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Employees of the local government will be among the first people to occupy offices at the former Word Trade Center site in Manhattan, New York, it has emerged.
Larry Silverstein, the developer of the under-construction office space site, has opted to enforce a commitment given by the city authorities on renting 14 floors of the building, citing the arrangement as part of the reason why the plan was given the go-ahead in the first place.
Building work is set to complete at the famous ‘ground zero’ site at some point in 2013 but the government doesn’t intend to relocate members of its workforce until at least a year later. Mr Silverstein was obliged to give 32 months warning that he intended to enforce the agreement reached with the City back in 2006.
There has been some suggestion that the government is effectively having to step in to help what is set to be an iconic development but one that is struggling to attract occupants from the private sector.
A spokesman for the Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg told the Associated Press: “The City’s commitment to take space in 2006 was one of the key steps that enabled development to move forward.”
Rental terms apparently have the local government paying $56.50 per square of office space at the site, which will now be at least three-quarters full shortly after completion, thanks in part to another occupancy deal involving the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Mayor Bloomberg is a leading figure at the media services organisation that carries his name and recently announced plans to lease around 200,000 square feet of Manhattan office space in addition to the millions it already occupies.