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The building being constructed on the site of the World Trade Centre in New York City has become the most expensive office building project ever undertaken, according to the latest cost estimates on the scheme.
People close to the matter have said that the cost of delivering the building to replace those famously destroyed in terrorist attacks on September 11th 2001 have spiralled to more than $3.8 billion (£2.4 billion).
The Wall Street Journal broke the news that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has had to spend vastly more than initially anticipated to add the new World Trade Centre to the Manhattan skyline and that the price tag is now the highest for any office tower ever built.
Political wrangling has dogged the new World Trade Centre project, as have construction cost over-runs, but the price now associated with the scheme is nevertheless remarkable as it amounts to more than double the cost of building the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, currently the world’s tallest tower.
The port authority has borne the bulk of the necessary expenditure and has had to subsidise its initial budget by increasing tolls on bridges around New York in recent years, the Journal reports.
However, it is widely understood that the new office space tower was always being built primarily as a political and symbolic gesture rather than on the basis of pure commercial property investment strategy. Although there has been plenty of interest from major international companies in leasing the offices space that will eventually be made available to rent.
“This is not a project that’s standing on its own – it was never intended to be,” remarked Robert Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association, a non-profit group based in New York.
A recent report on office space from the research group Reis Inc showed that vacancy rates fell on average across America during the fourth quarter of 2011, with new supplies of high quality offices running notably short in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.