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Final undeveloped World Trade Center site could be sold

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5 World Trade Center may finally be developed 12 years after it was torn down

The World Trade Center site in 2018.
Max Touhey

One of the final unfinished pieces of the World Trade Center site may finally be on the road to wrapping up: Crain’s reports that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Port Authority have reached a deal to move forward with a request for proposals (RFP) to developer 5 World Trade Center.

The building is the last parcel of the lower Manhattan megaproject to be without a development plan, nearly 18 years after the World Trade Center attacks of 2001. The former Deutsche Bank building stood at the site at 130 Liberty Street, but it was torn down in 2007.

At one point, JP Morgan was considering building a skyscraper at the site—which abuts the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodex Church—but those plans fell apart more than a decade ago. Ever since, the Port Authority has staunchly maintained that it has no plans for 5 WTC.

But times appear to have changed: According to Crain’s, a potential RFP was discussed at an LMDC board meeting earlier this spring. The site is currently being appraised by each firm, according to the Crain’s source, and once that’s complete—and if those appraisals are within 10 percent of each other—then they can move forward with the bid for developers.

As for what could rise at the site, it can accommodate up to 1 million square feet of buildable space—but whether that would be office space, a hotel, or even residential remains to be seen. As Crain’s puts it, “The site is part of a general project plan—a state zoning framework—that prohibits residential development on the site. The general project plan, however, could be altered by the board of the LMDC.”

The site may be the only remaining piece of the WTC without a development plan, but it’s not the only one that remains unbuilt. Both the St. Nicholas Shrine and the The Ronald O. Perelman Center for The Performing Arts—formerly known as the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center—are currently under construction. And 2 WTC, developed by Silverstein Properties, is still in limbo without an anchor tenant.