West Side Analysis: Ball Begins to Roll
By Natalie Dolce
NEW YORK CITY-World Product Centre LLC, a showroom that will feature the latest in high-tech medical equipment, intends to occupy one million sf at the former Copacabana site located on 34th Street and 11th Avenue. If all goes according to plan, Extell Development Co. will construct the specially designed building, commencing at the beginning of 2009 and to be completed by 2012. The question is, in an area that is in the process of experiencing such a huge redevelopment boom from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River, what will this addition mean for the West Side?
The WPC is designed to reflect the needs of doctors, hospital administrators and purchasing agents in sourcing, selecting and integrating advances in medical technology into their facilities, bringing together manufacturers of innovative medical devices, diagnostics, equipment and supporting systems under one roof.
Israel Green, the entrepreneur behind the visionary project and chairman and president of World Product Centre LLC notes that this is the most exciting economical project in New York City for the last 30 to 40 years. “This facility will attract millions of people from all over the world,” he tells GlobeSt.com.
Located across the street from the soon-to-be expanded Javits Convention Center and adjacent to the planned subway station, the site will bring tens of thousands of doctors, hospital administrators and purchasers annually to New York City, according to the WPC. Annually, the general public, broader healthcare community and the medical industry bring approximately three million visitors to the city, which will enhance and support visitors to the World Product Centre, according to the company.
Jeffrey Katz, president & CEO of locally based Sherwood Equities Inc., who owns properties just east of the site, tells GlobeSt.com that he is optimistic about what this deal means for the area. “It is taking no market risk,” he says. “It will be great for the neighborhood and it will prompt many others to follow suit.”
Katz further explains that it is hard to find a specialty building in this area for this type of service. Green agrees that with the prime location and amount of square footage with 17-inch ceiling heights, it is difficult to find a footprint like this. “We can expand up to 1.5 million sf and that sort of space just doesn’t exist in Manhattan,” he notes. “There were large chunks of space available, such as 11 Times Square that we looked at, but it was in an ‘L’ shape, only about 750,000 sf and didn’t fit in with our plans.”
As of now, WPC has signed a letter of intent with Gary Barnett’s Extell Development to occupy the building. The letter is a key component of the project because it allows WPC to begin signing lease/licensing agreements with medical device manufacturers around the world to establish their presence in the facility. Katz adds, “It is getting the ball rolling.”