$10 billion, two projects still to go to rebuild WTC site: Silversteen

5 world trade center rendering
5 World Trade Center Alepa1993, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

While most of the area devastated by the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center has been rebuilt, two significant projects remain to be completed.

The New York Daily News described these projects, and the process of rebuilding lower Manhattan, in a Sept. 6 feature.

It observed that the outstanding projects are Tower 2 and a residential building where the Deutsche Bank building once stood and the newspaper reported “it is still unclear when those projects will be done.”

WTC developer Larry Silverstein is developing the two remaining World Trade Center properties. He received more than $4 billion for the destruction of the twin towers after resolving a dispute with insurers about his claims for the original buildings’ destruction.

“It became obvious to me that we had to rebuild and rebuild as quickly as possible because people were moving out of lower Manhattan at an incredible rate,” The News quoted him as saying. “If we were going to rebuild this thing, we had to get going.”

Silversteen says the total cost of redeveloping the area will likely be around $30 billion, $10 million more than has already been spent on projects including World Trade Center I (formerly known as the Freedom Tower).

The published report says construction has been delayed for Tower 2 “because of the lack of an anchor tenant has held up financing.”

As for the Deutche Bank site, or 5 World Trade Center, Silversteen has “partnered with Brookfield Property Partners to build a 1,300-unit, 900-ft. tall apartment building on the Deutsche site and expects the project will be completed in about five years.”

“I’m 90 years of age, so I want to see everything finished while I’m still here,” he said. “It’s my life.”

The building which stood on the Deutsche site remained after the attacks and initially the owner planned to restore it, but it was demolished, The Daily News reported.

“World Trade Center Two, which Silverstein said would “top everything” at the site, has remained stalled, in part because the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult to secure an anchor tenant or tenants. The 3 million sq. ft. office building is expected to operate with a zero carbon footprint and will utilize artificial intelligence, according to Silverstein.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated the expected demand for new office tower developments, but Silversteen says ultimately he expects demand will be there for the two outstanding projects.

“There will be some changes, clearly,” he said in the published interview. “(But) the thought that people will want to move to the suburbs and stay there forever is not terribly rational. One of the things we’ve learned — and we’ve seen this — some people can work from home for extended periods of time. Many more find the need to be able to relate to their fellow workers, to be able to socialize with them, to be able to talk to them, to get inspiration, to get ideas, concepts — that only happens when you can mingle, when you can come together.”


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