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

Voters
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%
Page 41 of 407 FirstFirst ... 313738394041424344455191141 ... LastLast
Results 601 to 615 of 6091

Thread: World Trade Center Developments

  1. #601

    Default

    The New York Times:

    A Fresh Start at Ground Zero

    By MARY L. CLARK

    Published: May 5, 2004

    The latest jury decision against Larry Silverstein, the lease-holder of the World Trade Center, makes one thing clear: the current plans to rebuild the site are simply never going to happen. On Monday a federal jury found that the two planes flying into the towers on 9/11 constituted a single terrorist attack, not two separate attacks, and thus Mr. Silverstein's largest insurer is liable for only one payout. In the long run, this means that even if he wins every one of his remaining legal battles, Mr. Silverstein is unlikely to collect more than $4.5 billion from his insurers — a far cry from the estimated $8 billion to $10 billion needed to rebuild the lost office space within the original towers.

    Six weeks before the attacks, Mr. Silverstein entered into a lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to take over all 10 million square feet of office space at the center for $3.2 billion over 99 years. The lease obliged him to rebuild all the existing office space at his own expense if the towers were ever destroyed. This runs contrary to the presumption under New York law that landlords are liable for rebuilding. But not only is the clause enforceable, it reflects good public policy for a special case like this: a long-term commercial lease of an entire property where there is equality of bargaining power between the parties.

    After all, obligating the lease-holder to rebuild creates an excellent incentive for him to monitor and maintain the buildings. He is on the site daily; he has access to and control over the entire premises; and he is in the best position to invest in upkeep, including security and fire safety. Equally important, the lease-holder is the principal beneficiary of any rebuilding — he gets a new building — whereas the landlord's interest resurfaces only many decades later.

    However, in the case of the World Trade Center, rigid adherence to this sensible provision has led to decisions that have not been in the best interests of New Yorkers. Most obvious has been the commitment by state officials to help Mr. Silverstein re-create all of the original office space. This led to the plan to build five massive towers on or close to the original parcel.

    But rebuilding the full 10 million square feet is out of step with the demand for commercial real estate in New York's post-9/11 economy. It would most likely produce a glut of office and retail space, further depressing rents. And, as proposed, the towers are much taller than most New Yorkers would be comfortable living with or working in. Finally, rebuilding in this way runs counter to what many people who live and work downtown have called for — namely, more street-level activity, à la Jane Jacobs's "Death and Life of Great American Cities."

    So, is there any way to reduce the World Trade Center office space, given Mr. Silverstein's rights and responsibilities? In fact, the Port Authority has two options.

    One is to renegotiate the lease so that Mr. Silverstein rebuilds on a smaller scale and pays a smaller monthly rent, much less than the $10 million a month that he has continued to pay since 9/11.

    A second option would be for the Port Authority to condemn part of Mr. Silverstein's "leasehold interest" and pay him off — by law the agency has the power to compel him to sell back part of the lease in return for "just compensation." (Alternatively, Mr. Silverstein could force the same action in reverse, bringing an "inverse condemnation action" against the Port Authority on the ground that it has made so many competing commitments since 9/11 that he is no longer able to use his leased space.)

    Any of these approaches would be a win-win-win situation for Mr. Silverstein, the Port Authority and the people of New York. Most important, the Port Authority would have more freedom in deciding other uses of the site — for a memorial, open space, an expanded transit hub, one or more cultural institutions, and a reopened Greenwich Street. It has been two and a half years since the attacks — isn't it time to compromise and start rebuilding?*

    Mary L. Clark teaches property law at American University Washington College of Law.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  2. #602

    Default

    One thing that is unclear to me is why Silverstein would need $8-10 billion to rebuild 10 million square feet of office space.

    My understanding is that even the more expensive construction, along the lines of Time Warner Center, and the future BofA tower is in the range of $500 per square foot. That would mean $5 billion to reconstruct ground zero.

    I can't shake the feeling that the reporters are consciously padding the numbers for the emotional effect.

  3. #603

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenius
    One thing that is unclear to me is why Silverstein would need $8-10 billion to rebuild 10 million square feet of office space.

    My understanding is that even the more expensive construction, along the lines of Time Warner Center, and the future BofA tower is in the range of $500 per square foot. That would mean $5 billion to reconstruct ground zero.

    I can't shake the feeling that the reporters are consciously padding the numbers for the emotional effect.

    There is no guaranty that Silverstein would need that much money. One technical aspect of the litigation that the reporters don't seem to pick up on is that Silverstein is really only litigating over the coverage limits. Like any other insurance policy, just because you paid for the coverage does not mean the insurer will write you a check for that amount. You still have to prove the amount of damages you have incurred. Here, even if Silverstein had won in this coverage litigation, the insurers would have been sure to come back with a second litigation -- citing numbers like yours -- that Silverstein only needed $5 billion or so to rebuild space to the same quality as that which was lost. To the extent that Silverstein wants to make the new property BETTER than the old WTC -- e.g., by installing those double-wide fire staircases he brags about in today's David Dunlap piece -- the insurer does not have to pay for that at all, unless it is required to bring it up to code.

    As to why the reporters are padding the numbers, they are doing so because Silverstein is padding his numbers. Silverstein, in turn, is padding his numbers because he is trying to soak his insurers. I agree with you that the estimates seem awfully high.

  4. #604

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dbhstockton
    The New York Times:

    A Fresh Start at Ground Zero

    By MARY L. CLARK

    Published: May 5, 2004

    ... However, in the case of the World Trade Center, rigid adherence to this sensible provision has led to decisions that have not been in the best interests of New Yorkers. Most obvious has been the commitment by state officials to help Mr. Silverstein re-create all of the original office space. This led to the plan to build five massive towers on or close to the original parcel.

    But rebuilding the full 10 million square feet is out of step with the demand for commercial real estate in New York's post-9/11 economy. It would most likely produce a glut of office and retail space, further depressing rents. And, as proposed, the towers are much taller than most New Yorkers would be comfortable living with or working in. Finally, rebuilding in this way runs counter to what many people who live and work downtown have called for — namely, more street-level activity, à la Jane Jacobs's "Death and Life of Great American Cities."

    Mary L. Clark teaches property law at American University Washington College of Law.
    Interesting how the Court had to go to an obscure professor at a third-tier law school in Washington DC to tell us what we Downtowners "have called for," and "would be comfortable living with." Pardon my French, but how the HELL does Mary know that? While there may be some skittishness among local residents about living next to anything labeled "THE World's Tallest Building," the general view among Downtowners is to rebuild, rebuild, rebuild. Just check out, in the new Downtown Express, the praise heaped on Goldman Sach's enormous new building by BPCers. Mary seems to be projecting her own biases on to us.

    Second, exactly how is Mary an expert on the New York commercial real estate market, with her predictions of a glut. This office space is projected to come on line over course of the next decade. Has she done any studies to determine future demand for Downtown space?

    Finally, Mary's cite to Jane Jacobs only proves that she has never read the book. If she had, she would know that "street-level activity" does not emerge from the ether -- YOU ACTUALLY NEED HUMAN BEINGS FOR THAT. In order to get humans down here, you need something more than just a giant hole in the ground. Skyscrapers help do that.

  5. #605

    Default

    May 6, 2004

    Rebuilding Lower Manhattan

    Gov. George Pataki announced plans yesterday for a July 4 groundbreaking for the tallest tower to be built at the World Trade Center site. For New Yorkers who have been suspicious that the saga of ground zero would be central to the Republican Party's convention in the city in late August, this was good news. The initial work on the grand tower can now begin on behalf of the larger community affected by Sept. 11, and not be used as a backdrop for one campaign or political party.

    The announcement of Mr. Pataki's Independence Day ceremony came in a particularly active week regarding the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan. The governor also announced yesterday that he would support a new $6 billion rail link to stretch from Lower Manhattan to Kennedy Airport and the Long Island Rail Road. It is far from clear that this very expensive plan deserves to be the city's top transportation priority, and Mr. Pataki acknowledged that this proposal, for a tunnel and a rail link, still needed more study.

    Meanwhile, Larry Silverstein, the real estate developer who signed the lease for the World Trade Center just six weeks before 9/11, has just lost two important verdicts in his bid for $7 billion in insurance money. Ever since the attacks that destroyed the twin towers, Mr. Silverstein and his lawyers have argued that there were two attacks, not one, so he should be entitled to a double insurance payment. But in one legal encounter after another, that argument has been struck down.

    Now Mr. Silverstein will receive at most $4.5 billion to rebuild at ground zero. He might get only $3.5 billion — the payout for a single occurrence — since his basic argument may seem no more persuasive in a trial that is scheduled to begin in August.

    Mr. Silverstein's defeat does not create any need to rethink the site plan, which was developed over a long period of time with intense public scrutiny. The financing for the tallest tower is secure, thanks to insurance proceeds already in Mr. Silverstein's hands, and money for cultural spaces, the memorial and transportation centers will come from other sources.

    At risk are the other office towers that Mr. Silverstein hoped to build as rapidly as possible, and that may not be a bad thing. Now those towers will have to be developed in a manner that is more responsive to market conditions and — we hope — to the concerns of the public as well.

    If anything, the sudden change in the financial landscape of ground zero means that the interim retail buildings planned for the site — place-holders for the office towers to come — may be with us longer than originally imagined. "Temporary" too easily becomes "permanent" in this city, and that means whatever is built, even in the short term, should not detract from the architectural excellence demanded elsewhere at ground zero.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  6. #606

    Default

    Is Silverstein Down to One At Zero Site?

    by Blair Golson

    The rebuilding process at Ground Zero had churned forward for months—internecine bureaucratic and artistic squabbles notwithstanding—pretty much the way Governor George Pataki said they would at a meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Lower Manhattan a little over a year ago.

    Plans were drawn up for the "iconic" tower on the site—the Freedom Tower, a 1,776-foot-tall skyscraper cobbled together by the unlikely team of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill’s David Childs, house architect to New York’s real-estate gentry, and the wild-and-woolly Bronx-bred European practitioner, architect and theorist Daniel Libeskind—and the public oohed or booed, and the process churned on. Groundbreaking still is scheduled before summer’s end.

    There were growing signs of life: A temporary PATH train terminal opened in November of last year, its subterranean platforms dappled in light from the yawning space where the Twin Towers once stood. Architects from all over the world—Santiago Calatrava, Jean Nouvel, Sir Norman Foster—signed on for one or another phase or element of the project, most of them to build office towers for Larry Silverstein, the Manhattan developer who held the 99-year lease on the Trade Center.

    Then, on May 3, everything ground to a halt. An entire development program, it turns out, had been mortgaged on the promise of Mr. Silverstein receiving an enormous payout from his insurers. The developer claimed that the attack constituted two separate catastrophes, entitling him a double payout from his insurers. But a Manhattan jury disagreed. And now, barring a lengthy appeals process, it appears that Mr. Silverstein is a day late and a dollar short of the time and money he needs to build back all 10.5 million square feet of the office space he lost on Sept. 11 according to the Governor’s aggressive plans.

    And so everyone downtown is buzzing Larry Silverstein is unlikely to be the developer behind most of the office buildings at Ground Zero. Another developer will have to step in. But who has billions of dollars to spend on a spanking new building with no guarantee it will fill up?

    "The project has never been dependent on a single individual," said Ground Zero master planner Daniel Libeskind, who has had conflicts both with Mr. Silverstein and his favorite architect, Mr. Childs. Mr. Libeskind at one time proposed an alternative vision for Ground Zero that drastically reduced the amount of commercial space on the site. "This is not a private project that is going to be dependent on a Larry Silverstein or another developer. Of course we need the money and investment in the site. But the essence of the site is not about that. The essence is that it has to be rebuilt because of its civic nature and because of its memory and because it means something to every single person in the free world. So how can you reduce it to Larry Silverstein?"

    But for months, everyone had. Mr. Silverstein, as he was himself fond of saying, was possessed of the only fund of private money for rebuilding. With the jury verdict, however, he could no longer make that argument.

    And now the vultures are circling.

    Some of them are culture vultures, long opposed to plans to replace all of Mr. Silverstein’s lost office space and erect a temple of commerce on the spot where 2,749 people died.

    "Silverstein in theory can do a part of the project, but he probably can’t do the whole thing," said Bob Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association, one of the city’s leading private urban-planning organizations. "It’s time to reopen the lease and reexamine the program."

    "There was this hold-your-breath attitude until one could see if the money was going to be double, or not, and no one wanted to jinx the ability to get a lot of money to do ultimately whatever the program would be," said Rick Bell, executive director of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. "This gives us the opportunity to rethink the programming of the site. But in rethinking the programming, you don’t have to throw out the master plan. Because the main elements of the Libeskind site plan—the memorial, the street connectivity, the cultural buildings—all those things make sense. What never made sense was 10 million square feet of office space, and now we have a chance to take a hard look at that."

    Mr. Yaro favors inclusion of more mixed-use and residential developments at the expense of perhaps several of the planned office towers.

    "Some business leaders have suggested that the best way to develop the site is to maximize the amount of commercial space, he said. "But I would argue that the most important thing is creating a magnetic place … that can be a catalyst for attracting new activities to the entire district."

    Not surprisingly, Mr. Yaro’s suggestion is anathema to many members of the business community, who believe that the 10 million square feet of office space is critical to lower Manhattan’s health in the long term. Kevin Rampe, the president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the state agency charged with rebuilding Ground Zero, was strongly critical of using Mr. Silverstein’s precarious financial situation as a jumping-off point to rethink the programming of Ground Zero.

    "We have to remember that we’re dealing with the future of lower Manhattan, and its complete revitalization is going to be contingent on the ability to build 10 million square feet of office space," he said. "It’s not something that should be revisited at all."

    Tim Sheehan, a senior vice president at the commercial real-estate firm CB Richard Ellis, said that lower Manhattan could easily absorb another 10 million square feet of space over the next 20 years if New York experiences another 1990’s-like boom.

    "We’re pretty bullish downtown, and when we get back to office-employment levels that approach the numbers we had in 2000, there will be the need for additional office product," he said.

    Kathy Wylde, the president of the New York City Partnership, said that although Mr. Silverstein’s courtroom losses have weakened his leverage with the Port Authority, the owners of the site, it is important that the pace of commercial development on the site not slacken.

    "The challenge now is to not let this be an excuse for those who would like to revisit the plan, who would like to change the uses, who have got other ideas for the money," she said. "We’ve got to make sure we don’t allow those voices to derail the entire process."

    No one is seriously suggesting—yet—that Mr. Silverstein is in danger of being forced off the site completely. To date, he has been keeping up his $120 million in annual lease payments to the Port Authority. But according to the terms of the lease, Mr. Silverstein is obligated to rebuild all 10 million square feet of office space that was destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks, and continue paying $120 million a year in rent to the Port Authority for office space that doesn’t yet—or doesn’t any longer—exist.

    "He’s going to have to show that his financing is in place, or his personal wealth is such that he can adequately guarantee that he will make those payments, and I don’t think people have any great expectation that he will do so," said an official involved with the rebuilding process. "So there’s going to have to be a negotiation between the Port Authority and Silverstein about what he’s willing to commit to, and what he isn’t willing to take on."

    Indeed, Mr. Silverstein’s keeping up with lease payments and his stated intention to rebuild all of the destroyed office space are also required under his lease. But his stinging courtroom defeats at the hands of his insurers have made it increasingly unlikely that the embattled developer will be able to meet his obligations, city and state officials say.

    Not so long ago, there were other major players in the Manhattan real-estate market that wanted a piece of the World Trade Center.

    Mr. Silverstein joined the herd with five days left in the bidding in 2001, when the Port Authority decided to lease the Twin Towers to a private developer to manage and maintain. After being hit by a drunk driver in midtown, he didn’t abate: He went over documents from his hospital bed. At closing time, Mr. Silverstein was in a pool of three finalists that included Steve Roth’s Vornado Realty Trust and a partnership of John Zuccotti’s Brookfield Properties and Mortimer Zuckerman’s Boston Properties. When the bids were unsealed, Vornado had the high bid of $3.25 billion—$600 million higher than Mr. Silverstein’s offer. But Mr. Silverstein subsequently upped his ante to a mere $30 million below Vornado’s offer, and was there to step up the pace when negotiations between Vornado and the Port Authority broke down.

    And while things have changed at the W.T.C. since real-estate moguls were fighting to get a piece of it—will they now?—that kind of scrappy determination still may not be enough to lock Mr. Silverstein in at Ground Zero. His courtroom defeats leave him with a maximum of $4.6 billion in payouts, far short of the entire complex’s estimated $9 billion price tag. Worse, if Mr. Silverstein loses in the next phase of his trial, scheduled to start in August, he could end up with as little as $3.5 billion. And with about $1.3 billion of that money already spent on lease payments and legal fees, and $1.5 billion pledged towards the construction of the site’s first commercial building, the Freedom Tower, Mr. Silverstein will likely have precious little left over for the other four towers planned for the site.

    Although the Port Authority is officially keeping quiet on the issue, city and state officials say it seems certain that Mr. Silverstein will have to renegotiate parts of his lease.

    "Is there going to have to be some renegotiation with Larry in terms of his obligations and how he’s going to be able to fulfill those? Absolutely," said another source involved with the rebuilding process. "The question is [the degree of] his continued involvement."

    "Larry’s $120 million in annual lease payments was based on getting rent from the [pre-Sept. 11] office space," said an official involved with the rebuilding process. "After Sept. 11, as long as that was being covered by insurance, fine. But if it’s not being covered by insurance, how can he make those payments? And that gets into the issue of, is he anticipating on defaulting on those agreements?"

    Mr. Silverstein, for his part, brushed away concerns that his legal or financial woes would stem his ability to remain the principal developer at Ground Zero.

    "Of course, I am disappointed that the jury did not see things our way with respect to most of the insurers in the [World Trade Center] coverage," he said in a statement after the verdicts. "But let me be clear. A defeat in the courtroom is not a defeat for rebuilding. Whatever happens in court, we are determined to rebuild the World Trade Center, under Governor Pataki’s leadership and in keeping with the master plan."

    Carl Weisbrod, president of the Downtown Alliance, the lower Manhattan business-improvement district, is all for sticking with the master plan—whether or not Mr. Silverstein ends up doing all the development.

    "At the moment, Larry has a lease, he is a developer, he’s going to build buildings 1 and 2. He has the proceeds to do that," Mr. Weisbrod said. "The later office buildings will be a product of market demand."

    You may reach Blair Golson via email at: bgolson@observer.com.

    This column ran on page 1 in the 5/10/2004 edition of The New York Observer.

  7. #607

    Default

    Financial Times...

    Leaseholder reviews plans for World Trade Center site

    By Christopher Grimes in New York and Haig Simonian in Zurich
    May 5 2004

    Larry Silverstein, lease holder on the World Trade Center, is considering new funding options to ensure his continued involvement in the redevelopment of the site.

    Mr Silverstein may need billions more to fund the project following a defeat this week in his legal battle with insurers.

    The 72-year-old developer is confident that his insurance payments will cover the cost of two of the five commercial buildings he has planned for the site, including the Freedom Tower, sources familiar with Mr Silverstein's plan said.

    But how the other three buildings will be paid for is unresolved.

    Mr Silverstein is considering a plan to use the Freedom Tower and the second building as collateral to raise additional funds in the market. Those funds would then be used to finance the other three buildings, which would total about 5m square feet of commercial office space.

    Under his 99-year lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Mr Silverstein is obligated to rebuild the 10m square feet of office space destroyed in the terrorist attacks.

    The plan to use the buildings as collateral could appeal to investors because they would be debt-free. But the plan hinges on the buildings' ability to attract tenants. If tenants are slow to move into the new buildings, as was the case in the original World Trade Center, it could delay financing for the rest of Mr Silverstein's plan.

    "He's going to have to have an anchor tenant," said Robert Sammons, research director of Colliers ABR, commercial property consultants. "No one is going to lend on spec."

    The Port Authority has hired Jones Lang Lasalle, a Chicago property group, to evaluate the entire real estate plan for the site. The group is exploring the concept of building small-scale "pods" on the site - perhaps only three storeys tall - that could be expanded when market demand exists.

    Mr Silverstein had hoped insurance payments would cover his $7bn (€5.8bn, £3.9bn) portion of the $12bn redevelopment. But it now appears that the most he could recover is $4.7bn. Worse, he has already spent $1.4bn to finance his legal battles, pay rent on the site and buy out his mortgage lender.

    Swiss Re, which provided Mr Silverstein with nearly 25 per cent of his total insurance coverage on the World Trade Center, yesterday criticised the developer's legal strategy. In unusual comments following Swiss Re's victory in the case, Markus Diethelm, group chief legal officer for Swiss Re, suggested Mr Silverstein had wasted "hundreds of millions" of dollars in legal fees.

  8. #608

    Default

    LEISURE & ARTS

    A Pause to Think

    A jury's decision hinders the Ground Zero rebuilding plan. Maybe it's for the best.

    BY JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN

    Thursday, May 6, 2004 12:01 a.m.

    The major leaseholder of the World Trade Center, Larry Silverstein, spent some $100 million in legal fees to try to convince a federal jury that he was entitled to a double insurance payout. The jury didn't buy it. In their May 3 verdict concluding that the two attacks constitute one event for insurance purposes, the jurors may have dealt Mr. Silverstein's rebuilding efforts--and the Libeskind master plan for Ground Zero, which was dependent on the double payout--a mortal blow. Though Mr. Silverstein may get as much as $4.5 billion, he will not have the $7 billion to $10 billion needed to rebuild the trade center site with his 70-story Freedom Tower plus four other buildings. (Gov. George Pataki announced yesterday that the developers would break ground on July 4 for the Freedom Tower, the one building Mr. Silverman can afford to complete.)

    But this verdict is not a defeat for Lower Manhattan, whose rebirth from the rubble has taken place the old-fashioned way: via capitalism. Fueled by the entrepreneurial energy of hundreds of small businesses, shops, restaurants and services, and bolstered by the goodwill and spending of workers, residents and tourists, the neighborhood is beginning to thrive again. It's not back to where it was in 2001, when demand was so high that many landlords offered old-time commercial tenants buyouts. But it's getting there. According to the Downtown Alliance, Lower Manhattan's commercial vacancy rate fell from 18.3% in 1995 to 8.6% before the attacks, which emptied out many buildings. As of the first quarter this year, the vacancy rate stood at 12.9%.

    What the verdict does is give all parties to downtown's rebuilding a pause to think--and that's not necessarily bad. After all, the World Trade Center had never been the monument to capitalism the terrorists believed it to be. Rather, it was the product of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's peculiar brand of government gigantism--immense office towers built on private land acquired under eminent domain, exempted from city building codes, and freed from all taxes to compete with the private sector. Despite the status of Mr. Silverstein and his partners as leaseholders, the Twin Towers were never truly privatized--which in normal terms would have meant "sold." Instead they were merely leased for 99 years to maintain such Port Authority privileges as tax exemption and freedom from city regulatory codes.

    Now Mr. Silverstein--the leaseholder, but not the owner--and the government agencies in charge of rebuilding must rethink their options. Mr. Silverstein can try to cobble together Liberty Bonds with conventional financing. But his bankers are going to want proof of private demand--which Mr. Silverstein cannot give them. He has not been able to sign up any tenants other than his own company for 7 World Trade Center, a 52-story office tower he is building at the north end of Ground Zero. Nor does he have a single confirmed tenant for the Freedom Tower.

    The Port Authority has repeatedly said it must "honor" the lease with Mr. Silverstein. But what does that mean if Mr. Silverstein cannot "honor" his end? Since he lacks the financing to build, he lacks the wherewithal to complete his side of the contract. One obvious option is for the Port Authority to renegotiate its contract with Mr. Silverstein, letting him build the Freedom Tower, but opening up the rest of the site to bids from other developers. Why not see what an open bidding process would produce?

    Meanwhile, the culture of government pseudo-capitalism that built and managed the towers has unfortunately imbued many of the ideas behind the rebuilding efforts. Certainly the agencies in charge think they know best how to administer a central plan--which has included a memorial and cultural space, as well as the replacement of all commercial and retail space--with very little regard for actual private demand. While the residential market has fully revived, downtown's commercial vacancy rate is still a little worrisome. Battery Park City, for example, which faces Ground Zero and is generally regarded as downtown's most successful mixed-use development, has almost no empty residential space but nearly one million square feet of empty commercial space.

    Plus the central planners have refused to return the site fully to New York's street grid, thereby perpetuating many of the problems of the original World Trade Center, which killed off nearly all the small businesses around it. Mr. Silverstein's setback offers the planners a chance to bring in new developers with new ideas about how to maximize usable space in the context of the pedestrian-friendly grid.

    We all know what downtown needs: people working, living, shopping and eating out, just as they always had. Government officials were quick to understand that abandonment by residents and visitors after the attacks would finish off the badly scarred and shaken neighborhood. The Bush administration pushed through aggressive residential subsidies to lure New Yorkers to stay or move downtown. The subsidies worked, and half-vacant buildings filled up again with people who otherwise would have lived elsewhere. The idea was to get people back on the streets, spending money in shops and restaurants. Life attracts life, as urban theorist Jane Jacobs has repeatedly noted. And commerce is a kind of life, she added, that always attracts more.

    Entrepreneurs, residents and workers have done their share in restoring the neighborhood's economic life. Government planners have just been handed an opportunity to rethink their share--and they should.

    Ms. Vitullo-Martin is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a think tank in New York.

    www.opinionjournal.com

  9. #609

    Default

    It sickens me to have to read what these vultures are putting out. They so badly want to keep all of the office space from being rebuilt. Nobody supports their anti-rebuilding talking points of NIMBYism and useless parkland. I just hope Silverstein can get the money

  10. #610

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NYguy
    Mr Silverstein is considering a plan to use the Freedom Tower and the second building as collateral to raise additional funds in the market. Those funds would then be used to finance the other three buildings, which would total about 5m square feet of commercial office space.

    The plan to use the buildings as collateral could appeal to investors because they would be debt-free. But the plan hinges on the buildings' ability to attract tenants. If tenants are slow to move into the new buildings, as was the case in the original World Trade Center, it could delay financing for the rest of Mr Silverstein's plan.

    Silverstein will get it done, and he won't be working alone.

  11. #611
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    8,113

    Default

    I think a go slow approach to the other towers will benefit the neighborhood, city, and skyline in the long run. The further we get from 9/11/2001, the less emotional and repressed the development will be.

  12. #612
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Rutherford
    Posts
    12,773

    Default

    I think they should build a nice strong foundation, and leave the areas under the footprints available for further development if need be, but aside from that, they need to start making some of the infrastructure a bit more permanent.

    Get the guts going, THEN worry about the stuff on top.

    It is not how you usually do things like this, but there is just too much attension on this from people who have very little experience and WAY too much emotional baggage.

    Making a conservative foundation system will allow some flexibility in the building design later with some possible geometric restrictions.

    Shoot, you know what, forget it. This whole thing is going to be a circus anyway. I am just hoping that we don't end up with an amusement park.

  13. #613

    Default

    If I had to pick one thing that should be completed now, it would be the transportation center. I think it's more important than the Freedom Tower for the economic recovery of the entire area.

  14. #614
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Manhattan - South Village
    Posts
    4,240

    Default

    Would the Air Train originate at Fulton St. or PATH station?

  15. #615

    Default

    I think it would be the PATH station. One of the factors before 09/11 that made it difficult to bring an airport link into Lower Manhattan was that there was no place to turn the train around.

Similar Threads

  1. Winter Garden of World Financial Center - Recent pictures
    By Edward in forum New York City Guide For Visitors
    Replies: 166
    Last Post: August 31st, 2016, 12:04 PM
  2. Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
    By Edward in forum New York City Guide For Visitors
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: December 21st, 2010, 09:17 PM
  3. Building Art at Rockefeller Center
    By ZippyTheChimp in forum New York City Guide For Visitors
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: June 26th, 2009, 02:40 PM
  4. East 57th Street Tops Retail List Highest Rents In the World
    By noharmony in forum New York Real Estate
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: January 30th, 2008, 12:33 PM
  5. Jazz at Lincoln Center - Time Warner Center
    By Edward in forum New York Skyscrapers and Architecture
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: October 16th, 2007, 12:47 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Google+ - Facebook - Twitter - Meetup

Edward's photos on Flickr - Wired New York on Flickr - In Queens - In Red Hook - Bryant Park - SQL Backup Software