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Port Authority Seeks Operator for Freedom Tower Observation Deck

Port Authority Seeks Operator for Freedom Tower Observation Deck

Apr 10, 2008
By By: Eliot Brown | New York Observer.com | New York Observer

The Port Authority is looking for a firm to run the observation deck at the Freedom Tower, located on the 102nd floor of the building.

The 107th-floor observation deck in the old World Trade Center, named Top of the World, saw a flow of some 2 million visitors annually. That observation deck, handed over to private operator Ogden Entertainment in the mid-1990’s, underwent a $6 million renovation in 1997, which included installing exhibits and videos for visitors, who paid an admission fee to the deck of $10 for an adult when it opened, according to a Times article at the time.

The Port Authority is planning to release a request for qualifications for operating the 18,000-square-foot observation deck next month, a document intended to survey the private sector for interest, according to a Port Authority spokeswoman. The agency plans to put the operating contract out to bid in the final three months of 2008.

The search comes after the Port put out a similar request earlier this year for an operator of a restaurant on the 100th and 101st floors of the building formally known as One World Trade Center.

Statements from Port Authority execs below.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “This feature of 1 World Trade Center, the Freedom Tower will not only provide a key link between the World Trade Center site and the downtown area, but also will provide a signature element for tourists from throughout the region, nation and the world. The observation deck that sat atop 2 World Trade Center prior to 9/11 was a can’t miss stop for those who lived and worked in Lower Manhattan, as well as two million tourists who visited each year, generating business for local merchants and others. We intend to recreate the same experience for future generations.”

Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris said, “The Freedom Tower that we envision will be much more than an office building. It will be an open, lively public space integrated with the rest of the city where residents and tourists can dine, shop or get spectacular aerial views of Manhattan as well as neighboring states. As we continue to move near street level with the tower’s concrete and steel, we have begun our planning now for what will be at the very top of the building, knowing that it will once again become a world-class place that will be part of the New York experience for millions of tourists.”


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