Lord Norman Foster

…will design the second (or third, depending on how you count) tower at the World Trade Center site, Larry Silverstein announced today. It’s a move with clear benefits, as Foster is the best known of the three architects that Silverstein has chosen to do his buildings (Paul Goldberger just raved about the Hearst tower in The New Yorker this week) and the developer needs all the juice he can get as he fights to hold on to his development rights down there.

The building, bounded by Vesey, Fulton, Church and the remapped Greenwich Street, has been named 200 Greenwich, which helps erase memories of an awful day and also gives it a sort of Tribeca patina. It will be 65 stories and is supposed to open in 2011, a year after the Freedom Tower.

Also, Silverstein announced that 7 World Trade Center, which is to open next spring, has its first signed tenant, the New York Academy of Sciences, which will take the entire 40th floor. The academy will get 13½ months free rent, and bargained Silverstein down a bit from the $55 a square foot asking price to between $52 and $53, according to an informed source. Subtract also about $10 a square foot in Marshall Plan incentives, and an allowance for finishing the floor, and the lease is costing the Academy roughly $40 a square foot. Academy President Ellis Rubenstein, who said they negotiated late into Wednesday night and just signed the lease this morning, characterized the rent discounts as consideration for the fact that he will be bringing in other potential tenants because the academy is establishing a conference center there.

-Matthew Schuerman