Arguably too many people have too high hopes pinned on the World Trade Center rebuilding for it ever to be considered a success. The only commercial development in Manhattan that’s currently in full throttle, the World Trade Center site is at once a harbinger of New York’s recovery from 9/11 and a crushing recession, as well as a symbol of downtown revitalization and, of course, freedom.
In reality, disputes over the design as well as problems obtaining financing last decade spawned copious pessimism over whether construction would even ever start. But, behold! Of four buildings that were planned for the site, two are going up and two are in the foundation stages.
Four WTC is expected to open first. Like three of the four developments on the site, it’s being developed by Silverstein Properties. They’ve picked out the Italian marble for the lobby, so we suppose that’s something, and the Port Authority is expected to lease 600,000 square feet of the 2.2 million–square–foot tower. Silverstein’s David Worsley is overseeing the construction of Four, Two and Three WTC.
One World Trade Center, being developed by the Port Authority, is the furthest along. A spokesman for the Durst Organization, a stakeholder in the project, said it will be finished by 2013. The owner has struggled to fill the tower, even with Condé Nast claiming nearly a third of it. Chinese firm Vantone closed a deal for a small chunk, and we’re eagerly awaiting the results of Douglas Durst’s recent jaunt to China to lure more tenants. Tishman Construction, which is managing the project, declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Two WTC, a crystalline, 79-story tower that will be the second tallest in the city, has inspired the highest hopes and the greatest frustration. As of December 2010, foundation work was well under way, but the dramatic vertical progress that many crave has yet to begin. No leases have been signed.
Foundation work began at Three World Trade Center this summer, and it’s scheduled for completion in 2014. The 54-story tower includes 2.5 million square feet of office space and five trading floors, but no leases have been signed.
4 World Trade Center