After 13 Years, World Trade Center Open for Business

NEW YORK (AP) -
A Conde Nast employee on Monday enters the lobby of 1 World Trade Center. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
A Conde Nast employee on Monday enters the lobby of 1 World Trade Center. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attack, the resurrected World Trade Center has opened for business — marking an emotional milestone for both New Yorkers and the nation.

Some staffers of publishing giant Conde Nast began working at 1 World Trade Center on Monday. The 104-story, $3.9 billion skyscraper dominates the Manhattan skyline. The publishing giant becomes the first commercial tenant in America’s tallest building.

“The New York City skyline is whole again, as 1 World Trade Center takes its place in Lower Manhattan,” said Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority, which owns the building.

Foye, whose agency began moving into neighboring 4 World Trade Center last week, said that 1 World Trade Center “sets new standards of design, construction, prestige and sustainability; the opening of this iconic building is a major milestone in the transformation of Lower Manhattan into a thriving 24/7 neighborhood.”

Prior to the move, Conde Nast addressed any issues employees might have had about moving into the tower. The architectural firm, T.J. Gottesdiener of the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, says it took extra measures to strengthen the steel-and-concrete structure. It says it is a much stronger structure than the Twin Towers.

Starting Monday, more than 170 employees moved into five of Conde Nast’s 25 floors, the company said. By early 2015, about 3,000 more staffers will move in.

The building is 60-percent leased, with another 80,000 square feet going to the advertising firm Kids Creative, the stadium operator Legends Hospitality, the BMB Group investment adviser, and Servcorp, a provider of executive offices.

The government’s General Services Administration signed up for 275,000 square feet, and the China Center, a trade and cultural facility, will cover 191,000 square feet.

The area has prospered in recent years beyond anyone’s imagination. About 60,000 more residents now live there — three times more than before 9/11 — keeping streets, restaurants and shops alive even after Wall Street and other offices close for the day.

Still, it’s a bittersweet victory, one achieved with the past in mind as the architects created 1 World Trade Center.

“We did it, we finally did it,” said T.J. Gottesdiener of the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.