By Julian Hattem - 12/10/13 04:10 PM EST
Three federal agencies will move their regional offices into the One World Trade Center building in New York City next year.
The announcement marks the return of federal government agencies to the World Trade Center and represents a symbolic milestone for the building, expected to open in 2014.
“From the day that the Port Authority started planning reconstruction, the federal government committed to remaining an important part of this building and the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan,” GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini said in a statement. “Through this lease agreement, these three federal agencies will have the office space they need to serve the American people in providing goods and services, tackling vital infrastructure projects, and protecting our nation’s borders.”
One World Trade Center, formerly known as the Freedom Tower, was declared the tallest building in the Western hemisphere last month, beating out the Willis Tower in Chicago.
The 104-story building is adjacent to the site of the Twin Towers that were destroyed in the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001. The construction of the building was seen as emblematic of the city’s resilience after the attack.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said in a statement that the GSA announcement was “another important step in rebuilding New York.”
"I once again applaud GSA and the federal government for committing to the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan,” added Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “After 9/11 many wondered if downtown would become a ghost town, but it has flourished with new residents, stores and businesses.”