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World Trade Center Rebuilding May Finish by 2014, Officials Say

Four office towers, a transit center designed by Santiago Calatrava, a memorial and museum at the downtown Manhattan site of the World Trade Center may be complete by 2014, according to city and state officials.

About 250,000 people a day will be working and visiting the complex, developer Larry Silverstein said today at a news briefing at 7 World Trade Center, a 52-story office building across a street from where the twin towers stood. Finished in 2006, it is the first of several planned for the site.

A landscaped outdoor memorial featuring a walkway through a grove of trees will adorn the site by next year’s 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attack, which killed 2,752, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum, adjacent to the open plaza, will be completed in 2012, said Bloomberg, who also serves as chairman of the museum.

The Alliance for Downtown New York, an association of lower Manhattan businesses, said it expects the neighborhood to attract about 12 million tourists in 2012, double the current level. Construction work on the project’s signature 1,776-foot building, 1 World Trade Center, has reached the 36th floor. The tower will be done by 2013, said Christopher Ward, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Conde Nast has said it intends to lease 1 million square feet in the tower. Silverstein said he expects to have $3 billion in construction contracts on three buildings by next year.

August Agreement

Last month, the Port Authority, which owns the lower Manhattan site, approved an accord withSilverstein to help finance two skyscrapers, consistent with a March agreement. The accord ended a dispute of more than a year’s duration.

Silverstein, 79, who signed a 99-year lease for the trade center just six weeks before the 2001 attacks, has the right to build three towers. One World Trade Center is being built by the Port Authority, which took over the project in 2006.

The agreement with Silverstein included a “cash trap” provision ensuring that the Port Authority and other public entities get repaid before he and other private investors reap any profit from the two buildings under his control.

The project experienced delays that spanned the administrations of three New York governors and at least four in New Jersey. They each had to resolve disputes among themselves, Silverstein, Mayor Bloomberg and officials of the Port Authority, which owns the site.

“It’s very difficult to see progress when the action is mostly negotiations,” Bloomberg said. Nine years is not a long time, considering the complexity of the job, he said.

Residential development in the nine years since the attack has changed the nature of a neighborhood, doubling the number of people who live there to almost 60,000, according to state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat who represents lower Manhattan.

The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Goldman in New York City Hall at hgoldman@bloomberg.net.

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