Volume 20, Number 47 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | April 6 - April 12, 2011
Downtown Express photo by Aline Reynolds
Larry Silverstein in his office at 7 W.T.C. last year.
Energy, dynamism is foundation for building
BY Larry A. Silverstein
As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I think it’s important to take a moment to look at where we are, how far we have come, and where we are going.
First, I want to salute you, the readers of this newspaper and residents of the Lower Manhattan community. Everything we are doing has been made possible by your devotion and dedication to Downtown.
Many of you are longtime residents of the neighborhood. Those of you who raised your children in the shadows of the Twin Towers were the pioneers who helped turn a business district into a community. And rather than throwing in the towel amidst the upheaval after 9/11, you committed yourselves to remaining here and revitalizing the area.
Many more of you further strengthened the neighborhood by moving here over the following years. Who would have thought that the residential population of Lower Manhattan would double during the past decade?
Your energy and your dynamism is the foundation upon which we all are building.
Just as importantly, you have made sure that your voices are being heard throughout the planning and construction process. Your insights have helped shape the master plan, and your desire for progress has kept all of us on our toes.
With regard to the rebuilding, I believe that we are answering your calls for an appropriate memorial and museum; a dynamic streetscape with new public spaces; a grand transportation gateway to Lower Manhattan; new cultural amenities, shops and restaurants, as well as a modern business hub.
We are making steady progress in realizing the master plan’s vision of a rebuilt W.T.C. shaped by top-tier green design. In addition to 1 W.T.C., which was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the site also will include a world-class transportation hub designed by Santiago Calatrava, a performing arts center designed by Frank Gehry, as well as a stirring and dignified memorial, which will open to the public this September, followed by a museum next year. And Towers 2, 3 and 4, being developed by my company, have been designed by Pritzker-Prize winning architects Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and Fumihiko Maki.
Today, every part of the new W.T.C. is under construction and on schedule. Every day, thousands of construction workers shape millions of tons of concrete, steel and glass into iconic buildings that will soon reclaim New York’s skyline.
Just as we saw at 7 W.T.C., these new office buildings will be a success for many reasons: because they are green and high-tech. Because they are in a great neighborhood and easy to get to from all over the region. Because great companies already work here and more want to move here. New companies are moving Downtown every month, including creative firms, publishing companies, and branding and marketing agencies. Young people want to work and live in this neighborhood.
We recently signed a lease at 7 W.T.C. with a distinguished law firm that is moving Downtown, from Park Avenue in Midtown. This forward-looking company’s move to Downtown is part of a broader trend of creative, dynamic companies that want to be in the W.T.C. These companies and their employees want green office space, waterfront parks, public spaces and recreational facilities, and perhaps the best mass transit links of any area in the city.
This lease is further proof that people want to come Downtown, that this neighborhood and the World Trade Center will be a premiere business district once again.
We are clearly at a pivotal moment in Lower Manhattan’s reemergence as a world-class live-work neighborhood. With the impressive construction progress all across the W.T.C. site, the opening of the Goldman Sachs headquarters, the success of 7 W.T.C., and an initial agreement for Condé Nast to move its headquarters to 1 W.T.C., the world has begun to take notice of what is happening Downtown.
It hasn’t always been easy, but we’ve stayed the course, thanks to you. The W.T.C. is and will be a special place. What’s happening here matters to New York, to America and to the world.
Larry A. Silverstein is the President and CEO of Silverstein Properties, Inc.