Date:  Jun 14, 2012

Press Release Number:  90


PRESIDENT OBAMA AND FIRST LADY VISIT ONE WORLD TRADE CENTER

UPDATED. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Port Authority Chairman David Samson, Vice Chair Scott Rechler, Executive Director Pat Foye and Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni welcomed President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to One World Trade Center today for a private tour and briefing on the progress of construction. The iconic building is New York's tallest structure and will be the highest building in the Western Hemisphere, when completed.

The President and First Lady's visit—their first return to the site since the tenth anniversary of 9/11—comes shortly before construction workers are expected to top off the 104th floor of One World Trade Center at 1,368 feet above street level. When finished, One World Trade Center, which is already 55% leased, will stand 1,776 feet tall, including a 408-foot spire.

In honor of the President and First Lady's visit to the site on Flag Day, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey flew the largest free-flowing flag in the country from the side of One World Trade Center. The agency also will be lighting the building at night in red, white, and blue.

During the walk-through, Governors Cuomo and Christie and Port Authority leadership highlighted the significance of progress at the site to the rebirth of Lower Manhattan. They briefed the President and First Lady on the development at the vast construction site, the materials used on the project, and the building's security features that will make it the safest commercial office building constructed to date. They also discussed the structure's green building design and progress on the site's Transportation Hub, which will serve as the Grand Central Terminal for downtown. More than $2.5 billion in federal funding from the Federal Transit Administration is included in the Hub project. The group also discussed the soon-to-be reached topping out milestone, which is when ironworkers will install the final beam, marking completion of the building's steel framework.

While on site, the President and First Lady greeted some of the men and women who are among the thousands of union workers helping to make the site a reality. More than 3,500 men and women from more than 60 union trades work on the site, with more than 1,000 devoted to building One World Trade Center.

During the tour, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Governors Cuomo and Christie, and Mayor Bloomberg signed a steel beam that is part of One World Trade Center's superstructure. Workers will install it when the structure's steel framework nears completion. Workers installed the first beam at the building in December 2006.

"The rebuilding of One World Trade Center and the entire World Trade Center site symbolizes the hard work and resilience of thousands of men and women from New York and around the region," said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. "I am honored that President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama joined us today to witness their remarkable accomplishments. America was built from the ground up by our skilled and dedicated work force, and there is no better day than Flag Day for the President and First Lady to see how high we've risen."

"As One World Trade center continues to fill the void left in the Manhattan skyline, I am honored to join President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to celebrate Flag Day," said Governor Chris Christie. "As the date for topping out draws near, the Port Authority is fulfilling its commitment to the region and the nation to rebuild the World Trade Center site."

"All of us at the Port Authority are honored to have President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama join us this Flag Day," said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. "There is nothing more fitting than to have the leader of our nation and the First Lady here with us today as we prepare to move ahead into the final phase of construction at One World Trade Center. Just as the American flag serves as a symbol of hope and freedom around the world, the rebuilt World Trade Center site will send an unmistakable message across the globe about the character of our nation, the resilience of our city, and the strength and determination of our people."

"The World Trade Center site is a shining example of how public sector investments deliver dividends in the form of private-sector jobs and economic growth," said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler. "Projects like this have been the backbone of our economy during difficult times, creating thousands of jobs and stimulating more than $3.7 billion in wages and $14.5 billion in regional economic activity. The Port Authority is proud to showcase this world-renowned asset to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama during their visit to New York."

"Just as President Obama has represented hope and change for millions of Americans, One World Trade Center will serve as a symbol of the resilience and eternal optimism of our nation," said Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye. "We are honored to brief President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on how it will stand as the centerpiece of a reborn Lower Manhattan and help usher in a prosperous new future for those who live and do business downtown."

"The people of New York and New Jersey can be proud of the nonstop effort the Port Authority is making to rebuild the World Trade Center," said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. "Every day, thousands of construction workers from both sides of the Hudson are creating a new Lower Manhattan where millions will come to work, commute, and visit, and we are honored to have the President and First Lady with us."

Governors Cuomo and Christie and Port Authority leaders briefed President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on the scope of the 16-acre site plan, which is instrumental in restoring vitality to downtown. They pointed out the security and safety measures at One World Trade Center, which will make it the strongest office building in the world. Features include structural redundancy, enhanced fireproofing, extra-wide pressurized exit stairs, concrete-protected sprinklers, enhanced emergency communication cabling, dedicated staircases for use only by firefighters, and a protected tenant gathering point on each floor.

They also highlighted the Port Authority's commitment to environmental sustainability at the site. One World Trade Center aims to be one of the most sustainable office buildings of its size and achieve LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The tower seeks to be 20 percent more energy efficient than New York State standards, which will result in lower energy expenses, lower operating costs, better access to natural light through floor to ceiling glass windows, and highly filtered air.

One World Trade Center will serve as the headquarters of Condé Nast, a world-class publisher, which will occupy more than 1.2 million square feet covering 25 floors. The Vantone China Center leased 190,000 square feet and the Port Authority and its equity partner the Durst Organization are currently finalizing an agreement with the U.S. General Services Administration to lease six floors. This lease would bring federal offices to One World Trade Center.

One World Trade Center, whose construction is overseen by Tishman Construction, marked a major milestone in late April when it became the tallest building in New York after surpassing the height of the roofline of the Empire State Building. To get to its present height, construction workers have used approximately 48,000 tons of structural steel and 200,000 cubic yards of concrete—more than enough for a four-foot-wide sidewalk from New York to Chicago. When complete, the building will contain approximately 3,000,000 square feet of office space and one million square feet of glass façade—enough