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Wall Street crisis rattles dreams for new towers at World Trade Center site

Monday, Sept 22, 2008

Wall Street’s wipeout is taking its toll on Ground Zero – sparking fears that a forest of empty towers could rise on the 16-acre site.With jobs and companies disappearing and the tax base under siege, the viability of mega-rebuilding plans at the World Trade Center is on the line, insiders say.

Factor in a glut of office space that’s expected to flood downtown and Depression-era forebodings about the economy and a perfect storm is bearing down on lower Manhattan.

“A tidal wave is coming – and we’re going to be the first ones hit,” said City Councilman Alan Gerson, who represents the district.

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The No. 1 challenge: filling 10.1 million square feet of commercial space in five skyscrapers, much of it designed specifically for financial giants that no longer exist or are struggling to survive.

Hanging in the balance are the iconic, 1,776-foot Freedom Tower to the north, a replacement for the toxic Deutsche Bank tower to the south and three enormous towers on Church St. built by developer Larry Silverstein, including one that will be taller than the Empire State Building.

Full article here [1]