The mall planned for the World Trade Center site will include a Barneys, DKNY, Gap, Express, Charles David, H2O, and Starbucks, according to renderings released yesterday by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
But there's a catch - none of the retailers included in the images has committed to renting space at the site, where shopping is scheduled to begin in 2010.
Asked why the retailers were pictured in the plans without having agreed to open stores at the site, a spokesman for the Port Authority, Steven Coleman, said the images were examples of "artistic license."
He said he was not sure if the retailers knew they were pictured in the Port Authority's renderings. "That's not to say they won't open stores there," he said.
None of the retailers contacted by The New York Sun would say whether they plan to open outlets at ground zero. Many were unaware they had been included in renderings of the project.
I know this sort of thing happens - but there are reasons that architects worth their salt learn to do drawings with creative slashes and squiggles that look like lettering on signs (but aren't).
One of the reasons I know that this sort of thing happens is that many years ago I heard a radio broadcast announcing that I was to be a speaker at an event celebrating a local history project spearheaded by a state agency. This was news to me. To make a long story short, the radio station was only passing along information provided by the state agency. The head guy at the agency was surprised that I wasn't delighted at being on the roster, and although he reluctantly agreed that it would have been better had I known about it ahead of time, I swear he never understood why the honor didn't outweigh any embarrassment.
I tried to explain that I had other obligations that night and couldn't go even if I wanted to (which I didn't) - and now it was going to look like I'd reneged on a promise.
But you have to come, he said, we've announced it...
I don't think we ever got on the same planet, he and I. Upon checking around, I found he'd done this sort of thing to other people. Fairly regularly, actually. He wasn't mean, you understand. In fact, as I remember him he was soft spoken and surprisingly polite. I don't think he was trying to force anybody into doing anything. At a guess, he just thought that his projects were so wonderful that of course other people would drop what they were doing and come help however he thought they should help.
In my humble opinion, people like that should not be allowed to become top bureaucrats. They need the give and take of the private sector to bring them to their senses, or at least to teach them that they can't always have their own way. This guy was spoiled rotten, and it showed.