World Trade Center reopens for business, 13 years after 9/11

LOWER MANHATTAN -- Thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attack, the resurrected World Trade Center is open for business.

It's an emotional milestone for both New Yorkers and the nation.

Publishing giant Conde Nast started moving into One World Trade Center from Times Square Monday, occupying floors 20 to 44, with 3,400 writers, editors and ad executives from 18 magazines.

The 104-story, $3.9 billion skyscraper dominates the Manhattan skyline and is America's tallest building.

The building is about 60 percent leased, but the observation deck won't open untin the spring.

The eight-year construction of the 1,700-foot tall skyscraper came after years of political bickering.

"The New York City skyline is whole again, as One World Trade Center takes its place in Lower Manhattan," said Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey that owns both the building and the World Trade Center site. "(It) sets new standards of design, construction, prestige and sustainability; the opening of this iconic building is a major milestone in the transformation of Lower Manhattan into a thriving 24/7 neighborhood."

But the opening of One World Trade is about more than economics, it's about moving Lower Manhattan out of the past and into the future. It is a sparkling glass and metal symbol of the revitalization of area, which now boasts 60,000 residents, three times more than before 9/11.

With construction fences gone and boxes of office equipment in place, Conde Nast CEO Chuck Townsend walked into what Foye calls "the most secure office building in America."

"It's a great day for New York City, and it's an absolutely great day for Conde Nast," Townsend said.

Only about 170 of his company's 3,400 employees are moving in now, filling five floors of the tower, said Patricia Rockenwagner, a Conde Nast vice president and spokeswoman. About 3,000 more will arrive by early 2015.

Other parts of the building's 80,000 square feet will be going to the advertising firm Kids Creative, the stadium operator Legends Hospitality, the BMB Group investment adviser, and Servcorp, a provider of executive offices.

The government's General Services Administration signed up for 275,000 square feet, and the China Center, a trade and cultural facility, will cover 191,000 square feet.

From the northeast corner of the site, the tower overlooks the National September 11 Memorial & Museum built in the footprints of the twin towers. Its stated aim is to honor those who perished on that sunny September morning.

(Some information from the Associated Press.)

Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.