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Freedom Tower name changed to One World Trade Center

The Freedom Tower is out. One World Trade Center is in.

The Port Authority, the agency that owns the building at Ground Zero, said Thursday that the signature skyscraper replacing the Twin Towers destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, will be more commonly known as One World Trade Center.

The reason for the name swapping? One World Trade Center is more marketable, said Steve Sigmund, a spokesman for the Port Authority.

"We believe there's been a good response in the marketplace toward it," Sigmund said Thursday.

The 102-story building, under construction at the 16-acre site, was named the Freedom Tower in the first Ground Zero master plan. At the time, officials said the tallest, most symbolic of five planned towers at the site would demonstrate the nation's triumph over terrorism.

In the end, the tower's address, One World Trade Center, is the one that is easier for people to identify with, said Anthony Coscia, Port Authority chairman.

On Wednesday, the agency announced that the first commercial tenant, a Chinese real estate company, has signed a lease for space in the building. The Beijing Vantone Industrial Company has agreed to lease five floors - 64 through 69 - for nearly 21 years.

The office tower is scheduled to be completed in late 2013.

Friday, the Tribute WTC Visitor Center is planning to reach a milestone by welcoming its 1-millionth visitor.

The person who helps the center reach that mark will be presented with a plaque honoring all those who have come there to learn about the 2001 terror attacks against the World Trade Center, said Ben Urizar, a center spokesman.

The tribute center at 120 Liberty St., which opened in 2006, is expected to hit the milestone before 10 a.m., when a news conference is planned.

Staff writer Michael Frazier and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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