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Old February 16th, 2007, 04:24 AM   #221
TalB
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/02142007...eve_cuozzo.htm
FREEDOM RING$

BLACKSTONE EYES $3B ICONIC TOWER PURCHASE

By TOM TOPOUSIS and STEVE CUOZZO

February 14, 2007 -- Fresh off its acquisition of the largest collection of office towers in the nation, the Blackstone Group has set its sights on the Freedom Tower, The Post has learned.

Blackstone made an unsolicited approach to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey about acquiring the 1,776-foot-tall tower now under construction by the agency and due to be completed by 2012, sources said.

Sources said Blackstone is just one of several real estate investors expressing interest in the iconic tower, which will host a combination of federal, state and private tenants.

The Port Authority is considering a range of options for the Freedom Tower, including one or more private investors for all or part of the building, slated to cost roughly $3 billion. But any discussions with potential investors are in a very preliminary stage.

A Port Authority spokesman declined to comment. And a Blackstone spokesman last night denied his firm is trying to purchase the tower.

Port Authority officials in the past have been clear that the agency's investment in the Freedom Tower would have to work financially so as not to deprive resources from the core mission of building and operating regional transportation systems.

The Port Authority agreed to take over control of the Freedom Tower and a fifth World Trade Center tower a block south of the main campus in a restructured deal with Ground Zero developer Larry Silverstein.

J.P. Morgan Chase, as first reported in The Post, has expressed interest in developing Tower 5 as a commercial building, signaling that the Port Authority is open to reversing an earlier plan to use the 57-story building for housing and a hotel.

Silverstein will develop three towers, including about 6 million square feet of office space, along the Church Street side of the Trade Center.

As part of the deal, the Port Authority will get $900 million of the $4.6 billion World Trade Center insurance money, and access to $1 billion in low-interest Liberty Bond financing for the Freedom Tower.

Also part of the deal moving the Freedom Tower to the Port Authority are leasing commitments for 1 million square feet of space in the building from federal and state agencies.

But it's the boom in demand for Manhattan office space that has turned what was once viewed as a potential white elephant into a hot property. The Freedom Tower will include 2.6 million square feet of office space - a quarter of what the Twin Towers held.

Word of Blackstone's interest in the Freedom Tower comes on the heels of the firm's $39 billion acquisition this month of Equity Office Properties' portfolio of 543 office buildings across the nation with a total of 103 million square feet of space.
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Old February 17th, 2007, 06:40 PM   #222
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So how much longer till the tower crane is erected?
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Old February 18th, 2007, 12:41 AM   #223
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Hey, guys! Have you seen this video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKFdwJvo_Hg

It´s short but I hope you liked it .
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Last edited by Taller & Taller; February 18th, 2007 at 01:09 AM.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 01:17 AM   #224
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Wow, that vid is very interesting! I didn't realise so much was going on...and it was over a month ago!
I hope they hurry up with the construction.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 05:25 AM   #225
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i love the new york twalk, and the f bomb
the ball is rolling...
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Old February 18th, 2007, 10:33 AM   #226
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I have to say Freedom Tower is one of the buildings I am most excited about. I am very happy for New York City
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Old February 18th, 2007, 10:19 PM   #227
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Wow. 3 billion? Isn't Burj Dubai like 800 million?
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Old February 19th, 2007, 12:41 AM   #228
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Now, that's the difference..
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Old February 19th, 2007, 01:22 AM   #229
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Can someone post updates from the freedom cam?
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Old February 19th, 2007, 02:57 AM   #230
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Quote:
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Wow. 3 billion? Isn't Burj Dubai like 800 million?
yeah, were in america where we care for our workers and pay them a liveable wage.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 03:16 AM   #231
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From a business owner perspective I would much rather prefer Dubai's labor laws than that of those here in the states.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 03:23 AM   #232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adi-Romania(Boston) View Post
From a business owner perspective I would much rather prefer Dubai's labor laws than that of those here in the states.
From a workers perspective I'd prefer the US labour laws, that way you'll live longer.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 03:48 AM   #233
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So how much longer till the tower crane is erected?
Maybe next year or perhaps never, but with the way the government plans it, there have been a number of false starts.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 06:15 AM   #234
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cant wait till they complete these buildings...Freedom 1,776ft.... 2 Greenwich
1,254ft will b the tallest in New York! !
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Old February 19th, 2007, 07:18 AM   #235
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Quote:
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Maybe next year or perhaps never, but with the way the government plans it, there have been a number of false starts.
According to the New York Times, tower cranes will be erected before this month is over. They will be going up very soon.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 09:16 AM   #236
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Great design
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Old February 19th, 2007, 05:03 PM   #237
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good article

A Tower That Sends a Message of Anxiety, Not Ambition



By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF
Published: February 19, 2007
nytimes.com

Ground zero has gone through its own kind of war fatigue. With every step forward in the reconstruction process, New Yorkers were asked to buy into the rhetoric of renewal, only to be confronted by images that reflect a city still in a state of turmoil and delusion.

Perhaps if we close our eyes, one might wishfully imagine, it will all just go away.

But the widely anticipated announcement that Gov. Eliot Spitzer will support the construction of the Freedom Tower may signal an end to any hope that a broad vision — or even a level of sanity — can be restored to a project tainted by personal hubris and political expediency.

The most recent debate over the tower has centered narrowly on real estate values. With the developer Larry Silverstein set to build six million square feet of office space in three buildings just alongside the Freedom Tower, some have questioned whether it will be possible to lease enough of the $3 billion project at a high enough rate to make it profitable. The tower’s symbolism alone is likely to scare off tenants who will see it as a potential targets for terrorists. The suggestion that we simply pack the building with government offices is almost perversely Strangelove-ian.

Yet the problem is not simply whether enough bureaucrats can be coerced into working there one day; it’s also what the building expresses as a work of architecture. Governor Spitzer may recall the looming presence of the twin towers on the downtown skyline, at once proud and intimidating; the Freedom Tower will have an equally powerful effect on the daily lives of New Yorkers as well as on the city’s image throughout the world. Yet its message will be very different from the old towers.

Hurriedly redesigned more than a year ago after terrorism experts questioned its vulnerability to a bomb attack, the Freedom Tower, with its tapered bulk and chamfered corners, evokes a gargantuan glass obelisk. Its clumsy bloated form, remade by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, vaguely recalls the worst of postmodernist historicism. (It’s a marvel that its glass skin hasn’t been recast in granite.)

Recently cities like Paris, London and San Francisco have held major architectural competitions for towers that will reshape their skylines. All of them drew on an array of ambitious architectural talents; many of those designs pushed technological and structural limits while reimagining the skyscraper as part of a holistic urban vision.

Even in New York, which has lagged behind much of the world in its architectural ambitions over the last decade or so, projects like Norman Foster’s new Hearst Tower suggest that a higher standard is demanded in the design of our urban structures.

If built, the lamentable Freedom Tower would be a constant reminder of our loss of ambition, and our inability to produce an architecture that shows a genuine faith in America’s collective future rather than a nostalgia for a nonexistent past.

Nowhere is that failure of ambition more evident than in the tower’s base. In a society where the social contract that binds us together is fraying, the most incisive architects have found ways to create a more fluid relationship between private and public realms. The lobby of Thom Mayne’s Phare Tower in Paris, for example, is conceived as an extension of the public realm, drawing in the surrounding streetscape and tunneling deep into the ground to connect to a network of underground trains.

By comparison the Freedom Tower is conceived as a barricaded fortress. Its base, a 20-story-high windowless concrete bunker that houses the lobby as well as many of the structure’s mechanical systems, is clad in laminated glass panels to give it visual allure, but the message is the same. It speaks less of resilience and tolerance than of paranoia. It’s a building armored against an outside world that we no longer trust.

There is no reason to accept this as fate. Although construction has begun on the tower’s foundations, we are still a year or so away from the point that the building will begin to rise. The foundations could even be completed while a process is set in motion to begin rethinking the design. Meanwhile construction could begin on Mr. Silverstein’s towers to the south, which should prove much easier to lease.

Governor Spitzer of course would have to summon the will to venture into one of the most emotionally and politically charged sites in the world less than two months into his tenure. To do so he must first accept that the Freedom Tower’s message is not directed solely at real estate-obsessed New Yorkers but at the world, and that the message it’s sending now is the worst of who we are.

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Old February 19th, 2007, 08:40 PM   #238
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Can somone post some construction updates?
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Old February 19th, 2007, 10:28 PM   #239
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Old February 20th, 2007, 01:17 AM   #240
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I find this article very interesting b/c the last time Nicolai Ouroussoff did an article on the FT, he was a major cheerleader for it and now he goes the other way.
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