The New York Board of Trade completed a long and arduous journey to normalcy, when on Tuesday, Sept. 2, the exchange inaugurated its new trading floor at One North End Ave., in the New York Mercantile Exchange Building, in New York City.
NYBOT's facilities at Four World Trade Center were completely destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Fortunately all NYBOT employees had been evacuated by the time WTC Towers One and Two collapsed into the plaza and onto adjacent buildings, including the one housing the NYBOT.
Since that day, NYBOT has been operating on an abbreviated trading schedule out of its backup site in Long Island City, Queens, New York.
“Seeing our commodities trade this morning was a very moving experience for me and for all of the NYBOT members and staff here today,” said Frederick W. Schoenhut, chairman of NYBOT. “Our exchange has been through considerable turmoil as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and to finally put that behind us and move into our new home is a great moment in our history.”
No problems were reported with the opening, which began with members of the New York Police Department ringing the opening bell for cocoa at 8 a.m., and members of the Fire Department of New York assisting with the opening of the sugar pits at 9 a.m.
Two years ago, when two planes full of terrorists and innocents crashed into the WTC, instant chaos and debris rained over much of south Manhattan Island.
Although the NYBOT was at the epicenter of the most destructive foreign attack ever on U.S. soil, the exchange refused to be paralyzed. That morning, 12 NYBOT employees left the WTC and walked over the 59th St. bridge to the backup site.
The site was leased in 1994 as part of a recovery plan implemented after the 1993 bombing of the WTC. A study conducted shortly after that attack indicated that for every day that NYBOT was not trading it would cost the exchange $350,000 per day, and the industry as a whole $3.5 million a day.
The plan called for a majority of staff to work from home on their computers with basic trading floor support staff working out of the backup facility.
The Long Island facility cost $300,000 annually to run lights out.
The facility was operational later in the day on Sept. 11, but did not go live until Sept. 17, due to connectivity problems with the outside community.
After Sept. 11, the annualized rate to operate the facility was $2.5 million.
Meanwhile, the NYBOT was granted $23 million by the U.S. government and received a $23 million settlement from insurance to rebuild its facilities. The new trading floor has more than 48,000 square feet of trading and office space. The trading floor is 13,100 sq. feet.
The trading times include: coffee, 9:15 a.m. — 12:15 p.m.; sugar, 9 a.m. — 12 p.m.; cocoa, 8 a.m. — 11:50 a.m.; and cotton, 10:30 a.m. — 2:15 p.m.