A look at World Trade Center site construction

September 9, 2012 9:51:58 PM PDT
It takes several minutes in a makeshift work elevator to get to the sixtieth floor of Four World Trade Center.

The view is spectacular, but only half of the office space has been leased out.

"Every big company that is out there in the marketplace is coming down, looking with their brokers, spending time laying out their space, how it might work, and then we'll see," said Janno Lieber of World Trade Center Properties.

Developers insist they are confident.

By this time next year, Four World Trade Center will rise to 72 stories, or 977 feet. As tall as that is, the other towers in the master plan are designed to be even taller.

Two World Trade Center, with its unique, angular spires, is intended to be 88 stories. However, it might not be built for several years, because not a single tenant has signed on.

At Four World Trade, the only major tenant so far is the Port Authority. Some critics are suggesting that the World Trade Center site is in danger of being overbuilt. However, the developers say "no".

"Remember, Seven World Trade opened six years ago, and people said 'it has no tenants' and lo and behold, it is totally full, so we see the same thing here," Lieber said.

What's more, he insists, the city needs modern office space to remain competitive.

"We need new high-tech green office space to compete on the world stage, but we haven't been building it," Lieber adds.

The philosophy at the World Trade Center site seems to be borrowed from the movie, "Field of Dreams" - "if you build it, they will come.' However it is, of course, too soon to know whether the developers are right.

Four World Trade is scheduled to open in October 2013. One World Trade, once known as the Freedom Tower will open in 2014. Tenants in the 104-story building will include magazine giant Conde Nast, and the General Services Administration.

A transportation hub connecting 13 subway lines and the PATH train is set to open in 2015.


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