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WTC DelayWire: Towers May Be Shops Now, Offices Later

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Behold! Our updated, wildly confusing World Trade Center timeline infographic! Hey, what's with the question mark on Lord Norman Foster's diamond-topped Tower 2, and Sir Richard Rogers' bulgy-bottomed Tower 3? Brace. The Downtown Express has an extensive interview with the Port Authority's WTC czar Chris Ward?the guy who's supposed to be exuding confidence about the delay-plagued redevelopment of ground zero?and he has some frightening words about the fate of these two skyscrapers. He floats the prospect of new delays for the Larry Silverstein-developed towers, explaining, "It would be naïve to think real estate can respond in the same way it was expected to respond in 2006," and then comes the hammer:

If Towers 2 and 3 do not rise over the next several years, as was expected, Ward promised that something temporary would go in their place. One possibility is to build a retail-filled podium of several stories, then add the skyscrapers when the economy improves. Another possibility is to build a platform at grade. No matter what, the sites will not remain fenced off behind barriers indefinitely.Are a pair of malls or empty platforms really that much better than fenced-off voids? Yes, says Ward: "This will not be left a construction site. The last thing that's good economically and the last thing for the community is to?have it feel like some pit." Fumihiko Maki's somewhat bland Tower 4 is safe because the Port Authority and city have already pledged to lease most of the space.
· Port: Recession could change W.T.C. timeline [Downtown Express]
· Ladies & Gentlemen, Your New and Improved WTC Timetable! (Results Not Guaranteed.) [Curbed]
· WTC Shocker: Merrill Lynch Dumps Freedom's Friend [Curbed]