The continent’s tallest skyscraper is now something more than a symbol of a resurgent New York. For the first time today, it’s a working office.
About 175 employees at the publishing giant Conde Nast reported to One World Trade Center this morning, the first wave of 3,400 workers from 18 different magazines who will eventually call the 1,776-foot tower home, the New YorkTimes reported. CEO Chuck Townsend was part of the first group.
Make no mistake: The World Trade Center redevelopment is not complete. One World Trade is still about 42 percent un-leased, and construction on the World Trade Center transit hub continues. Most of the tenants that have signed leases in the skyscraper or other buildings in the complex won’t move in for months. Nevertheless, the return of office life to the place where more than 2,700 died on September 11 is a momentous day.
“Condé Nast’s arrival puts a stiletto in the heart of the outdated notion that Lower Manhattan is stuffy and gray,” Downtown Alliance president Jessica Lappin told the Times. “They will accelerate the transformation that’s well underway and create additional demand-side pressure for more cool restaurants, art galleries and bars.”
Last week, the moving in got started with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which began filling its space at 4 World Trade, a 72-story building near the 104-story Freedom Tower. Ad-tech firm MediaMath has also signed a lease there.
Since Conde Nast announced it would move from its Bryant Park/Times Square offices in 2011, others from the media world have followed suit, helping backfill the tide of financial firms abandoning lower Manhattan. Time Inc. will move into 225 Liberty Street and advertising firm GroupM will move into 3 World Trade Center.