Janet Babin, Economic Development Reporter, WNYC News
Janet Babin is a reporter at WNYC covering economic development.
A design flaw in the loading docks at the new One World Trade Center site could end up costing the Port Authority millions of dollars.
Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said Tuesday the loading dock under One World Trade Center won't be finished in time for tenants to move their equipment into the 104-story tower. So it's building five temporary loading bays above ground. Foye called the loading dock problem a “design miss.”
He continued, "Should it have been caught? The answer is, probably."
At issue is the roadway that the loading docks will connect to. That road has to go through two buildings, and they won’t be finished before One World Trade Center is open. That’s why the temporary docks will have to be built.
The Port Authority had no additional comments on the total additional cost of the temporary loading docks. But the building’s leasing agent said it’s not concerned. Jordan Barowitz, spokesman for the leasing agent, the Durst Organization, said Conde Nast knew about the temporary loading docks and still signed on for more space. “Conde Nast has leased a total of 1.1-million square feet,” said Barowitz.
The building is more than 50 percent leased and is not expected to open for one-and-a-half more years.
The temporary Path Station is also part of the problem. A temporary station that was built for the Port Authority Trans Hudson subway can't be dismantled to make way for underground freight areas until crews finish the permanent station.
Barowitz said the Path station has to go out of commission, be torn down and underground foundation work on that building has to be done for the roadway to connect to the loading dock, “and that won't be finished till after One World Trade is to be open,” Barowitz said.
The Wall Street Journal on Monday reported that the cost of the building has soared to $3.8 billion, $700 million more than the last publicly released estimate in 2008. But Foye would not confirm that figure. Governor Chris Christie also had no comment on the loading docks. Calls placed to Governor Andrew Cuomo's office for comment were not returned.