November 14, 2013
By Marc Bussanich
Lower Manhattan, NY—Twelve years and two months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, 4 World Trade Center reopened for commerce in Lower Manhattan. World Trade Center Developer Larry Silverstein, along with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Shelly Silver, John Liu and other politicos, cut the ceremonial ribbon to announce 4 WTC’s grand opening. Watch Video
According to Silverstein Properties, the 977-foot, 72-story tower contains 2.3 million square feet of office space that accommodates a major concentration of retail—both at the street level and an underground pedestrian concourse slated to open in tandem with the World Trade Center Transit Hub late next year.
Mayor Bloomberg said that the tower’s opening is a major turning point for the city.
“It took years of hard work and cooperation to make it possible and this remarkable building is a real credit to those efforts,” said Bloomberg.
He noted that the city will be a major tenant at the 4 WTC, with the Human Resources Administration occupying almost 600,000 square feet of space starting in 2015.
“That move will allow the city to fully vacate HRA’s current offices at 180 Water Street. It’s part of our administration’s city-wide office consolidation [that] will save taxpayers nearly half a million dollars over the next two decades,” Bloomberg said.
Howard Glaser, Director of State Operations and senior advisor to Governor Andrew Cuomo, said he remembered standing on the site just one year ago after Superstorm Sandy inundated Lower Manhattan.
He noted the incredible challenge to build the 16-acre World Trade Center site after the storm and poked fun at some of the other challenges over the past 12 years since 9/11.
"There have been a lot of challenges in this development. All kinds of obstacles overcome—lawyers, bankers, the occasional political squabble. So compared to that Superstorm Sandy was nothing that New York couldn’t handle,” said Glaser.
After the event, a reporter asked Mr. Silverstein what will he do now that 4 WTC is complete. In July Bloomberg News reported that a judge ruled that Silverstein can’t seek $3.5 billion from airlines whose planes were hijacked and flown into the WTC’s twin towers by terrorists. Mr. Silverstein had already collected about $4.1 billion from insurers and the judge argued that Silverstein Properties can’t collect twice under New York law. 2 WTC and 3 WTC remain uncompleted and additional public financing to complete them is contingent upon Silverstein Properties first identifying tenants who will lease office space.
“What’s next is to get the [4 WTC] building leased and go on to complete tower 2 and tower 3 and finish the World Trade Center. If we do our jobs right, in a few years it’ll be done,” said Silverstein.
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