Discuss as:

As One World Trade Center soars, so do its costs

One World Trade Center, the central skyscraper at Ground Zero, stands under construction on January 30, 2012 in New York City.

At 10 years in the making, One World Trade Center, the skyscraper that’s being constructed at New York City’s Ground Zero, is now the most expensive new office tower in the world, with new estimates of its price tag hitting $3.8 billion, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is managing the construction effort, is expected to release new estimates this week projecting $700 million in additional costs related to higher-than-anticipated construction costs and public leasing expenses, reported the WSJ. The additional expenses make it “by far the world's most expensive new office tower, according to people familiar with the matter,” the Journal said.

“Of the $700 million in additional costs, about $350 million comes from costs associated with leasing such as money given to tenants to build out their offices and commissions for brokers, the people said. That figure assumes the building would be nearly fully occupied. Other increases come from unexpected construction costs, financing costs, fees to consultants and the Durst Organization, and other contingencies,” the WSJ reports.

The Journal reports that the building was originally slated to cost $2 billion, but additional security costs associated with the 1,776-foot height of the building have upped the ante, bringing the estimate to $3.1 billion in 2008. And since its inception, the construction of One World Trade Center has been marked by delays and political infighting that have been reflected in controversial toll hikes for area residents and reduced spending on other transportation projects. The office tower is expected to be completed in 2013.

The Port Authority is currently embroiled in a lawsuit investigating the toll hikes, which it had said were necessary to fund One World Trade Center, but papers it filed in conjunction with the lawsuit revealed that the higher tolls were actually going to be used for unrelated transportation projects.

And though One World Trade Center was never intended to turn a profit, new Port Authority executive director Patrick Foye made a speech last week advocating for its construction to pick up the pace, according to the WSJ. “I believe the agency must refocus on its core mission,” he said.