2 WTC’s New Look

Silverstein Properties is ready to move forward with the fourth and final skyscraper at the Lower Manhattan site.
2 World Trade Center- BIG

With 21st Century Fox and News Corp. expected to move their headquarters from Midtown to 2 World Trade Center in 2020 and an innovative design planned for the 81-story building, Silverstein Properties, Inc. is ready to move forward with the fourth and final skyscraper at the Lower Manhattan site.

“While we have a lot of work ahead of us, I am thrilled to partner with 21st Century Fox, News Corp. and Bjarke Ingels Group in creating a new architectural icon on what will be Downtown’s fully restored skyline,” Larry Silverstein, chairman of Silverstein Properties, said in a news release.

The new design for the 1,340 foot tall skyscraper was unveiled this week by Bjarke Ingels, the famed Danish architect and founding partner of BIG, based in New York and Copenhagen. It will be the third tallest building in Manhattan, behind its sister skyscraper at 1 World Trade Center and the luxury condo at 432 Park Ave.

Silverstein calls it the “capstone in the redevelopment of the World Trade Center and the final component in the revitalization of Lower Manhattan.” The site is located at 200 Greenwich St. and bounded by Church Street to the east, Vesey Street to the north and Fulton Street to the south. It will frame the 9/11 Memorial Park along with 1 World Trade Center, 3 World Trade Center and 4 World Trade Center.

The developer and architect say the design is derived from the meeting point of two very different neighborhoods – the Financial District with its modernist skyscrapers and TriBeCa with its lofts and roof gardens. Ingels has designed the building as seven blocks placed on top of each with park setbacks.

“From TriBeCa, the home of lofts and roof gardens, it will appear like a vertical village of singular buildings stacked on top of each other to create parks and plazas in the sky. From the World Trade Center, the individual towers will appear unified, completing the colonnade of towers framing the 9/11 Memorial. Horizontal meets vertical. Diversity becomes unity,” Ingels said in the release.

Thomas Christoffersen, a BIG partner, said in the release that it addresses the new demands of the creative media, technology and design companies that are renting space in large numbers at the new WTC towers because of the varying floor plates.

News Corp. and 21st Century Fox will be taking about half of the space in the building and will have the two large bottom blocks for about 5,000 employees. The base will house TV studios and 100,000 square feet of retail space over multiple levels. The 38,000-square-foot lobby will be connected to the WTC transit hub, providing access to 11 subway lines and PATH trains.

The upper floors will be leased by Silverstein Properties to other tenants.

No other leases have been announced and even the 21st Century Fox and News Corp. deal is considered a non-binding agreement. The companies recently issued a joint statement about the non-binding agreement and said they look forward to working with Silverstein Properties on the “design of the new headquarters and terms of our lease arrangement.”

“The new headquarters would provide 21st Century Fox and News Corp. with a range of efficiencies as well as the flexibility for future growth, while helping cement Lower Manhattan as a dynamic new hub for media,” the companies said in their prepared statement.

Meanwhile, Wired.com reported this week that James Murdoch, a 21st Century Fox executive and son of executive chairman & CEO Rupert Murdoch, was instrumental in getting Ingels to design the building instead of using the original concept by Lord Norman Foster because it was more suited to financial, not media and creative companies. James Murdoch is expected to take over as CEO of 21st Century as his father cedes some control of his companies to his sons in the coming months.