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

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  • 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. #3406

    Default Why Two Skylines?

    I often wondered over the years why there is no high rise construction between the financial and mid town sections of the city. Someone once told me it was a zoning restriction. I also heard there is less bedrock under that stretch of Manhattan which prohibits buildings that soar. The ESB dispels that theory. Does anyone know why that is?

    P.S. I think the proposed building desings for the WTC are just what the doctor ordered. It will enhance the lower Manhattan skyline and restore New York's title as the home of the skyscraper.


  2. #3407
    Senior Member Dynamicdezzy's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Queens, New York


    It's because of zoning. I'm not sure if it was done originally because of the amount of bedrock. But that wouldn't matter now. The technological advances allow for deeper digging for skyscraper foundations.

  3. #3408


    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    At least we still have the Calatrava station, though it ironically seems to lack some of the functional sensibilities that have strait-jackecketed the rest of the site.
    One of the greatest disappointments with the master plan is the position of the Calatrava station between the two towers. Better spacing of buildings would have given the station more breathing room. It is supposed to represent the wings of a bird taking flight. Unfortunately, it looks more like a clipped bird flapping its wings in a cage. The components may range from good to great, but the site plan was too big a failure to fully overcome.

  4. #3409
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Brooklyn, NY


    ^yeah it is kinda hidden in between those 2 towers. Thats why I was hoping that the podiums of WTC 2,3 would have been a little shorter.

  5. #3410
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    New York City



    Port Authority approves WTC development plan

    by Julie Satow

    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's Board of Commissioners on Thursday approved, as expected, the framework for the redevelopment of Ground Zero that was first agreed upon in April.

    Under the terms of the deal, the Port Authority, which owns the 16-acre site, will develop two towers totaling 3.8 million square feet of office space.

    Leaseholder Larry Silverstein will develop three towers on Church Street totaling 6.2 million square feet of office space. In addition, the Port Authority will own and develop the 490,000 square feet of retail planned for the site.

    This agreement "will hold the Port Authority and Silverstein Properties financially accountable for work that each party is required to do, which will ensure the prompt rebuilding of the site," said Kenneth Ringler, the executive director of Port Authority, in a statement.

    Earlier this week, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office agreed to occupy 600,000 square feet at the Freedom Tower when it is complete in 2012. State agencies promised to occupy an additional 400,000 square feet at the building, while the Port Authority agreed to lease 600,000 square feet at Tower 4.

    The rents at the site are $59 a square foot.

    ©2006 Crain Communications Inc.

  6. #3411


    Now can we finally put the fear and fighting to rest? Probably not, but at least things are finally underway.

  7. #3412
    The Dude Abides
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    Jan 2005
    NYC - Financial District


    Last updated: September 21, 2006 01:21pm

    PA Takes Freedom Tower; Confirms 600,000-SF Lease

    By John Salustri

    NEW YORK CITY-Many major pieces in the complex jigsaw puzzle that is Ground Zero fell into place this afternoon as the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey officially approved the proposed reconstruction framework it created with Silverstein Properties. Key to the agreement, which was drafted five months ago, is the assumption of control of the Freedom Tower by the PA--essentially making Silverstein the hired contractor for the build. The Port also confirmed its commitment to a 600,000-sf lease at 4 World Trade Center.
    Almost as an aside, in his address to the board, executive director Kenneth J. Ringler also revealed lease commitments of one million sf in the Freedom Tower by the federal General Services Administration and the New York State Office of General Services. No lease details were provided.

    Under the terms of the agreement, the PA takes control of the Freedom Tower build and that of Tower Five, currently the site of the Deutsche Bank Building, which is being demolished. The PA is levying on itself a daily fine of $300,000 for every day the building is late, said chairman Anthony Coscia in a press briefing after the meeting. According to PA spokespeople, that daily fine will go to Silverstein coffers.

    The PA will also be responsible for the transportation hub and some 490,000 sf of retail. That includes 200,000 sf in the "hub and the pedestrian concourses and the remainder in Towers Two, Three and Four," said Ringler.

    Tower Four is the also the future PA home office, and today, the board officially accepted the plan for 600,000 sf there. Coscia explained that the 30-year lease has a base rent of $59 per foot with escalations to "$65 by year six."

    The 1.8-million-sf Tower Four, along with Two (2.4 million sf) and Three (two million sf), will remain in the Silverstein Portfolio. That is, as long as the developer fulfills its end of the bargain. The PA will turn the site for Towers Three and Four over to Silverstein by mid next year, and Two goes to the developer by mid-2008. The firm will have four years to complete Three and Four and four and a half years to wrap up Two. If the company fails in that commitment, ownership reverts to the Port Authority.

    "There is difficulty in getting public concession," reflected Coscia, summing up the last five years of fits and starts. "There is great value in getting opinion, and the delays they cause are worthwhile. But the time has come to build."

    Copyright © 2006 ALM Properties, Inc.

  8. #3413


    September 22, 2006
    An Agreement Is Formalized on Rebuilding at Ground Zero

    Now, at long last, finally, for sure, the new framework for rebuilding at ground zero is in place. A firm deal was approved yesterday. Really. The developer Larry A. Silverstein is out of the Freedom Tower; the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is in. The rent disputes are settled.

    It took months to get to this point, after a tentative agreement was front-page news in April. Along the way, and with the diligent help of legions of lawyers, the 12-page “conceptual framework” of April mushroomed into 12 thick volumes.

    Of course, no agreement or news conference at ground zero would be complete without some last-minute wrangling between Mr. Silverstein and, in this case, city officials.

    They worked out their differences through clenched teeth yesterday afternoon, even if it was 90 minutes after the Port Authority board formally voted on the plan, described as a “global realignment” at ground zero.

    That was followed by a celebratory, semi-secret news conference at the World Trade Center site with Gov. George E. Pataki, Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff, Mr. Silverstein and members of the Port Authority. Most of the press missed it because the announcement went out minutes before it started.

    The point of it all was to ratify the tentative April agreement. It ensures that four new office towers, including the $2.2 billion Freedom Tower, are to be built by 2012, along with a shopping mall, a $2.2 billion transit center and the $500 million memorial.

    “The time has come to build this,” said Anthony R. Coscia, the authority’s chairman.

    After all the delays, squabbling and security concerns of the past five years, there is progress. The Port Authority is building the transit center. Workers are excavating for the footings and foundations of the Freedom Tower and for the memorial.

    Under this agreement, the Port Authority has taken responsibility for the Freedom Tower and a second development site a block away. Mr. Silverstein, who leased the trade center complex from the Port Authority six weeks before it was destroyed, has responsibility for building three towers on the east side of the 16-acre site, along Church Street, by 2012.

    The authority has agreed to excavate the sites for two towers by the end of 2007. It must provide the third site to Mr. Silverstein by mid-2008. If the authority, which plans to start running two 10-hour shifts at ground zero, fails to meet the schedule, it must pay him a $300,000-a-day penalty.

    If Mr. Silverstein falls behind on even one of the towers, he risks losing them all.

    The Port Authority agreed yesterday to lease 600,000 square feet in Tower 4 at $59 a square foot, not the $78 that Mr. Silverstein wanted. After hours of tense negotiations Wednesday night and yesterday morning, the city agreed to rent the same amount of space on lower floors for $56.50 a square foot. Mr. Silverstein also has the option of leasing it to corporate tenants at higher rates, if he can get them.

    Last week, the federal and New York State governments tentatively agreed to lease 1 million square feet in the Freedom Tower, the tallest, most symbolic and most widely criticized skyscraper planned for ground zero.

    Critics have questioned the decision to build 8.8 million square feet of office space in such a short time, and then to fill these expensive towers with public employees.

    But officials praised the deal yesterday. “This is a historic event that details a specific financial plan for this massive rebuilding project, commits to deadlines for various milestones and moves us forward toward a swift completion date,” Governor Pataki said. “I’m extremely proud of the progress we have made so far.”

    Mr. Silverstein said: “We need to keep building on this partnership so that together we can get the World Trade Center rebuilt.”

    This doesn’t mean all the arguments and debates are over, or even that the Freedom Tower will be built.

    As Mr. Coscia said yesterday, the actual plan for the tower “is not part of the agreement we’re executing today.” The Port Authority committed to building the Freedom Tower providing it has a viable financial plan that includes 1 million square feet of leases to anchor the building.

    The tentative agreements with the state and federal government, Mr. Coscia said, are a significant step toward an “irrevocable contract.” But a lot can happen before a contract is signed.

    There is also outstanding litigation with insurers over the $4.6 billion in insurance proceeds at ground zero. The money, including $973 million for the Freedom Tower, is needed for construction. So far, the insurers have paid only about $2.2 billion, and $1.6 billion has been spent.

    The plan for the memorial has not been finished, nor has all the money been raised.

    Still, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who was in California yesterday, told reporters there: “It’s really a very good deal for everybody.”

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  9. #3414


    NY Post
    September 22, 2006



    A new deal to rebuild the World Trade Center was approved by the Port Authority yesterday, giving Ground Zero developer Larry Silverstein an extra year, until 2013, to finish his part of the job or risk being tossed from the massive office complex.

    Under the deal, which gives the developer a one-year "grace period," Silverstein would lose his entire investment as leaseholder of the trade-center site if he doesn't finish construction of three office towers along Church Street on time.

    Officials yesterday defended giving Silverstein more time.

    "The reason for that is because the penalties of not having the three buildings up by the end of the grace period are so Draconian and that it's so hard to anticipate events that may take place that giving him that extra year is fair," Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff said.

    In fact, officials believe the penalty for missing the deadline will force Silverstein to finish early.

    But Silverstein can't begin work on the three Church Street towers until the Port Authority excavates the building sites - a massive job that will take 18 months to complete. If the authority is not done on time, it will pay Silverstein $300,000 a day in penalties.

    The Port Authority is slated to have sites for Towers 3 and 4 ready by Dec. 31, 2007. The building site for Tower 2 will be done by June 2008.

    Silverstein said he's confident he can finish the job on time.

    "If there's any question as to our ability to do it, just look to the north at 7 World Trade Center. We got it done there pretty swiftly," Silverstein said during a press conference at Ground Zero.

    Gov. Pataki hailed the agreement yesterday as "the last major hurdle" toward rebuilding the World Trade Center.

    "This is probably not just the most emotionally charged site anywhere in America, it is probably the most difficult from many other standpoints, and it required tremendous cooperation and effort," Pataki said.

    Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc.
    Last edited by BigMac; September 28th, 2006 at 02:55 PM.

  10. #3415


    From the Wall Street Journal (subscription):

    The Disaster That Has Followed the Tragedy

    September 28, 2006; Page D8

    A newspaper cartoon some years ago showed a very large building in the shape of a massive dollar sign, Power Towers, being contemplated by two smiling, portly men, one saying to the other, "I find it charming and you find it charming and all the others just like us will find it charming."

    It would be a stretch to call the three enormous towers proposed for the World Trade Center site charming, but many in New York's development community will undoubtedly feel satisfied that the highest aspirations of art and profit have been met by these "signature" buildings by three internationally famous architects, Norman Foster and Richard Rogers of London and Fumihiko Maki of Tokyo. The designs were released for the fifth anniversary of 9/11 by the Port Authority, which owns the land, and developer Larry Silverstein, who holds the leases for the World Trade Center towers and is committed to rebuilding.

    Given the notoriety of the site, a passionately observant and deeply involved public, and the proven financial advantage of what goes by the dreadful name "starchitecture," Mr. Silverstein's move from standard commercial construction to high-end high style required no great sacrifice or philanthropic awakening. Good design makes excess palatable. Marquee names command higher rents. These are all virtuoso performances -- architecture as spectacular window dressing and shrewd marketing tool for the grossly maximized commercial square footage that has remained the one constant through the perversion and destruction of Daniel Libeskind's master plan, a process in which vision succumbed early to pressure groups and political agendas. Call it irony or destiny, the architecture once rejected as a costly "frill" is now embraced for its dollar value.

    The first and most obvious comment to be made about these buildings is that whatever the pious rhetoric, their proximity to sacred ground, and the care with which the reality is skirted, they are machines for making money, just as the Twin Towers were, with only some rearrangement of the square footage. Wringing every possible dollar from a piece of property is a traditional New York practice celebrated in the oft-repeated real-estate mantra, offered with a straight face and impressive hubris, as "the highest and best use of the land." Say it often enough and no one will question the absence of any need or purpose other than profit in the calculations.

    The second observation is that these buildings don't talk to each other or to the site. They do not so much reach for the sky as drop down from it on a designated parcel. There is no suggestion of interaction except Mr. Foster's claim (is he serious?) that his building is tipping its slanted hat to the memorial far below. If these architects were really working together in the same room, as we have been told, what were they thinking? Did they have any concept in common except building big? How in the world did they define collaboration? Or is there a new mantra, the highest and best use of the land is to establish the architect's unmistakable trademark style, above all other symbolic or urban considerations?

    Only Mr. Maki's solution has a refinement and urbanity that suggests the possibility of compatibility rather than competition. This is not the place for the dramatic chaos of unrelated development that defines so much of New York; Ground Zero begs for something more. The original concept of spiraling, crystalline towers was stunning and magical. It identified the site and made a unified impact on the skyline. There is no meaning or magic left in the token rise in building heights to a much-compromised Freedom Tower.

    The balance of commercial and cultural facilities meant to be the basis of the area's rebirth and regeneration is also gone, sabotaged by the supine political response to the escalating demands of those bereaved families whose inconsolable grief required the elimination of the plan's cultural components on the disturbing and specious grounds that the arts and liberties that mark a free society equaled disrespect, or less honor to the dead. They became Ground Zero's censors and de facto designers, eliminating buildings and dictating content to a commission that seemed to have no clue about appropriateness or professional expertise.

    The intensely moving image of the surviving slurry wall that saved Lower Manhattan from the waters of the Hudson River was buried under the weight of an expanding memorial that pre-empted the site, discarding guidelines and voiding the commitment to renewal and the need to build creatively for future generations. Official pandering and political waffling tortured the master plan to death. Piecemeal dismemberment and an unfulfilled mandate have gone hand in hand.

    For some of us there has been a persistent sense of déjà vu. A generation that never knew the city without the Twin Towers has placed them high in skyscraper hagiography because of their terrible fate. But the New York skyline has changed many times, and will again. An earlier skyline, dominated by earlier icons, the Empire State and Chrysler buildings, had a richness and variety not yet diminished by the brutal breaking of scale and loss of architectural detail when the Port Authority built not one, but two of the tallest buildings in the world. Whether the move from bridges and tunnels to gargantuan real estate was vanity, greed, or the deal of the century, the Twin Towers could be built only by using the authority's independent powers to override all of New York's height, building and zoning codes and restrictions. The same excessive bulk is being reproduced today.

    Power has shifted from the Port Authority to Mr. Silverstein, who holds the leases and the insurance payments as bargaining chips in a spectacular demonstration of negotiation as spectator sport, turning the screws to his advantage in every conceivable way while foreclosing the possibility of a more publicly responsive development.

    After 9/11 it was easy to forget that the Twin Towers were an economic disaster that depressed the New York rental market for years. As a palliative, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller packed the near-empty buildings with New York State offices. Learning, or not learning, from the past, Gov. George Pataki is once again dragooning government agencies to avoid the same problem in the tenantless Freedom Tower, while protests rise against the unseemly public subsidy of Mr. Silverstein's creatively calculated $59-a-square foot rent, and captive workers revolt at occupying a high-rise symbol of terrorism.

    New York has been no stranger to controversial projects of this scale. What began as a search for a new home for the Metropolitan Opera became Rockefeller Center when the Met withdrew as the Depression deepened in the 1930s and John D. Rockefeller Jr. found himself holding a huge, money-losing tract of midtown land. A businessman who always insisted on his 6% of any philanthropic undertaking, he turned the project into a hardnosed real-estate development. The bottom line, and there always is one in New York, is that these sites involve some of the highest land values in the world, which inevitably influences the outcome.

    But Rockefeller Center was built with a master plan. When millions of square feet were thrown onto a market that could not absorb them -- déjà vu all over again -- this distinctive complex of commercial and cultural facilities with its attractive public spaces was able to survive as a prestigious international business venue and a popular entertainment center. Not least, its coherent style was the work of a group of architects as prominent in their own day as those currently involved downtown. Raymond Hood had designed the Daily News Building and Wallace Harrison would become the lead architect of the United Nations, but both were part of a consortium of top practitioners known simply as the Associated Architects. No one did his own thing. Together, they achieved a lasting level of coordinated excellence.

    Rockefeller Center is not a model to be followed literally -- every age has its own style and sensibility. Today's aesthetic and technological resources are enormous; they can support a wide variety of solutions. I do not believe for a moment that we are no longer capable of building great cities of symbolic beauty and enduring public amenity. What Ground Zero tells us is that we have lost the faith and the nerve, the knowledge and the leadership, to make it happen now.
    Ms. Huxtable is the Journal's architecture critic.

  11. #3416
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    ^ I was going to post this until I read it. This is just another, stuck in 2003, anti-development piece of trash. Her hatred of big buildings, including the original towers as well as the proposed ones, makes her opinion completely useless.

  12. #3417
    Senior Member
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    Chicago, Illinois


    Quote Originally Posted by Paoloman View Post
    I often wondered over the years why there is no high rise construction between the financial and mid town sections of the city. Someone once told me it was a zoning restriction. I also heard there is less bedrock under that stretch of Manhattan which prohibits buildings that soar. The ESB dispels that theory.
    ESB dispells nothing. The bedrock is deeper between midtown and downtown. In addition, the bulk of the NYC skyline is still offices, and there has been no need for a large office block miles away from NYC's main nexuses. Zoning has, in turn, reflected that.

  13. #3418
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    I don't see for a second in Ada's article a "hatred of big buildings" -- she clearly is crazy for both Rock Center and ESB.

    What she doesn't adhere to is the belief in maxing out every buildable square inch. And while I don't know what the numbers are, I'd be willing to guess that if you did the FAR for both RC & ESB (if such a formula even existed at the time they were built) you might find that neither were built to the maximum bulk allowable -- then or now.

    And it would be hard to argue that either building -- or complex of buildings -- would be improved by more height or more bulk.

    The era when "less is more" was even part of the discussion is over and done with. That was then -- this is now. But I don't see how it serves anyone to shut down the discussion by labeling another's divurgent opinion as "useless".

  14. #3419


    Give me a break. The new WTC site plan isn't "maxing out every square inch" either. Eight of the sixteen acres have been set aside for a memorial. Another acre has been set aside for a free standing transit terminal that pre-9/11 sat underneath two 110 story builings. Yet another acre has been set aside for a new performing arts center that did not even exist pre-9/11, for which there appears to be little demand. What other possible explanation can you offer for this over-the-hill gas bag's berudging the fact that a mere 6 acres of the 16 acre WTC site are being used for rebuilding commercial office space, other than that she thinks that commercial uses are somehow inherently evil? And in the Journal, no less!

    As to her objection that the new site plan is not as good as RC, well guess what, nothing built since RC anywhere at any time has been anywhere near as good. But the current plan is a hell of a lot better than the Libeskind plan that she claims has been "perverted" by evil real estate developers and bureaucrats. Fortunately, those evildoers have much better taste that she does.

  15. #3420
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    We're getting 10,000,000 SF with the current plan, yes? Perhaps not ...

    Equal to what was there before, yes?

    How much more SF do you want?

    And if the site were controlled by NYC regs (rather than non-existent PA regs) what would be the allowable SF?

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