World Trade Center’s most congested pedestrian zone widened; high-rise gets new funding

Associated Press 

The most congested pedestrian area by the World Trade Center was expanded on Monday.

And just hours earlier, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said funding had been approved to ensure completion of 3 World Trade Center, an 80-story, $2.3 billion tower on the lower Manhattan site.

A short walk away, World Trade Center construction chief Steven Plate cut the yellow tape to widen the walkway on Vesey Street that flanks the 104-floor 1 World Trade Center, the tallest building in the U.S.

“The World Trade Center is open for business,” announced Plate, standing near the rising skyscrapers built to replace the twin towers that were destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Publisher Conde Nast is expected to start moving into 1 World Trade Center next month as its anchor tenant.

As many as 1,600 people an hour use the block between Church and West streets, said Erica Dumas, a spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the 16-acre (6.4-hectare) site.

The area is now up to about 30 feet (9 metres) wide. The previous walkway in some spots was as narrow as 8 feet (2.4 metres), resulting in a squeezed human demolition derby at rush hours.

“The frozen zone is shrinking inch by inch, and New Yorkers are reclaiming the World Trade Center,” said Catherine McVay Hughes, chair of Community Board 1, which covers most of the southernmost part of lower Manhattan.

On Monday, Wall Street trader Osman Adiss was rushing home to New Jersey, crossing the newly opened area to reach the PATH commuter railroad.

“This feels better. It’s not as crowded,” he said. “It was really tight before.”

Construction on 3 World Trade Center ground to a halt last year at the eighth floor for lack of an anchor tenant. Work resumed in August.

On Monday, the New York Liberty Development Corporation approved $1.6 billion in Liberty and Recovery Zone Bonds for construction and development.

The corporation’s director, Kenneth Adams, called it a “major milestone” for the site. He said Tower 3 is a crucial component for revitalizing the area. Scheduled for completion in 2018, it will include 2.5 million square feet (230,000 square meters) of office space.

Project developer World Trade Center LLC is an affiliate of Silverstein Properties.

Two of the trade centre’s four buildings have been completed, including the skyscraper at 4 World Trade Center, whose main tenant will be the Port Authority.

Most of the fences around the National September 11 Memorial & Museum have been removed, as were those on West Street and several other locations that make the area more welcoming to the 11 million annual tourists.

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