View Poll Results: Construction is underway, how do you feel about the final design for the WTC site?

192. You may not vote on this poll
  • I am more than satisfied; I believe that the final design surpasses that of the original World Trade Center. 10/10

    50 26.04%
  • While nothing may ever live up to the Twin Towers, I am wholly satisfied with the new World Trade Center; it is a new symbol for a new era. 7/10

    55 28.65%
  • I have come to terms with the new World Trade Center; although it has a number of flaws, I find the design to be acceptable. 5/10

    48 25.00%
  • I am wholly disappointed with the New World Trade Center; we will live to regret the final design. 0/10

    22 11.46%
  • I am biased, but honest, and hate anything that is not a reincarnation of the original Twin Towers.

    17 8.85%
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Thread: World Trade Center Developments

  1. #2896


    all this guessing and speculating. is anyone in any position to ask larry? i know we have some insiders in some big firms in the city. anybody?

  2. #2897
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    If in doubt, esp. in New York, a good rule of thumb is to lean towards the conservative (shorter) figures.

  3. #2898

    Default Issue is the PA deal and Insurance

    I believe the PA/Silverstein agreement left Silverstein building less than his 10M sq feet by the amount of space planned for tower 5. Depending on insurance language, that may not change the insurance company obligation to pay the full insurance amount. If Silverstein maxes out his insurance proceeds buiding only the 3 buildings plus an allocation to the FT (if indeed insurance money can be used on the FT), the ICs may still have to pay. When the loss exceeds the insurance level, the IC is generally abliged to pay the full insurance level as long as the spending is in line with the policy guidelines. But there can always be legal details that complicate this.

    If the ICs don't have to pay unless Silverstein builds 10M sq feet, there are a number of possibilities. They will be driven by insurance language, which would be settled in courts, not through the political process.

    If the PA deal voids the requirement that the insurance companies pay, then you can bet the PA and Silverstein will be reworking the deal yet again. That money is too important for anything built on the site. More likely than taller buildings would be giving tower 5 back to Silverstein. This isn't based on hard info, just a speculation based on the complexity of the planning process to date. I'd be surprised if the hieght and size of towers 2,3, and 4 could be easily changed without going through new environmental review.

    The one thing Bloomberg got out of the PA deal was that tower 5 would likely go residential, decreasing the amount of commercial space at the WTC. He would object to Silverstein getting control of it again and building commercial space. But if the current plan risks a few hundred million of insurance proceeds, he'd have a hard time not going along with a modified deal.

    My guess is that the current plan will hold and the ICs will pay or Silverstein will get tower 5 and the Insurance companies will pay.

    I would prefer taller thinner buildings, but I don't think it's likely. As much as Liebeskind's plan has been modified, the building massing seems to be holding.

  4. #2899
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Phila / Connecticut


    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby
    If in doubt, esp. in New York, a good rule of thumb is to lean towards the conservative (shorter) figures.

    Finally, someone who agrees...

    The towers will just be made fatter, not taller. It's less expensive.

    Further more, if tower 5, which would have been maybe 750-800 feet why would the other towers raise only 100 feet each if the entire tower 5 is gone? :?

  5. #2900
    The Dude Abides
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    NYC - Financial District




    As in the Approved Plan, there would be no more than 10 million square feet of commercial office space. The Proposed Refinements would shift office space from Tower 5 to the towers on the WTC Site. Specifically, Tower 5 would have approximately 1.2 to 1.5 million square feet, rather than 1.5 to 2 million square feet. Towers on the WTC Site would total approximately 8.5 to 8.8 million square feet, rather than 8.0 to 8.5 million square feet. The proposed shapes or bulk forms of Towers 2, 3, 4, and 5 have been slightly modified to maintain the downward spiral form of the relative tower heights while providing commercially viable floor plates.

  6. #2901


    I was lookling on the webcam today, and I saw that they had put up what looks to be a red marking that outlines the WTC 4 garage. Does that mean they are getting ready to deconstruct the garage? I mean, the have to do that before they build the tower dont they?

  7. #2902


    May 30, 2006
    Convention Notebook
    Controversy Over Ground Zero's Fate Is Front and Center in Buffalo

    BUFFALO, May 29 Shortly after landing here to take part in the state Democratic convention, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer excoriated the redevelopment of ground zero as "an Enron-style debacle" and laid the blame on the leadership of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and Gov. George E. Pataki.

    His comments were his harshest yet on the matter, and came a day before he is expected to receive the endorsement of the Democratic party leadership to be the next governor. They also came on a day that saw considerable maneuvering among the Democratic candidates to replace him as attorney general.

    "Let me be very clear, the L.M.D.C. is an absolute failure," he said, referring to the public authority responsible for the rebuilding.

    "They violated their duty to the public and to those they're supposed to be representing, and now they're beginning to throw in the towel one by one, departing the scene with an abject failure behind them," he added.

    His comments follow a string of resignations from the troubled project to redevelop Lower Manhattan. They also renewed a feud between Mr. Spitzer and the departing head of the group, John C. Whitehead, who will leave at the end of this month.

    Mr. Whitehead, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs, has accused Mr. Spitzer of threatening him in a phone conversation an account that Mr. Spitzer has disputed. Mr. Whitehead has also been critical of how Mr. Spitzer pursued a case against Maurice R. Greenberg, the former chief executive of the giant insurance company American International Group.

    The development corporation, in a statement, said, "It's well known that the attorney general has an abject vendetta" against Mr. Whitehead.

    "We would certainly welcome it," the statement said, "if the attorney general chose to participate constructively in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan, which, during the past four and a half years, he's utterly failed to do."

    A spokesman for Governor Pataki, David Catalfamo, referred to Mr. Whitehead's status as a World War II veteran, saying, "On the day our nation set aside to honor our heroes, Eliot Spitzer continued his ill-conceived personal vendetta against John Whitehead, a petulant vendetta based in trying to silence the very freedom of expression that John Whitehead fought to preserve."

    Mr. Spitzer said he was especially troubled by the revelation that the that the 9/11 memorial and museum, along with site preparations, would cost nearly $1 billion.

    "For them to come out in the middle of last month, I guess it was, and say, 'Oh by the way, it's a billion-dollar memorial,' without explaining why or how or what the plans were clearly suggests there has been a failure of leadership, the sort of which I have been confronting in the corporate boardroom," he said.

    He did not place blame on the latest departure, Gretchen Dykstra, who resigned on Friday as president of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, calling her "somebody of great competence." He did fault Governor Pataki, calling him disengaged, and saying, "We have seen four and a half years go by without meaningful leadership from the executive."

    On a lighter note, Mr. Spitzer headed to Niagara Falls for some unfinished business to ride the Maid of the Mist, the same boat tour that turned him away 40 years ago.

    "He either didn't meet the height requirement or the age requirement," his wife, Silda Wall, explained, adding that the family story goes that he cried on the dock that day with his mother.

    "They were described as crocodile tears," she added.

    Mr. Spitzer, 46, was not crying on Monday, looking confident, with a substantial lead in the polls and a formidable campaign war chest.

    "Wait till Nov. 6," he said while on the boat's deck. "I'll be back with a barrel."

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  8. #2903


    Great, let's add Republican vs. Democratic hostilities to the WTC pressure cooker. This should be helpful.

  9. #2904
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    New York City


    Out of the ashes

    (Filed: 27/05/2006)

    The controversial regeneration of Ground Zero is giving rise to a residential goldmine, reports Tom Burgis from New York

    One of the lesser reported events of September 11, 2001 was that a multi-millionaire rapper was gazumped by a cat. Sean Combs, the singer and producer variously known as Puff Daddy, P Diddy and, latterly, just plain Diddy, had placed an offer of $5million (3.5million) for the penthouse suite at 114 Liberty Street, in Lower Manhattan.

    Painful progress: political wrangling has meant little has changed at Ground Zero since the Twin Towers attacks in 2001

    The luxury duplex was a prime piece of New York real estate. It enjoyed a view on to - or up to - the twin towers of the World Trade Centre. By the end of that fateful morning, the deal was off. There was, the property's broker recalls, "nothing left to buy". From the apartment's 4,000 sq ft of terrace on the 12th-floor roof, the view now was of the shattered Financial District and the smoking crater of Ground Zero. Every window in the building had been blown out and the interiors were irreparably damaged.

    It was then, or shortly afterwards, that Precious, a traumatised, 9lb Himalayan Persian, took up residence amid the detritus of the otherwise deserted 114 Liberty Street.

    Last summer, with Precious long since returned to her owners, the penthouse went back on the market with an asking price of $7.2million (4.1million). Today, however, the vista, is not very different to that which Precious surveyed back in late 2001. Mired in political wrangling, reconstruction of the World Trade Centre has barely got off the ground. The title of the controversial memorial selected for the site - "Reflecting Absence" - is all too apt a description of efforts at rebuilding thus far.

    Nonetheless, Lower Manhattan has changed profoundly in the meantime. "What used to be the financial capital of the world is changing into a residential area," says Concetta Testa, of Citi Habitats, a leading New York real estate brokerage that has, tellingly, dispatched her to manage a residential property office in the Financial District.

    "Ten years ago, a few pioneers started to develop residential property here. Now, the condo conversion has begun. This area is growing much faster than others, both for investment and for people who are looking to rent or buy."

    Manhattan, while a memorial recalls the 9/11 victims

    The businesses whose offices were levelled in 2001 have been reluctant to return to the Financial District, the area around Wall Street that used to be deserted once the markets closed in the evening. The money men who hung around after work principally slunk off to "a couple of titty bars", one local recalls.

    Today, a few doors down from Citi Habitats' office on John Street, a block east from Ground Zero, staff at Les Halles restaurant report that evening business is booming. And they are not alone. Since 9/11, 12.5million square feet of office space in Lower Manhattan - of a total of 100million sq ft before the attacks - has been converted to residential use.

    Before the attacks, there were about 15,000 to 20,000 residents in the Downtown and Lower Manhattan area; now, there are more than 30,000. And the 3,361 new condominiums (properties owned in part commonly and in part individually) slated for the area far outstrips development anywhere else in Manhattan.

    Stuart Elliott, editor of The Real Deal, a real estate magazine in New York, says the future of the area is in the balance. Plans for redevelopment have been subject to protracted politicking involving Mike Bloomberg, the recently re-elected mayor, George Pataki, the state governor, and Larry Silverstein, a property magnate, who signed a 99-year lease on the World Trade Centre site two months before it was destroyed.

    In April, they agreed in part on the future of the site and gathered at Ground Zero to watch work begin on Freedom Tower, the central spire in a set of five, scheduled to open by 2012.

    Problems remain. The mayor has objected to the developer's plans to give over the entirety of the new towers to commercial use. Governor Pataki, by contrast, has no intention of allowing the rebuilt centre to be used for anything other than business.

    Meanwhile, Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of property giant Miller Samuel, favours a mix of commercial and residential use: "It is doubtful that there would be enough demand to fill the development were it wholly commercial," he says.

    Over two decades, Mr Miller has watched Downtown's evolution into a place where people actually live, beginning with the first slew of homes in Battery Park City, at the island's southern tip, in 1984. For all the attempts by politicians to harness the regeneration of Ground Zero to their own personal legacy, he suggests that it is the market that will continue to drive changes around the Financial District.

    "This area has always been predominantly commercial and still is today," he says. "Until recently, it's been a nine-to-five place. But as a result of the housing boom, developers in New York are looking for land that's cheaper."

    Mr Miller's argument makes sense. In the last quarter of 1996, the average house price in Manhattan was $359,013 (211,413). In the same period last year, the figure was $1,187,404 (667,408) - a 230 per cent increase.

    Girded by the luxury flats of Tribeca and Soho to the north, Battery Park City to the south, China Town and Little Italy to the east, and the Hudson river to the west, the relatively low prices around Ground Zero are now attracting a diverse range of people. Mr Miller believes that, with the drift from the suburbs into the city over recent years, New York is undergoing "gentrification", displacing the poorer population to the mainland and Long Island.

    In the Financial District, Wall Street brokers ploughing last year's record bonuses into luxurious new housing stock are finding themselves alongside families, professionals in their twenties and students attracted by rents in smaller lets that are sometimes 20 per cent cheaper than those only a couple of blocks away.

    That trend is reflected in the mix of Britons who come to New York or buy property there. On the one hand, there are the likes of Robbie Elliott, the Newcastle United footballer, who recently paid $1.8 million for a property at 205 East 59th Street. Otherwise, those whose pockets are unlined by the rewards of Premiership football are better off turning to the Financial District.

    "Brits tend to go for pre-war, brownstone [buildings], very classic. They don't go anywhere but Manhattan. Most end up on the Upper West Side and in Tribeca and Soho," says Lisa Maysonet, so-called "queen of Manhattan development" and a star broker with Prudential Douglas Elliman, one of the largest real estate brokerages in the city. All the same, she counsels, the smart money is moving for Lower Manhattan.

    Ms Maysonet is currently negotiating the sale of the penthouse at 114 Liberty Street, where she is receiving rental offers of between 20,000 and 28,500 per month. She describes the apartment, with its meditation room, 40 windows, 7,000 sq ft interior and skylight directly over the capacious bathtub, as "one of my top properties".

    Today's Lower Manhattan is "a blank canvas", she says. "This is a great area to invest but it's not yet being realised yet. Soon, you'll see a hike in prices. After 9/11, the dust has settled, but it has yet to be rebuilt. Once we do rebuild, the area will get a fuzzy, warm feeling. All of Downtown is really rocking."

    Before then, Ms Maysonet urges buyers to head for Ground Zero. Lolling on the penthouse's winding wooden staircase, where once Precious roamed the rubble, she asks: "Where else do you go, for God's sake? If you want to stay in the city and don't have $10million, it's tough.

    "But imagine the next five years. At the moment, this is at the edge of some place - the edge of Tribeca, Soho, the Financial District. In five years, it'll be in the centre of some place."

    Up for sale

    Cocoa Exchange
    Condo building on Wall St and Pearl. Studios, one- bedroom plus office, and two-bedrooms. Studios start in low $300,000 range, one-beds and two-beds at $790,000 (

    90 West Street
    Next to Ground Zero. Studios start at $1,800, one-beds at $2,500, and two-beds at $3,600 per month. High ceilings and oak floors; gym; doorman; roof deck (

    120 Greenwich Street
    Early 20th-century building, with studio, one-bed and two-beds. Large windows, high ceilings, landscaped roof deck, concierge service, fitness centre. One-bed apartment $519,000 (

  10. #2905


    How is it that the foriegn press gets better perspectives on the neighborhood than the local press?

  11. #2906


    If anyone wants to get an idea of the "progress" being made at the WTC Site, check out this photo I snagged two days ago. It's part of the same collection as my 7 WTC pics. I also posted a general Lower Manhattan thread over at SSP's City Photos section that includes these pics.

    If you look at the lower left-hand corner of this picture, you can actually see WEEDS AND GRASS growing at the site. I feel like the site (at the least the eastern quadrant not in the bathtub) will become urban praire in a few years.

  12. #2907
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Quote Originally Posted by TomAuch can actually see WEEDS AND GRASS growing at the site.
    better than nothing ???

  13. #2908


    Life reaffirms itself.

  14. #2909


    lol I didn't know plants could even grow downtown.

  15. #2910


    Quote Originally Posted by davestanke
    How is it that the foriegn press gets better perspectives on the neighborhood than the local press?
    That always happens.

    To find out what's happening in the U.S. I read The Economist.

    We mythologize ourselves and are chronically unable to be honest about ourselves.

    Most of what we believe about the US is BS.

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