C&W Wins WTC Site-Wide Property Management Contract

Cushman & Wakefield just landed one of the most coveted real estate assignments in Manhattan, if not the entire country. The commercial real estate services firm has been selected by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to serve as site-wide property manager for the new World Trade Center site under a seven-year contract.

World Trade Center Site

Cushman & Wakefield just landed one of the most coveted real estate assignments in Manhattan, if not the entire country.  The commercial real estate services firm has been selected by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to serve as site-wide property manager for the new World Trade Center site under a seven-year contract–with the potential for three one-year extensions–valued at $5.5 million.

“It’s very exciting, it’s really a prestigious assignment for us and we’re thrilled to be expanding our work with the Port Authority,” C&W’s  John Santora, president & CEO, Corporate Occupier and Investor Services told Commercial Property Executive.

The firm, along with the Durst Organization, is co-exclusive leasing agent of the 3 million-square-foot One World Trade Center office tower, which is approximately 55 percent pre-leased and will serve as the new address of publishing giant Condé Nast’s world headquarters under a 1 million-square-foot lease.

The site-wide property management contract excludes office and retail leasing and management activities, but it’s no small job. C&W is tasked with managing and operating the common areas, as well as key operational facilities, including the River Water Pump House, which will serve as the entry point for the water that will be brought in from the Hudson River, and the 12,500-ton capacity Central Chiller Plant. C&W’s management of WTC’s infrastructure will also extend to the vehicular security center, the property management facility, the transportation zone outside of the fare-zone, and the HUB operations control center. And the list goes on.

For C&W, the first step to tackling such a gargantuan endeavor is a simple but vital one. “When we look at an assignment like this or any large assignment, it comes down to putting the right people in place, properly trained and having experience in opening a new building,” Santora added. “It is all new equipment, all new infrastructure, so you need people who have extensive experience in doing that, and we certainly have a team that’s done that before throughout the years, especially in Manhattan.”

C&W is already in action; the onsite team is on the ground, and senior management will join them next week.

But there’s no boiler-plate method for WTC; C&W is formulating a customized approach. “The key here is accepting and bringing on board and testing all the new equipment, as well as writing the other proper specifications for all the subcontractors and bringing them on board, going through a very detailed process to make sure that the specifications match the needs of the assignments,” Santora concluded. “We’re talking about an assignment that’s going to have millions of people walking the site throughout the project.”

C&W collaborated on the assignment with JRT Realty, the firm’s strategic Minority/Women’s Business Enterprise alliance partner. “We are pleased to work together with Cushman & Wakefield to successfully address the Port Authority’s supplier diversity initiatives,” said Jodi Pulice, founder & president of JRT.

All told, C&W’s responsibilities will encompass an aggregate 1.5 million square feet.