By Jonathan Pappas
As we mark the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, Americans can take solace knowing that we, as a united nation, are as resilient as we have ever been throughout our country’s history.
Perhaps there is no better reminder of our tenacious spirit than the tremendous progress being made in the redevelopment and construction of the World Trade Center complex.
The $30 billion, 16-acre complex includes plans for four new state-of-the-art buildings, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, a vast shopping center and a significantly large transportation hub, also known as The Oculus.
So far, two of the four World Trade Center buildings (1WTC and 4WTC) have been completed, the 9/11 Memorial opened in 2011 and the Museum this past May. 5 million SF of office space have already been leased.
On Tuesday, city and state officials held a celebratory news conference on WTC’s progress from the 67th floor of 4WTC, which has widely been deemed as the “most advanced office building of the 21st century.”
Of note, the iconic One World Trade Center which began construction on April 27, 2006 – four years and 228 days after the 9/11 attacks – is now America’s tallest building.
At 104 stories and soaring 1,776 feet above the city skyline, the three million square feet building boasts 12,774 mirror-like window panels and currently has a 60 percent occupancy rate. Tenants will start moving in this November.
Across the plaza, 4WTC is scheduled to begin welcoming tenants in a few weeks.
Developer Larry Silverstein said that 3WTC, his company’s planned 80-story office building, is expected to be completed in 2018 after full financing is obtained. Plans are on hold for construction of 2WTC while Silverstein seeks tenants. The shopping center and transportation hub is expected to open in phases in early 2015.
Scott Rechler, vice chairman of the Port Authority, had this to say at Tuesday’s press conference:
“NYC is on the verge of seeing the rebirth of Lower Manhattan. It will not be the Lower Manhattan of our parents and our grandparents, that opened at 9 and closed at 5. It will be a vibrant 24/7 downtown.”
What this incredible progress at the WTC complex signifies for all Americans is that 9/11 – and terrorism overall – will never deter our resolve, our ambition, our determination and our strength of character to live our daily lives free of fear and to continue to help this country remain the greatest nation in the world.
For the 9/11 victims and their families, we will never forget.