Chinese companies eye iconic office space in Manhattan

Updated: 2011-06-23 07:48

By Zhang Yuwei (China Daily)

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NEW YORK - Beijing-based Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) International, which has specialized in aviation trade and international market development for more than 30 years, announced on Tuesday its intention to reopen its East Coast office in 1 World Trade Center.

AVIC International is the first client to lease office space from China Center New York LLC, which signed a lease with the New York Port Authority in 2009 and became the first corporate tenant of the 108-story tower.

AVIC, one of China's largest State-owned enterprises, had an office in lower east Manhattan 12 years ago before it moved to the West Coast. The East Coast office will be AVIC International's seventh office in the United States, along with others in Washington, California, Texas, Alabama, Michigan and Minnesota.

Roger Zhao, vice-president of AVIC International USA, said: "New York is a strategic location to engage in international markets and further explore growth opportunities."

Feng Lun, chairman of China Center and Vantone Holdings Co Ltd, the center's investor, said that it is a good starting point for the center to work with Fortune 500 global firms.

"This reinforces the business community's faith in this project as a nexus for China-US business and cultural exchanges," added Feng, who was the first to commit to 1 World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks on Sept 11 2001.

Feng said that for smart investors, dreams should come before money.

"We should pursue dreams and foresee the value of future investments," he said. "I believe more Chinese companies will be interested in becoming part of this.

Kathryn Wylde, CEO of Partnership for New York City, said that AVIC's relocation to 1 World Trade Center illustrates how Vantone Holdings is creating an important platform in Lower Manhattan for global companies, including those from China.

"This represents an exciting new channel for bringing foreign investment and jobs from the world's fastest growing economy to New York," said Wylde.

The iconic 541-meter tower, currently under construction at ground zero, will be the tallest skyscraper in the city when it's completed by the end of 2013. China Center will lease the 64th to 69th floors - 17,651 square meters - for 22 years.

China Center plans to rent out two of the five floors for office space and develop the rest into a conference facility for business and cultural events.

Jorge Szendiuch, principal at Perkins Eastman, an architecture company that is helping to design the space, said that a vertical Chinese garden will be incorporated into the area.

"(The garden is) not in terms of plants, but in terms of spaces and concept, and how you precede from one space to another. That concept is expressed in the China Center identity," said Szendiuch.

Philippe Visser, director of World Trade Center Redevelopment for the New York Port Authority said the original World Trade Center had many Asian and Chinese tenants, and China Center has helped to bring some of them back.

"This is a large step in terms of bringing those types of companies back into 1 World Trade Center and will make it a very important portion of the building," Visser told China Daily.

"The space speaks for itself. It is world-class office space. All companies, including Chinese ones, will have their 21st-century office headquarters' needs," he added.

China Daily


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