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NY POST

SILVER'S LOWDOWN ON DOWNTOWN AID

By DAVID SEIFMAN

May 21, 2005 -- Insisting he wasn't engaged in horse-trading for the West Side stadium, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver yesterday laid out a lengthy list of city and state subsidies he's demanding to boost lower Manhattan.

The list included:

* Immediate removal of the commercial rent tax at Ground Zero and a five-year phase-out of business-unfriendly taxes in lower Manhattan.

* Having the state, Port Authority and elected officials lease a tower at Ground Zero.

* Directing $300 million that the Port Authority owes the state through 2021 to downtown development.

* Elimination of tax breaks for converting office buildings to residential apartments in lower Manhattan starting in June 2006.

* A $5-per-square-foot subsidy for the first 750,000 square feet of commercial space leased on the World Trade Center site.

* A $10-per-square-foot subsidy — absorbed by the state and developer Larry Silverstein — for the first 500,000 square feet leased at 7 World Trade Center, which is nearing completion but has no tenants.

Silver called it a "Marshall Plan" for rebuilding the area.

"No other building project can take a higher priority," Silver declared in a speech before the Association for a Better New York.

But he insisted he wasn't linking downtown development to his vote on the West Side stadium.

The Bloomberg administration is desperately trying to get Silver's support for a vote on the stadium at the Public Authorities Control Board before July 6, when the International Olympic Committee announces its choice for host city of the 2012 Games.

But Silver remained coy, saying that even if his entire list was "adhered to and multiplied," he could still "say yes to the West Side or no to the West Side."

Nevertheless, one stadium supporter said afterward, "I think there's room here for a deal."

And mayoral spokeswoman Jennifer Falk said Bloomberg welcomed Silver's input.

"Speaker Silver presented several proposals this morning and the mayor looks forward to working with him on rebuilding lower Manhattan," she said.

Silver is enthusiastic enough about the Olympic bid to suggest the city start putting together a proposal to host the 2016 Games if New York doesn't win for 2012.

"Paris is in the lead [for 2012] because they made the bid for the previous Olympics four years ago," Silver noted.

He shrugged off a warning from Peter Ueberroth, the U.S. Olympic Committee chairman, that New York doesn't stand a chance if the West Side stadium isn't approved before the IOC makes its decision on a host city.
 

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yeah lets take the 300 million that is owed to the ENTIRE STATE and only give it to one small portion of the state...yes that sounds like a brilliant plan

there is another good one there too... number 7 is nearly complete with out any tenants...rebuilding 10 million sq ft of office space sure sounds like a great idea... bring back the twins!!!
 

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i don't think this attempt to hotwire the lagging ground zero rebuilding process would work at all. another evidence that pataki had practically rendered his process in rebuilding ground zero totally unfixable.

time to get someone else into this rebuilding process and fix the kinks and get some good buildings up at the wtc site!
 

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the problem is they turned it all into a political chip...they should have just let those who had the legal rights to the property rebuild it...it would probably be half done by now if that were the case...
 

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Long live the Twins!
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i agree with you on that. the biggest problem at the wtc site is that a dozen or so groups who all have some power over what's gonna get built can't seem to work as one. pataki, bloomberg, lmdc, port authority, libeskind, childs, silverstein, arad, and other groups involved spend more than half the time jostling for power and reaching for each other's throats. so, what ever energy they have for progress is wasted in this ugly power fight...

in short, there's too many people in charge of this rebuilding process. it's a good idea to start streamlining it all.
 
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