Friday, March 27, 2009

Tower Loses Freedom

I missed the headlines screaming yesterday about the "Freedom Tower" being officially named "One World Trade Center" (after one of the twin towers destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks).

Here are a few of the headlines for the day:
"Outcry after new Ground Zero tower loses 'Freedom'" - New York AFP [link]

"No more freedom," read the front page of the Daily News, declaring in an editorial that the site's owner, the New York and New Jersey Port Authority, was "erasing history."

"Freedom is out of fashion at Ground Zero," rival tabloid the New York Post said.
Maybe I'm getting a bit maudlin in my "old age" ...but my heart shed a few tears for America on learning of the name change. Silly sentimentality, right?

Well, next I learn who the first "tenant" will be -- the first contract signed:
The spat coincided with the signing on Thursday of the building's first commercial tenant -- a 21-year deal with China's Vantone Industrial Company.

The Chinese company will take up the entire 65th and 69th floors and part of the 64th with a business and cultural facility dubbed the China Center. [link]
I'm puzzled as to why the AFP article describes the company in an almost tourism like tone (adding the words "cultural facility"), and not as the Chinese real estate investment company that they really are.
The Port Authority of New York said Thursday that it signed Vantone to a 190,810-square-foot lease with a 20-year, nine-month term set to commence upon the building’s completion in 2013. The Chinese developer plans to build out the 64th through 69th floors of the 70-story building as a business/cultural space known as the China Center.

The Center will serve as a hub for Chinese companies establishing operations in the United States, as well as U.S. companies seeking to expand into China. Businesses that choose to locate in the China Center will receive assistance in relocation, real estate, finance and investor relations. Chris Ward, executive director for the Port Authority, called the lease a "clear signal that the World Trade Center site will once again be a global capital of commerce." [link]

Pause: Why do the words "eminent domain" keep ringing in my ears?

As I prepare to enter Script Frenzy beginning April 1/09, I guess I'm just a bit more touchy on the "play on words" game that is being played on all political/marketing fronts.

You see, I believe words really do matter.

PS: I have to dash now, but will be back later with more... (including info about Lights Out)

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