Quantity surveyor to work with partner Ernst & Young on feasibility study for client the Port Authority.
QS Currie & Brown has joined the team working on the redevelopment of the World Trade Centre site in New York.

The firm is working with partner Ernst & Young on a cost model that will be applied to the final design for the site. The study, for client and landowner the Port Authority, includes infrastructure for a new subway.

Architect Beyer Blinder Belle is working with engineer Parsons Brinckerhoff on a planning and transport study for Lower Manhattan and the World Trade Centre site, also for the Port Authority. The architect unveiled six initial designs for the area last month.

A statement from the Port Authority confirmed the Ernst & Young/Currie & Brown appointment. It said: "As part of our overall efforts to consider options that will ensure the long-term economic strength of the area, the Port Authority retained the services of Ernst & Young to develop a financial model that will examine different commercial development options."

The statement added that Currie & Brown, which has a New York office, would assist in construction scheduling and cost estimating.

It went on: "It is important to understand that these firms are among many that the Port Authority retains to provide advice on a wide range of issues."

New York stock market insiders claimed the job could have huge potential for the firms. One said: "The project itself will start in 2003-4 and probably run to 2015. It's a huge programme of work."

One source added that the Port Authority was looking to create a mixed-use area on the site. The source said: "The movement in New York is to create a city within a city, to have more bustle in the area and a combination of retail and leisure."

The project will probably run to 2015. It is a huge programme

New York stock market insider

The Port Authority stressed that plans for the site were at an early stage. Beyer Blinder Belle's plans have faced criticism from locals and victims' relatives for having too much office space and being too dense.

The Port Authority said: "We are in listening mode and digesting the various public input regarding the site. We're examining all six initial plans and, at this time, it's premature to say what the future options will or will not include."

The six schemes revealed last month all included about 1 million m2 of office space, 56,000 m2 of retail space and a 56,000 m2 hotel. Each design included four or five office blocks ranging in height from 32 to 85 storeys.

The job is the most high profile to be won by Currie & Brown and Ernst & Young in tandem. The two formed a strategic alliance in 1999, which was billed as the first time a QS and an accountant had formed a joint venture.

n Design work is close to completion for a replacement of the World Trade 7 building, the 47-storey office block that fell late on 11 September.

The new building, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, will be taller at 57 storeys. The design will feature enhanced robustness to ensure it does not suffer from progressive collapse.