'Freedom' Rings In First Commercial Lease

Beijing Vantone Real Estate Co. is expected to sign a 23-year lease in the Freedom Tower

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Spencer Platt/Getty Images
    A picture of the planned skyline with the Freedom Tower hangs beside the former World Trade Center site.

    The first official lease in the new World Trade Center is expected to be signed on Thursday, when a Chinese real estate company agrees to rent 190,000 square feet in the Freedom Tower.

    It took three years of negotiations, but Beijing Vantone Real Estate Co. is expected to sign a 23-year lease for floors 64 through 69 in the 102-story skyscraper, which is being developed by the Port Authority.  Rent reportedly starts at about $80 a square foot.

    The Freedom Tower, which will be known as 1 World Trade Center, is slated for completion in 2013.

    Vantone has been eyeing space in Lower Manhattan for three years. The firm had looked to sign on at Larry Silverstein’s 7 World Trade Center and also at 195 Broadway – but both leases fell apart late in the negotiation process.

    The Chinese group plans to build a cultural and business center for Chinese companies doing business in the United States and American companies working in China, the New York Times reported.

    The only other tenants slated to move into the World Trade Complex is state, city and federal government agencies who are expected to rent out more than 2.3 million square feet.  Those leases have not yet been signed. 

    That leaves more than 7 million square feet unaccounted for, including two entire planned buildings.