I’ve been following the goings on at the World Trade Center site very closely
for over five years now, but there was a lot in Larry Silverstein’s
presentation today which was news to me, including one spectacular cock-up.
It turns out that the land underneath the current temporary PATH station needs
to be excavated. But the permanent PATH station – which was originally
scheduled to open at the end of 2006 – won’t be remotely ready in time.
So the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is going to have to build a
second temporary PATH station, up near 7 WTC, to replace the first
temporary PATH station, which itself cost $323 million.
Now, I’m not someone to take everything that Larry Silverstein says at face
value. He claims, for instance, that he will start construction on new towers
by Richard Rogers and Fumihiko Maki in January,
start on his Norman Foster tower in July, and have all those
three towers plus David Childs’ Freedom Tower finished
by 2012. I’ll believe it when I see it. But something like the second PATH station
– you really couldn’t make it up.
I also took the opportunity to ask Larry about the
size of trading floors. The new Goldman Sachs building is apparently going
to have floors of 72,000 square feet, while Silverstein’s towers will have nine
54,000 square-foot trading floors between them, all with their own dedicated
elevators for SEC compliance reasons. Silverstein’s original 7 World Trade Center
was home to what was at the time the legendary Salomon Brothers trading floor
– but it turns out that was a relative minnow, at 47,000 square feet.