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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid