New York, June 12 (IANS): A new World Trade Centre skyscraper was opened for business in New York city, 16 years after the 2001 terror attacks.
The 80-storey known as 3 World Trade Centre, which rises to 1,079 feet, opened on Monday after years of delay and lack of funding and marks the fifth tallest building in the city, Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.
The tower, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning British architect Richard Rogers, becomes the second-to-last building to open on the 16-acre site where about 2,700 people were killed when hijacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Centre twin towers in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called the building “a soaring symbol of revitalisation of downtown New York City and a testament to the enduring spirit of New Yorkers after 9/11”.
Around 40 per cent of the office spaces in the building, which features column-free stories equipped with full-height glass windows, have been leased, Larry Silverstein, Chairman of trade centre developer Silverstein Properties, said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Tenants include media investment firm GroupM, stock exchange company IEX and management consulting firm McKinsey.
Since the September 11 attacks, efforts to rebuild the World Trade Centre have been stalled by disputes among government agencies, insurers and the victims’ families who wanted the entire site to be preserved as a memorial.
The construction of the building was also temporarily halted due to lack of funds during the financial crisis, an associate with Silverstein Properties told Xinhua.
The CEO of Silverstein Properties, Marty Burger, called this new tower “phenomenal” as it is sitting on one of the best transportation systems in the world.
“We’re all proud of being here today. Seventeen years into rebuilding the World Trade Centre, it’s a very important day. It’s the largest building we’ve ever built, and we’re excited to show it off to the world,” said Burger.