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14 years after 9/11, One World Trade Center lacks the bustle of the old Twin Towers

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Following the aftermath of the September 2001 attacks in New York, Larry Silverstein, the property developer who had bought the lease to the World Trade Center for more than $3 billion, vowed he would rebuild.

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By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
5/29/2015 (6 years ago)

Published in Business & Economics

Keywords: New York, World Trade Center, U.S., 9/11

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Almost a decade and a half after the attacks, the new One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the western hemisphere, has been opened to the public. However, instead of replacing the business hub that was the twin towers, it seems to have floundered.

For half a year the One World Trade Center has been open, a third of the office space in the building remains empty. Some economists believe this is because the 2008 financial crisis hit financial and law firms particularly hard; these businesses have still not fully recovered and are no longer the most in demand service in New York.

Now it is media companies and technology start-ups that dominate in markets like New York, and while these have grabbed up space in the new world trade center, banks and other financial institutions haven't been lured back.

"We haven't really seen any major financial institutions make a play for the trade center the way tech and publishing have," said Michael Cohen, the president of the tri-state New York area at Colliers.

"For big banks, staying put is the cheapest alternative, and [financial institutions] are all about cost control."

While the influx of media and tech companies has boosted the value of property in Manhattan to between $20 to $30 per square foot, it has made life more complicated for landlords who intend to make money off of long term renters. Media and start-ups are far less likely to commit to long leases or expensive spaces, because of the uncertainty behind any tech-based company.

They also care more about aesthetics and atmosphere around a building and do not centralize authority in a few people. This means that start-ups may bound in and out of a property and landlords can not be certain when or if they'll make their money back.

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