01/23/2012 10:27 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

3 World Trade Center Could Be Capped At 7 Stories; Silverstein Struggles To Find Major Tenant

3 World Trade Center was originally planned as an 80-story skyscraper. Now, however, it could be just 7.

Crain's New York reports developer Larry Silverstein, after talks with UBS failed, has been unable to secure a big-time tenant for the structure. Getting a business to pre-lease 400,000 square feet in the building, and in this economy, has proved difficult.

"The willingness of large-scale tenants to commit in this environment is limited because companies don't want to go out and spend a lot of money," Peter Hennessy, president of commercial real estate firm Cassidy Turley's New York Tristate Region, told Crain's. "It's not the building; it's the market."

Silverstein is now interested in turning the 7-story building into a retail center, while still hoping the building could one day reach up to the 80-story mark. If the building is indeed capped at 7 stories, the cap itself could be removed if a major tenant is found.

The 80-story 3 WTC was scheduled to open in 2015. In order to get public financing for Tower 3, Silvierstein has to lease out 20 percent of the building, according to an agreement with Port Authority.

Conde Nast inked a deal to move into 1 WTC when that building's completed, but the deal was heavily subsidized.