NEW YORK May 17 Media company Conde Nast
Publications is near to reaching a deal to relocate to One
World Trade Center from midtown Manhattan, a move that could
draw other high-profile tenants to the Ground Zero project.
One World Trade Center is being built by the Port Authority
of New York and New Jersey. It has struggled to find firms to
lease space in the skyscraper during the post-recession period,
even after trying to make it more marketable by changing its
name from the Freedom Tower.
John Bellando, Conde Nast chief financial officer and chief
operating officer, on Tuesday said through a spokeswoman:
"Conde Nast is close to concluding these negotiations."
Bellando added: "A move to One World Trade Center would be a
catalyst for helping to transform downtown, similar to our
positive impact in Times Square."
Conde Nast, the publisher of Vogue, Architectural Digest,
Vanity Fair and other glossy magazines, moved to Times Square
from a Madison Avenue location in 1999, before the crossroads
became the tourist magnet it has now become.
The New York Times, on its web site, said Conde Nast had
reached an agreement to lease around one million square feet at
One World Trade Center. The pact was estimated to be worth $2
billion over 25 years.
Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward, in a
statement, signaled a deal was near. "We built a new reality at
the World Trade Center and this transaction will be the
exclamation point on that turnaround."
One World Trade Center, which will be 1.776 feet tall (541
metres), is expected to cost about $3 billion and open in 2013.
It is part of a complex of skyscrapers, a memorial and a museum
that will be built on the 16-acre (6.5 hectare) site where
nearly 3,000 perished on September 11, 2001 after two jets were
flown into the twin towers.
(Reporting by Joan Gralla; Editing by Andrew Hay)