site’s current status, he told a room full of local and international media outlets and several of the interested parties themselves.
The now-familiar dual beams rising into the night sky from the World Trade Center site will grace the landscape once again tomorrow night on the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, with rays visible from 60 miles away powered by 88 xenon light bulbs.
The Municipal Art Society and the nonprofit public art organization Creative Time first launched “Tribute in Light,” a pair of spotlights cast from the rooftop of a building just south of the trade center site, six months after Sept. 11 in March 2002, but the National September 11 Memorial & Museum now oversees the display, which it will feature as part of a series of events marking the first time the new memorial on the trade center site will open to the public on the night of the anniversary, said Joe Daniels, the museum’s President and CEO.
World Trade Center
Less than an hour after he left the stage at an event about the World Trade Center‘s progress ahead of the 9/11 anniversary, Silverstein Properties chairman Larry Silverstein invited reporters for a look at the Four Seasons hotel and condo development that’s rising just two blocks away from the trade center complex at 30 Park Place.
The 926-foot Robert A.M. Stern-designed building will feature 189 hotel rooms on the first 39 floors and 157 luxury condos leading up to the 82nd floor, including 11 penthouses with outdoor terraces starting on the 75th floor, when it opens in early 2016, according to Silverstein.
World Trade Center
World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein, master plan architect Daniel Libeskind and Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Vice Chairman Scott Rechler praised the progress of the 16-acre trade center site today in a “World Trade Center update” event timed for the week of the Sept. 11 anniversary.
Messrs. Silverstein, Libeskind and Rechler and a slew of other officials sought to draw attention to the strength of the downtown real estate market, Mr. Libeskind’s vision for the site and the now-on-track construction schedule as the process of rebuilding on the site nears the end of its 13th year.
A new World Trade Center logo by the Landor corporate branding firm has emerged on signage at the site almost a year after the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey chose the firm to design it through a competitive bidding process, The New York Times reported yesterday.
The agency tapped the firm with a $3.57 million contract to paste the symbolic assemblage the company designed on construction fencing, directional markers and mobile applications in a markup that depicts the five new towers rising or slated to rise from the site in a W-like form while also evoking memories of the steel tridents of the now-fallen twin towers.
Real Estate and Politics
The latest quarterly Manhattan office rent report from commercial lease database CompStak details a “bullish” market where new Manhattan office leases represented more than 66 percent of new leasing activity this year, versus only 54 percent in 2013.
Despite a $2.07-per-square-foot decline in Midtown South rents to $52.62, analysts pronounced all three markets healthy, citing large-scale leases at Brookfield Place and the World Trade Center, as well as notable signings like Yelp‘s 152,232-square-foot deal at 11 Madison Avenue.
World Trade Center
A day after the New York City Building Congress forecasted the largest three-year growth in office space since 1990, the president of the organization, Richard Anderson, called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to do more to foster office construction in the city.
The influential organization of real estate developers, construction firms, union officials and academics predicted Monday that new developments would create 9 million square feet of new space between 2013 and 2015 and a total of 24.4 million square feet between 2010 and 2019. But Mr. Anderson cautioned that emerging trends might threaten new construction and said he wants the mayor to devote more energy to office space.
World Trade Center
World Trade Center retail developer Westfield Group has leases either signed or out for signing at roughly 80 percent of its 150 slots at the WTC’s transit hub, the international mall developers told The Wall Street Journal today.
The steel and glass-winged train station, which renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava dubbed “the Oculus,” will open next year with 365,000 square feet of retail space eyeballed by an estimated 200,000 pedestrians per day.
Silverstein Properties invited Commercial Observer for an exclusive three-hour tour of the ear-popping existing buildings on the World Trade Center site, and the views were stunning. Even after a difficult week in which the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey thwarted Chairman Larry Silverstein‘s effort to get additional construction financing for 3 World Trade Center, Read More
Soho Properties’ Park51 community center and prayer space at 45-51 Park Place is facing demolition, according to Department of Buildings records.
Applications were filed today to demolish the five-story 45 Park Place and the four-story 51 Park Place.