NEW YORK — Employees located near "ground zero" of the World Trade Center destruction have returned to work in office space that wasn’t damaged in the terrorist attacks. As they resume their work routines, employees are aware that rescue workers and clean up crews continue to toil in the gaping hole where the huge WTC towers and other destroyed office buildings used to stand.

A special report by New York-based Insignia/ESG on the impact of the Sept. 11 WTC attack reveals that 70% of Downtown office space wasn’t damaged. In the Downtown area, 28.7 million sq. ft. of office space sustained at least some damage. The report notes that most of the 15 million sq. ft. of space that was damaged but not destroyed will be habitable by Oct. 1.

The terrorist attack affected nearly 1,300 Downtown businesses. Of the businesses that became displaced, 31 occupied more than 100,000 sq. ft. of office space. Four tenants occupied 1 million sq. ft. or more of office space.

The Insignia/ESG team also outlined the extent of damage to buildings. Three buildings comprising 4.8 million sq. ft. sustained some structural damage — 3 World Financial Center, 140 West Street and 130 Liberty (Bankers Trust Plaza). These buildings are slated to be repaired within nine months.

Seven additional buildings suffered window and façade damage — 1 and 2 World Financial Center, 1 Liberty Plaza, 101 Barclay Street, 90 and 100 Church Street and 22 Cortlandt Street. These buildings, comprising 10.1 million sq. ft., are expected to be habitable within two to three months. Another building, 4 World Financial Center, was not significantly damaged, but remains inaccessible at the present time due to debris, the destruction of the north pedestrian bridge and damage to the south pedestrian bridge.