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In Ground Zero First, 4 World Trade Center Set to Open Its Doors

4 World Trade Center. Image credit: AP.

One World Trade Center has dominated the news downtown of late, but it’s 4 World Trade Center – “the biggest skyscraper that New Yorkers have never heard of,” according to the New York Times – that will be the first to formally open at the redeveloped World Trade Center site. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for next Wednesday, November 13 at the Fumihiko Maki-designed, LEED Gold-hopeful tower, which stands at the southeast corner of the World Trade Center site at 150 Greenwich Street.

Designed both modestly and respectfully as it faces the 9/11 Memorial’s south reflecting pool directly to its west, the 72-story, 2.3-million-square foot tower will eventually be home to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey starting in 2015 after the agency completes the buildout of its 600,000 square-foot space. Silverstein Properties, of course, owns 4 WTC thanks to the 2008 deal it made with the Port Authority in 2008, swapping development rights to 1 WTC with those for all three of the Greenwich Street towers. The agency is paying $59 per square foot in a 30-year lease as the tower’s anchor tenant.

Office space at 4 WTC exists in two distinct floor plates. Low- and mid-rise floors (7 through 46) feature 44,000-square-foot spaces in a parallelogram shape that mirrors the tower’s site plan. The high-rise floors (48 through 63) are in the shape of a 34,000-square-foot trapezoid, triangulated from the lower floors to face 1 WTC. Each configuration features a 45-foot span on the building’s west facade that faces over the 9/11 Memorial and is served by two elevator banks. 4 WTC’s 13.5’ by 5’ glass curtain wall panels are highly reflective and designed to help the building seemingly disappear into blue skies on clear days – emphasizing the adjacent 9/11 Memorial and the tower’s overall architectural program.

“We want people to come and experience this both as a great office building but also a sense of accomplishment that we’ve really turned the corner on rebuilding the World Trade Center and creating a better New York,” Janno Lieber, head of World Trade Center construction for developer Larry Silverstein, said in a press release. Silverstein Properties is also aiming for an early 2015 opening for the retail and dining spaces on the tower’s lower floors, coinciding with the completion of Santiago Calatrava’s $4 billion WTC transportation hub.

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