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Big-time dignitaries visited New York's World Trade Center site last week: ULI Baltimore headed up the East Coast to meet with Silverstein Properties on Friday. And, presumably when he heard ULI was in town, British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha visited the site, too. (Albeit the day before.)
Dan Pallace and Jeremy Moss at 7 WTC, NYC, on March 16, 2012
We snapped Merritt Properties' Dan Pallace (ULI Baltimore chair) and Silverstein Properties' Jeremy Moss, who says every component of the 16-acre, seven-structure WTC is under some phase of construction. Towers 2 and 3 are awaiting tenants and financing to start going up, but...

1 WTC on March 16, 2012
We also snapped the 2.6M SF, 105-story, 1,776-foot-tall Freedom Tower (1 World Trade). Steel is above Floor 92, and the facade is above Floor 70. A 400-foot antenna will go up in the summer. The building will be the Western Hemisphere's tallest; the antenna will help the tower reach that height but willl also broadcast radio and TV signals. It'll open in late 2013 and so far is leased to the State of New York, China Center, and Conde Nast (1M SF). Law firm Chadbourne & Parke planned to lease 300k SF, but the fate of that deal came into question today.

4 WTC on March 16, 2012
Construction on 4 WTC began in February '08. The curtain wall began last April and is now above Floor 43. Steel is 20 stories higher. It'll be 72 stories and 1.8M SF and will open in 2013. So far, only public tenants have agreed to lease there: 582k SF for NYC's Human Resources Administration and 800k SF for the Port Authority of NY & NJ, which owns the WTC land. (Silverstein has a long-term ground lease, signed just two months before the attacks.)
WTC on March 16, 2012
Here's part of the construction site as viewed from the 10th floor of 7 WTC. The 52-story tower, completed in '06, overlooks the coming Greenwich Street. The old WTC site didn't have through-traffic, but New Yorkers will once again be able to travel between Tribeca and Battery Park in a straight line. MSCI, Moody's, and Silverstein have space in 7 WTC.
National September 11 Memorial on March 16, 2012
Just to the west you can see one of the 9/11 memorial's two reflecting pools. The southern one sits just to the right of Greenwich Street, behind the National September 11 Museum that's still under construction. The museum opened to families on Sept. 11, 2011, but below-grade work on the 100k SF building continues and it'll open to the public this September. Jeremy says Greenwich Street also serves to separate the commercial interests on the east from the memorial. No retail will face the memorial and instead will be a block removed, on Church Street.
Tommy Eckes, Caroline Moore, and Sean Davis at 7 WTC, NYC, on March 16, 2012
We snapped Morris & Ritchie Associates' Tommy Eckes and Sean Davis with Ekistics CEO Caroline Moore in front of an illuminated model of the WTC plan. We were thankful for Caroline's beacon-like bright green jacket as we wended our way around the construction site and through security to the 9/11 memorial park. It's a crowded scene, with a fully operating residential, commercial, and retail neighborhood surrounding eight acres of active skyscraper construction, an eight-acre park, and plenty of traffic.
Stewart White, Bryce Turner, and Steve Rubin at 7 WTC, NYC, on March 16, 2012
They might be giants: Design Collective's Stewart White, Brown Craig Turner Architects' Bryce Turner, and Harkins Builders' Steve Rubin. Jeremy made the Baltimore crowd gasp by telling them the complex will include only 300 parking spaces. However, underneath will be a transportation complex that connects to every single subway line, plus the New Jersey PATH train system. The Calatrava-designed transit hub there will be roughly the size of Grand Central.
Kristen Schrader, Terry Anne Hearn, and John Parkinson at 7 WTC, NYC, on March 16, 2012
Here's Christopher Consultants' Kristen Schrader, Commercial Settlement Services' Terry Anne Hearn, and ULI New York exec director John Parkinson. Jeremy also says 3 WTC originally was designed with 70k SF floorplates on the lower floors to appeal to financial firms like Merrill and UBS that craved trading floors. After the downturn, those firms are out as tenants and trading floors have become less of a commodity, but media companies are finding creative uses for those floors, such as studio or event space.
Judy James and Lauren Reiser at National September 11 Memorial on March 16, 2012
Down at the memorial, we snapped Arris' Judy James and Lauren Reiser in front of the Survivor Tree, a pear tree planted decades ago that survived not only the 9/11 attacks but also being uprooted by a storm in the Bronx and, after being returned to the WTC site in December 2010, last summer's Hurricane Irene. So what of security at the new WTC buildings? The stairways are 20% wider and have "rest areas," plus the air is compressed to keep out smoke. The biggest measure is a concrete core for each building. Jeremy says that's happening more internationally, though New York's One Bryant Park also has one.
southern reflecting pool at National September 11 Memorial on March 16, 2012
This shot of the southern reflecting pool looking east, including names of some of the first responders who died there, shows the footprint of the WTC southern tower, which was struck second, at 9:03am, and fell first, at 9:59am.