Construction Update: The World Trade Center

Transit Hub and One World Trade CenterTransit Hub and One World Trade Center

Work on the new World Trade Center has continued to move along, and both 150 Greenwich Street and One World Trade Center are closing in on full completion. Tenants have begun moving into both buildings, and as the rest of the site becomes a cohesive whole, it should become a much more attractive location for companies.

150 Greenwich Street, aka Four World Trade Center

150 Greenwich Street, aka Four World Trade Center

Three sides of 150 Greenwich Street have been completely glassed-up for quite some time, but the building’s southern facade is still missing a strip of windows, which has gradually been filling in. Besides the partial lack of glass, sidewalks surrounding the tower have recently opened, and while some fencing remains, the extra space should hopefully begin to alleviate the pedestrian bottlenecks of Church Street, the eastern side of which will remain artificially crowded until the entire World Trade Center opens.

150 Greenwich Street, aka Four World Trade Center

150 Greenwich Street, aka Four World Trade Center

While construction at 175 Greenwich Street is almost ready to resume, work has also sped along at the new Transit Hub, where Calatrava’s spokes have been steadily rising, capping the spine of what’s become Downtown’s most notorious white elephant — though given its appearance and $4-billion price-tag, comparing the structure to a whale may be more appropriate.

Transit Hub and One World Trade Center

Transit Hub and One World Trade Center

Still, the Transit Hub will form a crucial node for the Trade Center’s re-birth, and despite massive cost overruns, the building will centralize transit options for both commuters and tourists, while also enhancing the retail component of the surrounding site.

Next-door, 200 Greenwich remains a mechanical stub, awaiting financing that seems to be on a permanent horizon. Despite its crucial location at the intersection of Vesey and Church Streets — which funnel into the current entrance for the PATH train, at the foot of One World Trade Center — surrounding sidewalks remain fenced off, presenting an enormous logistical nightmare, and frequently forcing pedestrian traffic into Church Street.

Transit Hub spokes and One World Trade Center

Transit Hub spokes and One World Trade Center

Finally, work is almost finished on the site’s tallest building. The last strip of glass is noticeably cleaner than surrounding panes, but once the tower receives a thorough cleaning, all the windows will match. Though the “spire” presents one of the most unfortunate instances of value-engineering in New York City — given it occurred at the highest and most visible point in the entire metropolitan region — it hopefully beckons challengers in both Midtown and Downtown alike.

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center

All in all, the site continues to come together piece by piece. While structural progress is important, the most notable recent changes have actually been at the pedestrian level, and besides sidewalks opening around 150 Greenwich Street, the security checkpoint for the Memorial has also been eliminated, allowing humans to flow through the site once more.

Completion of the entire World Trade Center is tentatively slated for 2020, pending financing for 200 Greenwich Street. But slowly — and surely — the site is finally coming together.

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