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

Silverstein Properties is set to open the future home of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at 150 Greenwich Street, marking a historic first for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site.

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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