NY1 Exclusive: Seven World Trade Center Ready To Rise Again
Seven World Trade Center is rising rapidly. In the following report, NY1's Amanda Farinacci takes us on an exclusive tour of the under-construction building, with a view from the top and from developer Larry Silverstein.
Sixteen floors above the World Trade Center site, developer Larry Silverstein can see his future: a vision of how the 16-acre space will come together as a center of commerce, with quiet reminders of all that was lost.
“We expect to have a fully rebuilt Trade Center, with the memorial in place, with the Museum of American Freedom, with at least 600,000 feet of destination retail, with 1,300 cars of parking, with shops and amenities and spectacularly beautiful buildings overlooking the memorial itself,” says Silverstein.
Seven World Trade was the last building to come down on 9/11. The rebuilt tower will be quite different from its predecessor, topping off at 52 floors instead of 47.
It will also be sleeker and neater to make it more pedestrian friendly.
“We had to eliminate a bank of elevators to allow Greenwich Street to go through,” says Silverstein. “Eliminating a bank of elevators meant eliminating the top 10 floors of the building, so instead of being a two-million foot building it’s approximately 1.6 or 1.7 square feet instead. So it's a smaller building from the standpoint of total square footage, but a taller building.”
The taller building is the work of architect David Childs. It’s designed to be safer - Silverstein says the safest in the world.
Childs is also working to adapt Daniel Libeskind's design for the Freedom Tower. The cornerstone of the 1776-foot spire will be laid July 4th.
Much has been said about the rumored warring between the two architects.
“The important thing is that they collaborated together on the conceptuality of the design,” says Silverstein. “Now it's David's responsibility to actually design the Freedom Tower into a working, buildable building - which he's in the process of doing.”
Silverstein suffered a major financial blow when a jury found his maximum insurance award to be $$3.5 billion, not $$7 billion, for the terrorist attack. He says he plans to apply for Liberty Bonds to help offset the costs of rebuilding.
He can pick up an additional $$1.1 billion if a second round of litigation goes his way later this summer.
Nearly three years into the process, Silverstein says each piece of the rebuilding puzzle is finally in place, with the biggest issues resolved.
“When you deal with different agendas, clearly, it's very challenging,” he says.
The curtain wall of the building will go up within the next two weeks, enclosing the building in glass. Final construction will be complete by sometime late next year.
- Amanda Farinacci