In a deal worked out by ex-Mayor Bloomberg, taxpayers will pay nearly $60 million extra to move a city agency seven blocks into expensive office space at Four World Trade Center, a Daily News investigation has found.
Back in 2008, Bloomberg signed off on an agreement to move the Human Resources Administration from its longtime headquarters on Water St. a few blocks west to Larry Silverstein’s tower.
The deal was part of Bloomberg’s effort to jump-start the stalled rebuilding of the Trade Center complex. At the time, the economy had imploded and Silverstein was having a tough time getting commitments to lease space in the yet-to-be-built 4 WTC.
Under Bloomberg’s pact, the deal to rent 581,642 square feet there meant paying a per-square-foot rate far in excess of what the city was paying for the Water St. digs, records show.
In the last four years of the Water St. lease - 2014 through 2018 - the city was expected to pay $26.95 per square foot.
Under the Bloomberg deal, during those same years the city will now have to pay an escalating rate that starts at $56.50 per square foot and rises to $59.50 per square foot. Silverstein had originally asked for $78 per square foot.
That comes to a total cost exceeding $100 million - way above the $46 million the city would have paid out if HRA stayed put at Water St.
And taxpayers will also have to cough up another $5 million to buy out the old lease, records show. That brings the total extra cost to $59 million.
The city is now locked into a 15-year lease where the per-square-foot rate will rise to $73.21 in the last five years of the lease, starting in 2024.
Bloomberg still has the rep for being a fiscal genius, one who saved the city from financial ruin countless times with his business acumen.
You know, like paying $73.21 a square foot instead of $26.95 a square foot for space.