For other World Trade Centers after September 11, a common name was a burden and a benefit
When the planes struck the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, the name of the World Trade Center was catapulted into global notoriety.
At the time, the South Central Pennsylvania International Network was awaiting application approval for its new brand: the World Trade Center Harrisburg. After the attacks, executive director Tina Weyant said she plans to partner with a developer to build an office tower adorned with the spray mark.
“A guy actually said to me, he was like, ‘What are you expecting from me, build another target? “” Weyant said.
Lack of interest forced Weyant’s group to put their hopes for new offices on the back burner for 14 years. The group eventually partnered with developer John Moran Jr. to rename 1000 North Cameron St. to World Trade Center Harrisburg, with the association moving to a 3K SF office in December 2016.
Approved by economic development organizations around the world, there had always been significant business value attached to being a designated World Trade Center. But in the years since the deadliest attacks on American soil on a World Trade Center, the name was fraught with sorrow and fear.
Two decades later, the weight of these events has lifted and the shine of being a World Trade Center has returned. Licensed World Trade Centers have mushroomed in the United States and abroad, once again anchoring signature real estate projects designed to showcase the weight of a region’s economic development.
“It’s more than fair [a] Mark. It’s like this whole concept of working together on a global scale and moving forward, ”Weyant said.
The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, before September 11, 2001.
Buildings that have adopted the World Trade Center brand in their respective cities have always been visible and valuable office assets even before a World Trade Center moved in, while others have been specially constructed and designed for impress.
A 2012 report by Chicago-based Johnson Consulting commissioned by the World Trade Center Association found that the World Trade Center Istanbul had a 30.8% office rent premium. The Changzhou World Trade Center, Malmo World Trade Center and Panama World Trade Center posted office rent premiums of 25%, 8% and 5.4%, respectively.
Johnson Consulting president and CEO Charlie Johnson, who is also the general manager of the World Trade Center Chicago, said the name of the World Trade Center automatically confers prestige on the building.
“If you look at the tenant base in all the World Trade Centers across the country, around the world, you’ll find the KPMGs, the engineering companies, the law firms,” Johnson said. “So by definition they attract high quality Rolodex tenants around the world. It’s proof in the pudding, in my opinion.
Although two planes entered New York’s World Trade Center directly, giving the brand worldwide notoriety, World Trade Center executives have maintained over the years that the attacks never targeted the World Trade Center itself. same.
“Terrorists are not looking for malls,” then WTCA president Guy Tozzoli told the Baltimore Sun in 2002. “They were looking for two monstrous towers that represented the United States and our power.
Tozzoli, who died in 2013, was a key figure in the formation of the association in 1970 and the construction of New York’s Twin Towers. The association, which aims to promote global trade, does not own any real estate, but leases the name to member associations.
He was also a strong advocate for the World Trade Center brand after 9/11, assuring his member organizations on a de facto media tour that the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2004 said other World Trade Centers never had been targeted. Tozzoli’s sentiment was shared by other key members like John Drew, president of the organization and developer of Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.
“At first it got us thinking, but later we looked at it with less emotion, we realized that not all World Trade Centers are a target,” Drew told the Boston Globe in 2004. “The New York towers were icons.”
The fear of terrorist attacks in office towers was not limited to the buildings of the World Trade Center. SunTrust Plaza, one of Atlanta’s tallest towers, stepped up security in the aftermath of 9/11, but Brian Hogg, a now-retired Portman Holdings executive who oversaw the rental of the building at the time, said said it had little to do with it housing the World Trade Center office in Atlanta.
Building management installed trees and concrete bollards on one side of the skyscraper, which housed the headquarters of SunTrust Bank and several law firms, while large concrete barriers were placed in front of the others. doors of the building, Hogg said. Fences were placed in the parking garage and retractable bollards were installed to restrict access to the loading dock and service area. Security officers also began to use mirrors to check vehicles’ undercarriages for explosives.
Hogg said that despite these measures, tenants on the upper floors of the building were concerned after the attacks.
“If something came up that made them a little nervous, they’d call and say, ‘Well, I’ve got a helicopter here flying around the 56th floor. Do you know anything about it? ‘ Hogg said.
The SunTrust Plaza building in Atlanta, which housed the World Trade Center Atlanta from 1995 to 2013.
Tensions rose after 9/11 at Baltimore’s World Trade Center, a 31-story waterfront skyscraper and one of the city’s most visible office towers. Police armed with machine guns patrolled the tower and the building received two separate unfounded bomb threats in the days following September 11, the Baltimore Sun reported.
“It gives you a feeling that this could be the next target,” Robert Treadway, a loan officer working at the Baltimore World Trade Center, told the newspaper in 2001. “It is the only building to benefit from this type of treatment. . “
A World Trade Center Institute security study confirmed his suspicions – only the Baltimore World Trade Center took such drastic security measures after 9/11. Then-Gov. Martin O’Malley pushed a plan to rename the tower and relocate the 150-year-old USS Constellation as a buffer in the event of an attack.
“What sense does it make to curl up and give in to the threat of terrorism by removing the building’s designation?” Maryland’s then Transportation Secretary John Porcari told The Sun in 2002. None of the security measures were completed. The state-owned building was quietly renamed in 2019 to its address, 401 East Pratt.
Baltimore was not the only city to consider abandoning the name of the World Trade Center. At least 15 buildings eventually dropped the mark within three years of the attacks, the Boston Globe reported in 2004.
But over time, the appeal of the World Trade Center name gradually returned.
The Pinnacle Group was developing a 152-acre mixed-use outdoor project dubbed Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers, Arkansas, in 2007 when they offered a 6K SF office at the World Trade Center Arkansas. The developer, now Hunt Ventures, believed the trade organization would bring additional prestige to the project, said former World Trade Center Arkansas president and CEO Dan Hendrix. Bisnow.
The fledgling group received financial assistance from the State and City of Rogers to pay for their WTCA membership, but little more, Hendrix said. Over the past 14 years, these offices have brought ambassadors, consuls general, trade ministers, and even country leaders to Northwest Arkansas.
“We’ve started a paradigm shift and a dynamic shift in that real estate market up there,” Hendrix said.
Hendrix said the events of September 11 put a strain on the World Trade Centers in the United States, and many of them experienced a slowdown in their trade missions. But because the World Trade Center Arkansas was founded six years after the attacks, it did not have the same background.
“I think if it had been 2002 or 2003 it probably would have been a lot harder to establish what we did,” said Hendrix.
Courtesy of Tryba Architects
A render of the 41-acre Fox Park redevelopment in Denver, which will include the new World Trade Center Denver headquarters.
The World Trade Center Denver has spent nearly three decades in the Twin Towers office complex at 1625 Broadway and 1675 Broadway in downtown Denver. Brookfield Properties, the original developer, has long used the name to market the property, said Karen Gerwitz, president and CEO of World Trade Center Denver.
“The developer from Brookfield who brought us there said that when he named it World Trade Center they were running at 98% occupancy… they were able to charge more. [rents]”Gerwitz said.” And he said, “The biggest mistake I made was not giving you a 50-year lease.” ”
Multiple changes in building ownership over the years ultimately prompted WTC Denver to seek a partnership with a new developer, she said. The organization left the complex for what was intended to be temporary offices in 2015, taking the World Trade Center brand with it.
After some delays and a change of developer, the business organization is now expected to anchor the 41-acre redevelopment of Fox Park, a partnership between Indianapolis-based Pure Development and Mexico City-based Interland.
This project will include a 600,000 square foot mixed-use complex named for the World Trade Center Denver, as well as a 5,000 square foot office for the commercial organization. Gerwitz said his group would also help recruit tenants and activate the space by creating programming and events.
“I think we will change the trajectory of the vision for the World Trade Center with this new campus,” added Gerwitz.
While more than a dozen World Trade Centers lost their names in the years immediately following 9/11, the WTCA has grown from 128 centers around the world in 2001 to 158 today, according to a Bisnow analysis of locations listed on the WTCA website. Many of these new shopping centers have emerged in Asia and South America.
Gerwitz said that aside from Coca-Cola, the World Trade Center brand is arguably the most famous brand in the world – but it’s still largely misunderstood.
“I think it’s because of the September 11 attacks. People only think about it in New York, ”said Gerwitz. “But for those of us who work there, every day, working in commerce, our whole mission is to connect our members here locally to members of other World Trade Centers around the world, and to [then] connect them to opportunities.