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Developers Wanted: Cuomo Brings 5 World Trade Center Site To Market

The World Trade Center site from 7 World Trade

New York State is on the hunt for developers to build the final piece of the World Trade Center.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state is now seeking proposals from developers for the building, known as 5 World Trade Center. It could reach 900 feet, Crain’s New York Business reports, and may be a mixed-use, commercial or residential space. 

"Nearly 18 years ago, New Yorkers vowed to rebuild Lower Manhattan stronger than ever and 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, reflecting New York's courage and determination in the face of this tragedy."

The announcement marks the end of an ongoing dispute between the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and the Port Authority, which have controlled the site. Once known as 130 Liberty St., LMDC purchased it after the Sept. 11 attack and knocked the building on the site down. It then agreed to hand over control to the Port Authority as part of the larger deal that saw the authority donating the site next to One World Trade for what would become the Ronald O. Perelman Center for the Performing Arts.

However, a dispute over what type of property should be built there resulted in a standoff between the two groups, according to Crain’s. Under the request for proposals, a developer could either buy or lease the site, and may develop a hotel with retail, an office building or a mix of different spaces. However, Cuomo said if a developer builds a residential offering, it will need to include affordable housing.

In the nearly 18 years since the attacks, the Lower Manhattan area has been completely reshaped into an office, retail and residential hub. Durst Organization and Port Authority’s One World Trade Center, completed in 2014, is now 83% leased. Silverstein Properties’ 4 World Trade Center, 7 World Trade Center and 3 World Trade Center have all opened, and only 3 World Trade has significant vacancy.

As yet, 2 World Trade has not secured an anchor tenant, though developer Larry Silverstein told The Real Deal this year he could consider building it without one — a line he has repeated in the years since his deal with Rupert Murdoch to move his businesses to the new tower fell apart.