3 WTC opens, along with two long-closed streets

World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein, center, cuts the ribbon at the opening of 3 WTC on June 11.
Photo by Milo Hess

BY SYDNEY PEREIRA

After more than a decade of work, 3 World Trade Center opened its doors on June 11. The 1,079-foot tower is the fourth to open under Silverstein Properties’ redevelopment of the WTC campus — which has transformed the Downtown skyline since the 9/11 attacks toppled the twin towers.

The new tower’s debut also marks the reopening of surrounding streets for the first time since the original WTC campus blocked them off decades ago. Dey Street and Cortlandt Way will reopen to pedestrians, along with the plaza along 3 WTC’s  Greenwich Street frontage south of the Oculus transit hub, reconnecting the area to the neighborhood for the first time since the 1960s.

“It was always somewhat cut-off and isolated from the rest of Downtown,” said Dara McQuillan, the chief marketing officer of Silverstein Properties. “It just never felt like part of New York. And now, with the reintroduction of the grid, people who live, work and visit Downtown feel like they’re a part of New York again.”

The mirrored facade of the newly opened 3 WTC tower reflects its nearby sibling, 1 WTC.
Silverstein Properties

The 80-storey tower has three outdoor terraces on the 17th, 60th and 76th floors — the latter reaching 936 feet high, making it the tallest outdoor office terrace in the city, according to the company. The floor-to-floor height ranges from 13.5 to 24 feet, and the open-plan office spaces offer panoramic views of Lower Manhattan.

The tower was designed with no columns at the corners of the building — allowing for expansive views, said the building’s lead architect.

“It was one of the main objectives to keep the corners of the building completely column free, so every corner on the building allows you panoramic views out on both sides,” said Richard Paul.

The setbacks for the outdoor terraces make up for the narrow side streets far below — increasing the space between buildings to allow for more light and better views.

The project began back in 2006 when financial companies were the most common tenants in high-end Downtown office buildings, but more than a decade later, technology startups, media and advertising tenants are among the fastest-growing segments of the market.

The tower has 2.5 million square feet of office space, much of which is already booked by anchor tenants reflecting the new sector mix. Advertising giant GroupM will lease 700,000 square feet, consulting heavyweight McKinsey has booked 185,000 square feet, and securities-trading startup IEX is taking nearly 45,000 square feet — amounting to about 40 percent of the available space.

“We are very happy with the leasing activity at 3 WTC,” McQuillan said by email. “When we first opened 7 WTC, Silverstein Properties was the only tenant in the building and it filled up quickly. 7 WTC and 4 WTC are both 100 percent leased and it won’t be long before 3 WTC follows suit.”

The final tower of the rebuilt World Trade Center campus will be 2 WTC, which is expected to be 1,270 feet tall with 2.8 million square feet of office space. Bjarke Ingels Group’s design for 2 WTC features stacked terraces, with tens of thousands of feet of outdoor space expected to overlook Tribeca. But construction won’t begin until Silverstein Properties can secure an anchor tenant for the building, according to McQuillan.

Deals with possible tenants have repeatedly fallen apart, putting off construction at 2 WTC for years. Rupert Murdoch backed out of relocating 21st Century Fox and News Corp in 2016. Deutsche Bank was rumored to be relocating to 2 WTC until last month, when the bank announced it was relocating to Columbus Circle, according to the New York Post.

“The plan was always to build and open one tower at a time,” McQuillan said. “With 3 WTC opening on Monday, the World Trade Center now feels like a finished place — it’s a part of New York again. So this is the perfect time to shift our focus to 2 WTC.”

In preparation for the opening of 3 WTC — and perhaps a long wait for work to resume on 2 WTC — last month Silverstein Properties commissioned a set of murals around the future site of 2 WTC near the newly opened tower, brightening the area around the newly reopened streets.

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2 Responses to 3 WTC opens, along with two long-closed streets

  1. Michael Burke

    Let’s not forget it was the original plan of the geniuses behind rebuilding the WTC to reintroduce traffic to the site.

  2. Such good news. As a NZer we visited the WTC and its beautiful memorial in 2015. Our hearts and love are with you all in NYC with the opening of this glorious building. Jane and Geoff x

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