World Trade Center Watch

By Steve Cuozzo New York Post

Work has resumed atop the seven-story podium base of 3 WTC. Passersby on Church Street have noticed concrete-form work on the roof to prepare for installation of a tower crane, which will do the heavy lifting for the 80-story skyscraper.

It does not yet portend full construction, which awaits Larry Silverstein securing a construction loan. But it’s an important step nonetheless, made possible by the recent agreement with the Port Authority that lets him immediately tap $50 million of $159 million in insurance proceeds — and for the first time to work higher than the podium.

Silverstein says the Richard Rogers-designed tower will be finished by early 2018. Media company GroupM has already signed for 550,000 square feet in the 2.3 million square-foot tower.

Sources said Silverstein hopes to secure financing by the end of September. His reps declined to comment.

Meanwhile, at ground level: In first reporting on the planned reopening of a segment of Cortlandt Street through the WTC, the New York Times’ David W. Dunlap wrote that it “ought to go far in restoring an urban pulse” to the 16-acre site.

And how! Although the stepped new passageway between Church and Greenwich [S]treets has an alley-like feel — scrunched between 4 WTC and the base of 3 WTC — it’s been throbbing with energy since it opened on Friday.

For the first time, strollers can reach the Memorial from Church Street without having to take a maddeningly circuitous route to West Street.

It’s a big step in re-integrating the WTC into the street grid for the first time since the “superblock” went up in the late 1960s. For once, unqualified praise is due to the Port Authority, the city and their designers.

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