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Old February 5th, 2007, 04:56 PM   #181
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PRICE OF FREEDOM HITS TOWERING $3B

By TOM TOPOUSIS
February 5, 2007

The cost of the Freedom Tower has soared to $3 billion, according to the Port Authority's latest estimates.

Construction costs for the 1,776-foot tower have been pegged at $2.478 billion, up from the $2.2 billion estimate for steel, concrete, glass and labor projected last spring.

But the latest tally included in the Port Authority's capital budget includes an additional $507 million for "nonconstruction" costs that include security at the site, integrity monitors to keep an eye on contractors, the cost of selling bonds to finance the project, marketing the office space and fitting it out for tenants, The Post has learned.

Adding all the costs, the price tag for the Freedom Tower budgeted by the bistate agency is $3 billion - making it not just the tallest building in the city, but also the most expensive.

By comparison, a new state-of-the-art headquarters for Goldman Sachs under construction at a site directly across West Street from the Freedom Tower is expected to cost about $2.3 billion.

"The Port Authority's capital plan publicly accounts for every dime of spending on all our building projects over the next 10 years, including the Freedom Tower," said agency spokesman Steve Sigmund.

"During that period, the building has long-term soft costs, like brokers and marketing fees, tenant fit-outs, responsible contingencies and security, which go beyond hard construction costs."

Sigmund said the price tag will be offset by $900 million in insurance funds and about $1 billion in Liberty Bonds. The remainder of the cost will have to be recouped through rents charged for the 2.6 million square feet of office space after the tower is complete in 2011.

Contributing to the project's cost is the roughly $500 million to build an 80-foot-tall substructure in the Trade Center's "bathtub," atop of which the tower will be built.

The latest construction costs are a key factor that Gov. Spitzer said he will use to determine whether the massive tower should be built as designed. He has said he would balance cost against the projected revenue from rents.

So far, federal agencies have issued letters of intent to occupy nearly 1 million square feet in the tower. New York state has also agreed to lease about 400,000 square feet. And the PA has been in talks with the Chinese real-estate firm Vantone to lease another 1 million square feet.

Construction of the Freedom Tower's base is under way, and bids for nearly half of the project's construction have been put out.

The PA's capital budget includes a total of $8 billion to be spent at the World Trade Center, including the Freedom Tower, the transportation hub, the memorial, retail malls and site infrastructure.


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Old February 5th, 2007, 08:49 PM   #182
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They should have hired Donald Trump to rebuild this place. I loved his proposal and as a business man he'd keep the costs much lower than $3billion.
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Old February 5th, 2007, 08:50 PM   #183
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Here's the latest shot from the renunyc.com webcam.

[/IMG]

I remember some time ago there was a really great website that offered a live ariel feed of ground zero with very decent image quality. I forget the website name though...
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Old February 5th, 2007, 08:54 PM   #184
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Is it 3 bill for the entire ground zero project or just for ONE building? It's ridiculously expensive if just one building.
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Old February 5th, 2007, 08:56 PM   #185
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$3 billion! That is a really large amount of money.

Still, with over half the space rented by federal agencies and the state, one wonders if you can still qualify it as a world trade center.
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Old February 5th, 2007, 09:04 PM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnDleSsWaLtZ View Post
Here's the latest shot from the renunyc.com webcam.

[/IMG]

I remember some time ago there was a really great website that offered a live ariel feed of ground zero with very decent image quality. I forget the website name though...
this is the link to the cam:

http://www.earthcam.net/users/interf...2&clientid=158

unfortunatley the cam doesn't work, it only show's a pic from September 11th last year
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Old February 5th, 2007, 09:10 PM   #187
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Thanks ZZ-II I apreciate the link; though I must say I am very dissapointed that the webcam is no longer in service and up to date. In my opinion it was the best live update feed one could find. Like the image above all the other sites are horribly pixelated.
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Old February 5th, 2007, 09:12 PM   #188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
They should have hired Donald Trump to rebuild this place. I loved his proposal and as a business man he'd keep the costs much lower than $3billion.
Wasn't his plan basically the twin towers again? Maybe I'm crazy but I would not work/buy office space in a building that looks exactly like what failed miserably five years ago.

I never thought I'd get to see construction start on this tower. Can't wait for contruction to start on 175 Greenwich
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Old February 5th, 2007, 11:36 PM   #189
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Maybe we should get a king with a dream and immigrant workers with a paycheck of $4 dollars a day.

Of couse not. But the city worker unions makes everything expensive too.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 08:22 PM   #190
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Update 4 februari.



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Old February 8th, 2007, 08:42 PM   #191
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are they preparing the site's for the other WTC towers actually?
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Old February 8th, 2007, 08:52 PM   #192
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It looks like they are setting the foundations for the water falls.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 10:03 PM   #193
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This constructions is going not too fast. But is progressing.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 10:16 PM   #194
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I was wondering after the foundations are set and in place what are they going to do with all the extra space in that hole? Is that space going to be filled up with dirt? or perhaps concrete? Or maybe they are going to make the available space into an underground subway line/commercial area like what the last Trade Centers Had?
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Old February 9th, 2007, 12:54 AM   #195
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2011 HURRY!

I cant wait! Im already saving now so if im lucky can make it to New York when it is open to the public. I feel in love with WTC (Twins) back when i was in 4grade doing a report on tall building. Unable to see them in real life, i cant miss these.

If anybody has new pics of contruction, or links plese feel free to message me at [email protected]

WE WILL NEVER FORGET 9/11 ! ! !
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Old February 9th, 2007, 04:47 AM   #196
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There is a chance that it could be delayed again.
http://www.nypost.com/seven/02072007...eve_cuozzo.htm
SAVING FREEDOM

WHY GOV. SPITZER SHOULD PUT PATAKI'S 'ICONIC' PLAN ON HOLD


Why not get it right the first time? The Freedom Tower's ceremonial first column, shown here, at first featured an American flag — placed incorrectly, with the field of stars on the right.

February 7, 2007 -- FIVE and a half years late, Ground Zero is finally showing progress. The Port Authority is industri ously building the east bathtub so developer Larry Silverstein can start work on towers 3 and 4. It's the right time for Gov. Spitzer to liberate Pataki's Pit from the Freedom Tower - a defeatist scheme inappropriate to today's resurgent Downtown.

Spitzer needn't outright kill the "iconic" edifice that's now the PA's to build and rent. He doesn't even have to meddle directly in its design (as his predecessor did, with disastrous results).

But the Freedom Tower needs a caring intervention - which means putting it on hold. Not forever; only until Silverstein's first two new office buildings are rising and on their way to being leased. They will bring world-class architecture (by Richard Rogers and Fumihiko Maki) and vibrant life into the hole. Just as important, they'll re-legitimize the site as a place to do business - something the Freedom Tower, for now, can't.

ESSENTIAL work on the Free dom Tower's underground infrastructure, now in progess, must be completed. It is absolutely necessary to finish that job (likely to take 18 more months) so that everything will be in place once above-ground construction is ready to start.

But let's hold up on leasing efforts and letting out any more contracts (beyond what's already committed), until we know exactly what we want a "Freedom Tower" to be.

Properly handled, it can be the most valuable property in the world by late 2009 or 2010. That's when steel for towers 3 and 4 will be filling the sky.

Those buildings will be among the largest and tallest in town, rising to 1,155 feet and 957 feet. Once they're under way in earnest, no one will any longer be able to say that Ground Zero is going nowhere (as this newspaper first accurately called it four years ago).

Moreover, the plan on the table - calling for all four Ground Zero office buildings to open around the same time - threatens a glut. With the "iconic" tower on hiatus, Silverstein can bargain with tenants able to pay market rents - without being undercut by Freedom Tower's subsidized prices.

DOUGLAS Durst, builder of 4 Times Square and the new One Bryant Park, is one of many developers who know the Freedom Tower should wait for Silverstein's towers to be under way - but one of the few willing to say so. In his view, "as the World Trade Center site gets developed and people see progress, the value of it will increase, just as the value of 7 World Trade Center increased as people saw it was being completed and occupied."

Now, maybe Durst would rather minimize competition with his own buildings (although he has no argument with the 4.5 million square feet that towers 2, 3 and 4 will bring to the market). Or maybe, like others in his league, he secretly dreams of one day having a crack himself at what should be the city's most desirable development site.

But his argument embraces the reality of Downtown today: It's one of the hottest business districts in the world, commanding office rents unimaginable a few years ago and drawing ever more people to glamorous new apartment buildings, hotels, parks and stores.

The Freedom Tower should be the exclamation point proclaiming the area's rebirth. But an exclamation point must come last, not first.

After all the delays at Ground Zero, it's worth waiting a few more years to get the site's crowning achievement right.

TODAY, nothing about the Freedom Tower is right. The PA has little more enthusiasm to build it than Silverstein did. The project as now conceived, designed and scheduled was born out of desperation and political expediency four years ago, when Downtown's plight looked desperate. No one had any idea how to rebuild the WTC. No one was sure if companies would ever again want to be there.

The infamous Daniel Libeskind master site plan (chosen by then-Gov. Pataki) called for an "iconic" tower to reclaim the skyline while also, somehow, relating to the Statue of Liberty. Absent any other serious planning at Ground Zero, and with Silverstein tapping accomplished architect David Childs for the project, it seemed a good idea at the time.

It might even have worked. But Pataki brought the scheme to ruin - by letting Libeskind "collaborate" on it, by personally interfering in the design and by causing a 14-month delay that resulted from his inattention to NYPD security concerns.

The result, after a rushed redesign in 2005, lacks the majesty of Childs' original. Yet cost estimates are already rising - to $3 billion, as The Post's Tom Topousis reported this week. And the design isn't even truly finished - plans for its most symbolic feature, a "sculptural" broadcast antenna rising to 1,776 feet above ground, are still mired in the early stages.

YET, despite its staggering cost, the PA is prepared to peddle the project on the cheap. To kick-start leasing, the PA is negotiating with the federal General Service Administration and the state Office of General Services to take about half its total 2.6 million square feet.

That was Pataki's last and perhaps most lethal blunder. If those deals go through, the PA will likely have to find even more government offices to fill the remaining half. Why? Because private-sector firms of the sort that should be at a "World Trade Center" don't want to share a building with public-sector bureaucracies paying subsidized rents. "Having government tenants will take away from the value being created," Durst warns.

THE starting rent for GSA and OGS, which wouldn't take effect until the tower opens at least five years out, is $58.50 per square foot - more than government should pay, but ridiculously low compared with what new, first-class Downtown office space is certain to command by 2012. (Many real-estate insiders believe the rent is really $50 a foot because, they say, the PA undercounted the floor space.) By comparison, Silverstein is asking more than $60 a foot today for the remaining floors at his new 7 WTC.

Why should the most important new building ever to rise in New York be peddled as if it's damaged goods?

Well, because the Freedom Tower now on the table is damaged goods to the corporate world and the real-estate community. Its tortured history enables the negativism of brokers and prospective tenants who claim, without any rational basis, that the tower's great height - maybe even its Orwellian name - will encourage terrorists to strike again.

But naysayers just a few years back told us all that no one would want to live anywhere Downtown, and that the new 7 WTC would never draw tenants. All it took to refute the cynics was for the first new residents and office tenants to break the ice. Today, every apartment nearby is taken, and 7 WTC is more than 60 percent leased.

So it will be with the Freedom Tower, once the first companies sign leases for towers 3 and 4 - projects with giant floor plates specifically tailored to Wall Street firms.

PAUSING the Freedom Tower entails risk: If any thing goes wrong with the other office buildings, we could be left right where we were before. But in a booming market, and with dire financial penalties if he stalls, Silverstein has every reason to build in a timely fashion.

With a little good will all around and some luck, the PA ought to be able to name its price for the Freedom Tower by 2010. It will find corporate tenants who can pay what an iconic location is worth. It's not too devilish to suggest that the PA might even want to put it up for bid to private developers - who, if recent history tells us anything, would go to war over the rights.

Who knows? A pause might even prompt Spitzer to finally drop "Freedom Tower" and call the project by its rightful name: 1 World Trade Center.

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Last edited by TalB; February 9th, 2007 at 05:34 AM.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 04:52 AM   #197
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Quick kill her! (FBI i do not mean this).
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Old February 9th, 2007, 06:06 AM   #198
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The Freedom Tower's ceremonial first column, shown here, at first featured an American flag — placed incorrectly, how the hell did they do that
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Old February 9th, 2007, 06:35 AM   #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalB View Post
Properly handled, it can be the most valuable property in the world by late 2009 or 2010. That's when steel for towers 3 and 4 will be filling the sky.
Haha, yea right!
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Old February 9th, 2007, 06:44 AM   #200
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silverstien knows nothing goes according to plan... all those towers will open nice and staggerd just like the article sugests they should
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