It’s time for our unconventional Fall Preview — not about openings, but about looming milestones and moments of truth in (mostly) commercial real estate. Here are the big ones to watch:
1. 3 World Trade Center
Although Group M has signed for 550,000 square feet and construction has resumed above the 7-story retail podium, full tower construction awaits Larry Silverstein scoring a construction loan.
It’s hard to imagine the Richard Rogers-designed skyscraper won’t be built — but the sooner the better. A completed tower would leave only one of four planned towers at the site yet to come, and proclaim the triumph of a new World Trade Center. But an unfinished stump would soon wear out its welcome and send a very different message.
2. Vanderbilt Avenue Rezoning
The city’s proposal to allow larger new office towers in the 42nd-47th Street corridor in exchange for developers’ funding transit and infrastructure improvements is supposed to enter the public review process (ULURP) this fall.
The fast-track initiative — as compared with go-slow rezoning of a much broader swath of East Midtown — is specifically aimed at letting SL Green develop One Vanderbilt, a 1,200-foot tall tower on the block bounded by Madison and Vanderbilt avenues and 42nd and 43rd streets. TD Bank would probably be the anchor tenant.
The project would give a needed boost to the obsolescent commercial inventory around Grand Central Terminal. Mayor de Blasio has endorsed it. But the city won’t subject it to ULURP, which requires City Council approval, unless all the “stakeholders” are on board first — among them a bunch of elected officials and Community Board 5.
If the formal review process begins by year’s end, count on it to fly. If it’s postponed, don’t count on a new building anytime soon.
3. 70 Pine Street
Apartment leasing is to begin this winter for 644 rental units at Rose Associates’ 66-story landmark, the former AIG building, which Rose is spending $500 million to re-invent as a luxury residential property.
How swiftly the apartments find takers for the highest rents ever sought in the Wall Street area — more than the $66 per square foot at Frank Gehry-designed 8 Spruce Street — will be a telling barometer of FiDi’s residential appeal.