Owning an eatery in New York City is tough, and the developers of the new World Trade Center don't think it would be profitable. Image: Flickr / mandyxclear / CC-BY-ND

One World Trade Center is scheduled to be ready for occupants in 2013. Developers of the building have just announced yet another big change to the design. There will be no eatery at the top of the World Trade Center.

One World Trade Center

The re-building of the World Trade Center has been in progress since 2006. The building was originally called Freedom Tower, but the name was changed on March 30, 2009, to One World Trade Center. The building is intended to be a center of commerce on the former location of the World Trade Center towers. The original plans included an observation deck, restaurant, broadcast equipment and more than 2.6 million square feet of office space — similar to the former towers, with a design upgrade.

Restaurant plans scrapped

The original plans for the restaurant at the top of One World Trade Center called for an eatery similar to the former WTC eatery, Windows On The World. Like the former eatery, this new restaurant was going to be on the floor just below the top-floor observation deck and cater to workers in the tower and high-end customers. Former owners of Tavern on the Green, Windows on the World and Strip House had all expressed interest in running the new location. Developers, however, have announced that the space will be put to use as a penthouse office instead. The top floor of the building will remain an observation deck, as planned.

Would a One World Trade Center eatery be profitable?

The developers of the new World Trade Center tower claim that no eatery at the top of the World Trade Center could be profitable. Running a restaurant in New York City is tough business; less than 25 percent of restaurants survive past their first year of business. Even without the tough competition, the restaurant business is notoriously low-profit-margin and high-cost. A restaurant hundreds of floors up presents even more challenges, and the built-in cost even higher. The developers believe office space will be a more reliable tenant than an eatery.


My Fox NY http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/sept_11/no-top-floor-restaurant-at-1-world-trade-center-ncx-20110308

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