Despite calls for more overall planning of the WTC site, Larry Silverstein is pushing ahead with plans to start construction to rebuild No.7 World Trade Center, which collapsed several hours after the twin towers on Sept. 11.
The building, which was home to a New York Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission and housed Con Edison’s power generators for much of lower Manhattan, was constructed by Silverstein in the 1980’s, and was not part of the leasing contract with the Port Authority that covered the twin towers. It’s also not part of the dispute with Swiss Re and other insurance companies over whether the collapse of the two buildings was one occurrence or two, which would double any eventual recovery.
According to an article in The New York Times, most regulatory authorities, including the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Port Authority, are inclined to support Silverstein’s efforts to rebuild No. 7, despite the fact that no overall plan to rebuild the stricken area has yet been adopted.
The general feeling is that the area would benefit from the early construction, and that the new complex could be integrated into whatever plan is eventually given the go ahead. Silverstein has indicated that he will reconstruct the property in such a way that Greenwich Street could be reconnected, a proposal with broad support.
Meanwhile discussions are continuing between the various groups and committees as to the eventual form the reconstruction of the WTC site will take. While the building at No. 7 will be slightly smaller than the original, it will have the same basic format, while no one has seriously proposed rebuilding the two 110 story WTC towers as they were before Sept. 11.