May 12, 2009

Hotel in the future of World Trade Center?

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey plans to replace one of the office towers at the World Trade Center with a luxury hotel, the New York Post said.

Sources told the newspaper the agency believes a combination of hotel and up-market apartments is a better commercial proposition than more offices, given the current oversupply of commercial buildings in Manhattan. JPMorgan Chase & Co. has abandoned its plans for a tower on the site.

The Port Authority took over the former Deutsche Bank site, Tower 5, in 2006 and originally proposed residential development. Then the agency switched to an office tower because of rising demand, which has disappeared since the economy slumped.

It's back to the future, one observer of the scene told the Post.

The Port Authority is also embroiled in a dispute with developer Larry Silverstein. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has arranged a meeting this week with Silverstein and the governors of New York and New Jersey in an attempt to work things out.