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April 6, 2011 7:58 PM

Wilmer Signs WTC Lease; NY State Plans $900 Million Bond Sale

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.


7 WTC_2 Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr signed a lease on Tuesday to occupy 210,000 square feet in 7 World Trade Center in New York City, the firm announced.

The lease, which the firm described as "groundbreaking" for its promotion of enhanced energy efficiency and sustainability, was signed with World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Wilmer co-managing partner William Perlstein in attendance. The firm will occupy floors 41 through 45 of 7 World Trade Center, New York City's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified office building.

Wilmer's lease also calls for both the tenants and building owners to share in the costs and benefits of eventual energy efficiency improvements, which is a change from past standards where owners were generally responsible for up-front upgrades. 

Retired real estate partner Joel Sirkin and Boston real estate partner Paul Jakubowski represented Wilmer internally on the lease. Proskauer Rose also advised Wilmer on the deal.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom represented Silverstein Properties Inc. on the lease, according to Wilmer. Wallace Schwartz, global head of the firm's real estate practice, led a team that included partner Adam Endick and associate Julia Forte.

Bloomberg news noted Wilmer's lease in this article on Manhattan office leasing. According to the article, New York City saw a four-and-a-half-year high in new commercial leases in the first quarter of 2011. Citing data from property broker Cushman & Wakefield Inc., Bloomberg reports that leases for 7.6 million square feet of office space in Manhattan alone were signed in that time--the most since the third quarter of 2006. The largest lease in that period came from the city of New York itself, which will occupy 619,000 square feet in the 4 World Trade Center tower, which is still under construction.

Silverstein Properties Inc. will issue $900 million of fixed-rate municipal bonds next week intended to refinance debt that was issued to pay for construction of the tower at the World Trade Center site, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing a spokeswoman at the Empire State Development Corporation.

The bonds will be issued through New York State's Liberty Development Corporation, which is a subsidiary of Empire. The bonds were originally issued as part of the Liberty Bond program, Bloomberg reports, which was part of an economic package meant to assist the city in recovering from the September 11 terrorist attacks with tax-exempt financing. A group of investment banks led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will be selling the bonds.

Skadden's Ben Needell and Marco Caffuzzi are handling the bond issue for Silverstein Properties, working alongside in-house attorneys Jon Knipe and Nicholas Pazich.

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