Douglas Durst isn’t impressed that the Freedom Tower is getting
Some real estate experts questioned why the Freedom Tower was being built
at the same time that the developer Larry A. Silverstein was getting ready
to build three office towers with more than six million square feet of space.
They complained that it had attracted only government tenants who were being
forced to pay higher rents than they should.
The developer Douglas Durst and the real estate investor Anthony E. Malkin
say the tower is ill conceived, the result of a hasty six-week “redesign”
after the police raised security concerns.
Mr. Durst said that the value of the tower would increase over time, but added
that it made little sense to build everything at once.
Maybe Durst has forgotten, but there is a master plan for the World Trade Center
site, designed by Daniel Libeskind, which clearly shows the Freedom Tower being
built first, and subsequent towers going up as and when the market demand for
them arises. I know that the Libeskind plan is pretty debased at this point,
but cancelling construction of the Freedom Tower now would be idiotic –
especially since Larry Silverstein hasn’t got the money to build any
of the other towers any time soon.
On the other hand, I share Durst’s distaste when it comes to the Freedom Tower’s
design – and it would be nice, seeing as how this tower is being built
with public funds, if we could actually see the design before it started
being built. We know roughly what it’s going to look like, but at the
top of the tower, especially, as far as I know the public is still in the dark.
Do even the developers have a final design for the mast which will
dominate the Lower Manhattan skyline?