Housing plan approved for lower Manhattan

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New York Construction Report staff writer

A major, mixed-use development has been approved at 5 World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan that will include 1,200 units of housing.

The development will be one of the largest affordable housing developments in Lower Manhattan and the only residential site at the World Trade Center. It will also include approximately 10,000 square-feet of non-profit community space to be occupied by the Educational Alliance, more than 190,000 square-feet of commercial retail and office space, and a connection to the nearby Liberty Park.

“If we are to properly address housing issues throughout the city and enable more economic growth in our communities, we must approve and complete more projects that not only provide accessible housing, but create good paying, family-sustaining careers for hard working New Yorkers,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “The approval of this project by the Public Authorities Control Board is a win-win for our city and its workers, as it will provide much-needed affordable housing in Lower Manhattan and provide hundreds of opportunities for our union tradesmen and tradeswomen.

“We applaud Governor Hochul for her leadership in driving this initiative forward and are eager to work with her and the city to get this project started.”

5 World Trade Center is the location of the former Deutsche Bank building, 130 Liberty Street, which was severely damaged on 9/11. In 2019, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation issued a request for proposals to redevelop 5 World Trade Center. In February 2021, a contract was awarded to a development team comprised of Silverstein Properties, Omni NY, Dabar Development and Brookfield Properties.

Governor Hochul made the announcement this week alongside elected officials, including New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh, Mayor Eric Adams, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and New York City Councilmember Chris Marte.

“The resurgence of lower Manhattan after the 9/11 attacks is an only-in-America comeback story,” Governor Hochul said. “With this project, we’re about to transform an old parking lot into new homes for thousands of New Yorkers — bringing new affordable housing and community spaces to this iconic neighborhood. It wasn’t easy to get to this point, but I’m committed to doing everything in my power to build more housing across New York.”

One-third of the development’s units will be made permanently affordable with affordability and 20 percent will be offered to individuals living and working in Lower Manhattan during the 9/11 attacks and the immediate aftermath.

This project is made possible through a variety of local and state funding sources with the State contributing $60 million. Also, $5 million will be provided from the Battery Park City Authority’s Joint Purpose Fund and the Port Authority is seeking approval from the Board of Commissioners on a short-term rent deferral to enable the transaction to proceed.

“New York City has a severe housing shortage, and every new home is a step in the right direction,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “Our administration was happy to support Governor Hochul in advancing this project and advocating for affordable housing, and we look forward to continuing this close partnership with the governor as we work to create the housing New Yorkers so desperately need.”

Carlo A. Scissura, president and CEO of the New York Building Congress says he is thrilled to see that the governor and key legislators are in agreement on the mixed-use development.

“Approval on this critical project by the NYS Public Authorities Control Board will bring over 1,200 units of much-needed housing to lower Manhattan,” he said. “We laud our partners in government for identifying additional subsidies, allowing the project to fund even more affordable housing units, bringing the total to 400, and with deepened affordability.

“We have been proud to support this critical project, which will deliver five times the number of affordable homes produced across all of Lower Manhattan in a typical year and further demonstrates this administration’s commitment to increasing our housing supply amid a growing housing crisis.”

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