The future of the city rests downtown–we told you so–thanks in large part to the redevelopment of Ground Zero and the millions of square feet popping up in and around the World Trade Center site. But now Post real estate dean Steve Cuozzo is reporting that an NYPD security plan is in the works that could stifle the area‘s nascent turnaround.
Even stoic Assembly Speaker and local rep Shelly Silver’s got the jitters. “It goes without saying that ensuring the security of Lower Manhattan is critically important, but there has to be a balance between security and the very real need for access,” Silver told Cuozzo. “Right now, there is a critical need for more transparency from the NYPD about their plans.”
Cuozzo points to the lock-down atmosphere on Wall Street as an example, which, given its tourist-choked byways, could pose a nightmare of an entirely different sort–and probably one closer to what the World Trade Center site will really be like, at least if a visit to Century 21 is any indication.
Still, developers and local boosters are concerned that too-stiff security measures could make it that much harder to find new tenants for towers and stores, no matter how attractive downtown becomes.
It would be especially ironic, too, if the site became impenetrable. Not only was that one of the problems of its predecessor, but the new design was heralded for reconnecting the World Trade Center to the city by rebuilding Greenwich Street and bringing the plazas back down to street level. To go back on that now with a platoon of cops and security checkpoints would be a civic crime in itself.
In related news, Cuozzo reports that Larry Silverstein will not be going with Cushman & Wakefield, which is leasing out the Port Authority’s 1 World Trade Center, as his broker. Instead, CB Richard Ellis is the likely lease-maker for his 4 World Trade Center, which just reached its seventh story.