With progress made on WTC, downtown continues to resurge

The recent Presidential visit to One World Trade Center and the final beam topping out Four World Trade Center are inspirational signs of Lower Manhattan’s rebirth and resurgence after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The Real Estate Board of New York applauds its members Silverstein Properties, Inc., The Durst Organization, Inc., Tishman Realty & Construction Co. and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for the enormous progress they have achieved.

At the site’s anchor building, One World Trade Center, steel has been erected to the 104th floor at 1,368 feet above street level. The iconic building is New York’s tallest structure and will be the highest building in the Western Hemisphere when completed.

Last month, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited One World Trade to take a private tour to see the progress of construction.  It was their first visit since the 10th anniversary of 9/11. They were welcomed on Flag Day, June 14, by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Port Authority Chairman David Samson, Vice Chair Scott Rechler (a REBNY member), Executive Director Pat Foye and Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni.

In honor of Flag Day, the Port Authority flew the largest free-flowing flag in the country from the side of One World Trade Center. While on site, the President, the First Lady, Governors Cuomo and Christie and Mayor Bloomberg signed a steel beam that is part of the building’s superstructure. Workers will install it during the topping out ceremony when the structure’s steel framework is completed.

One World Trade Center, which is 55 percent leased, will stand 1,776 feet tall, including a 408-foot spire when completed. Anchor tenant Conde Nast is taking nearly 1.2 million square feet—and its presence has redefined a new and more diversified Lower Manhattan.

One World Trade Center is owned principally by the Port Authority. An estimated 5 percent equity stake of the building was sold to the Durst Organization, in exchange for a reported investment of $100 million. The Durst Organization is assisting in supervising the building's construction, and manages the building for the Port Authority, having responsibility for leasing, property management and tenant installations.

At a soaring height of 977 feet, Four World Trade Center is the first building at the site to top off. On June 25, the final steel beam weighing 8 tons and adorned with an American flag was hoisted and placed. The last beam displayed several signatures, including building owner Larry Silverstein, dignitaries and construction workers. It will be the sixth tallest building in New York upon its completion in fall 2013.  (Tishman Construction serves as the construction manager for Towers One, Three and Four at the World Trade Center site.)

Four World Trade Center was designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki.  Maki’s design set out to achieve two goals: create a sleek modern tower with a quiet dignified presence facing the Memorial, and a podium that will activate and serve the entire neighborhood.  On the other side of this building, facing Church Street, is a 75-foot atrium with shops, restaurants and access to every subway downtown.

So far, Four World Trade Center, at the corner of Liberty and Greenwich streets, has two tenants the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the City of New York.  They will each be taking approximately 600,000 rentable square feet (15 floors) at the base of the building, out of the 2.3 million total rentable square feet.  The building’s budget is $1.67 billion and financing is a mix of liberty bonds and insurance proceeds.

Seeing this progress at the WTC site is not only wonderful for Lower Manhattan, but for the city and nation as well.  It is the result of the hard work and dedication by all those involved. We look forward to the completion of both these buildings as they become distinguished parts of our city’s breathtaking skyline.

In other REBNY News:

New and gently worn women and men’s business shoes are needed.  REBNY has partnered with Dress for Success & Career Gear for the Annual Summer Donation Drive going on now until Aug. 24, 2012.

If your shoe donations are appropriate to wear to work and you would be comfortable wearing them to an interview, we’ll take them. All donations are 100 percent tax-deductible. Firms are welcomed to collect from their own offices to participate.

Shoes can be dropped off Monday through Thursday, 11 am to 3 pm and Friday, 11 am to 2 pm at the REBNY reception area, 570 Lexington Ave at 51st Street, on the second floor.

Dress for Success is an international not-for-profit organization and Career Gear is a national non-profit organization.  Both promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women (Dress for Success) and disadvantaged men (Career Gear) by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help them succeed in work and in life.