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. #811


    Quote Originally Posted by Bob
    A few recent posts in this forum subject have mentioned that the Freedom Tower will top out at 2000'. Interesting.

    I only heard the 2000' height mentioned ONE TIME at the place where I work. It was a quick inquiry, "what would be the impact if the tower went to 2000?" Answer was, "we'd probably have to do an environmental." I'm assuming this meant, an Environmental Impact Study. As far as impact to navigation, I was told that anything up to the height of the former WTC antenna was good to go. Anything above that point would require an analysis of airspace impact, some environmental work, etc. If anybody has any more info on the rumor of 2000, that would be great. Why not just make it 2001?
    Thats exactly what i meant in a message that i posted months ago in the freedom tower forum. we should go up to 2001 in height(not including antenna) then with the antena if possible, try to reach the height of the number of people who died at the world trade center of about 2400. if im wrong with the numbers please correct but, im preety sure that this will also make it the tallest structure ever made and for those competators of the Freedom towers title of world tallest building, it will be much harder for them to get the title away from the freedom tower. It will also make the freedom tower the first building ever to reach and go above the 2000 height mark. It will also finally show big improvements in height of buildings from the 1930's wich in the 90's we were only able to go 200 feet taller than the empire state building. We should also make the observation deck reach 1776 and the office space floors reach the same height as that of the tallest one of thw twin towers. That would truly be a memorial building. Containing numbers important to that site as well as this country. That would pobably never happen though but, the antena of the tower will reach 2000 wich is pobably how this rumer came about.

  2. #812


    They also should try to make some type of beautifull desighn for the antena of the tower. regular antenas are too plain and not so atractive. Maibe try to make an antenna that will shine.

  3. #813


    New York Times
    October 20, 2004

    Study Suggests Design Flaws Didn't Doom Towers


    Video: Eric Lipton on the Study

    After the most sophisticated building analysis in United States history, federal investigators have arrived at the clearest picture yet of the sequence of events that led to the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, largely ruling out a design flaw in the buildings as a central factor in the catastrophe.

    Since the twin towers fell, questions have reverberated among families of victims and some fire-safety experts about whether insufficient fireproofing or an unusual weakness in the innovative, lightweight floors played a critical role in the collapse.

    Instead, the investigators tentatively conclude in nearly 500 pages of documents released Tuesday, the twin towers failed because the structural columns at the buildings' core, damaged by the impact of the airliners, buckled and shortened as the fires burned, gradually shifting more load to the tower's trademark exterior pinstripe columns. The exterior columns ultimately suffered such extraordinary stress and heat that they gave way.

    The investigation - based on an analysis of thousands of photographs and videos, an examination of nearly every element used to construct the towers and meticulous computer-enhanced modeling of the plane impacts and spreading fires - is not yet complete. A final report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology is not scheduled to be issued until December or perhaps January.

    In interviews Tuesday, the lead investigator, as well as other engineers who have studied the collapse, said the evidence increasingly suggested that the giant structures - given the extreme conditions, including temperatures that reached more than 1,000 degrees - performed relatively well on Sept. 11, 2001.

    "We always said we had no preconceived notions, and that we would look at the failure information dispassionately," said S. Shyam Sunder, the lead investigator at the institute, a division of the Department of Commerce, which has conducted the two-year, $16 million inquiry at the request of Congress. "The buildings performed as they should have in the airplane impact and extreme fires to which they were subjected. There is nothing there that stands out as abnormal."

    Elements of the design and construction of the towers, investigators said, certainly played a part in how long the buildings stood. Buildings designed differently - with more robustly protected and spread-out emergency stairwells, for example - engineers said yesterday, might still have resulted in fewer deaths.

    But the most severe shortcomings identified at the World Trade Center in the institute's comprehensive review do not pertain to how the buildings were conceived or built. Instead, the failings on Sept. 11 were chiefly found in the response by the New York City Fire and Police Departments, which was hampered by inadequate command, unreliable communications equipment and an overwhelmed dispatching system.

    For Leslie E. Robertson, the structural engineer who helped design the twin towers as a young man back in the early 1960's, the latest findings buttress his longstanding assertion that the towers were fundamentally sound. His wife, Saw-Teen See, who is a managing partner at Mr. Robertson's New York design firm, said the report "validates the way we thought the structure would have performed."

    The findings by the institute, however, still do not exonerate Mr. Robertson or the building's owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which, in defending the trade center project from critics in the 1960s, boasted that the design was so robust that the towers could be hit by a jet traveling at 600 miles per hour without collapsing or endangering the lives of occupants beyond the impact zone. In retrospect, such a claim was unjustified because the engineers had failed to consider the added stresses caused by the resulting fires.

    Sally Regenhard, who founded a group called the Skyscraper Safety Campaign in honor of her son, Christian Regenhard, a probationary firefighter who was one of 2,749 victims, said she was not ready to concede that the towers' design were not fundamentally at fault.

    "It is far, far too premature to come to any conclusions that it wasn't the fault of the building, or nothing was wrong with the building," she said after listening to a daylong presentation in Gaithersburg, Md., about the latest findings.

    The investigators have examined just about every possible factor that could have contributed to the collapse, including the steel used in the columns. Computer models were used to calculate, as accurately as possible, where different airplane parts traveled, and what kind of damage they did. Then, intricate models were built, essentially recreating the resulting fires.

    Through all this, particular attention has been focused on the innovative floors that were central to the design of the twin towers. The floors were particularly critical in the trade center because in office buildings built before the 1960's, structural columns and beams were generally spread throughout - holding up the enormous weight and allowing the tower to resist the force from wind.

    In the trade center, only the building's exterior and core had structural columns, and in between them were wide-open floors - relatively lightweight, decklike structures. Some engineers have wondered if insufficient fireproofing on the floor trusses led them to fail, undermining the structural integrity of the towers.

    The federal investigators found, after conducting a test with a reconstructed section of the floor, that the original fireproofing on the floors, as built, was sufficient to ensure that they met the New York City building code under standard testing parameters.

    Instead, the report released yesterday say, the Boeing 767 planes ripped through a swath of exterior steel columns, resulting in an immediate redistribution of the load to adjacent perimeter columns and, to a lesser extent, to the core columns.

    As the planes penetrated the towers, they destroyed sections of the floors, knocked off spray-on fireproofing and severed three to 10 of the core columns in each tower.

    The report found that the towers were able to stand, despite the initial assault, as "loads on the damaged columns were redistributed to other intact core and perimeter columns mostly via the floor systems and to a lesser extent, via the hat truss," a steel structure at the top of the towers that was connected to the core and perimeter columns.

    The infernos that erupted in the two towers are to blame for the ultimate collapse, the report found. As temperatures rose in the buildings, the remaining core columns softened and buckled, shifting much of the burden to the building's exterior. The floors, which largely remained intact outside the impact zone, reacted by pulling the exterior columns inward, adding to the extreme stress on the exterior columns.

    In the north tower, as fires consumed office furniture and other debris, softening the steel in the exterior columns, they gradually started to bow inward and then buckle. Ultimately, the entire upper section of the building above the impact zone tilted to the south, sealing the fate of the tower and anyone who remained inside.

    "The buckled columns exceeded the strain energy that could be absorbed by the structure,'' the report says. "Global collapse then ensued."

    The floors played a more significant role in the collapse sequence in the south tower, the investigators said. Fires there caused them to sag by as much as two feet, adding to the inward pulling that already had started because of the buckling of the core columns.

    But the investigators say that without the plane impact - which weakened the structure and knocked fireproofing off the floor trusses and columns - if a typical office fire had occurred, "it is likely that burnout would have occurred without collapse."

    The tentative conclusions by the federal investigators conflict with an earlier report by a team of structural engineers organized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, who had asserted that the collapse of the north tower started in the core, not in the outer columns. But W. Gene Corley, a structural engineer from Skokie, Ill., who led that inquiry, said Tuesday that the new hypothesis was feasible, given that the federal team had the money to more closely dissect what happened.

    But James G. Quintiere, a professor of fire protection engineering at University of Maryland, said he questioned the tentative conclusions, as his analysis showed that in the fires created by the impact, the lightweight floors rose to a temperature high enough to make them separate from the exterior columns. "They have not presented enough evidence," he said.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  4. #814


    Quote Originally Posted by Bob
    A few recent posts in this forum subject have mentioned that the Freedom Tower will top out at 2000'. Interesting.

    If anybody has any more info on the rumor of 2000, that would be great. Why not just make it 2001?
    Actually, its more than just a "rumor" of 2000 ft. I don't know where you've been the past couple of years, but a little search of the topic and you could find that out yourself.

  5. #815


    Quote Originally Posted by tonyo
    The most outrageous thing in my opinion was how he had his staff break in to SOM's offices in order to tattle on Childs' and his FT design to Pataki. This lowered the height of the tower. The Freedom Tower will be great, I believe. But it is deplorable that it could have been taller with less arragonce on Libeskind's part.
    The entire idea is absurd. Libeskind has somehow wanted to make the project all about him. Well, its not. And likewise, he has been shut out of officially designing any buildings on the site. I think if Libeskind hadn't taken it upon himself to try and force his own design on the site, there would have been more open minds towards letting him work on a project of his own. Did Gehry need more work in New York? Probably not, but anything to get Libeskind out of the picture....

    On another note, the LMDC website says that some of the other WTC towers could contain antennas as well. Looking forward to the next Libeskind battle.... :roll:

  6. #816
    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Fairfax, VA


    ...pardons all around. What I meant to say in my earlier post, this topic, was, "does anybody have any new information on the 2000' rumor." I figure, somebody might have something concrete and recent, but simply hasn't posted it on this topic, yet.

  7. #817
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    New York City


    The Wall Street Journal quoted the Freedom Tower as the tallest building in the "Western Hemishpere" today. in its Marketplace section. Good article on the financing woes of the site also. If people are interested I can post a scan of article.

  8. #818


    please do so. Hopefully its not going to be true after all.

  9. #819


    Tonyo - Not trying to steal your thunder! Just had a few minutes and thought I might save you some time. There are three graphics that accompany the article. The first is the standard jpeg from the Libeskind plan. The second is a pdf file of basics regarding the six towers, the underground infrastructure, and the memorial. The third is a chart comparing the transit hub, theater, museum, and possible hotel at the new WTC. I'll try to post the latter two...

    There is not much new here, but it is a great synopsis...

    Uncertainties Soar At Ground Zero

    Freedom Tower Is Under Way, But Financing Plan Is Lacking For Rebuilding of Entire Site

    Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    October 20, 2004; Page B1

    NEW YORK -- Last July 4, at Ground Zero, the cornerstone of the Freedom Tower was laid. Now, construction contracts are being handed out, and the earth is starting to move. When completed, the office skyscraper is planned to rise 1,776 feet into the air, which would make it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

    But whether the grand scheme for the complex, which is meant to include four other office towers, will be fully realized is uncertain. A plan to finance the project -- estimated to cost more than $9 billion -- is caught up in deep disagreements between Larry A. Silverstein, president of Silverstein Properties Inc., which is the developer of the office buildings, and the project's public owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

    "We're about to invest several billion dollars in a real-estate project, and we don't have a commitment at all from the developer about how we are going to be treated," says a Port Authority official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he feared political retribution. The agency, which runs airports, tunnels, bridges and commercial ports, counts on the rent from the World Trade Center for about 5% of its $2 billion-plus yearly operating budget.

    Mr. Silverstein refused repeated requests for comment.

    Silverstein Properties and the Port Authority continue to be guided by a lease each signed six weeks before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The lease stipulates that should the complex be destroyed, Silverstein must continue to pay the $120 million a year rent in order to maintain the right to rebuild. Mr. Silverstein has tried to persuade the Port Authority that his closely held company is capable of rebuilding while meeting its massive rent payments. The rent is currently being paid from insurance proceeds, draining the amount available for rebuilding.

    In the fall of 2001, Mr. Silverstein sued his insurers arguing that the attacks on the two towers constituted two events, requiring double payouts on the $3.5 billion policy. The first phase of the case, ended in May, found that the majority of the insurers who share the policy are excluded from that line of argument and owe a single payment. That decision, now being appealed, left a $6 billion gap between the cost of the entire project and the cash available.

    A second phase, now under way in New York federal court, involves nine insurers that were found to be open to the two-event interpretation. The jury will determine if the attacks constituted two insurable events. If the jury rules in Mr. Silverstein's favor, those nine insurers could end up paying twice the $1.1 billion in coverage they represent.

    Pending the continuing litigation, between $3.6 billion and $4.6 billion will have been paid out by the insurers. But around $1.5 billion of that insurance money already has been spent on paying off creditors, legal fees in the insurance case, and the Port Authority's rent.

    If Silverstein Properties fails to come up with the financing, the Port Authority could force a negotiated settlement that would require Silverstein to return some of the development rights for the remaining office towers to the agency in return for a reduction in what it pays the Port Authority each year in rent. The Port Authority could then resell those rights to other developers. Even if that happens, the construction of the towers would depend on the developers' ability to attract paying tenants, generally a precondition to secure commercial financing.
    In July, Silverstein and its advisers at Morgan Stanley presented a business plan to the Port Authority on how it would finance the buildings while paying rent. The plan involves using the remaining insurance money to build the Freedom Tower, filling it with paying tenants, then borrowing against that asset to erect the next tower. Silverstein would repeat that arrangement until all five towers are built. Those at the Port Authority who have seen the plan say Silverstein uses aggressive assumptions about how quickly it can attract tenants and how much it will be able to charge.

    Some Port Authority officials dispute whether Silverstein can afford to erect the Freedom Tower and the four other planned office buildings while continuing to pay the bi-state agency the rent it owes according to his July 2001 lease. That lease envisions a rent increase in August 2006 to $138 million a year.

    The Port Authority and Silverstein are also battling over who will pay the $1 billion to $2 billion to construct the site's underground backbone, including delivery ramps, walkways and mechanical systems that will support both the office buildings and the site's cultural, memorial and transit functions. Those familiar with the negotiations say the sides are far from an agreement.

    It's unclear when a deal could be hatched, but lack of an agreement isn't slowing the first phase of construction. There is enough insurance money and federal aid to build the first elements, including the Freedom Tower and the transit hub. But once that money is spent, the rest of the office towers' development will depend on Silverstein being able to attract tenants.

    The first World Trade Center, completed in 1972, dumped millions of empty square feet of office space on a stagnant economy that couldn't absorb it. State agencies took much of the space at artificially low rents, creating a subsidy that hurt competing buildings. The result was a real-estate recession in downtown Manhattan and a financial drain on the Port Authority. It took almost three decades before the towers held enough market-rate tenants to make the complex a cash cow.

    Today, some worry the current rebuilding plan will run into similar problems. "I'm puzzled about whether the Freedom Tower makes sense architecturally" to attract office tenants, says Richard Ravitch, a former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and elder statesman of New York economic development, echoing sentiments of numerous real-estate experts, planners and people familiar with the scheme. "If rebuilding the economy of downtown is a high priority, then I don't think we are making all the intermediate decisions that are going to produce that result."

    As a sign of the difficult task the development faces, at least one major tenant has passed on moving there. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is building its own skyscraper -- similarly sized in terms of square footage to the Freedom Tower -- directly across the street instead. It is slated to open around the same time as the Freedom Tower, in 2009.

    Goldman's reasons for not taking space in the Freedom Tower were complex, says a person familiar with the securities firm's thinking. It didn't want to subject employees to working at the site of two terrorist attacks, and the company avoids landmark addresses. Officials involved in wooing Goldman say the Freedom Tower's design kept Goldman away. Because it has a narrow base, a product of its highly symbolic architecture, it doesn't accommodate Goldman's need for wide-open trading floors.

    New York Gov. George E. Pataki, who along with the governor of New Jersey selects the Port Authority's 12-member board, has strongly endorsed building the Freedom Tower and Silverstein's continuing role. Rebuilding officials and downtown Manhattan boosters point to the billions of dollars being spent to upgrade downtown's transit facilities as part of the overall plan.

    "It's got to be an economic success story, that's what it's all about at the end of the day," says Kevin Rampe, president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., a city-state agency guiding the recovery. "Vacant buildings are not a community."

    But there is no denying that the Freedom Tower is going up when acres of office space are set to flood the sluggish downtown market. Silverstein has failed to attract tenants to 7 World Trade Center, a 1.7-million-square-foot office building adjacent to the Freedom Tower plot that is slated to open in late 2005. Together, 7 World Trade Center and the Freedom Tower will give Mr. Silverstein's company 4.3 million square feet he needs to rent out -- about as much space as was in one of the Twin Towers.
    Profound shifts in the real-estate market also suggest that the trade center faces an uphill battle. Rae Rosen, senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, says she doesn't see sufficient demand in financial-services job growth in the near term to fill the 30 million square feet of proposed office development in the region, including the 10 million at the trade center site. One issue she cites: "Major financial employers downtown tell us 'We can't afford to resist outsourcing of computer-programming jobs anymore. For every four jobs we add, we may do two here and two there. It's a ratio.'"

    Another obstacle: The Freedom Tower's design, unlike that of most tall buildings, hasn't been guided by the regular rules of real-estate finance, but instead by the perceived need for a defiant symbol.

    "Skyscrapers in general are all about economics," says Carol Willis, the founder of the Skyscraper Museum in New York. "This is different. It's not that economics haven't played any role at all. But this building transcends the simple equation -- form follows finance." she says, though she remains optimistic that the building will be a success in the long run.
    Freedom Tower's planned location on the site -- farthest from subways and the heart of Wall Street -- exemplifies how finances have taken a back seat. Architect Daniel Libeskind's plan, selected in February 2003, uses symbolic rationales to locate the tower, rather than real-estate common sense. The tower is next to the western foundation wall, which survived the attacks, to symbolize America's resolve. And its placement in relation to the four shorter buildings, creating a spiral, also holds meaning, reflecting the flowing robes of the nearby Statue of Liberty.
    Silverstein's architects, Skidmore Owings & Merrill, at one point tried to move the tower to a more tenant-friendly location near the subways, but were rebuffed by Mr. Libeskind and others who supported his plan.
    Some at the Port Authority have resigned themselves to the fact that the Freedom Tower may not be a revenue generator. "We've decided that the Freedom Tower is a symbol of rebuilding," an official says. "It's like building the Statue of Liberty. It's not an economic proposal. The Freedom Tower is a monument. That's what we're building." If the tenants don't materialize, the four other towers will likely not get built in the near future. In their place, the Port Authority has planned two-story placeholder buildings that would contain retail stores, a potential source of revenue for the agency.

    --Kate Kelly contributed to this article.
    Write to Alex Frangos at alex.frangos@wsj.com2

  10. #820
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    New York City


    Thanks for posting this. I only get the paper edition. It's so generous of the WSJ to not allow paper subscribers to get access to the online edition.

  11. #821


    I apologize for not being able to figure this out, but the images (referenced above) are here:

  12. #822


    thx for posting that info MrShakespeare

    i nearly hit my head on the screen chair when i saw the price tag for the WTC memorial! i just can't see how two simple structures and landscaping can cost $350 million, perhaps they reflect the cost of the land?

  13. #823


    most likely thats why. Can't tell you all how much i wish these people would inclease office space to take away from the lattice.

  14. #824


    New York Daily News

    Copyright (c) 2004 Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. All rights reserved.

    Monday, November 8, 2004



    "This is not like a Rubik's Cube, where you can turn one piece of the puzzle. It's more like performing heart surgery while the patient is alive, because New York is alive. You have to delicately link everything again and make something flower out of this catastrophe." - Daniel Libeskind on rebuilding Ground Zero

    The prospect of a greatly diminished role in reconstructing the World Trade Center site seems to have had little effect on Daniel Libeskind's love for the project. Seated in his Studio Daniel Libeskind offices a stone's throw from Ground Zero, the architect, still the site's master planner, described the work to come with relish, in the manner of a chef describing a banquet that is just hours away.

    "First, we'll see the creation of streets so we have accessibility to the site," he said. "Then the memorial [to those slain on Sept. 11], the Freedom Tower, the transportation hub and the cultural buildings. All of that is already on track. It will take more time to build the rest of the 10 million square feet of office space."

    His very public battle with WTC leaseholder Larry Silverstein over the design of the Freedom Tower, the site's proposed centerpiece, has been settled - as were the dueling lawsuits each filed against the other. Libeskind said he is proud the overall plan for the site "has brought a consensus between the families of the victims, the local community board, the governor, the mayor, the investors and the different architects who want to build on the site."

    "You have to navigate between the necessary compromises and discussions, because that is what a democracy is," he said. "It's not just 'I want to do this and I want to do that.' "

    Libeskind envisions a new beginning at the site.

    "Much of this work is not very glorious because it's figuring out how to make things work," Libeskind said. "That is the big task, because the site is so tight."

    That means everyone is fighting over every issue, trying to gain an extra inch of space for his portion of the project, he said.

    "When we have a small meeting there are 100 people in the room, and they are all experts," Libeskind said. "They're all trying to figure out how to weave it all together so what will be a new neighborhood can take root."

    Libeskind's firm has projects all over the world and include the Denver Art Museum, the Wohl Centre at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat- Gan, Israel and the Renaissance Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. He also has been appointed an ambassador of architecture by the Department of State. Whenever he travels, he said, everyone asks how much progress has been made rebuilding the WTC site.

    "When I go to Chicago, everyone wants to know what is happening," he said. "When I went to Tunisia and to India, people were asking the same thing. It's in the focus of the whole world.

    "People saw the attack on New York as an attack on the free world because New York is the capital of the free world," he said. "They are intensely interested in what happens at Ground Zero."

    Even given the resulting fallout, Libeskind said he would not change a thing about his Freedom Tower design were he to redo it today.

    His plan, he said, was based on dozens of things - a trip into The Pit, where he touched the bedrock and slurry wall; nearby St. Paul's Chapel, where the Founding Fathers retired to pray after establishing the country, and the Statue of Liberty, which he, like many immigrants, saw for the first time from the deck of the ship that brought his family to this country when he was a child.

    "When I incorporated the crown of the Statue of Liberty into the site, that was not being symbolic. That was the real thing," he said. " I think only immigrants can appreciate what America is all about, the kind of freedoms that you have here that you cannot take for granted, that you never had before. It's a place where you can better yourself, work for who you want to, believe what you want to believe.

    "Architecture is the only profession that you have to believe in the future because you are constructing something for a better life. You can never be a pessimist and be an architect.".

  15. #825


    November 10, 2004

    Final Piece of Trade Center Project May Involve Battle With Real Estate Clan


    The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation is preparing to acquire the last block needed for an expanded World Trade Center site. But it may have a fight on its hands.

    The corporation's board is to vote this morning on whether to spend $44.5 million of about $870 million in remaining federal grants to acquire the block bounded by Liberty, West, Cedar and Washington Streets, and part of Washington Street between Liberty and Cedar Streets, which would be closed to create a new Liberty Park.

    "It represents the final step toward the realization of the full site plan," said Kevin M. Rampe, president of the development corporation. "I say 'final step' with trepidation, because we still have to go ahead and acquire them. It's the first step in the final step."

    Liberty Park would be about three-quarters of an acre. Within it would be a new home for St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which stood on the block until 9/11, when it was crushed by the collapse of the south tower. Beneath part of the park would be the security screening area for the underground roadways serving the trade center.

    Most of the block is owned by members of the Milstein family, who are known as tough and unyielding negotiators. (They even battle one another in court.) Since 9/11, they have had no use of or access to their property, which now serves as a staging area for ground zero, immediately to the north.

    Mr. Rampe said the Milsteins have not responded to an initial offer of $30 million for their property that state officials made in September.

    In August, the corporation acquired the site of the former 1 Bankers Trust Plaza, now called the Deutsche Bank building, which was badly damaged in the attack and is to be razed. It paid $90 million for the 66,222-square-foot parcel, which it plans to divide by reopening part of Cedar Street. The north half of the parcel will be part of Liberty Park. The south half will be the site of Tower 5 of the new World Trade Center.

    To assemble the rest of the Liberty Park site, the corporation will negotiate with the city for a 5,700-square-foot portion of Washington Street, with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for the 1,210-square-foot parcel where the church stood and with the Milsteins for their 18,900-square-foot parcel, which was a parking lot.

    Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff said yesterday that the city supported closing Washington Street to create Liberty Park but also strongly favored moving a planned truck ramp from the north to the south side of Liberty Street. That shift would permit traffic on Liberty Street to run in both directions. About the potential relocation of the ramp, Mr. Rampe said, "I think all the parties are in agreement on that."

    As a state agency - technically a subsidiary of the Empire State Development Corporation - the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation can condemn the Milstein parcel; that is, acquire it through the power of eminent domain.

    "If we need to turn to that, we'll proceed that way," said Irene Chang, general counsel to the corporation. "But we're trying to stay flexible."

    The Milsteins could, and probably would, contest the amount of the condemnation award. They sought a deal with state officials to swap their ground zero property for a development parcel elsewhere. But the state would first have to acquire the property that was to be swapped, making such an arrangement unlikely.

    Mr. Rampe said eminent domain proceedings could not begin until there was, in effect, money in the bank to cover the property acquisition.

    Telephone messages left yesterday at two of the Milsteins' offices were not returned.

    Negotiations promise to be smoother with the archdiocese, which would receive a larger parcel on the site - perhaps as much as 5,200 square feet - in exchange for its original lot at 155 Cedar Street. There it would build a new parish church, interdenominational center and museum to house remnants of the old church.

    In 1981, the Milsteins planned a 400,000-square-foot office building on the site called 1 World Plaza, which would have been connected to 1 Bankers Trust Plaza by an elevated pedestrian deck over Washington Street. It was never constructed.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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