Will 3 WTC Be 80 Stories, or Just Seven? Yes!

While there's been speculation as to whether 3 World Trade Center will cap at seven stories, rather than its planned 80, the project's goal is still very much alive, according to Silverstein Properties' CEO Larry Silverstein.

January 25, 2012
By Scott Baltic, Contributing Editor

A spate of media reports over the past two or three days have speculated about whether Silverstein Properties Inc. will build the 3 World Trade Center tower to its planned 80-story height, or will cap it at seven, and what this indicates, or doesn’t, about the Class A office market in Downtown Manhattan.

Here’s the deal: The original master development plan agreed to in August 2010 specifically stated that the construction of the 3 WTC tower, as opposed to its retail-oriented podium, would be conditioned on the extent of office pre-leasing. In a statement released Tuesday, presumably to clarify the situation, Silverstein Properties president & CEO Larry Silverstein said, “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.”

In plain English, the development agreement provided substantial flexibility down the road, so that the pace of building could be adjusted to demand for space. While Silverstein, obviously, would like to push the tower to its planned height, the leasing environment may prove to be the roadblock that impedes his progress.

Amid the hubbub, progress continues on several fronts at the World Trade Center site. As of this week, the steel skeleton of 1 WTC has reached 90 floors (of 104) and is now the tallest building in Lower Manhattan. The tower will top off in late spring, according to a Port Authority of New York & New Jersey spokesperson, and is slated for completion in 2013. The plan for 2 WTC is to build to street level and erect the tower (100 percent conventionally financed) later. The initial phase will be completed this year.

At 3 WTC, the concrete core is at the fourth floor. Steel will start to arrive in May, and the building will rise at least to the 7th floor initially.

Four WTC is up to the 61st floor and will top out this spring.

Finally, the transportation hub that’s being built around the interim facility that opened in 2003 is heading for completion in 2014.