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Port Authority okays Trade Ctr. improvements.

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners on November 18 authorized a $61.7 million project to increase the World Trade Center's electrical capacity to meet the growing demands of today's energy-intensive office technology.

In other actions, the Board authorized:

* A $9.8 million project for improvements to the 12th Street approach to the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City;

* $700,000 in planning funds for a similar project along 14th Street in Jersey City;

* Applying for Foreign-Trade Zone status for Merck and Company, the pharmaceuticals firm;

* A lease at JFK for the operation of a jet engine testing facility;

* A lease at JFK with United Parcel Service;

* The retention of an aircraft brokerage firm to sell the bi-state agency's Bell helicopter; and

* Two lease agreements at the Port Authority Bus Terminal under which existing retail tenants will renovate their premises.

WTC Electrical

Capacity Expansion Project

This $61.7 million project will increase the amount of electrical power available to tenants in the World Trade Center to ten watts per square-foot from the current average of four watts per square-foot. The project entails the design, purchase and installation of six new substations and related power distribution equipment.

"The increased use of such energy-intensive office technology as computers, fax machines and copiers has sharply increased the amount of electricity needed by our tenants," Port Authority Chairman Richard C. Leone said following the monthly meeting of the Board. "When the complex was designed 25 years ago, four watts per square foot was the norm. These days tenants routinely request an average of 10 watts per square foot.

"Although we have the current capability to provide additional electrical capacity on an as-needed, where-needed basis, this project will enable the complex to meet future demand. Along with many other planned improvements, this electrical upgrade will help ensure that the World Trade Center retains its status as a first-class international business complex and as a prime property in the New York real estate market."

Planning for the project began in April 1992. The project will progress in phases, with the final phase scheduled for completion in March 1999.

Holland Tunnel 12th Street

Traffic Improvements Project

This $9.8 million project will provide new traffic signals, signage and lighting along 12th Street between Jersey Avenue and Luis Munoz, Marin Boulevard, improving traffic flow approaching the Holland Tunnel from Routes 1 and 9 and the New Jersey Turnpike. The work is expected to begin early next year and be completed in 1995. Construction will be done during non-peak hours to minimize inconvenience to motorists.

"Since the installation of the existing traffic signal system in the 1960s, Holland Tunnel traffic has increased from 10.3 million vehicles a year to more than 15 million," Chairman Leone said. "At present, the 12th Street approach handles approximately 42,000 vehicles daily," he noted. "The new signal system will coordinate the timing of several lights, providing much-improved traffic flow along 12th Street, as well as for Jersey City's cross traffic."

The project also includes construction of a new sidewalk to accommodate the area's increased pedestrian traffic.

Holland Tunnel 14th Street

Traffic Improvements Planning

The Board authorized planning expenditures of $700,000 for a future project to replace the traffic signals, signage and lighting along 14th Street between Jersey Avenue and Luis Munoz Marin Boulevard. 14th Street handles west-bound traffic exiting the Holland Tunnel's north tube.

The planning authorization will permit the development of preliminary engineering plans for the project, which will also include replacing the roadway's wearing surface.

Construction work under the 14th Street project is expected to begin in late 1995, subject to further authorization by the Board.

Foreign-Trade Zone


The Board also authorized filing an application with the U.S. Department of Commerce to grant Foreign-trade subzone status for Merck and Company's plant in Rahway, New Jersey. The Port Authority is grantee of Foreign-Trade Zone No. 49, which encompasses the entire the Port Newark/Elizabeth Marine Complex.

"The creation of a Foreign-Trade subzone at Merck's Rahway facility would give an economic boost to our region," Chairman Leone said. "It would enable Merck to reduce, defer or eliminate duty tariffs, which would, in turn, reduce production costs. This could translate into the creation of more jobs, as export activity at the Rahway plant should increase, and Merck could be encouraged to shift some of its subprocessing from its plants outside of the United States to Rahway."

Merck moves 62 percent of its East Coast port shipments through the Port of New York and New Jersey. The firm operates 26 manufacturing plants in 15 countries, employing about 37,700 people worldwide, including some 3,100 people at its 200-acre Rahway plant.

JFK Jet Engine

Test Facility

The Board authorized a five-year lease agreement with Gas Turbine Test Corporation (GTTC) for the airport's Building 215, a specialized 20,700 square-foot facility that is capable of testing three jet engines simultaneously. The jet engine test facility was formerly operated by Pan American World Airways.

"Federal aviation regulations require that all aircraft engines be tested after repairs or overhauls," Chairman Leone explained. "This specialized facility was built by Pan Am for that purpose, and we are gratified that it will continue in full operation. It is an important service to the airline community in our region."

The newly formed GTTC is affiliated with the Gas Turbine Corporation of East Granby, Connecticut, which repairs aircraft engines. Under the lease agreement approved today, GTTC will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of Building 215, which it has been operating under a month-to-month arrangement since January.

JFK Lease with

United Parcel Service

The Board authorized a three-year lease with the worldwide package carrier United Parcel Service (UPS) for 99,200 square feet of space in and around Building 84 in the airport's North Cargo Area.

Chairman Leone said "This lease with one of the nation's largest handlers of air cargo will strengthen our region's leading position in the industry."

He noted that the air cargo industry in the New York/New Jersey region generates nearly 100,000 jobs and $8.5 billion a year in economic activity, including $2.7 billion a year in wages and salaries. "It is an industry that we have worked very hard to nurture, and one that continues to be an economic boon to the region," said.

The space to be leased to UPS was formerly occupied by Icelandair, which has relocated to another building at JFK. UPS will lease about a quarter of Building 84 - 11,83 1 square-feet of cargo warehouse space and 87,375 square-feet of aircraft ramp and other outside space, including six truck docks.

UPS currently subleases 1,000 square feet of warehouse space from AMR Corp., the cargo-handling sister company of American Airlines. It has been a sub-tenant at JFK since 1980.

In 1992, John F. Kennedy International Airport handled a record 1,355,000 tons of domestic and international air cargo, valued at $82 billion.

Port Authority Bus Terminal

Lease Agreements

At the Port Authority Bus Terminal, two long-time retail tenants, a florist and a shoe repair shop, will modernize their premises under the terms of new lease agreements approved by the Board.

Saks Florist, a retail store offering a variety of fresh cut flowers, plants, and floral giftware, will extend its lease an additional 11 years at its location on the Suburban Level of the South Wing. Saks Florist will renovate its 430 square-feet of space, making improvements to the walls, floor, ceiling, lighting and fixtures.

Similarly, Port Drago Corp., a store specializing in shoe repair services and shoe accessories, will have its lease extended ten years and will relocate from its existing space on the Main Concourse of the South Wing to the Suburban Level of the South Wing. Port Drago will completely refurbish its new premises, consisting of 1,121 square-feet, to create a first-class shoe service center.

Chairman Leone said "These lease renewals are part of an intensive and continuing effort to make the Port Authority Bus Terminal more attractive and secure for the 185,000 travelers who use it every day." He added that a recent survey of 4,000 of the terminal's patrons confirmed that a growing number believe that improvements in policing and safety, as well as recent renovations, have made their daily journeys more pleasant.
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Title Annotation:Port Authority Board of Commissioners of New York and New Jersey approves project to expand World Trade Center electrical capacity
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Dec 1, 1993
Previous Article:Bloomingdale's consolidates on Third.
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