Almost 11 years after deadly terrorist attacks in the United States struck down the twin towers in 2001, One World Trade Center, the monolith being built to replace them claimed the title of the tallest building in New York city on Monday, higher than the Empire State building.
The construction of the symbolic building on “Ground Zero” is overseen by the Port Authorities of New York and New Jersey in the US. Its prominent presence in New York’s ever changing skyline is welcomed by many who say reconstruction of the fallen towers is long overdue.
One World Trade Center officially became the tallest building in New York one year after navy seal troops, in a stealth mission into Pakistan, gunned down terrorist leader, Osama bin Laden, at his hideout. Bin Laden, front man for terrorist sect Al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the terror attacks on US soil in 2001 that claimed the lives of about 3,000 citizens on September 11.
Some New Yorkers questioned why the rebuilding of the WTC on Ground Zero took so long – over a decade.
Michael Dortheimer, a New Yorker, described it simply as the “tallest unoccupied building”.
“It’s ten and a half years and I live on the other side of the highway and it’s taken long enough and it probably won’t be occupied until 2015,” he said. Unimpressed, Dortheimer called it a non-event.
Though unoccupied at the moment, authorities say over 55 per cent of the building has already been leased. One of the biggest companies to snap up a slice of the new WTC is Conde Nast, the publishing giant behind top magazines like Vogue, Glamour and GQ.
When finished, the building will have an observation deck at the top which will be open to the public.
Scott Rechler, an official with the PA, said “the development of this building, combined with the rest of the World Trade Center site, will result in more than $14 billion of economic activity and when completed will serve as a center for economic growth for decades to come.”