One World Trade Center opens its doors to first tenants

By Gabrielle Levy UPI

Thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attack, the resurrected World Trade Center has opened for business. UPI/John Angelillo 

Thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attack, the resurrected World Trade Center has opened for business. UPI/John Angelillo

A moment more than 13 years in the making arrived Monday morning, as the first employees moved into a completed One World Trade Center.

Condé Nast, the magazine giant which boasts titles including Vogue, GQ and Wired, became the first tenant to open for business in the Freedom Tower, moving from its Times Square offices.

While just 175 employees began Monday, 3,400 Condé Nast executives, editors and writers from 18 publications will ultimately occupy 24 floors of the tower.

They’ll be led by Charles Townsend, chief executive of Condé Nast. He’ll take up residence in the executive suite on the 42nd floor. Vogue editor Anna Wintour and her staff will move in to the 25th floor, while Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair, will be on the 41st.

“It’s long anticipated and we’re looking forward to it,” Condé Nast spokeswoman Patti Rockenwagner said.

In fact, the heart of the new WTC complex was supposed to open eight years ago, in 2006. But politics, fights over cost and construction delays more than tripled the wait.

“It’s a fantastic milestone,” said Steve Plate, who oversaw construction. “I was there that fateful day. And to see from where we started to where we are today, it’s truly a miracle.”

The memorial, two vast footprints where the original WTC towers stood, opened on September 11, 2011, exactly a decade after 9/11, followed by the museum earlier this year.

At 1,776 feet and 104 stories, 1 WTC is now the tallest building in the country. Its final price tag, $3.9 billion, doubled the original estimate. And clocking in at 3 million square feet, the Port Authority-owned tower is just 58 percent leased.

Still, the building opens to a completely remade neighborhood, one that has shifted away from financial institutions as advertising, technology and media agencies, along with a residential population of 61,000 people, moved in.

“Condé Nast’s arrival puts a stiletto in the heart of the outdated notion that Lower Manhattan is stuffy and gray,” said Jessica Lappin, president of the Downtown Alliance. “They will accelerate the transformation that’s well underway and create additional demand-side pressure for more cool restaurants, art galleries and bars.”

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