CCNY to occupy US's tallest building

Updated: 2013-11-15 13:16

By Amy He in New York (China Daily USA)

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 CCNY to occupy US's tallest building

The 1,776-foot One World Trade Center (1WTC) dethroned the Willis Tower in Chicago, which had been the tallest building in the US for the last four decades. Bai Jie / for China Daily

One World Trade Center was declared the tallest building in the United States this week, and for China Center (CCNY) the 104-story building in New York, its future home, reflects how the global economy is evolving and how deeply interrelated are China and US connections.

"The Center will foster bilateral cultural exchange by providing economic, political and cultural activities to our members and clients," Feng Lun, chairman of CCNY and Vantone Real Estate, wrote in an e-mail to China Daily. "China Center is a symbol of China's future development. "

Established in 2004 as a platform to support Chinese companies doing business in New York, CCNY is funded by Beijing-based real-estate giant Vantone Industrial Co Ltd in partnership with the New York City Investment Fund.

CCNY signed a 20-year lease with the Port Authority in 2009, for about 190,000 square feet of space on six floors at $80 per square foot to start. The company is One World Trade Center's first corporate tenant with occupancy scheduled for early 2015.

In addition to office suites, CCNY's space will include a private-member club, multiple restaurants, a bar, a tea lounge and conference spaces, which will enable "meaningful connections, conversation, and exchange," Feng wrote.

Earlier in September, CCNY announced a partnership with Singapore's restaurant group Tung-Lok Group to run its restaurant with renowned chef Susur Lee. The executive chairman of TungLok Group said in a statement that this partnership is the group's first outside of the Asia-Pacific region.

"China Center will serve as the primary platform for Chinese companies entering the United States, as well as for American businesses seeking new market opportunities in China," wrote Feng. "We strive to make overseas expansion as seamless as possible."

Many companies are already coming to New York for business opportunities, Feng wrote, so he hoped that they can use China Center's facilities to further their business goals.

"As China becomes more integrated into the global market, there is growing curiosity in the Western world to understand its culture, business and people, and an equal desire for China to better understand its western counterparts," wrote Feng.

Feng, whose Vantone Real Estate is one of the largest property developers in China and one of the first major Chinese real estate companies operating in the US, said he saw Chinese interest in New York real estate years ago and jumped on the opportunity to negotiate development at the new World Trade Center towers.

The 1,776-foot One World Trade Center dethroned the Willis Tower in Chicago, which had been the tallest building in the US for the last four decades. Despite having fewer floors than the Willis Tower, 1WTC was crowned by The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat after it determined that 1WTC's 408-foot long mast placed it higher than the 1,451-foot Willis Tower.

Chinese investors are making commercial real estate purchases in the US, the latest being Fosun International's acquisition of One Chase Manhattan Plaza. The company announced in October that it paid $725 million for the landmark building.

"[The real estate market] is no longer local business to Chinese," Feng wrote. "As more and more real estate in the US is developed and/or owned by Chinese investors, business opportunities and exchanges ."

(China Daily USA 11/15/2013 page1)