On the seven-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, construction at the World Trade Center site is underway amidst a backdrop of anticipation and uncertainty. The executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Christopher Ward, will deliver an updated scheduling and budgeting assessment for the site at the end of the month. Mr. Ward has already signaled that the previous deadlines and budgets for projects at the site were "unrealistic" and there is speculation that his new assessment of the site could set its completion date back by several years.
The Tribute in Light shines again on the seven anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center. Produced by the Municipal Arts Society, the lights are shining from the top of the Battery Parking Garage in Lower Manhattan. 9
Earlier this month, construction workers installed the first steel column for the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. Construction on the memorial began in 2006, and there is growing concern among city and state officials that it will not be completed in time for the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Plans for the new $80 million, 15,000-square-foot pavilion, which will serve as a gateway to the subterranean memorial, were disclosed earlier this week.
Last month, the Port Authority celebrated the rising above street level of the steel and concrete core of the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower. As for tenants, a Chinese real estate development company recently signed a term sheet to occupy five floors of the building, and the Port Authority is evaluating proposals for a restaurant that would occupy the 100th and 101st floors.
Above-ground construction has yet to begin on the Santiago Calatrava-designed PATH Station, which will serve as the main transit hub for the World Trade Center site. The original, bird-like structure is under intense scrutiny, and the Port Authority, which has so far spent $150 million on it, signaled it would be scaling back the design. This includes scrapping the architect's original plan to build mechanical wings that would open and close over the glass-and-steel station.
The Port Authority is doing preparation work on the site where Tower 2 will be built, and has yet to turn over the land to the developer Larry Silverstein, incurring penalties of $300,000 a day as a result. A spokeswoman for the Port Authority said it would turn over the site to Mr. Silverstein later this month. In July, Merrill Lynch terminated talks with the Port Authority and Mr. Silverstein about moving its headquarters to Tower 2.
Work on the foundation of Tower 3 is under way. The 71-story tower will reach a height of 1,140 feet above street level, and include 2.5 million square feet of office space. The building, which does not yet have any tenants, will have five floors dedicated to retail. Mr. Silverstein has said he expects Tower 3 to reach street level by spring 2009, and to reach its maximum height in 2010. He earlier set a 2012 completion date.
As with Tower 3, work on the foundation of Tower 4 is under way. The 64-story tower will reach a height of 975 feet, making it the fourth-tallest skyscraper at ground zero. Mr. Silverstein said he expects Tower 4 to reach street level in spring 2009, and to reach its maximum height in 2010. The Port Authority signed a lease to occupy 600,000 square feet in the building, and the city also agreed to lease 600,000 square feet in the tower if Mr. Silverstein cannot find a private tenant to occupy the space.