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While Towers re-opened, more work ahead, Brezenoff says.

With One and Two World Trade Center officially re-opened, the chief of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey last week gave "thanks" to the real estate industry for providing temporary office space to tenants displaced by the bomb that exploded there in February.

Stanley Brezenoff expressed his gratitude at the annual awards dinner of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Office Real Estate Executives held on the day that tenants returned to One World Trade -- one week following the re-instating of Two World Trade.

The Port Authority, which owns and operates the towers, Brezenoff said, had to rely on the "help, support and good offices of both the public sector and private sector and it was there."

Brezenoff cited, in particular, the Real Estate Board of New York, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), Merrill Lynch, American Express, Larry Silverstein, owner of 7 World Trade Center, and Olympia & York, owners of the World Financial Center.

"I will never forget the level of support that was there nor will the city and state," he said.

He also thanked the mayor and all the city agencies that were involved in the effort.

"The towers themselves stood tall," he said. "They were completely physically unaffected by the blast.

Brezenoff also lauded the courage and strength of the tenants and the Port Authority staff that was displayed in the orderly fashion they exited the building. He also acknowledged the death of six individuals, four of whom were Port Authority employees.

"On the day of the blast, the only thing stronger than the towers themselves were the people in the towers," he said. (Mark Marchese, spokesperson for the Port Authority, said tenants are returning to the towers gradually, according to a move-in schedule. Almost all the tenants are expected to be back in place by April 15, he said.)

More Work to be Done

While reopening the towers was a feat - they removed some 4,000 tons of debris from the excavation of the crater, there is still work to be done to improve the building's communication systems and security.

Brezenoff said he shared the concerns of the owners and users in the audience who are concerned about their own buildings and occupants. Many owners have tightened security and some politicians are calling for reviews of existing building codes.

"... the most difficult issues are ahead of us," he said. "We will be working closely with you and our elected officials and tenants with grappling with us."

Some changes have already been made at One and Two World Trade Center. Where they previously had two sources of power independently fueled, he said, they now have a third sattelite communication desk and they have installed some battery-powered lighting.

Immediately after the blast, Brezenoff said, he approached Charles Makish, and demanded "What the hell happened to our back-up system?"

Makish then took Brezenoff to the blast site and showed him the massive hole created by the blast. "I had no questions after that," he recalled.
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Title Annotation:World Trade Center towers re-open; Port Authority chief Stanley Brezenoff discusses improvements to be made on communication systems and security
Author:Fitzgerald, Therese
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Apr 7, 1993
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