New York State seeks proposals for remaining World Trade Center site

The World Trade Center campus' fifth tower could top out at 900 feet. 
The World Trade Center campus’ fifth tower could top out at 900 feet.  Photo Credit: Getty Images/GeorgePeters

State officials are seeking proposals to construct a commercial building or a mixed-use project with residences on the last available parcel of the World Trade Center campus.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the state’s economic development arm, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are seeking bids for development on the 33,000 square-foot property, just south of Liberty Park. 

"Nearly eighteen years ago, New Yorkers vowed to rebuild lower Manhattan stronger than ever, and with the request for proposals now open for World Trade Center Site 5, we are continuing to make good on that promise," Cuomo said in a statement. "This project will create jobs, spur economic growth and bring us one step closer to completing Downtown’s rebirth …"

The Deutsche Bank Building once stood on the site, but was severely damaged during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation bought the parcel in 2004 and finished clearing and excavating it in 2011.

Now, the development corporation and Port Authority are looking to lease or sell the site and have it redeveloped into the fifth tower on the campus. Projects may span up to 1.345 million square feet total and include a hotel with up to 800 rooms, up to 150,000 square feet of convention space and up to 45,000 square feet of retail, according to the formal request for proposals.

The mixed-use alternative would allow for up 1.1 million square feet of residential development and 45,000 square feet of community facility or retail space. In accordance with the city’s affordable housing program, a portion of the apartments would need to be below market-rate.

The parcel had previously been designated for a commercial building under a redevelopment plan, but Empire State Development, a state agency, noted in a news release that it is open to mixed-use projects because office space has opened nearby and the neighborhood needs additional housing. Anything other than a commercial development, however, would require modifying the prior plan and going through an environmental review. 

The original redevelopment vision called for five commercial towers surrounding the Sept. 11 memorial, with tower 1 extending to the greatest height — 1,776 feet — and each of the other towers topping out at lower altitudes, with tower 5 reaching 900 feet. 

Tower 1 is 83% leased; tower 3 is more than 50% leased; and tower 4 is fully leased, according to Empire State Development. Silverstein Properties, which controls the tower 2 site, is waiting on an anchor tenant to move forward with construction of the commercial building, according to the state agency.

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