The redevelopment efforts in Lower Manhattan will reach another milestone Wednesday as 4 World Trade Center, whose design also reflects a sensitivity to its location, opens its doors. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
Rising 72 stories above Lower Manhattan, 4 World Trade Center is notable for a number of reasons, but perhaps most importantly is what its opening signifies about the site.
"New Yorkers have been waiting for almost 12 years now to really feel like they're getting the city back, the World Trade Center is becoming part of the city again," said World Trade Center Properties President Janno Lieber.
For the first time in nearly 50 years, Greenwich Street in front of the building will open to the public. That newly opened streetscape is reflected in the polished granite on the back wall of the lobby, a wide open space with art installations that in turn mirror the scene outside.
Reflection is a running theme in both the literal and figurative sense on the inside and outside the building.
"Tower 4 faces the park, the memorial park in which the office lobby has floor to ceiling glass and embraces the park to become one with it," said Maki and Associates Architect Gary Kamemoto.
The official opening does not mean tenants are moving in right away. Now they'll be allowed to build out their space. People are expected to be working here early next year.
So far, about 50 percent of the space is leased, mostly to the Port Authority. Silverstein Properties expects the building's dramatic views and other features will be a selling point to potential tenants.
"This is a green building, this is a high-tech building, these are the kind of buildings that people want to work in because the air quality is better, they get more light," Lieber said.
The 57th floor terrace offers panoramic views of the entire city, including 4 World Trade's most famous neighbor, One World Trade Center, which is scheduled to open sometime next year.
In fact, construction work continues on other buildings across the site.
"There is more work to be done, but I think we have crossed a major barrier with the opening of the 1st office building at the site," Lieber said.
It's a milestone that's been 12 years in the making.