By Josh Rogers Downtown Express
Nine days before construction on 3 World Trade Center was scheduled to stop, developer Larry Silverstein announced he finalized a lease to keep the work going.
The GroupM media investment firm and Silverstein Properties Inc. announced on Monday that they had signed a 20-year lease for 516,000 square feet at 3 W.T.C., a.k.a. 175 Greenwich St. GroupM plans to transfer about 2,400 employees from offices in the new building in 2017.
Under a 2010 agreement with the Port Authority,the city and the state, Silverstein needed to sign a major tenant for 3 W.T.C. this year in order to begin building a skyscraper over the 8-story retail stump under construction.
Silverstein has been confident that construction would continue since July, when he reached an agreement in principle with GroupM. And he reiterated that confidence this month at his firm’s groundbreaking ceremony for the Four Seasons.
“GroupM is looking forward to becoming part of one of the most vibrant and important neighborhoods in New York City,” Kelly Clark, C.E.O. of GroupM North America, said in the Dec. 23rd press release.
“I congratulate GroupM and thank our government partners at the World Trade Center for helping ensure continued momentum in Lower Manhattan,” Silverstein said in the same release.
The Downtown Alliance has pointed to the deal as an important signal that the Wall Street area is home to more and more new media firms, and is less dominated by the financial sector.
About 450 firms have moved to Lower Manhattan since 2005, according to the Alliance, and 51 percent of the 10 million square feet leased by those firms have been in the creative or professional services.
According to the Downtown Alliance, 455 firms have moved to Lower Manhattan since 2005, leasing a total of 10 million square feet. 211 of those companies have been in creative or professional services, taking 51% of the space leased.
These firms “are joining pillars of Downtown – like finance and law – to help realize the full promise of this district and animate the spectacular buildings at the Trade Center,” William Bernstein, the Alliance’s acting president, said in a prepare statement.
Tower 3 at the W.T.C. will be 80 stories and is designed by Richard Rogers.
“The community cares about this because it means that the sidewalks on Dey & Cortland Streets and Greenwich & Church Streets will be restored and open,” Catherine McVay Hughes, Community Board 1’s chairperson, said in the press release. “In addition, there will finally be access to the major transportation hub which has the PATH and subway lines as well as fine shopping along the way.”