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NEW YORK CITY-The New York City Police Department’s recent 36-page security proposal for the soon-to-be-rebuilt World Trade Center site, puts the area in a security zone, with limited access for vehicles and dozens of guard booths on street corners. Industry sources have mixed feelings on how the proposal–in which only specially screened taxis, limousines and cars would be allowed through “sally ports,” or barriers staffed by police officers—-will affect Downtown commercial real estate, however outcomes were mostly positive.

Elizabeth Berger, president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, tells GlobeSt.com that one of the challenges of the original World Trade Center, was that it was “an island in the middle of lower Manhattan, and one of the things about the new rebuilding plans was that it reconnects that super block.” So although “the WTC site is a sensitive site and it is important to have an eye toward the security of that site, there has to be a balance.”

She further notes that “in talking about the future of lower Manhattan, it is important to say that we want the vitality and excitement of lower Manhattan to extend to the rebuilt WTC site. With all the construction, closed streets and already intense security that we have right now, we still have lower vacancy rates, higher asking prices per sf, an explosion of the residential community, and new retail. What we want is for that to continue.”

Hugh Finnegan, an attorney in the real estate group at Sullivan & Worcester LLP, was mostly optimistic, but he says that the retail sector could suffer, “because shoppers may not want to be bothered with the extra time and inconvenience,” he says, when referring to possible congestion that may be caused as a result of the extra security. He does note, however, that certain corporate tenants are likely to see the enhanced security as a benefit. “Tenants for whom security is generally an issue, like investment banking firms or private banks, may derive comfort from knowing that there is an added layer of protection at the WTC.”

Matthew Krauser, director of Integra Realty Resources Inc.’s New York City office, says that “Congestion with regard to traffic is not an issue since the main mode of transportation in this area is public transportation.” He further tells GlobeSt.com that “as office tenants begin to occupy the office space, the retailers will follow suit as a result of the daytime workforce/population. If anything, the increased security measures will create a positive perception to potential office and retail tenants as well as the general public.”

According to reports, the police department also wants to enhance security measures in the City by photographing the license plate of every vehicle that enters Manhattan. According to the reports, which paraphrased a police spokesman, “Data on each vehicle–its time-stamped image, license plate imprint and radiological signature–would be sent to a command center in Lower Manhattan, where it would be indexed and stored for at least a month as part of a broad security plan that emphasizes protecting the city’s financial district.”

Paul Browne, deputy police commissioner for public information, reportedly has said that the proposed tight security seeks to stop a third terrorist attack on the 16-acre site, however he did reportedly assure that it would have negligible effect on traffic and pedestrians. The NYPD was unable to be reached for comment by deadline.

As far as the progress report on the WTC rebuilding, in July, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey–which own the site– stated that the entire process will take longer than projected and a new, more realistic timetable must be devised. “The original completion dates are just not going to be met,” Christopher Ward, the Port Authority’s executive director, said at a breakfast meeting sponsored by the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association at the time. Ward pointed to at least 15 fundamental issues critical to the overall project that had not yet been resolved and were essential before providing a specific completion date or project cost.

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