Downtown Digest, May 2, 2012

One W.T.C. reclaims status as the Big Apple’s tallest skyscraper   On Monday, April 30, One World Trade Center became the city’s tallest tower, surpassing the Empire State Building by 21 feet, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, owner of the W.T.C. site.

The columns’ placement brings the height of the building to 1,271 feet above street level. Once the tower is completed next year, it will rise to 1,776 feet to the top of its antenna, making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Iron workers installed two, 26-foot steel interior columns atop the skyscraper that afternoon as a handful of Port Authority executives looked on. The milestone triggered praise from many.

“Achieving the status of the region’s tallest building is an unparalleled milestone, but it is only a small part of the story,” said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. “This tower is about jobs, economic activity and providing a place of commerce and business. It will have unprecedented environmental, energy-efficient systems, be accessible to one of the most extensive transportation networks in the region, and be located in a growing, dynamic neighborhood.”

Port Authority Chairman David Samson noted that the achievement is one of many feats the Port Authority has delivered in its 91-year history. “We could not have reached this milestone without the hard work and dedication of the many men and women who tirelessly work to rebuild this monumental site,” he said. “This project is much more than steel and concrete, it is a symbol of success for the nation.”

Hidrock to erect new Downtown Hotel   Commercial real estate owner Hidrock Realty has plans to build a new hotel a block away from the World Trade Center, according to recent article published in Real Estate Weekly.

The company’s partners, which paid $27.9 million for the vacant lot at 133 Greenwich St., are prepared to spend an additional $70 million to develop a 28-floor, 300-room hotel targeting Lower Manhattan’s large influx of visitors, according to Hidrock Realty President Abraham Hidary.

“While we haven’t yet ruled out other options for the site, a hotel will be a big draw for tourists visiting the World Trade Center and traveling businesspeople alike,” he said.

The hotel is scheduled to open in early 2015.

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