Call for affordable visions for 5 World Trade Center
20 years after the September 11th attacks, 130 Liberty Street (Site 5) is the final parcel of the World Trade Center (WTC) masterplan left undefined. On this publicly-owned land, Silverstein Properties and Brookfield Properties, working with Kohn Pedersen Fox, have proposed a 900-foot mixed-use tower with 1,200 residential apartments. If built, the tower would be the only residential tower on the 16-acre WTC site. Under the current plan, 25 percent (300 units) of the apartments would be rented below market rate and designated for tenants earning below 50 percent of the area median income. Given the severe lack of affordable housing in downtown Manhattan, a group of residents and activists, called The Coalition for a 100% Affordable 5 WTC, have mobilized to argue that the Site 5 tower should be composed of entirely affordable units.
The developers backing the current proposal claim that this degree of affordability is untenable given the enormous construction and labor cost of building a supertall tower in Lower Manhattan. Counter to this, the community coalition, who now have significant political support, argue that providing deep affordability at this publicly owned site, purchased with federal funds, is a crucial political and symbolic gesture. (They also support a tenant preference for 9/11 survivors and essential workers). In support of the grassroots coalition, New York Review of Architecture and Citygroup ask you to imagine an alternative vision.
This is not an abstract, pie-in-the-sky call for ideas. This call is structured around the actual approval process for the tower. The period for public comments closes at 5pm on February 15. The final deadline is February 12, so that the collected ideas can be submitted as a public comment.
As the timeline is short, we are keeping the deliverable very simple: a single rendering, from the same perspective as the KPF rendering. All of the submissions will be included in an exhibition at Citygroup, and the work will be featured in an issue of New York Review of Architecture. A few groups may be invited by the coalition to develop further drawings.
Please sign up below and to receive a full brief, a deliverable description, and a recording of the workshop that occurred on January 10, 2022, as well as reminders of the impending deadline. Submissions are due on February 12, 2022.
Organized by Citygroup and New York Review of Architecture in support of the The Coalition for a 100% Affordable 5 WTC