Tuesday, May 23, 2006

7 World Trade Center Opens

An important step in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan takes place today when 7 World Trade Center opens. The 52-story building is actually across from the World Trade Center site on Greenwich Street and replaces the former building that collapsed late in the afternoon of September 11, 2001.

There won't be many tenants when the building opens, but developer Larry Silverstein thinks it will be at full capacity by this time next year.

In news about The WTC Memorial, it appears that many New Yorkers are as confused as most of us. Only slightly more than $137,000 has been collected from New York State taxpayers regarding the Memorial this year.

This was reported by New York 1 over the weekend:

When it comes to the World Trade Center memorial, most New Yorkers weren’t in a very charitable mood this tax season. Of the 9.5 million taxpayers who had a chance to make a donation as part of their return, fewer than 15,000 actually did. According to the Daily News, which says of the seven charities listed on the tax form, the memorial ranked sixth when it came to donations, bringing in around $150,000. Only the Olympic training center at Lake Placid received fewer dollars. Fundraising efforts for the memorial were recently put on hold amid concerns regarding cost and design. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor George Pataki had put a $500 million budget cap on the project, however some estimate the memorial could cost as much as $1 billion to complete under the current plan.

The road ahead for the Memorial continues to look rough. More and more it looks like New Yorkers are saying they don't like what's going on, and they are saying it with something that makes all politicians sit up and take notice: their pocketbooks.

It may be back to the old drawing board for the Memorial.

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