Rebuilt after 9/11, One World Trade Center is 90% full after cost overruns and delays

Rebuilt after 9/11, One World Trade Center is 90% full after cost overruns and delays

One World Trade Center, the 1,776-foot office building that replaced the destroyed Twin Towers on September 11, is valued at $3.8 billion and is the most expensive skyscraper ever built in the US.

According to the building’s owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the entire World Trade Center complex has not made a profit since One World Trade opened seven years ago. The Port Authority’s annual report states that the World Trade Center’s expenses in 2020 were $335 million, with revenues of $328 million.

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Leasing had been slow for years, partly because One World Trade faced backlash from potential tenants linked to the terrorist attack, says Douglas Durst, a private developer brought in in 2010 by the Port Authority to help fill the tower. Huh.

“When we negotiated with larger tenants, there was always one person involved who said they were uncomfortable on the site,” said Mr. Durst. “So we ended up leasing to smaller tenants, where the CEO was able to tell people: ‘If you don’t want to come here, you don’t have to. “

But attitudes toward working at the World Trade Center are now changing due to generational changes in the workplace, businesses say. On September 11, 2001, many activists today were so young that they may see it as a distant historical event, not a personal threat.

Using shorthand to describe the World Trade Center, Tyler Phogat, 26, senior editor at The New Yorker, said, “I don’t think most young people think of the WTC as dangerous.”

One World Trade Center, at 1,776 feet, dominates lower Manhattan.


Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg News

“When I interviewed The New Yorker and found out I had to go to One WTC, I thought it was the best thing in the world,” she said. “I didn’t think twice” about its association with 9/11.

The building has leased more than 90% of its 3.1 million square feet, which puts it on a par with other modern office towers in downtown Manhattan, Mr. Durst said. It also helped that in 2009 the tower’s owner lost the building’s original Freedom Tower name, which many felt was emotionally charged and reminiscent of that September morning.

These days, Mr. Durst said, the topic of September 11th rarely comes up. “We don’t hear about it any more,” he said.

Fear among potential tenants subsided, brokers say, as adjoining buildings grew, fences keeping the public at bay were reduced, and the new World Trade Center became a more modern office complex than a construction site. It looked like

According to Lynn Sagalin, author of “Power at Ground Zero,” a book about the reconstruction effort, the site also received government subsidies, which made it less expensive for tenants to lease than a comparable space.

The 16-acre site that once housed the World Trade Center tower and five other buildings is now home to the September 11 Memorial and Museum, a transportation hub called Oculus, designed by Santiago Calatrava, a mall and three including One World. There are office buildings. Business.

A performing arts center and Greek Orthodox Church, intended to replace the one destroyed on 11 September, are under construction and are expected to open in 2023. Two other office buildings and a residential tower are planned but construction has not started.

After 11 September, the redevelopment of the tower was mired in legal, financial and political battles. The debate over what was owed in the sum insured and how to remember the victims added further complications.

In 2003, New York City and state leaders selected a masterplan by Polish-born architect Daniel Libeskind that struck a balance between remembrance and the reconstruction of a commercial center. The plan garnered praise from architects and urban planners for restoring streets on a site that had been depleted by the early World Trade Center complex.


WSJ in conversation

Wall Street Journal reporter Jennifer Levitz spoke with survivors, first responders and family members who lost loved ones in the 2001 attacks.

One World Trade faced heavy costs and was slower to rebuild than the two other office buildings on the site controlled by developer Larry Silverstein, who leased the World Trade Center for 99 years about a month before an attack with investors. But was given. According to leasing brokers, Mr Silverstein’s buildings were less associated with the tragedy as they are separated from the memorial and museum by the new street grid.

One World Trade is separated from the September 11 reminder by a road that has been closed to traffic during the reconstruction period. “The other buildings benefited from the fact that One World Trade Center carried the site’s history,” said Mary Ann Tighe, chief executive of CBRE Group Inc. for the New York area.

The Silverstein Group has performed well financially. It paid out all of its equity from insurance proceeds, collects leasing and management fees and owns two mostly leased office towers. It has rights for development of two others.

Still, Silverstein executives say that’s less than the amount of work the company has put into development in 20 years. “Rebuilding the World Trade Center was never about money,” said Silverstein’s chief executive, Marty Berger.

A spokesman for the Port Authority noted that One World Trade Center was “critical to the recovery of Lower Manhattan after September 11th.”

write to Peter Grant at [email protected]

Two decades since 11 September 2001

improvement and amplification
The One World Trade Center is separated from the September 11 Memorial and Museum by a road that has not been reopened to traffic during the construction period. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that One World Trade is on the same block as the September 11 reminder. (corrected September 12)

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