The Freedom Tower, also called 1 WTC, as well as Towers 2, 3 and4 are all scheduled for completion by 2012. "Can you count on thisschedule?" asked Larry Silverstein, president and CEO ofSilverstein Properties which is developing the site. "You bet youcan."

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The future of WTC, and the state of Downtown as a whole,will be spotlighted on May 13 at RealShare Downtown New York.

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The project, which will is targeted to cost $20 billion with theinclusion of public works and transit improvements, will be theresult of an "incredible construction-coordination machine," saidAnthony Shorris, executive director of the Port Authority of NY andNJ, which owns the site and is leasing it to Silverstein. Inflatingconstruction costs are "a constant source of pressure," he said,and "we're wrestling with it as much as anyone else." ButSilverstein said those costs have "begun to moderate to somedegree."

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The 488,000 sf of multi- and street-level retail at theproject will be "dramatically higher quality" than the mall thatwas in the former World Trade Center before it was destroyed by the9/11 terrorist attacks, Shorris asserted. That $1.5-billion aspectof the project, which is being developed by Westfield Group, willprovide additional residential demand in the area.

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The 75,000 to 100,000 workers at the 10.6-million-sf World TradeCenter will also fuel demand for more residential, Silversteinsaid, pointing out that many of the office buildings on Wall Streetare getting converted into apartments and condominiums. "It's goingto be manifest all over this Lower Manhattan area," he said.

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