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World Trade Center’s performing arts venue gets back on track

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Port Authority has approved a 99-year lease for the former WTCPAC

There hasn’t been much news about the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center, now known as the Perelman Center (dubbed thusly for Ronald O. Perelman, the billionaire philanthropist whose $75 million gift gave him naming rights for the venue), since it was unveiled to much fanfare in 2016.

Last year, it looked like funding issues might stymie the project, but work continued on site in lower Manhattan—and as of this week, an agreement has been reached to put the venue on a path toward completion.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that the Port Authority’s board of commissioners approved a 99-year lease for the venue, at the cost of $1 per year. Under the agreement, that lease could be extended for another 99 years, or the Port Authority could transfer the land it sits to World Trade Center Performing Arts Center, Inc., the organization running the performing arts center.

In terms of funding, Port Authority will receive $48 million from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which will cover below-ground construction, due to finish by the end of the year. The project’s total cost is estimated at $250 million.

“The below grade work has already begun. The structural work is ongoing and on track,” a spokesperson for the Perelman said to Curbed in a statement.

The center will be located on the World Trade Center’s public plaza, adjacent to One WTC. Brooklyn-based firm REX was chosen as the center’s architect in November 2015, and as we previously reported, the firm “teamed up with Charcoalblue to imagine the vast potential of the space; the production level’s three performance spaces and seven movable acoustic walls will allow for 11 different configurations that will house everything from intimate shows sans microphones to rock concerts attended by 1,200 people.” Its exterior will be clad in marble culled from the same quarry that gave shape to the Supreme Court building and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

The whole shebang is due to open in 2020.

World Trade Center

, Manhattan, NY