|March 27, 2002
will be built above ground for several years at the site of the
World Trade Center because of the extensive underground
construction that must be completed first, the chairman of the
group overseeing the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan said
John C. Whitehead, the chairman
of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the joint
city-state agency in charge of planning and coordinating the
redevelopment projects, also said that while a conceptual
outline of the effort would be released within about a month, an
overall master plan for rebuilding the trade center site and
redeveloping parts of the rest of Lower Manhattan would not
emerge for some time.
Rather than publish a single
master plan, the development corporation will lay out details of
major components of its building proposals in a yearlong series
of publications beginning in May, corporation officials said
yesterday. Those publications will focus on individual subjects,
like transportation, residential and commercial development, and
the attraction of arts and cultural institutions.
With work on the recovery of
victims and the cleanup of the site nearing an end, Mr.
Whitehead cautioned against expecting that evidence of the
rebuilding effort would be as tangible as the rapidly
diminishing pile of rubble and the deepening pit that have been
hallmarks of the recovery effort. People
will have to be patient about that, because nothing can be built
yet on the surface of the site itself, the 16 acres, for several
years," he said.
begins, work must first be completed below ground. This will
include rebuilding not only the subway and PATH train systems
that will be part of a new transportation network, but whatever
retail or other commercial space will exist in the six stories
of underground space.
Only after that work is completed
will any structural steel appear above ground, Mr. Whitehead
said. You have to know what
is going to be in the six floors of the 16-acre site underground
before you can plan what is going to be above ground," he
said, addressing a crowd of more than 900 people at a breakfast
meeting sponsored by Crain's New York Business, a weekly
magazine. "And yet people are very eager to know what is
above ground because it's what they're going to see."
Near the area known as ground
zero, however, construction is likely to be visible on the
replacement of 7 World Trade Center later this year. Mr.
Whitehead played down previous reports of a disagreement between
the development corporation and Gov. George E. Pataki or Mayor
Michael R. Bloomberg over how quickly Larry A. Silverstein, the
developer with rights to the ground zero site, should be allowed
to begin construction on that building.
Mr. Silverstein, who hopes to
begin building by midyear, has completed a plan for an office
tower with 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, Mr.
Whitehead said. Other details are likely to be contained in the
rebuilding plans that will begin to emerge from the development
corporation in the coming weeks, agency officials said. The
guiding principles to be released next month will be based on
comments that have come from the advisory committees set up by
the corporation. Those committees, organized according to
constituencies including victims' families, downtown residents,
small businesses and large companies, have been meeting over the
last two months. After the corporation's board adopts the
guiding principles, its planners will develop its yearlong
series of publications.
The first publication, scheduled
for May, will look at the current state of the site and what
actions are needed to restore essential services like mass
transit and utilities, officials said. The second, set for June,
will focus on a regional transportation center, including subway
and commuter rail lines, and will include cost estimates for
One publication will deal
specifically with the selection of a site for a permanent
memorial to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The public will be asked to
comment on the proposals before they are approved.