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NEW YORK CITY-The pending relocation of Conde Nast into one million square feet at 1 World Trade Center has come to symbolize the positive light in which the Ground Zero mega-project is now seen after long being derided as a white elephant. “It’s unusual for a deal like this to be so publicly discussed,” especially when it hasn’t been finalized, comments Tara Stacom, vice chairman at Cushman & Wakefield and head of the leasing team for the 2.6-million-square-foot skyscraper since 2007. Yet Stacom tells GlobeSt.com that neither the Conde deal nor any other single factor has represented the pivot point.

In Stacom’s view, the momentum has been building at least since Chris Ward came on board in 2008 as executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the bistate agency responsible for rebuilding at Ground Zero. “He really began to place priorities on what had to happen and masterminded a very complex engineering nightmare, breaking it down into some achievable goals,” she says. Chief among those were “the completion of 1 World within a realistic timeline and the completion of the memorial” in time for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 next September.

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