New York, Nov 4: The resurrected World Trade Center has opened for business thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attack. The 104-story, $3.9 billion skyscraper, which dominates the Manhattan skyline, is the centerpiece of the 16-acre (6-hectare) site where the decimated twin towers once stood and where more than 2,700 people died on September 11, 2001, buried under smoking mounds of fiery debris.
According to reports, the building is 60 percent leased, with another 80,000 square feet (7,432 square meters) going to the advertising firm Kids Creative, the stadium operator Legends Hospitality, the BMB Group investment adviser, and Servcorp, a provider of executive offices.
The government’s General Services Administration signed up for 275,000 square feet (25,548 square meters), and the China Center, a trade and cultural facility, will cover 191,000 square feet (17,744 square meters), an agency report said.
The eight-year construction of the 1,776-foot (541-meter) high skyscraper came reportedly after years of political, financial and legal infighting that threatened to derail the project.
The bickering slowly died down as two other towers started going up on the southeast end of the site: the now completed 4 World Trade Center whose anchor tenant is the Port Authority, which started moving in last week, and 3 World Trade Center, which is slowly rising.
The area has prospered in recent years beyond anyone’s imagination. About 60,000 more residents now live there – three times more than before 9/11 – keeping streets, restaurants and shops alive even after Wall Street and other offices close for the day.
Still, it’s a bittersweet victory, one achieved with the past in mind as the architects created 1 World Trade Center.
TJ Gottesdiener of the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill told the news agency that the high-rise was built with steel-reinforced concrete that makes it as terror attack-proof as possible.
He said the firm went beyond the city’s existing building codes to achieve that. “We did it, we finally did it,” he reported added.
(With Agency Inputs)