NEW YORK CITY-Chinese developer Beijing Vantone Real Estate Co. has agreed to lease 190,000 square feet at One World Trade Center, the Freedom Tower, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing anonymous sources. Vantone would be the first confirmed private-sector tenant at the 1,776-foot tower now under construction at Ground Zero. A spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is building the 102-story tower, did not return inquiries by deadline.

According to published reports, the deal–which has not yet been signed–is similar to a non-binding agreement announced last June by the Port Authority. At that time, Vantone subsidiary China Center New York LLC was to build out 190,000 square feet of office space on floors 64 through 69 of the Freedom Tower, along with 5,000 square feet of storage space.

The lease would have run for 23 years, with rents starting at $80 per square foot and escalating every five years, according to a release from the authority. The space would have contained the China Center, intended as a hub for Chinese businesses looking to operate in the US.

Beijing-based Vantone has been angling to take space Downtown since at least January 2006, when it inked a non-binding agreement to occupy the top five floors at Silverstein Properties Inc.’s 7 World Trade Center. The deal fell apart six months later, after Vantone failed to deliver a letter of credit to SPI on time. In early 2007, a deal to take space at L&L Acquisitions’ 195 Broadway reportedly ended under similar circumstances.

A spokesman for Jones Lang LaSalle, which is representing Vantone, did not respond to calls for comment by deadline. The Port Authority’s board is expected to vote on the deal at its Thursday meeting.

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