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NEW YORK CITY-”This safe and secure environment will continue the commercial revival,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg during today’s unveiling of a revised Freedom Tower design. The site will still contain 2.6 million sf of office space, replacing one quarter of the office space that was lost in 9/11. The redesign was necessary after police officials addressed a number of security concerns with the original design.

The tower’s footprint is now the same size as the footprints of the original Twin Towers. As the tower itself rises from its cubic base, its square edges are chamfered back, transforming the square into eight tall isosceles triangles in elevation. At its middle, the tower forms a perfect octagon in plan and then culminates in an observation deck and glass parapet with elevation levels of 1,362 ft and 1,368 ft, which were the heights of the original towers. A mast similar to Liberty’s torch will extend the height to 1,776 ft.

Plans call for observation decks, a restaurant similar to Windows on the World and theManhattan Television Alliance broadcast and antennae facilities. Below-grade shopping and access to the PATH and subway trains and the World Financial Center are also included.

WTC developer Larry Silverstein expects construction to begin in the first quarter of 2006 with a topping out in 2009 and completion the following year. He feels a series of incentives recently put in place by the state for this site and its neighbor 7 World Trade Center will encourage tenants. Regarding leasing at 7 World Trade, he said there has been a remarkable amount of increased interest since the incentives were announced. “The phones are ringing. I’m encouraged by it.” He said he’s had preliminary talk with prospective tenants in the private sector regarding large amounts of space.

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