Tag Archives: freedom tower

Developers Scrap Plans For New “Windows on the World” atop 1 WTC

The view from the old Windows on the World (Photo: Flickr @seeareelem)

The New York Post reports that plans to include a Windows on the World-type restaurant in the new 1 World Trade Center building have been scrapped by the developers. The restaurant has been a part of the building’s blueprint since it was dubbed “The Freedom Tower.” The original WTC buildings boasted a top floor restaurant before they were destroyed in the 9/11 attacks. The initial plan called for a two-story eating establishment, but that was eventually downgraded to a single floor due to cost prohibitiveness.

The restaurant is being shelved entirely due to cost concerns. There is little efficiency in running such an operation and developers feared they would not be able to locate a restaurateur willing to handle the project, which looked likely to be a money-losing, in-the-red operation.

Port Authority executive director Chris Ward said, “These things are always money-losers. We think we can achieve a far better financial return given the [quality of the] space and avoid all the complexities.” Ward went on to remind us that the city is teeming with plenty of restaurants. However, plenty of New Yorkers would like the new World Trade Center buildings to be as similar to the originals as possible.

Do you think that the new World Trade Center should have a Windows on the World type restaurant just like the old Twin Towers had?

One World Trade Center

1 World Trade Center Reaches Midway Point

One World Trade Center
One World Trade Center is in the works.

Let’s take a moment to celebrate a major milestone. The Associated Press reports that the steel construction of 1 World Trade Center – formerly the Freedom Tower – has reached the midway point. Many New Yorkers felt that the only salve that would heal the wounds of September 11 would be the day that the ground was broken. Now, the fact that the 1 World Trade Center site has reached the halfway point helps to soothe the scar just a little bit more.

The building is expected to be comprised of 104 stories and it reached the 52nd story mark on Thursday, rising 600 feet into the sky despite years of developmental delays. With its antenna, the building will rise to 1776 feet, making it the tallest structure in the city’s storied skyline.

Despite rechristening the building to “1 World Trade Center” in a bid to lure corporate tenants, locals still refer to the site as the “Freedom Tower.”

How does the news that 1 World Trade Center is halfway done make you feel?

Larry Silverstein, World Trade Center, Port Authority New York and New Jersey

Port Authority Holds Special World Trade Center Meeting

Larry Silverstein, World Trade Center, Port Authority New York and New Jersey
Larry Silverstein, Developer of World Trade Center

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, owners of the World Trade Center Site will be holding a special meeting today to vote on the funding required for two towers being developed by Larry Silverstein.

The vote that takes place today will solidify tentative deals announced between the Port Authority and Larry Silverstein in recent weeks.

The financing terms call for $1 billion dollars help from the Port Authority to develop a 64-story tower at the World Trade Center site. The Port Authority will also provide $600 million in backup funds for another 71-story tower, contingent on Silverstein being able to raise $200 million in cash as well as tenants for the building.

These two buildings are being constructed in tandem with 1 World Trade Center which was previously known as the Freedom Tower.

A visual depiction of the world trade center site

1 World Trade Center is a potential HQ for Bank of America

A visual depiction of the world trade center site
An illustration of the WTC site

Two years ago, the Port Authority faced an empty World Trade Center site with companies showing little to no interest in locating downtown.

It seems 1 World Trade Center is the address to have these days.

After having settled on its new headquarters at 1 Bryant Park, Bank of America is entertaining the possibility of 1 million more square feet at the World Trade Center.

Bank of America’s interest comes on the heels of magazine giant Conde Nast locating their new headquarters at 1 World Trade Center.

According to the New York Post, “Sources said the bank prefers at least half of its relocation space to be at a newly minted address with features similar to those at 1 Bryant Park, which it co-owns with Douglas Durst — i.e., LEED-certified environmental design, advanced electronic technology and relatively colum-free floor plates.”

Douglas Durst, along with Larry Silverstein are the two main developers responsible for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site. Silverstein also owns and operates the glass behemoth, 7 World Trade Center.

Bank of America is prospecting locations in both midtown and downtown.

“Downtown, only 1WTC (in which Durst now holds a minority stake) is in fullbore construction for completion in 2013. Larry Siverstein’s 4 WTC could offer comparable modern space, but construction above a six-story base awaits completion of a financing agreement between him and the PA,” according to the same article.

World Trade Center Site Time Lapse Video Screen shot

Metamorphosis of our Neighborhood (VIDEO)

We’ve all seen the images of what the Freedom Tower and World Trade Center Memorial pool will look like from images strewn against the chain link fences at Ground Zero. However, Myfoxny.com has a video from Brookfield Properties, the owners of the World Financial Center, depicting time lapse change in our neighborhood.

The video itself is stunning and could also help us residents to imagine the metamorphosis of our neighborhood once construction is finished in 2012-2013.

What is strikingly poignant is the real visual loss of commercial real estate space in our area. How do you feel about the architecture of the site? Do you think the loss of business real estate will help or hurt our community?

Check out the video below:

Conrad Hotel USA

New Details Released On Conrad Hotel in Battery Park City

Conrad Hotel USA
Conrad Hotel in Chicago is a peek into what's to come in BPC

In a new interview published by Hotelworldnetwork.com, details are coming forth about the new Conrad luxury hotel slated to open in Q4 2011.

The interview with head of luxury brands John T.A. Vanderslice discusses the Hilton’s luxury brands strategy in opening up its 5th United States location in Battery Park City.

According to Vanderslice, “Conrad’s forthcoming entry in the New York City market is indicative of the brand’s formidable development pipeline which also includes future properties in other important global cities such as Dubai and Beijing With regard to the timing of the Conrad New York announcement, our development decisions are made for the long-term and there are many indications that the luxury segment is rebounding with demand on the rise. Additionally, there is currently a relatively low luxury supply in New York’s Financial District so we hope to satisfy an important and growing market need.”

Considering there is a Ritz Carlton and a W hotel within a two block radius of Ground Zero, we’re not certain we agree with that sentiment.

Vanderslice also goes on to point out features of this new luxury hotel,

“A distinguishing feature of the Conrad New York will be the hotel’s typical room size. Typical rooms will average between 500 and 550 square feet, which is extremely generous by any standard, let alone by the space-conscious standard of New York hotels. Additionally, like all Conrad properties, the Conrad New York will feature the smart luxury, flawless service, and technological sophistication that enable guests to enjoy the rare luxury of being themselves.”

Keeping true to the hotel brand’s philosophy, “The luxury of being yourself.”

In a press release for the hotel, the proximity of the hotel to the Freedom Tower is being heavily touted. As well as a noted commitment to providing high end amenities and dining establishments within the hotel,

“The soaring, sunlit 15-story atrium lobby features a dramatic Sol LeWitt art piece rising 13 floors above the check-in desk.  Each luxuriously appointed guestroom will feature an average of more than 550 square feet, a minimum of two flat panel televisions and a full complement of contemporary electronic features.  Conrad New York will also feature upscale dining and beverage outlets that are consistent with Conrad’s global definition of luxury.  Interior design is being styled by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Office dA and Remedios Studios.

In addition, more than 17,000 square feet of flexible meeting space will ensure that guests can stay connected and meet in comfort, supported by state-of-the-art technology and meeting facilities.  A 6,000 square foot Grand Ballroom is designed to accommodate conferences and social gatherings for more than 600 participants.

Existing Conrad properties in the United States include Conrad Miami, Conrad Chicago, Conrad Indianapolis and Conrad San Juan.”