Developers Move Ahead with Plans for 60-Story NYC Tower

Banking that the healthcare industry will stay healthy despite the tough economic times,  developers are moving ahead with plans to build the World Product Centre, a 60-story tower on Manhattan’s West Side that would showcase medical diagnostic and device companies and serve as an international educational center. The 1.5 million-square-foot structure is estimated to cost between $500 million and $1 billion and would be built by Extell Development Co. As reported Aug. 1 by CPN, the tower would be built at 11th Avenue and West 34th Street on the site of the famed Copacabana nightclub. Israel Green, president & chairman of World Product Centre, said this week that the build-to-suit project should be completed by 2013. In addition to signing an agreement with Extell, World Product Centre has formed a joint marketing company with GNYHA Ventures, a healthcare business services company that is owned by the Greater New York Hospital Association. The group has also tapped John Strong, a former president & CEO of Consorta Inc., as president of World Product Centre Marketing. The facilities will include state-of-the art permanent showrooms, more than 120,000 square feet of conference and educational space, media centers and offices. A two-story, 499-seat, fully-digitized auditorium will be included in the educational and conference space. A Consumer Health Pavilion will be open to the public. The Greater New York Hospital Association would also move its headquarters to the site that is located across from the Javits Convention Center. Participating companies are expected to come from key segments of the global healthcare industry, including medical devices, diagnostics, technology, pharmaceuticals and healthcare services. Lee Perlman, president of GNYHA Ventures, said the center would offer, “a new, convenient, cost-effective and transparent environment for bringing purchasers and sellers together to transact business.” Hewlett Packard is designing a vendor-neutral technology infrastructure for the building. The group has reached out to several well-known health care executives to lead the sales and marketing efforts needed to begin signing leasing and licensing agreements with companies for space in the center. The New York Times reported the team is marketing 10-year leases to help get financing for the project. At least two people quoted in the Times story questioned whether such a large project could get off the ground in the current economy. Robert Lieber, New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, backed the project in a release from the joint marketing group. “World Product Centre will greatly complement New York City’s ongoing bioscience initiatives as we expand into new sectors and support major growth industries including international healthcare and commercial bioscience,” he said.