China Considers Office Space at 7 WTC

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One of China's largest real estate companies is seeking to acquire space in the city — possibly in the reopened 7 World Trade Center (search) — to use as magnet space to attract Chinese firms, reports say.

Beijing Ventone Real Estate (search) is seeking to lease 1 million square feet of office space, either in Midtown or downtown, then sublet the space to Chinese companies setting up shop here, Crain's New York Business said.

Ventone would provide those companies with support services such as conference facilities and translators, the publication said.

City officials are pushing hard to nudge Ventone in the direction of downtown.

"We are hopeful that they'll go to 7 World Trade Center," said Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City (search), according to Crain's.

"Ventone's preference is for Lower Manhattan, from what I understand," said Josh Sirefman, a spokesman for Deputy mayor Daniel Doctoroff. He said Ventone's plan "dovetails nicely with what we are trying to accomplish downtown," according to Crain's.

However, Midtown has a few real estate cards of its sleeve, Crain's noted, including 1 million square feet at the Bank of America tower at 1 Bryant Park and 700,000 square feet at the New York Times Building at West 41st Street and Eighth Avenue.

With only 20,000 square feet of its 1.7 million square-feet being leased, 7 World Trade Center is virtually vacant at this time. Other than offices of leaseholder and World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein, it is largely a towering ghost town.

Renovations there were completed in October 2004.