Most Expensive Office Tower - One World Trade Center
January 31, 2012 - New York
The price tag for One World Trade Center, the signature skyscraper under construction at Ground Zero in New York, has risen to more than $3.8 billion, making it by far the world's most expensive new office tower.
The new figure, up $700 million from the latest public estimate, marks another twist in the rebuilding of the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
One World Trade Center is being built by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the regional transportation agency that owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site.
A series of cost increases at the site, totaling billions over the years, has been reverberating in the area's economy in the form of higher bridge and tunnel tolls and reduced spending on transportation infrastructure.
Continuing delays also have caused the site in the middle of Lower Manhattan to be boarded up for more than 10 years.
Driving the latest increase: construction-cost overruns and a decision by the Port Authority to now include leasing expenses in its public estimates.
Those leasing costs are higher than the Port Authority had privately anticipated, people familiar with the matter said. The higher number is expected to be released as early as this week in an audit by the agency.
One World Trade Center's construction is vastly more expensive than a traditional office tower, in large part due to security costs associated with building the tallest building in North America on a site that has been the target of two separate terrorist attacks.
Once known as the Freedom Tower, the 1,776-foot skyscraper sits atop a heavily reinforced, windowless podium. It also has a thick core of concrete and steel around its elevator shafts.
By comparison, other-high profile buildings around the world have been far less expensive. The developer of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, in Dubai, has put its cost at $1.5 billion.
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