World Trade Center Returns to New York Skyline

By: Aaron Smith, CNN
By: Aaron Smith, CNN

Eleven years after terrorist attacks destroyed New York's World Trade Center, the replacement towers are finally taking shape and attracting new tenants -- even though most of the site's buildings are still under construction.

The most prominent -- the tower known as 1 WTC - is scheduled for completion in 2014, with 90 floors and 3 million square feet.

"It's going to be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere," said Port Authority spokeswoman Jackie Yodashkin, who says 55% of the 3 million square feet has been leased. Owned by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, the flagship tower will house the global headquarters of media company Condé Nast, which will occupy over a third of the building.

It will also be home to the General Services Administration, a federal agency, and the Vantone China Center, a liaison for U.S. and Chinese businesses.

Reconstruction on the 16-acre site began in November 2002, more than a year after the World Trade Center towers were destroyed in a terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001. The one fully completed building, the 52-story 7 WTC, has leased 100% of its 1.7 million square feet, according to Dara McQuillan, spokesman for owner Silverstein Properties. The building officially opened in May 2006 and signed its final two leases last year.

"It's what you would call a home run in professional real estate speak," said Dan Fasulo, managing director for Real Capital Analytics, a commercial real estate research firm. "Larry [Silverstein, the property's developer] was able to complete a world-class building in a very short amount of time, and was able to rent out the building for what a lot of people didn't think was possible."

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