NEW YORK (CNN) - Groundbreaking for the tallest building in the world, to rise from the ashes of the World Trade Center site, will take place July 4, Gov. George Pataki announced Wednesday.
The 1,776-foot skyscraper -- designed by architect David Childs and WTC master planner Daniel Libeskind -- has been dubbed the Freedom Tower by Pataki, who said, "America and the world will witness as our plans go from paper to steel."
Pataki spoke at luncheon in Lower Manhattan before the Association for a Better New York.
"On July Fourth, as we celebrate our democracy, we will also celebrate the rebirth of our city. On July Fourth, as we commemorate the founding of our nation, we will lay the foundation of our resurgence," Pataki said.
The tower's height, symbolic for the year of American independence, includes a 276-foot spire. A broadcast antenna will bring the structure's total height above 2,000 feet.
By comparison, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, stand 1,483 feet and were the world's tallest building until they were surpassed last year by the Taipei 101 tower, which rises 1,674 feet. The CN Tower in Toronto, which Canada claims as the world's tallest free-standing structure, is 1,815 feet.
The Freedom Tower glass and steel design, unveiled in December, calls for 70 floors to be topped by wind-harvesting turbines that designers predict will provide 20 percent of the building's energy. The tower will contain 2.6 million square feet of commercial space.
More than 60 floors will contain offices, capped by an indoor observation deck, a restaurant and an event space.
The tower is supposed to be ready for occupancy in 2009. Rebuilding officials estimate construction will cost $1.5 billion, or $1 million per 500 square feet.
Pataki, a Republican, had come under some criticism for previously indicating the groundbreaking would be in late August or early September, possibly coinciding with the Republican National Convention that will nominate President Bush. The new date eliminates that controversy.
The memorial to the 2,749 people killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack that destroyed the 110-story twin towers and five other buildings is scheduled to begin construction in 2006 and be completed in 2008, before the Freedom Tower opens.
Pataki announced that Major League Baseball and the Players Association have donated the first million dollars to the non-profit memorial foundation.
In the fall, Pataki announced, work will begin to take down the black-shrouded Deutsche Bank building at the southern end of the 16-acre trade center site.
The 40-story office building -- gashed, uninhabited, and shrouded in black since Sept. 11, 2001 -- will be dismantled under the accord reached by the building's owner, its insurance companies and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the government agency overseeing the rebuilding process.
Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, appointed by Pataki, brokered the deal in February. It calls for Deutsche Bank to receive $140 million from two insurers -- Allianz and AXA -- for the building damage and $90 million from the LMDC for the land.
The $45 million dismantling, paid for by the LMDC, is expected to be completed by 2005. Plans call for the razed plot to include 30,000 square feet of new park space and a building of undetermined size that would house an underground tourist bus depot and security station for delivery trucks coming to the trade center site.
The governor Wednesday renewed his and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's call for a one-seat rail ride from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Lower Manhattan.
Pataki said a new feasibility study by city and state transportation and economic agencies recommends a new tunnel under the East River between Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, facilitating a 36-minute, one-seat right from airport to downtown.
The project would cost an estimated $6 billion and take a decade. Ferry service from Manhattan to JFK and LaGuardia airports will be phased in over the next two years.
The first new structure going up at Ground Zero is the 52-story replacement building for 7 World Trade Center, an office tower adjacent to the north edge of the site that fell on Sept. 11. With 20 floors completed, it is scheduled to be completed at the end of next year.
It is being developed by realtor Larry Silverstein, the WTC leaseholder who has also been tapped to develop the Freedom Tower and hopes to develop as many as four others to replace all 10 million square feet of lost office space.
Silverstein will collect less insurance money than the $7 billion he had hoped for because a jury verdict deemed the collapses of the twin towers as one catastrophic occurrence, not two. Silverstein, still in litigation, won't collect more than $4.7 billion.
"We will not be hindered by court battles or dissuade by naysayers," Pataki said. "We will marshal the resources and press forward with our task."
-- Phil Hirschkorn, CNN Senior Producer