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Silverstein Puts Safety First in New WTC Skyscraper

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  • Silverstein Puts Safety First in New WTC Skyscraper

    Reuters | Oct 16, 2004


    By Ilaina Jonas

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Larry Silverstein, developer of the World Trade Center site, says he is building the safest building in America.

    He has to. The 52-story skyscraper will be the first new building on the site where attacks by two hijacked planes felled the Twin Towers, killing nearly 3,000, including four Silverstein employees, on Sept. 11, 2001.

    The fire that engulfed the Twin Towers spread to the No. 7 World Trade Center building nearby and destroyed it, too.

    "Jeez, what a hunk of building that is," Silverstein, 73, said, approaching the new No. 7 WTC structure four days before a milestone ceremony in which the final steel beam will be hoisted and set atop the 750-foot-tall skyscraper designed by David Childs.

    The building -- a sheath of glass that will glow with a soft blue light -- will look ethereal.

    But with a core made of the strongest reinforced concrete around and able to withstand 12,000 pounds of pressure per square inch, the latest incarnation of the No. 7 World Trade Center will be 1.7 million square feet of strength draped in glamour.

    "It's the hardest densest concrete you can pour," he said.

    The new skyscraper's design was intended to avoid the safety flaws that hastened the Twin Towers' collapse.

    The core, built with concrete 2 feet thick, contains the stairs, the electrical system, the water sprinkler system, and the ventilation system. The stairs are 20 percent wider than those in the original WTC buildings and they will have automatic emergency lighting on the floor. The staircase ventilation system will be pressurized to suck out smoke.

    In addition, strong steel beams that are anchored to the outside columns support each floor, instead of the lightweight trusses that melted in the towers.

    The fireproofing is twice the thickness and 10 times the adhesiveness required by building code. It is designed so it will not flake off in extremely high temperatures, as the Twin Towers' fireproofing did on Sept. 11.

    TENANTS WANTED

    What the building doesn't have yet is tenants.

    While there are those who doubt the building's success, Silverstein dismisses them as naysayers.

    "Have you ever seen an empty building in New York?" he asked.

    To support his optimistic view, Silverstein noted that Manhattan has only three new Class A buildings under construction.

    The asking rent at Douglas Durst's new Bank of America building, under construction at 42nd Street and Avenue of the Americas, is about $100 per square foot, Silverstein said. In comparison, he will seek rents of about $50 a square foot at the new No. 7 World Trade Center.

    In addition, New York's office vacancies are down significantly from a year ago, according to property research firm CoStar Group Inc.

    Silverstein declined to comment on the building's cost, although some have placed it at about $700 million, including $50 million for the safety features.

    The total for rebuilding the World Trade Center site is estimated at $7 billion, he said.

    Silverstein will get $3.5 billion in insurance coverage from major carriers, after losing a court fight with them earlier this year.

    His battle against other insurance carriers will continue on Monday, when a trial is scheduled to begin. If he prevails, Silverstein could get another $1.1 billion in reimbursement for the destroyed World Trade Center. He would use that to rebuild on the site. He intends to finance the rest with low-cost Liberty Bonds.

    Meanwhile, he pays the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey $10 million a month to lease the World Trade Center site. He got the lease in July 2001 after intense competition with other real estate magnates.

    Silverstein wanted the World Trade Center lease because he saw it as a gold mine. Of the 10 million square feet of office space there, 7 million were occupied by only 40 tenants, who Silverstein said were paying below-market rent.

    After acquiring the lease, Silverstein would start his day at Windows on the World, the renowned restaurant on the top floor. He would work his way down, visiting tenants and asking them what they needed so they would stay when they re-signed leases at higher rents.

    In looking back, Silverstein recalled that on Sept. 11, 2001, his wife made him keep his doctor's appointment. So he missed his usual breakfast at the famous restaurant in the sky and saw the tragedy unfold on television.

  • #2
    larry silverstein is a fuckin liar......that guy is affilated with the inside job of 9/11....
    Think, Act, Make & Spend Money Like A True Business Individual A.K.A. A Baller.

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    • #3
      Silverstein = Scumbag.

      I wonder what he has spent his insurance money on from 9/11.
      "Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile."
      - Kurt Vonnegut

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow, you guys all used Silverstien for your 9/11 Conspericy Theory's, now you distance youself from him.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by StereoType
          Wow, you guys all used Silverstien for your 9/11 Conspericy Theory's, now you distance youself from him.
          wow that doesn't make any sense at all

          Comment


          • #6
            Aren't they replacing one of the towers with a huge obelisk that has a blue light pointing to the heavens?

            Strange if you ask me.

            Comment


            • #7
              hahah nice symbolism... their way of saying "we're responsible, we're running the show but you can't see it can you?"

              Comment


              • #8
                Yeah, he did it for the insurance money, right? Your article says total rebuilding will cost $7 Billion, yet he is only getting $3.5 Billion in insurance money, plus a possible additional $1.1 Billion. Do the math, your theories don't add up.
                http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

                “if somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him” (Bukhari, vol. 4, bk. 52, no. 260).

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