After surveying flood damage around the region, Governor George Pataki came to Manhattan with good news: The U.S. Customs and Border Protection office will lease 600,000 square feet in Freedom Tower. At a rate of $40-50 per square foot, this is considerably less than midtown rents which are around $75 per square foot (the agency has a few offices around town), but they won't be able to move in for five or so years. However, this news did encourage Port Authority chairman Anthony Coscia, who had hinted that the tower would need to be scaled back if government groups didn't take 1 million of the tower's 2.8 million square feet.
Pataki also mentioned that NY State might lease space in the many buildings at Ground Zero, but there are still critics on the lack of progress. For instance, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky told the Times, "What this project needs is 1nsurance proceeds and tenants. And it doesn't have that."
Photograph by Seth Wenig/AP