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Old June 9th, 2009, 07:58 PM   #8981
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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/09/nyregion/09wtc.html
Little Progress Is Seen in Talks on Ground Zero
By CHARLES V. BAGLI
Published: June 8, 2009


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the developer Larry Silverstein remain deadlocked over construction of two giant office towers at ground zero, despite more than two weeks of high-level talks with state and city officials aimed at resolving the impasse.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who convened the sessions on May 21, had set a June 11 deadline for the parties to reach an agreement. But the talks have not brought Mr. Silverstein and the Port Authority any closer, according to officials on both sides.

The latest indication of the stalemate came on Monday, as a proposal from the city and Mr. Silverstein got a lukewarm reception, according to officials who attended the discussion.

The battle is not over whether the office towers should be built at the World Trade Center site, but when and with whose money.

Mr. Silverstein, who leases the trade center land from the Port Authority, is to build three office towers on the 16-acre site. Unable to obtain the financing or tenants as he once anticipated, Mr. Silverstein has asked the authority to guarantee as much as $3.2 billion in financing for the construction of two of the three towers.

But the authority, which is already spending billions on its own 2.6-million-square-foot office tower at the site, a transit hub, and on portions of the 9/11 memorial, is reluctant to put more money into speculative office space, especially when its revenues are declining sharply. It did, however, offer to guarantee up to $1.2 billion in financing for one of Mr. Silverstein’s towers.

“We remain far apart on a second tower because of how much more public money is required to fund this speculative office building,” said Stephen Sigmund, a Port Authority spokesman. “Our position continues to be that the public’s resources are better spent on public projects first, not more private office space.”

All parties in the talks have been loath to discuss the meetings since agreeing to negotiate in private at a May 21 meeting at Gracie Mansion. Some officials privately acknowledge the lack of progress, even as Sheldon Silver, the Assembly speaker, disputed the notion. “He believes that all the parties continue to act in good faith and are committed to coming up with a solution,” said Dan Weiller, a spokesman for Mr. Silver.

City officials hope for a breakthrough in the hours leading up to Thursday’s deadline.

Last month, the Port Authority made a proposal in which it agreed to guarantee the financing for Mr. Silverstein’s first tower. As for the second, $2.7 billion tower, it agreed to assist with the financing if Mr. Silverstein spent the next two years trying to find tenants for half the space, and invested $370 million of his own money as well as $430 million in insurance proceeds. In an effort to share the risks, the authority also asked the city to cover any shortfalls.

But Mr. Silverstein flatly refused to consider it.

Under his proposal, Mr. Silverstein would assume responsibility for much of the work at ground zero, with the developer claiming that he could save as much as $400 million on the authority’s current budget for the projects. The developer, who has not offered to guarantee those savings, said in a meeting Monday that he would invest $75 million. The arrangement would allow him to make an estimated $120 million in fees.

The city, in turn, has offered to cover up to $100 million in shortfalls in the financing, and has suggested that New York and New Jersey do the same. But the bulk of the financial responsibility for financing the towers would remain with the Port Authority. And neither Gov. David A. Paterson of New York nor Gov. Jon S. Corzine of New Jersey has wanted to invest more money in office space, given the condition of their state budgets.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 08:17 PM   #8982
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But there is a consensus to build more towers, I don't expect them to agree right away. Silverstein may have to drop one of the towers, which is probably something he doesn’t want to do. But it's better than losing two of them…I would make that concession at this point.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 08:18 PM   #8983
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this picture summarize what I think of all this:

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Old June 9th, 2009, 10:05 PM   #8984
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“We remain far apart on a second tower because of how much more public money is required to fund this speculative office building,” said Stephen Sigmund

:-D I don't want to know how much public money the dealys have cost until now.

They should see this : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A2ub...eature=related , to understand what the new WTC means and what they are doing with this site and moove finally their asses to finally have it finished.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 10:44 PM   #8985
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germantower View Post
They should see this : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A2ub...eature=related , to understand what the new WTC means and what they are doing with this site and moove finally their asses to finally have it finished.
It's not like the Port Authority is doing this out of spite. It has limited resources, which have become markedly more limited as tax revenues have plummeted with the economy, and public works projects that desperately need to be completed. Public projects are what the Port Authority was created for. As much as I'd like to see this site completed quickly, I think the airport expansion and new railway tunnel are more important than a couple additional office towers.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 11:01 PM   #8986
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Yeah, but they shouldn't have bought space in Tower 4 if they didn't foresee the other towers getting built. Since Tower 4 is getting built, that pretty much means the other two towers must be built. The site isn't going to look or feel complete without them. Right now there is going to be a massive hole in the skyline, book-ended by two giant towers. I think it's going to be awfully awkward, people are going to know something is missing. The PA should have bought space in Tower 2 instead. The site would have felt even then, having the new towers on one side of the site.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 11:14 PM   #8987
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The PA will be losing around $70 million a year in rent from 2 and 3 if they're not built. Backing the loans would likely cost them nothing and probably make them a hefty fee.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 02:42 AM   #8988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onn View Post

But there is a consensus to build more towers, I don't expect them to agree right away. Silverstein may have to drop one of the towers, which is probably something he doesn’t want to do. But it's better than losing two of them…I would make that concession at this point.
They should have better choosen the fourth one, if this turns out to be true. Tower 2 and 3 are both iconic towers and great pieces of architecture, whereas tower 4 is an ugly box.

And moreover they have already canceled one tower in the past, canceling another one now would upset me even more.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 03:49 AM   #8989
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hightech Pro View Post
They should have better choosen the fourth one, if this turns out to be true. Tower 2 and 3 are both iconic towers and great pieces of architecture, whereas tower 4 is an ugly box.
I don't know about that. Depends who you ask. Yes, Towers 2 and 3 are the most architecturally impressive. Yet I think Tower 4 may end up being my favorite tower on the site, because of its color, size, and simple design. But that's only if you’re looking at it with the other three towers built, or Tower 4 by itself. With only Freedom, along side Tower 4, the site is going to look very awkward. I think Tower 2 should have been built first, being the second tallest and closest to Freedom.

I’m thrilled Tower 4 is getting built first, but only if the other towers are getting built too. It doesn’t make any sense to build Tower 4 first if the other two towers might not get built.

Last edited by Onn; June 10th, 2009 at 03:56 AM.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 03:54 AM   #8990
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The question isn't really about whether or not the other towers will get built, it's about when.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 04:01 AM   #8991
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uaarkson View Post
The question isn't really about whether or not the other towers will get built, it's about when.
Let’s hope, I wouldn't be surprised if the PA "forgets" about one or two of them...If Silverstein falls through...or even not.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 07:14 PM   #8992
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Looks like Tower 3 is dead in the water for now.

Quote:
W.T.C. talks focus on towers & money, not podiums

By Julie Shapiro

Going into that meeting, the consensus among the stakeholders appears to be shifting toward developer Silverstein Properties’ goal of building as many office towers as possible with the Port Authority’s help, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver told Downtown Express last week.

“That’s the purpose,” Silver said in an interview with editors and reporters last Friday. “Build more, and build more now. That is our purpose.”

In place of Tower 2 and the neighboring Tower 3, the Port wants to build temporary six-story retail podiums.

No one is arguing for Tower 3 to be built immediately and Silverstein appears willing to accept a podium there, but he is still fighting for Tower 2.

On Friday, Silver allied himself closely with Silverstein by agreeing that now is the time to build Tower 2. Silver added that Gov. Jon Corzine and Gov. David Paterson are both being “cooperative” in the goal of building more towers now, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg has previously expressed support for building despite the economic downturn.

On Monday, three days after Silver’s comments appeared on DowntownExpress.com, The New York Times’ Web site reported that the city proposed to backstop $100 million of the financing to build Tower 2, which indicates Bloomberg’s support for the tower. However, the Times also reported that Corzine and Paterson are reluctant to make similar financial commitments because of their already tight budgets.

Silver said Friday that an agreement would require all parties to make further investments.

“They’re trying to work through a conclusion that has everybody put in a little more: the Port Authority, the city, the state, and most important, Larry Silverstein,” Silver said. “And I hope to get there.”

The Port Authority has offered additional help to Silverstein on Tower 2, but not as much as Silverstein wants, according to a rebuilding source who confirmed to Downtown Express the financial numbers in the Times article. The developer turned down a proposal in which the Port would help with the financing if Silverstein put in an additional $370 million of his own money and $430 million of insurance money.

“We remain far apart on a second tower because of how much more public money is required to fund this speculative office building,” Stephen Sigmund, a Port spokesperson, said in a statement. “Our position continues to be that the public’s resources are better spent on public projects first, not more private office space.”

In a counterproposal to the Port Authority, Silverstein suggested that he take over much of the infrastructure work on the eastern side of the site, near his towers, including the demolition of the old temporary PATH station and the rebuilding of Greenwich St., another source involved in the rebuilding said. This source said Silverstein, who would charge development fees for the work, would still save the Port Authority money because private companies can move more quickly than government agencies.

There had been three major meetings with top stakeholders including Larry Silverstein since then, Silver said last week. Those three meetings were held quietly and out of the public eye, often at odd times of the day, Silver said. In addition, Deputy Mayor Bob Lieber has been chairing daily meetings of lower-level staff representing all the parties, the second rebuilding source said.

The next publicly announced meeting of the principals will be June 11. Although the Port Authority and Silverstein disagree vehemently on the financing for Tower 2, a few people involved said this week that the outlines of an agreement could still come by Thursday.

“We’re not there yet,” Silver said Friday. “It’s a matter of money, it’s a matter of commitment, it’s a matter of saving money, it’s a matter of refocusing so we can get a result.”

Bloomberg’s office and Silverstein Properties declined to comment.
http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_31...alksfocus.html
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Old June 10th, 2009, 11:07 PM   #8993
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Well at least somebody still wants to get tower 2 built. I don't really care much for tower 3 anyways, although it would add a nice density to the area.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 03:38 PM   #8994
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2 Freedom Towers where towers 2 and 3 were going to be seems like what might have been a good idea right now - both would be u/c!
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Old June 11th, 2009, 05:39 PM   #8995
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now both cameras are down

/facepalm
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Old June 11th, 2009, 06:54 PM   #8996
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Oh no! They've created a new render of the site with retail podiums, and an Australian retail company has offered to build them (of course Silverstein has to agree to it, and surely will not).

Quote:
WTC MESS AT DEADLINE



By TOM TOPOUSIS
June 11, 2009


Mayor Bloomberg's deadline to hammer out a new deal for rebuilding Ground Zero arrives today with the Port Authority and Larry Silverstein nowhere near agreement, and another developer pitching a $1.3 billion plan to build a retail mall there.

Sources familiar with the talks said there was nothing on the table yesterday that would indicate that a pact would be struck today, three weeks after a Gracie Mansion summit that included Gov. Paterson and New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine.

"The parties are continuing to engage in active discussions," said a Bloomberg spokesman, who would not comment further on the high-level talks.

The biggest issue is over who would finance construction of Silverstein's three office towers. The developer wants the Port Authority to back as much as $3.2 billion in financing for at least two towers he's entitled to build.

But the bi-state agency has insisted that it would only help with $800 million for one tower, which would also include PA headquarters.

In place of the other two towers, the PA has proposed building two six-story retail buildings. Office towers could be built on top when the economy recovers and Silverstein is able to arrange his own financing.

Shopping mall giant Westfield, which operated nearly 500,000 square feet of retail in the World Trade Center before 9/11, offered this week to put up $1.3 billion to build the two retail pedestal buildings.

"This is a clear endorsement of the demand for retail as part of a vibrant, 24-7 rebuilt World Trade Center and in a phased, market-development approach to retail and office space," said Port Authority spokesman Stephen Sigmund.

Silverstein declined to comment on the retail plan yesterday.

But he has previously resisted building retail space-holders, insisting that his only interest is in building new office towers with shops in the lower levels.

Because Silverstein has a lease with the Port Authority allowing him to build three towers, it's unlikely that the interim retail plan could move forward without his agreement.

But the developer has been willing to scale back his immediate plan from three to two towers.

Port Authority officials fear that even two towers -- in addition to the massive Freedom Tower the agency is building -- would bring far too much new commercial space to the market at the same time, and would be difficult to rent.
http://www.nypost.com/seven/06112009...ine_173685.htm
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Old June 11th, 2009, 07:08 PM   #8997
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one of the most important projects in USA, and we are putting podiums!!! I lost all respect for this country and especially for NYC. I'm disgusted beyond words
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Old June 11th, 2009, 07:12 PM   #8998
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I found that photo (9 June 2009):
image hosted on flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dallascaper/3613140206/
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Old June 11th, 2009, 07:22 PM   #8999
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:-( sad news, very very very sad news. I have a feeling IF they built this retail podiums, they won't be temporarely, therefore Silverstein has to fight for at least tower 2. I hope that the nightmare on GZ will once end and we will be able to see a glourios new WTC!
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Old June 11th, 2009, 07:27 PM   #9000
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Might not be a bad interim solution while times are tough - so long as the foundations are strong enough to build towers later. After all the Shanghai WFC went on hold for about a decade.
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