Perelman Donating $75 Million for World Trade Center Arts Venue

  • Performing arts center was part of 2003 master plan for site
  • Complex design calls for three theaters and 2020 completion

Ronald Perelman

Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

Billionaire investor Ronald O. Perelman is giving $75 million to fund the construction, endowment and operation of a performing arts complex at the World Trade Center.

The arts center, scheduled to open in 2020, will provide space in lower Manhattan for theater, dance, music, opera and other productions, according to a statement Wednesday.

“It will represent the vitality and energy that has emerged in response to the tragedy of 9/11,” Perelman, chairman of MacAndrews & Forbes, a closely held investment firm, said in the statement. “It will be a constant reminder of resilience and healing through artistic expression and community.”

A performing arts center was part of the 2003 master plan for the development that has risen where the twin towers stood before they were felled by two hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, 2001, killing 2,600 people. Designed by New York-based architecture firm REX, the center will have three separate theaters that can be conjoined in different configurations.

Perelman, whose net worth is estimated at $15.5 billion, has been a benefactor of the Guggenheim Museum, Apollo Theater Foundation and Carnegie Hall in New York and Ford’s Theater in Washington. This month, his Revlon Inc. cosmetics firm agreed to acquire Elizabeth Arden Inc. for about $419 million.

The donation was reported earlier today by the New York Times.

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