Delays have plagued the rebuilding process, but officials say the construction and budget are now on track at the 16-acre World Trade Center complex.
“Of course, we all wish we could have gotten it done faster,” said Larry Silverstein, the chairman of WTC developer Silverstein Properties, in a speech on the 67th floor of 4 World Trade Center this week.
“But that does not diminish the pride we all should feel.”
Four World Trade Center, Silverstein’s minimalist 72-story Church Street skyscraper, was officially complete last November and tenants, including the Port Authority, are expected to move in this fall.
Tenants of One World Trade are also slated to move in this fall after the country’s tallest building is deemed ready to open. Media giant Conde Nast will be the skyscraper’s anchor tenant.
A three-level observation deck called One World Observatory will open next year, officials said.
While more work lies ahead, the past year has seen major progress on the site, including the opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, a haunting, underground space that finally launched in May after years of delays caused by funding disputes.
The museum, which houses gargantuan and tiny artifacts of the attacks, is the powerful companion to the tree-dotted memorial plaza, with twin reflecting pools in the footprints of the original Twin Towers.
Coinciding with the opening of the museum, security barriers were taken down at the memorial plaza, allowing for a free flow of visitors to the 8-acre space for the first time.
Nearly 1 million people have visited the museum since it opened in May and more than 10 million people have visited the memorial plaza.
Silverstein’s 3 WTC, another long-delayed project, is also finally moving ahead.
Silverstein was able to secure tenants and raise funds to finish the 80-story tower, which had stalled after seven floors were built. Along with offices, the building will include retail space when it opens in 2018.
But several sites still have a way to go before they’re complete. Construction at 2 WTC, which is expected to rise 88 stories, has barely started. The skyscraper's developers are still searching for needed tenants and financing.
The transportation hub designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava is taking shape and is expected to open in late 2015. The nearly $4 billion white-winged station will connect the PATH trains to 10 subway lines and will include an underground passage to Battery Park City.
A performing arts center is also on the horizon but, according to reports, architect Frank Gehry will no longer be designing the project, which is still years away from construction.
Another project that is up in the air is Tower 5, which was supposed to rise where the Deutsch Bank building once stood, south of the World Trade Center site. A temporary public plaza recently opened on the site but it's unclear what will ultimately be built there.