For a while it seemed as if reconstruction of the World Trade Center site was going swimmingly, but an interesting report in Crain’s New York business.com shows all is not well. The site is owned by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, and there have been numerous problems recently, not least the spiralling cost of the project.
The September 11 Memorial and Museum was due to open this year, but now this project is on hold because of a dispute about costs between the Port and the Museum, with the Port arguing that the museum owes it $156 million, while the Museum feels it is owed $140 million by the Port. This has led to construction workers being laid off for the last four months.
The Port Authority is also arguing with the city over high security costs which are thought to be as much as half a billion dollars. In addition there have been problems finding tenants for the second of the two Towers, and developer Larry Silverstein is now intending to build just seven of the planned eighty one storeys.
However the first tower is facing no such problems in finding tenants and is only fourteen storeys short of being finished , with completion due next year. Once it is completed it will be 104 storeys high and is already 60% leased with publisher Conde Nast being one of its prestigious tenants.
One World Trade Center does however face problems in securing sufficient steel to complete the project as one of its key suppliers has financial troubles. There are also concerns over the high cost of the site, with the Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie already having voiced concern over $2 billion worth of costs that hadn’t been disclosed. There are worries that these costs could result in cuts being made at the Port which could slow down progress of the World Trade Center and could impede efforts to let the remaining space in the towers.