News / USA

First World Trade Center Tower Opens 12 Years After 9/11

4 World Trade Center, center, towers over construction cranes at the trade center site, Nov. 13, 2013, in New York City
4 World Trade Center, center, towers over construction cranes at the trade center site, Nov. 13, 2013, in New York City
Reuters
The first office tower at Ground Zero since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center opened on Wednesday, marking a comeback for the Lower Manhattan site.

Sheathed in glass, 4 World Trade Center is the smallest of the four main towers on the site where 2,700 people died when hijacked airplanes crashed into the towers. It stands 977 feet (298 meters) tall, a shorter, simpler version of One World Trade Center, which will not be completed until early 2014.

“This isn't just a building. It's a symbol of our rebirth. It speaks to our promise to never forget,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer at a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by officials, friends, construction workers on the site and tourists snapping pictures.

Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki said he designed the building to have a “strong sculptural effect but with a quiet presence,” and an “ambiance of calm and dignity.”

Pedestrians walk along Greenwich Street next to 4 World Trade Center (L) in New York, Nov. 13, 2013.Pedestrians walk along Greenwich Street next to 4 World Trade Center (L) in New York, Nov. 13, 2013.
x
Pedestrians walk along Greenwich Street next to 4 World Trade Center (L) in New York, Nov. 13, 2013.
Pedestrians walk along Greenwich Street next to 4 World Trade Center (L) in New York, Nov. 13, 2013.
The 72-story building stands empty at the moment, although two government agencies have signed leases for half of the building's space. Both the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site, and the city of New York committed to the space years ago to help jumpstart rebuilding efforts.

Since the attacks, disagreements among New York City, the state, the federal government, developers, insurers, victims' families and others have slowed construction on the 16-acre site. Developer Larry Silverstein, who held the lease to the site when it was attacked in 2001, has played a key role in shaping the project's design, security and cost.

“The world is recognizing that we've moved from 12 years of controversy and construction to having a real place that is coming back to life as a part of New York City,” Janno Lieber, who oversees planning, design and rebuilding for Silverstein Properties, told Reuters.

Silverstein spokesman Dara McQuillan said the developer was not troubled that the 2.3 million-square-foot building is only half leased.

In 2006, Silverstein opened 7 World Trade Center, just north of Ground Zero and the company was the only tenant in the building. But by 2011, it was fully leased with such tenants as Moody's Corp and Mansueto Ventures, which publishes Fast Company and Inc magazines.

“We learned at 7 World Trade Center that when you build state-of-the-art, green, high-tech office buildings, they lease quickly,” said McQuillan.

Commercial real estate in downtown Manhattan rents for about $47 per square foot, about 35 percent less than rents in midtown Manhattan, according to commercial real estate services firm CBRE Group.

The skyscraper cost about $2 billion to build, including land-lease costs, and it was financed with $1.2 billion of tax-free Liberty Bonds and insurance proceeds.

On Monday, a council of urban designers decided that One World Trade Center, which is being built by Douglas Durst and the Port Authority, would be designated the tallest building in the United States.

They voted to count its spire in the total height of the building, which will reach 1,776 feet, a number chosen for the year the U.S. Declaration of Independence was signed. The spire on the original twin towers reached 1,727 feet and the Empire State Building's antenna spire reaches 1,454 feet.

A 9/11 museum is expected to open at the site in the next year. A transportation hub, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, is scheduled to open in 2015.

The site will include two more office towers and some 550,000 square feet of retail space. Architect Frank Gehry, most famous for designing the contemporary Guggenheim Museum in Spain, has planned a performing arts center for the building.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid