The day before Donald Trump is slated to pick his first female winner on The Apprentice – either Kendra or Tana – during a live broadcast from New York University, the Manhattan-based real-estate developer blasted existing plans to replace the World Trade Center and offered his own proposal.
Speaking in the lobby of his Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, Trump unveiled what is basically a blueprint to rebuild the twin towers as they were before their destruction on 9/11 – only a bit taller: 111 stories, one more than the originals.
As the fourth anniversary of the tragedy approaches, rebuilding on the site has been slow going, and criticism about the development of Lower Manhattan has been mounting, despite New York Gov. George Pataki's assurances last week that the project was not losing momentum.
But because of security concerns, plans for the towers' replacement with a single 1,776-foot Freedom Tower appear to be on hold – which is fine with Trump, who criticized the proposed structure.
The plan ''looks like a junkyard, a series of broken-down angles that don't match each other. And we have to live with this for hundreds of years?'' he said.
"In a nutshell, the Freedom Tower should not be allowed to be built," he added. "It's not appropriate for Lower Manhattan, it's not appropriate for Manhattan, it's not appropriate for the United States, it's not appropriate for freedom."
Despite such bluster, Trump's proposal – and its timing, the day before his series' season finale – was dismissed by the governmental agencies involved and angered some survivors of those lost on 9/11, The New York Times reports.
"If he has such grand ideas and imaginative thoughts," Thomas Rogér, whose daughter Jean was a flight attendant aboard one of the doomed planes, tells the newspaper, "where was he three years ago when the master planning was going on?"