New York

One World Trade Center Will Cost $3.8 Billion, Making It The Most Expensive Building In The World

Completing the One World Trade Center will cost $3.8 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports, making it "by far" the most expensive building in the world.

The new estimate, which includes construction-cost overruns and a decision by the Port Authority to now include leasing expenses in its public numbers, is up from a previous estimate of $700 million.

The Journal explains why it's all so pricey:

One World Trade Center's construction is vastly more expensive than a traditional office tower, in large part due to security costs associated with building the tallest building in North America on a site that has been the target of two separate terrorist attacks (the site was also bombed in 1993). Once known as the Freedom Tower, the 1,776-foot skyscraper sits atop a heavily reinforced, windowless podium. It also has a thick core of concrete and steel around its elevator shafts.

By contrast, the developer of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower in Dubai, has estimated a cost at $1.5 billion. That building, however, was built with immigrant labor and without nearly as many security concerns.

And The Port Authority isn't planning on making a profit out of the former Ground Zero site. "It was as much about making a political statement as it was an economic decision," The Regional Plan Association's Robert Yaro told The Journal. "This is not a project that's standing on its own--it was never intended to be."

The Port Authority also says money from recent toll hikes won't go towards construction of the building.

2011 was a watershed year in the construction of One World Trade Center, which will be North America's tallest tower. After nearly a decade of design drama, budget fights and labor disputes, the building finally started to look like a skyscraper, with one new floor built nearly every week. Conde Nast signed a huge lease for half the tower. And the 9/11 memorial opened in time for the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

2012 has already seen some minor setbacks, however, A money dispute between Port Authority and the 9/11 Memorial Fund means the museum won't open in time for the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Developer Larry Silverstein is also having trouble finding tenants for Tower 3. Originally planned to be 80 stories, construction could be capped after just 7 stories are built.