More Fun at the Freedom Tower

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Even the Port Authority, which owns the World Trade Center site, has refused to move into the Freedom Tower:

"Twice these people were the subject of that attack, and I am not going to ask them to move into that building," [Port Authority chairman Anthony] Coscia said. "I'll resign, but I won't ask them to move into that building."

Coscia's bold declaration of common sense didn't stop federal and state agencies from committing to lease nearly half the space in the Freedom Tower this weekend.

I told you so.

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  1. The Freedom Tower.
    Full of government agencies.
    Excuse me while I gag on the (unintended) irony.

  2. I see the point, but on the other hand, what would you Mangu Ward suggest in the alternative? Arcitecture issues aside, you can’t leave the area as a hole forever. Someone has to move in there. It is easy to say nasty things about how dumb the people who do are, but what alternative would you suggest?

  3. I see the point, but on the other hand, what would you Mangu Ward suggest in the alternative? Arcitecture issues aside, you can’t leave the area as a hole forever. Someone has to move in there. It is easy to say nasty things about how dumb the people who do are, but what alternative would you suggest?

  4. I see the point, but on the other hand, what would you Mangu Ward suggest in the alternative? Arcitecture issues aside, you can’t leave the area as a hole forever. Someone has to move in there. It is easy to say nasty things about how dumb the people who do are, but what alternative would you suggest?

  5. Maybe they will put the ministry of information there.

    All kidding aside, I find this odd being that just yesterday I read the Port Authority has agreed to lease about 1 million square feet Along with the Federal government around 610,000 square ft. and State government with about 400,00 square ft. All at the above market rate of $59 per square ft. Do the math to figure how much this will cost taxpayer per month. I think I read that in the Metro newspaper. If I find a link to the story I will post it.

  6. And on top of taking office space that pretty much everybody else is smart enough not to want, instead of getting it at a discount, like you might expect for an unpopular property, they’re paying a rate of about 50% more than the going rate for office space in that neighborhood. I guess when it’s just other people’s money, who cares?

  7. Here is the link. http://ny.metro.us/metro/local/article/Freedoms_tenants/4540.html

    “””The deal is contingent on the city, state and federal governments, and the Port Authority, to lease more than 2 million square feet in the Freedom Tower and one of Silverstein?s other towers. The Port Authority was on the hook for at least 1 million square feet.”””

    I guess we can expect Anthony Coscia resignation soon.

    From John
    “”Arcitecture issues aside, you can’t leave the area as a hole forever. Someone has to move in there. “””

    No HAS to move in there, it CAN be a hole, maybe not forever, but for a long time, though I doubt it will be. They could make it a park or something if they wanted.

    I have a feeling the Freedom tower will end up being a failure in occupancy. There is no doubt it will be a prime terrorist target. (like much of Manhattan isn’t) I take back my prior hole comment, it may be a hole forever, not a physical hole, but a financial hole.

    The only tenents they can get are government, which means the taxpayer is going to foot the bill, maybe for it’s entire existence and it’s going to be EXPENSIVE. Two million square feet at $59 per foot. That’s 118 million a month, 1.416 Billion a year of taxpayer’s money for renting office space in a one block area. (yeah, I do know it a bigger block than the manhattan norm.)

    And think about the insurance!

    Yep, my prediction is that the Freedom Tower will be as successful as Bush’s ability to bring freedom to the world.

  8. I would just like to say, I commented on the price without having seen TrickyVic’s comment first. Stupid server squirrels.

  9. My suggestion: give the land back to the ones who owned it before it was ED’d to make room for the World Trade Center, and let it become a regular city neighborhood rather than a behemoth building nobody wants to rent.

    If I worked for a company that wanted to move me to an office on the 80th or 90th floor of a terrorist magnet I would quit rather than work for someone with so little regard for his employees’ safety and sensibilities.

  10. Has a colossal statue of Uncle Sam been proposed? With an arm sweeping out with middle finger extended? Designed with modern GPS technology to point to the most likely whereabouts of bin Laden? That way, we get to complete our act of defiance without trying to con someone into working in a gigantic bullseye.

  11. It is easy to say nasty things about how dumb the people who do are, but what alternative would you suggest?

    Well, maybe a more modest building that isn’t trying to set height records or send a message to the world, but is intended simply to meet the anticipated local demand for office space.

  12. Well, maybe a more modest building that isn’t trying to set height records or send a message to the world, but is intended simply to meet the anticipated local demand for office space.

    Nonsense. That would send the subliminal message that America’s collective penis is on the small side, and the terrorists will have won. No, we need a big huge honkin’ building, even if nobody rents space there, so that we can send terrorists the following vital message: “Look how big this sucker is! Our dick is bigger than yours!”

    If we live within our means and only build what we need and can afford, we may as well put a burka on the Statue of Liberty.

  13. That would send the subliminal message that America’s collective penis is on the small side, and the terrorists will have won. No, we need a big huge honkin’ building, even if nobody rents space there, so that we can send terrorists the following vital message: “Look how big this sucker is! Our dick is bigger than yours!”

    Well, in that case, why don’t we just erect a 1,776 foot stone penis on the site, and let it go at that?

  14. Well, in that case, why don’t we just erect a 1,776 foot stone penis on the site, and let it go at that?

    Because I’m not the one in charge of the decision.

  15. By the way: it needs to be circumsized, so the terrorists will go all batshit about Tha Joooooos.

  16. “By the way: it needs to be circumsized, so the terrorists will go all batshit about Tha Joooooos.”

    Ahem, Muslims also frequently practice circumcision, although it is apparently not specifically required by the Quran.

  17. Oh yes every tall building is just a big penis. Jesus Jennifer, are you on a time warp from the 1970s?

    Tricky Vic,

    The building will fail in occupancy because the original buildings were white elephants built to for the ego of Robert Moses. The buildings were never full and never made sense commercially. Only someone as stupid as a jihadist could think that they were destroying anything important when they took down the towers. Of course they are important now because of all of the people who died there. The irony is that the twin towers were a taxpayer boondogle and should have never been built in the first place.

    I don’t know what they should do. Part of me thinks they should fill in the hole and build a nice memorial, but that is a lot of prime real estate to leve completely unoccupied. Building another white elephant doesn’t make much sense either. At the same time, turning it over to the private sector to build whatever the market will hold seems pretty disrespectful to. I don’t see a good option.

  18. It’ll just be the world’s most expensive warehouse.

    But I’m waiting for some Republican to suggest it be used to warehouse teh gays. After all, he’ll explain, 9/11 was their fault.

  19. If I were in charge they’d build a movie theater there, and show footage of Bin Laden being captured.

    But first we’d have to capture him. Maybe somebody should get on that.

  20. “maybe a more modest building that isn’t trying to set height records”

    Of course what’s really funny is that they’ve screwed around with the thing so long that there will be three or four other taller buildings already completed by the time it’s built.

  21. I have a feeling the Freedom tower will end up being a failure in occupancy.

    That’s what they said about the original WTC and about the Empire State Bldg too.

    The buildings were never full

    John, you’re way behind. The buildings were full and economically profitable at least since the 90s. Why else would Silverstein take over the lease?

    The irony is that the twin towers were a taxpayer boondogle and should have never been built in the first place.

    You’re right about that. But all huge buildings are something of a boondoggle. At least given how much office space was destroyed, and given the current real estate market, it’s hard to believe the new buildings won’t fill up. It might help things along to, say, lay a(nother) cornerstone or something.

  22. How’s this?

    Reserve a small parcel for a small park with a discrete, respectful memorial to the victims of the terrorist attacks and auction off the balance to be developed in accordance with market needs.

    Next to restoring the status quo ante the destruction of the original neighborhood that’s probably the best (and the only actual practical) solution.

    Let the Port Authority quit being a real estate developer and go back to managing transportation infrastructure.

    Oh, that’s probably too radical for New York.

  23. To add to thoreau’s concept, what about a 1,776-foot tall spike with bin Laden’s head on it? Oh, with a webcam? Nothing says deterrence like a spike with a head on it. Radical Muslims would respect that sort of thing, too: “Whoa, sorry. Didn’t know y’all were crazy like us. We’ll just go back to mucking around here in the Middle East. Again, our apologies.” And yes, “y’all” is found in Arabic.

  24. Pro,

    I like that idea. A spike with a head on it would work well for me. I always like the concept floating around the internet with the two shorter towers and one big middle one facing meca.

    Rywyin.

    I never realized the towers ever were profitable.

  25. It is easy to say nasty things about how dumb the people who do are, but what alternative would you suggest?

    Sell the site to the highest bidder, and let them whatever they want with it. Maybe throw in a covenant that they have to put up some kind of memorial plaque.

    Trying to figure out what to have for lunch is harder than trying to figure out what to do with the WTC site.

  26. I’m with Jennifer and R C Dean (never thought I’d say that!). Privatize, privatize, privatize!

  27. I never realized the towers ever were profitable.

    Well, I have to admit I don’t know it 100%, but I can’t imagine a private individual taking it over if it weren’t. I’m pretty sure most of the office space was taken up by private businesses. I’d be curious to find exact figures.

    put up some kind of memorial plaque

    So who wants to be the businessman who gets to tell all the victims’ survivors that all they’re getting is a plaque – after years of promises to memorialize the “footprints”?

  28. I always got the impression that skyscrapers aren’t profitable at all; rather, they are built and maintained to serve the ego of the owners. Kind of like some sports franchises. When I lived in Chicago, it seemed like the Sears Tower was always half vacant. I suppose New York might have sufficient demand for space to fill a World Trade Center, but whether operating buildings like that is really cost effective is another question altogether. Any studies on this issue?

  29. Oh yes every tall building is just a big penis.

    No, not every tall building. But the Freedom Tower most likely will be. Let the land become a regular neighborhood, rather than an architectural monstrosity surrounded by a barren concrete plain devoid of people, which is all the ugly WTC plaza ever was.

  30. So you won’t go into the building but, as the owner and lessor of the property, you’re going to try to get other people to go into it. And make a tidy profit out of the deal.

    Not so different from your typical slumlord, really.

  31. Has anyone seriously suggested putting the new Jets/Giants staidum on the site? Seems to me to be a win/win.

    Once again, I hope this isn’t a double, but the squirrels puked the last time I sent this.

  32. So who wants to be the businessman who gets to tell all the victims’ survivors that all they’re getting is a plaque – after years of promises to memorialize the “footprints”?

    ohh, ohh, me, me! I think I’d open with this:

    People die every day, all over the world. Most often for no reason. Frequently in ways more painful and after lives less priviledged and fulfilling than those individuals you knew and loved who died 9/11. Your friends and family are no more important than they are. So get over it.

    Oh yeah, here’s a plaque. So, you know, enjoy.

  33. My suggestion: give the land back to the ones who owned it before it was ED’d to make room for the World Trade Center…

    Yes! Make it a combination park/Indian reservation. I like that.

  34. Who, in his right mind, would work in that building?

    I’m not a bed-wetter, I don’t really fear terrorists that much, but that doesn’t mean I’d go to a terrorist magnet every freaking day for 8 hours.

  35. Wonder how much insurance will cost at the Freedom Tower? Probably have to get the guv’mint to underwrite that, too.

  36. Oh yeah, here’s a plaque. So, you know, enjoy.

    Well that’s charming and all, but there *is* reality to contend with.

    but that doesn’t mean I’d go to a terrorist magnet every freaking day for 8 hours.

    I wouldn’t worry about it. There are more effective ways to maximize killing, involving any one of various methods we’re totally unprepared for.

  37. I don’t know if the original tribes of Manhattan have survived. I guess their nearest related tribe could get the land, but if it’s recognized as reservation land, New York will have casinos – HORRORS! New York State doesn’t even want the Shinnecocks out on Long Island’s South Fork to have a casino. (And wouldn’t that piss off the Hamptons crowd!)

    BTW, I think the Port Authority is self-insured, so while the Freedom Tower itself won’t have to pay premiums, the PA has to figure an annual average payout for claims into its budget. That means that NY & NJ taxpayers are on the hook for that expense. Non-government tenants will have to find their own insurers.

    A Giants/Jets stadium at the tip of Manhattan is a no-go. There isn’t sufficient bridge and tunnel access from Jersey and LI without taking city streets, and fans driving south from CT, the Bronx and the rest of mainland NY State will have to drive through midtown, too. Yuck! Tailgaters won’t want to “Park and Ride,” either. Too bad, as I would rather see at least the NYFGs play in NY than in NJ, which has already made a deal to replace the current venue.

    Kevin
    (Go, Jints!)

  38. New York State doesn’t even want the Shinnecocks out on Long Island’s South Fork to have a casino.

    New York State already has casinos in Syracuse and Niagara Falls, with more to come. It’s probably the Hamptons crowd that will keep it off that part of Long Island.

    A Giants/Jets stadium at the tip of Manhattan is a no-go.

    I totally agree. These last thing Manhattan needs is more goddamn cars.

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