Tag Archives: port authority

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?

Deutsche Bank 130 Liberty Street Deconstruction

Deutsche Bank Building is Finally Gone

Deutsche Bank 130 Liberty Street Deconstruction
The Deconstruction of the former Deutsche Bank building.

After nearly a decade cloaked in black netting and causing general health concerns due to its condition, the former Deutsche Bank Building in Lower Manhattan has been dismantled with the crane being removed from the site. The first floor and the foundation are the only parts remaining and are in the process of being removed. The building, which once stood 41-stories tall, was lanced by debris from the World Trade Center during the terrorist attacks of 2001, as it stood opposite of the WTC on Liberty Street.

9/11 wasn’t the only tragic event that occurred at the site. It was further damaged in 2007 after a fire blazed through several floors and claimed the lives of two firefighters. The site is now managed by the Port Authority, which will use it as a staging area for vehicle security sweeps.

How do you feel now that this painful, visual reminder of the 9/11 terrorist attacks is no longer visible?

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at World Trade Center

Church at WTC Site Faces Engineering Problems

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at World Trade Center
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church destroyed on 9/11 (Photo by Grisha Ressetar. Copyright 2001)

More drama abounds at Ground Zero. The Greek Archdiocese of New York is at odds with the Port Authority over its promise to rebuild St. Nicholas Church. The church, initially located at 155 Cedar Street, was destroyed by the World Trade Center debris; the new location would be 130 Liberty Street, which was once the location of the Deutsche Bank building. Despite the haggling over funds and deal points, more problems –this time of the engineering sort- have arisen. The New York Post reports that the steel that the Port Authority ordered for the Vehicle Screening Center that would be located beneath the church is unable to support the structure the Archdiocese wants to build, making it structurally unsound.

The VSC is a security-clearance facility for delivery trucks and will provide service to buildings at the WTC site. A lawyer for the Archdiocese argued that the PA’s claims about the steel is another stalling tactic, but an engineering source said that a redesign and ordering replacement steel would costs millions and further delays.

The Port Authority and the church have been battling over the rebuilding process, with the PA accusing the church of making escalating and unreasonable demands, while the church has said the PA is misappropriating the land and interfering with their rights.

Will this church ever be rebuilt in a fashion that suits both sides?

Slated World Trade Center Graphic

4 World Trade Center Site May Be Delayed

Slated World Trade Center Graphic
Proposed World Trade Center Site (Courtesy: Renewnyc.com)

The World Trade Center site defies the current climate and is one of the hottest pieces of real estate in New York City, but the construction of 4 World Trade Center, which is a part of the project, maybe be put on ice due to bond issues. Developer Larry Silverstein is set to issue a $1.3 billion bond package to finance the continued construction of 4 World Trade Center, which is a 64-story office tower at the site’s southeast corner.

4 WTC is set to open in 2013, a date that may or may not be in jeopardy due to fluctuation in the municipal bond markets and the fact that Silverstein and the Port Authority may delay issuing those bonds as a result of market conditions.

“Silverstein Properties and the Port Authority have elected to temporarily delay pricing of the Liberty Bonds,” the developer’s statement said. “It is better to wait until the bond market has stabilized to the point that our Liberty Bonds could be priced based on the strength of our project and the high credit ratings it has received, rather than on the external factors now roiling the markets.”

Translation: They are waiting and seeing.

Will the former site of the Twin Towers ever be fully finished?

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at World Trade Center

Church Destroyed During 9/11 Taking Legal Action

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at World Trade Center
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church destroyed on 9/11

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and leaders of St. Nicholas Church, a Greek Orthodox Church that has roots stemming back to 1916 and that was destroyed by falling debris after the Twin Towers were attacked, have begun legal action by filing a claim against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The leaders are demanding that the church be rebuilt under the terms of a deal that was worked out several years ago but that the PA has since reneged on.

The claim is hefty, as it accuses the PA, which oversees the rebuilding process at Ground Zero, of engaging in “arrogance, bad faith and fraudulent conduct,” as well as “shabby and unlawful treatment.”

Initially, in 2008, the PA agreed to help rebuild the church, originally located on Cedar Street, in a new but nearby location on Liberty Street. The PA also agreed to contribute $20 million to the project. The deal fell through in March when the PA accused the church leaders of making excessive demands; the church countered that the organization backed out of the deal.

The church’s claim also references several civil rights and constitutional violations, accusing the PA of interfering with its right to freely practice religion and of defaming the church, as well. The church seeks to compel the PA to follow through on their binding preliminary agreement. “Filing a lawsuit is not something that we really want to do,” said the Rev. Mark Arey, a spokesman for the church. “We have come to this point because we have been ignored and bullied.”

In addition to the Port Authority, the claim also names the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. as a potential defendant.

Should the Port Authority be beholden to the old terms? Does the church’s suit sound like it has merit?

Slated World Trade Center Graphic

Ground Zero Rebuilding Hinges On Tenuous Deals

Slated World Trade Center Graphic
Proposed World Trade Center Site (Courtesy: Renewnyc.com)

Although rebuilding efforts at the World Trade Center site look promising, the deals that are backing construction are tenuous as best, the New York Post is reporting this morning.

According to the article, “The Port Authority’s 1 WTC is pushing skyward, and Larry Silverstein’s 4 WTC should start major construction soon. The towers together would restore about half of the Twin Towers’ 8.8 million square feet of office space.”

However, two impending deals between Silverstein, Durst and the Port Authority could potentially fall through, leaving the World Trade Center site with just its memorial pool, empty space and a near empty office building.

Silverstein still needs to iron out details on converting nearly $1 billion in Liberty bonds into a construction loan. The funds, which are currently in escrow, must be converted soon if development is to be finished by 2013. Durst, who was just announced as the latest developer on the 1 WTC site, is still hammering out a deal which would ensure a partnership stake on his development.

Gee! We thought there was real no holds barred progress happening. To find out more about the intricacies of the details read the announcement here.

How do you feel about this? Does this surprise you or should this be no cause for concern?

The pedestrian detour on the Liberty Street Bridge.

Pedestrian Traffic Patterns at WTC Change Today

The pedestrian detour on the Liberty Street Bridge.
The pedestrian detour on the Liberty Street Bridge.

The Liberty Bridge has survived many years of pedestrian traffic, not to mention the events Sept. 11. Starting today, daily users of the bridge will be forced to follow the new pedestrian traffic patterns.

The Port Authority has commenced construction on a pedestrian detour that will take people off the side of the Liberty Street Bridge and stretch all the way to Church Street on the east side of the World Trade Center (WTC) site.

Traffic patterns are changing to accommodate for the construction of a new underground parking facility. The annex and pedestrian detour will add some time to your daily commute, but will ultimately help commuters to completely bypass crossing the 16-acre WTC construction zone.

According to a report from 1010 Wins, “the change will pave the way for excavation to begin for the Vehicle Security Center, the main entrance to the underground parking and delivery areas at the trade center complex.”