"The redevelopment of the World Trade Center is one of the mostchallenging and critical real estate projects facing New YorkCity," explained Professor Andrew Berman, director of the Centerfor Real Estate Studies. "Not only is the successful redevelopmentof the World Trade Center site vital to the future of New YorkCity, but it is also especially important to the New York LawSchool community given our close proximity."

Silverstein pointed out to attendees--which included the generalpublic as well as students--that "we are involved in what's goingon Downtown," noting that those who study, work and live in theneighborhood are the reason why it is such an exciting developableopportunity. "Many believed that Downtown was dead after 5 p.m. andquiet on the weekends," Silverstein said; however, "the Downtowneconomy is durable and everlasting. It is reinventing itself."

He noted that "for years, the rebuilding of the World TradeCenter seemed in disarray, and it was. We had to call on ouroptimism. Now, years later, it is booming." New shops are openingevery week, he explained, adding that hotels and restaurants arecontinuously opening as well. "Vacancy rates are now at 6.2%."However, he did note that although there is demand for Downtownliving space, which attracts retail to the area, "in order toremain a world class business district, Downtown needs new officespace, which is what we are doing at the World Trade CenterTowers."

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.