Ten years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the new tower is expected to be completed at the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014, said Steve Coleman, Port Authority spokesman.
Fifty-five percent of the building's office space has been rented, said Coleman. Conde Nast, the magazine publishing giant, has signed a 25-year lease for about $2 billion.
The building's other tenant will be Chinese real estate investment firm Vantone Holdings, which "provides upscale business spaces for high-profile Chinese and international companies," according to its website.
Floors 101 and 102 will be the observation decks. Once the building's antenna is added, WTC 1 will be the tallest building in the city, he said.
Annie Smith, 37, visiting from Maryland, was standing at the foot of the building snapping photos of the rising glass tower. "It's awesome and beautiful," said Smith, whose husband is serving a second tour in the Army and is scheduled to come home from Afghanistan in May. "Our sole focus was to come here and see the World Trade Center and its progress.
Smith admired the new building with her three sons, ages 14, 10 and 6. "I spoke to my husband this morning and he wanted to see lots of pictures. You know, he went into the Army because of 9/11," she said. "And today it's important that our sons come here and see Ground Zero.''
"It's a great accomplishment, but I work at Tower 2 and I'm being laid off," he said. Tower 2, a Silverstein property, will complete ground floor construction of the building by the end of the year. The building was supposed to be 88 floors.
Sordyl, who said he's been working at the site for two years, hopes the economy will turn around and construction will resume to its original plans.
Dara McQuillan, spokesman for Silverstein Properties, said the building has until the end of the year to find a tenant. He said Tower 4, which is at the 65th floor, is 50 percent rented. The building will have 72 floors and is expected to completed next year.