View Full Version : Official Puts Cost of Rebuilding Ground Zero at $10 Billion

May 16th, 2003, 04:47 AM
May 16, 2003

Official Puts Cost of Rebuilding Ground Zero at $10 Billion


Rebuilding the World Trade Center site will cost roughly $10 billion, with two-thirds of that paying for the office, cultural and transportation buildings envisioned in the architect Daniel Libeskind's design, a top rebuilding official said yesterday.

The rest of the money will be for architectural and engineering fees, insurance, administration costs and legal fees and other costs, according to the official, Andrew Winters.

After a board meeting of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, Mr. Winters, who succeeded Alexander Garvin as the agency's director for planning, design and development, told reporters that his estimate is conservative. It is based on an assumed construction cost of $350 per square foot for the 8 million to 10 million square feet of office space that would be rebuilt on the trade center site, he said.

Larry A. Silverstein, the developer who is planning to rebuild 7 World Trade Center, a tower that collapsed on the afternoon of the trade center attack, said in a statement yesterday that he estimated that 7 World Trade would cost about $400 a square foot to build. Developers say that is consistent with current construction costs in midtown Manhattan.

Mr. Winters's estimate of the overall cost of the trade center project is the first to be made public since Mr. Libeskind's design was chosen for the rebuilding.

Federal funds approved by Congress and President Bush to help New York recover from the attack and insurance payments would pay for most of the rebuilding.

Officials have said, however, that some private money will be required, most likely for the completion of some of the cultural buildings planned for the site and for the memorial to victims of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Rebuilding officials also said yesterday that more than 5,000 people and groups have registered to take part in the competition to design a memorial to the victims.

Those registered include people from 71 countries, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and most United States territories, said Anita Contini, a vice president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is overseeing the memorial competition.

The registration deadline is May 29. Only registered participants will be allowed to submit designs, which will be accepted from June 9 through June 30. Finalists will be selected in September, and a winner will be chosen in October.

The development corporation will conduct a public forum to let members of the jury that will select the winner hear thoughts on what the winning design should contain. The forum is to be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28, at the TriBeCa Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan.

The development corporation also approved nearly $1 billion in new spending on projects to help Lower Manhattan recover from the terrorist attack, including $750 million to help repair telephone and utilities networks downtown and $150 million for short-term projects to make Lower Manhattan more livable, including a new pedestrian bridge over West Street and more attractive security barriers in the financial district.

The approval also includes $75 million to pay for additional grants to small businesses in Lower Manhattan as part of the Business Recovery Grant program. The program, administered by the Empire State Development Corporation, had previously been authorized to spend $481 million on the grants, but the approved grants far exceeded that amount.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

May 16th, 2003, 05:41 AM
From Newsday.

WTC Redevelopment Could Cost $10B, Official Says

By Katia Hetter
Staff Writer

May 15, 2003, 4:54 PM EDT

The redevelopment of the World Trade Center site will cost about $10 billion, including $6.5 billion in construction costs, a redevelopment official said Thursday.

"Those are total project costs, including the office, the hotel, the transit facility, the memorial, everything," said Andrew Winters, Lower Manhattan Development Corp.'s vice president for planning, design and development.

This is the first estimate of total costs at the site, which Winters said could increase over time. Government, private developers and others could provide the money, although he did not offer any specific sources.

The costs include two contracts worth $4.5 million total for architect Daniel Libeskind, whose design for the trade center site Winter expects to be developed into a master plan within eight months.

Plans for a memorial at the site are also moving quickly, with 5,000 people registering for the design, competition, coming from all 50 states and over 70 nations.

"This will be one of the largest design competitions ever held," said LMDC memorial director Anita Contini.

Anyone 18 or older has until May 29 to register, allowing them to submit their designs between June 9 and June 30. A 13-member jury is expected to select a winner in October.

A number of agencies are funding the redevelopment so far.

One contract for Liebeskind, worth $3 million, will be split equally with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will cover Libeskind's development of the site design, while a $1.5 million LMDC contract will cover Libeskind's work on the memorial process.

The Port Authority, which is likely to approve the joint contract at its May 29 event, is still discussing the details of a separate Libeskind contract for transportation design services.

The LMDC approved an additional $108 million for 9/11 business relief. A $33 million program will be distributed to companies who suffered the most loss of life on Sept. 11, likely to include Cantor Fitzgerald (658 workers killed) and Aon Corp. (175 workers killed).

The LMDC approved another $65 million for a $558 million business recovery grant program that paid out grants to 14,000 business, but had another 2,100 applications. The LMDC also has shifted funds from a $10 million job training program to the grant program.

May 16th, 2003, 08:30 AM
(Daily News)

WTC planner gets big pay to speed work


Ground Zero architect Daniel Libeskind is a $16,000-a-day man.
His namesake firm will get that whopping daily sum over the next eight months to put his rebuilding scheme for the World Trade Center site on the fast track.

"This isn't just for him. This is for his company," said John Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. "It's the company we are employing. It's not one individual."

After approving the payout yesterday, rebuilding officials insisted Libeskind's price comes in at the low end of what top architects earn.

LMDC officials also said for the first time yesterday that the tab to completely rebuild Ground Zero will total between $9.5 billion and $10 billion.

Construction costs are expected to amount to $6.5 billion, with architectural contracts, legal fees, insurance and other so-called soft costs making up the difference.

Andrew Winters, the development corporation's top planner, said Libeskind has a large staff and about a dozen subcontractors working on his vision for Ground Zero.

He said the scope of the work Libeskind has been asked to tackle typically would take up to two years.

"When you speed things up that way, it does increase the cost," Winters said. "But in order to accelerate the schedule, we think it's a worthwhile tradeoff."

Gov. Pataki jump-started the rebuilding timetable last month, saying the world's tallest building should be completed at Ground Zero by 2008.

Developer Larry Silverstein recently told the Daily News Pataki wants to lay the cornerstone of Libeskind's 1,776-foot tower when the Republican National Convention comes to the city next summer. A spokesman for Silverstein later said he had mispoken.

Of the two Libeskind contracts approved yesterday, the largest will pay him $3 million over eight months. It instructs him to establish guidelines for commercial development and integrate his master plan with transit and infrastructure projects.

The Port Authority, which owns the site, still must okay the contract - it is expected to do so - and would be required to pick up half the cost.

The second contract will pay Libeskind $1.5 million over a year to integrate the memorial and proposed cultural and civic buildings into the master plan.

May 16th, 2003, 02:06 PM
Ridiculous. Taxpayer money being used to fund a mediocre replacement for the Twin Towers. And $3.4 BILLION being used for all kinds of bureaucratic crap? :confused: This does not look good at all. I mean, if not for the likes of Newsday or the Daily News, the costs would have remained hidden from the average taxpayer, and right now we'll be helping to pay the bill.

May 16th, 2003, 03:28 PM
Its not clear to me from the articles but I was under the impression that the funding was coming from

1. Insurance proceeds
2. Bonds to be paid back from profits from the developement (like the first WTC was)
3. Federal Grants

I'm not sure there are any city or state tax dollars going towards the redevelopement.

May 16th, 2003, 08:07 PM
And $3.4 BILLION being used for all kinds of bureaucratic crap?
Where are you getting this nonsense from?

(Edited by ZippyTheChimp at 8:54 pm on May 16, 2003)

May 16th, 2003, 08:14 PM
"LMDC officials also said for the first time yesterday that the tab to completely rebuild Ground Zero will total between $9.5 billion and $10 billion.

Construction costs are expected to amount to $6.5 billion, with architectural contracts, legal fees, insurance and other so-called soft costs making up the difference."

So far, there is inadequate information on where all this money will come from. At least some of it will come from Silverstein's uinsurance money, but that only implies that he will collect the full $7 billion in insurance, which is not yet a sure thing. I fear that American taxpayers, including us, will pick up the rest of the tab.

(Edited by Agglomeration at 8:17 pm on May 16, 2003)

May 16th, 2003, 08:44 PM
So what?

May 17th, 2003, 03:06 AM
Construction costs are expected to amount to $6.5 billion, with architectural contracts, legal fees, insurance and other so-called soft costs making up the difference.

$3.5 billion in "soft costs" does indeed sound outrageous to the uninitiated. *Perhaps you can explain why we shouldn't be concerned?

So far I see 4.5 million for Libeskind. *So let's subtract that and then round it up... and that leaves us with 3.5 billion. *

Anyway, people these days seem to forget how big a number a billion is. *No matter how hard I try, my feeble mind cannot imagine 3.5 billion dollars worth of "architectural and engineering fees, insurance, administration costs and legal fees and other costs."

$3,500,000,000 out of $10,000,000,000. *That's a lot of zeros. *For comparison the new Penn Station is expected to cost $795,000,000, if it ever gets going. *I'm not sure how much of that is "architectural and engineering fees, insurance, administration costs and legal fees and other costs."

(Edited by dbhstockton at 3:07 am on May 17, 2003)

May 17th, 2003, 10:41 AM
I figure at least half that cost is insurance. Just the insurance on the PATH infrastructure is enormous.

May 19th, 2003, 08:56 AM
Everything in Manhattan costs more anyway...

May 23rd, 2003, 05:45 AM
May 23, 2003

The $500,000 Phone Call

Last week at an Assembly hearing on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the owner of a Manhattan building explained what he had done when a huge deal with the authority had almost gone sour. He appealed to former Senator Alfonse D'Amato, now a lobbyist, for help, and Mr. D'Amato made a phone call to the person who was the M.T.A. chairman. Suddenly, things started to work out, and for that, Mr. D'Amato's firm earned $500,000.

That $500,000 call offers only a clue about how lobbyists affect the billions of dollars spent each year by state agencies and their little-known relatives, the state authorities. Company representatives, most with political clout, swarm through those offices with little public scrutiny, marketing everything from copying machines to subway cars.

For some time, lobbyists have been required to report how they try to influence both legislation and the agency rules that set rates or have the force of law. But these high-priced peddlers are often more interested in the agency contracts, which are worth tens or hundreds of millions and where there are no lobbying regulations at all.

The billions of dollars going for state contracts to rebuild Lower Manhattan are mostly exempt from the state's lobbying rules a fact that should concern all New Yorkers, not to mention members of Congress, who help pay the tab.

To make this back-room game more public, Assemblyman Alexander Grannis, a Democrat, and State Senator Frank Padavan, a Republican, have put together an enlightened bill to require lobbyists to report their expenditures in trying to influence contracts or any other "official action" by the state. The bill has not made it to the floor of either house. Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito, who leads the Committee on Governmental Operations, says she expects the bill to go to the Assembly soon. The Senate majority leader, Joseph Bruno, whose Rules Committee now controls the Padavan bill, has promised only to take a fresh look at the issue.

In reality, your average Albany lobbyist will fight this one with every trick in the wallet. Lobbyists could simply stop paying for legislators' meals and appearing loyally at their nonstop fund-raisers unless the lobbying bill disappeared. As Senator Padavan says of both lobbyists and legislators, "A lot of oxen will be gored by this bill."

With elections looming next year, the Legislature has the opportunity to prove that it can do its own housecleaning. Even so, it isn't clear that Gov. George Pataki will allow this particular reform to happen. He has not made an effort before to close this lucrative loophole. Moreover, Mr. D'Amato, clearly one of the oxen to be gored by such a law, is Mr. Pataki's longtime political friend. But with his polls down and the electorate disgruntled, the governor could only gain now by becoming Albany's star reformer. Changing the lobbying law is an excellent place to start.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company