Things are heating up in the bid to buy into the as-yet-unfinished One World Trade Center, aka Freedom Tower, a 1,776-foot tower (by the way, didn’t something important in our nation’s history happen in 1776?) that will add 2.6 million square feet of office space to Ground Zero. When the current builder, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, opened up a bidding competition in January, six of the United States’ biggest developers threw their hats in the ring. But according to The Wall Street Journal, the recent dropout of Boston Properties Inc. means that only two finalists remain.
On one side of this epic face-off is the family-run Durst Organization, which has specialized in Midtown apartment and office buildings for the better part of a century and most recently completed the Bank of America Tower in Bryant Park. On the other side is Related Cos., a gargantuan international developer responsible for building such mammoth edifices as Columbus Circle’s Time Warner Center.
The private-sector company that wins the war will partner with the Port Authority to manage and market the building, thus determining the trajectory of Ground Zero for years to come. So which will it be: the local ma-and-pa Durst Organization or the global behemoth Related? That’s up to the board of the Port Authority, which would expect the victor to invest somewhere around $100 million.
The board is expected to meet with the two finalists over the next couple of weeks and come to a decision by June 22, according to Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia.
Which would you like to see win the bid: David or Goliath?