WTC Developer Unveils New Design, Gives Rebuilding Update

A breakfast meeting sponsored by the Alliance for Downtown New York and the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association this morning became the forum for the latest update on the World Trade Center rebuilding effort by developer Silverstein Properties.  During the presentation Silverstein Properties president & CEO Larry Silverstein revealed news about the condo-hotel development at 99 Church St., as well as upcoming steps for Towers 2, 3 and 4. The renowned Robert A.M. Stern Architects is behind the design, unveiled today, of the 40-story condo-hotel that will rise at 99 Church Street, the former headquarters of Moody’s Corp. Silverstein acquired the site as part of its Metro Fund L.L.C. joint venture with the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. Demolition of the Moody’s building got under way last October, paving the way for the development of the condo-hotel tower that will encompass 175 guestrooms on the first 22 floors, topped by 143 residential condominium units on the remaining upper levels. There will also be a substantial cluster of amenities to include a spa and fitness center, meeting facilities and ground-level retail space featuring an upscale restaurant. Silverstein announced that the next major step in developing the high-rise would come this June when actual physical construction activities will commence under the guidance of project general contractor Tishman Construction Corp.  The condominium market in New York City, unlike the case in many other major metropolitan cities, continues to thrive, so 99 Church’s residential units will sprout up in a welcoming climate. The building’s hotel accommodations will likely be warmly received, too. “While there are some great hotels in our neighborhood, we currently have 400 fewer hotel rooms than we did prior to 9/11,” Silverstein said at the meeting. “In fact, only about 2,500 of the 65,000 hotel rooms in Manhattan are located Downtown–under 4 percent. In addition to filling a general guestroom void, the hotel will address another longstanding issue now that, as Silverstein announced today, the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has agreed to operate the property. “It’s no secret that one of the major knocks on Downtown as an office center has been the shortage of the kind of first class amenities–including five star hotels–that are available in Midtown.” Four Seasons will also manage the building’s residences. Silverstein also reported on the status of WTC Towers 2, 3 and 4 on Greenwich Street, which will bring a combined total of over 6 million square feet of premium office space and about 500,000 square feet of retail to Downtown. As it now stands, construction of Towers 3 and 4 is on target to get underway next month, while construction of Tower 2 is scheduled to begin in July.  Silverstein noted that development of the office and retail space, along with the memorial and mass transit accommodations, will carry a total price tag of approximately $20 billion.