April 16, 2009

Trade Center rebuilding to take decades?

A study prepared by a major real estate firm predicts that the new World Trade Center in New York will not be fully occupied until 2037.

The New York Daily News reported it had obtained a copy of a confidential report prepared by Cushman & Wakefield for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The bi-state agency built the original World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, which was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The report suggests that the delays that have dogged the reconstruction will not let up and that Manhattan will have a glut of office space. Cushman & Wakefield predicted that the Freedom Tower, the 1,776-foot tall skyscraper designed as the focus of the new World Trade Center, will not be completely leased until 2019.

Completing and leasing the second and third towers, to be 79 and 71 stories high, will take even longer, the report said.

The Port Authority's position seems to be based on a totally pessimistic attitude about New York's economic future, said Janno Lieber, who heads the project of developer Larry Silverstein. Our view is that New York will bounce back strongly over the next five years while we are building these buildings.