Original World Trade Center tenant downsizes lease

The view from One World Trade Center's observatory
The view from One World Trade Center's observatory

The first company to agree to lease space in One World Trade Center is slashing the amount of space it will rent in the tower.

In June 2008 the China Center New York agreed to rent four full floors the new tower when it signed a 20-year lease. The China Center plans to have conference rooms, restaurants and other facilities that Chinese firms can use when conducting business in New York.

It will now rent only one floor in the tower, though it will be on the much pricier 89th floor, where rents are $100 a square foot per year. It had previously agreed to lease the 65th to 69th floors, where the asking price for rents was $75 a square foot. The 90th floor is the highest office floor in the tower, just beneath a three-floor observatory.

The new lease will amount to only 18% of the space China Center originally agreed to rent.

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The tower opened in November 2014, with publisher Conde Nast being the first tenant to move in.

About 61% of the building's 3.1 million square feet available to rent is now under lease, said Jordan Barowitz, spokesman for Durst Organization, which owns the tower in a joint venture with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The Port Authority was set to consider the change in China Center's lease at its meeting Thursday. It said that the China Center had agreed to pay a total of $72.8 million in rent over the 20 years of the lease, as well as an undisclosed penalty for downsizing out of the earlier lease.

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