Construction has made major headway on all fronts at the World Trade Center’s Transportation Hub, where spokes are now being attached to the rib-cage. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is building the $3.94 billion structure, which was designed by Santiago Calatrava.
Totaling 800,000 square-feet, the Transit Hub will connect major arteries to a central node directly underneath the new World Trade Center complex. While construction has taken many years, it will soon connect eleven subway lines, also servicing the PATH with three permanent platforms.
The design is impressive, and includes a retractable roof 150 feet above the street. The six underground floors will be warmed by sunlight from above; Calatrava’s inspiration originated with the idea of taking flight, and he has previously stated The Hub “resembles a bird being released from a child’s hand.”
All 114 ribs, or the steel portions that extend upward from street level to the angled sections, have now been installed; the arches above are also complete. Construction is currently focused on the wings that protrude outward, capping the structure. As of mid-June, over a dozen have been added, though — so far — the majority are on the site’s western side, removed from pedestrian access.
The Westfield Group is developing the retail portion of the Transit Hub, which will have a 365,000 square foot and 150-store underground mall. The Wall Street Journal has reported that 80% of the slots have already signed leases, with rents reportedly running between $400 and $500 per square foot. Big-name tenants already include Tom Ford, Zadig & Voltaire, and Apple; pictures of the interior’s progress have been posted on the site’s Facebook page.
The opening of the Transit Hub should jump-start the rest of the World Trade Center. Fighting between Silverstein and The Port Authority has jeopardized the future of 175 Greenwich Street — aka Three World Trade Center — which could remain on-hold if an agreement is not reached soon. GroupM’s lease has the potential to unravel if private financing is not secured by the end of this month, and the PA has seemingly walked away from the project.
Two World Trade Center’s completion is even further off, and that tower remains in a perpetual state of limbo. Construction fencing lining the site will continue to blight Church Street, and the chaotic pedestrian bottleneck at the intersection of Church and Vesey will remain impassable for the foreseeable future.
Luckily there’s light at the end of one tunnel, and the Transit Hub is set to open in December of 2015.
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