Minas Polychronakis has been repairing the soles and shining the shoes of New Yorkers since 1970 at Minas Shoe Repair. Today he has one big dream, and it is to be back in business at the former location of the twin towers, in the yet-to-be-completed 1 World Trade Center.
Minas Shoe Repair was one of the first tenants of the World Trade Center in 1977. For almost 24 years, Minas' shop was located in the mall at the World Trade Center on the lower concourse, near 2 World Trade. On Sept. 11, 2001, he and his family lost nearly everything when the shop was destroyed.
Lost with Minas Shoe Repair was 14 million square feet of commercial office space in Lower Manhattan. Roughly 750 companies vanished, according to the Alliance for Downtown New York. As a result, 65,000 jobs were relocated. Employment fell 5% from 2001 to 2005. More than 20,000 residents were temporarily without a home, as many small shops and retailers were gone for good.
"There was nobody around. No companies. People were