WTC hits snag with financing dispute

Ashley Milne-Tyte May 21, 2009
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WTC hits snag with financing dispute

Ashley Milne-Tyte May 21, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Today, New York officials try to settle a dispute over financing for the three buildings to replace the World Trade Center. The developer, Larry Silverstein, wants more money from the public agency that owns the site. But the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey worries there won’t be enough demand for that office space. Ashley Milne-Tyte has our story.


Ashley Milne-Tyte: Right now, the vacancy rate in lower Manhattan is about 12 percent. But one survey predicts that within three years, it could rise to 20 percent.

Bob Yaro is president of the Regional Plan Association. He says it’s not surprising Larry Silverstein hasn’t had much luck raising money.

Bob Yaro: The banks have said, in the nicest way, come see us when you have some tenants, and he doesn’t have them. So what he’s done is he’s gone to the Port Authority and he’s asked them to bankroll these buildings.

The Port Authority says it’ll help with just one building. Yaro says one idea under discussion is to build just a few stories of each tower for now, and fill them with retail for the expected hoards of tourists.

Yaro: It gets the site completed and functional and opens it up to the world, and then sets the stage for whatever happens next.

He says the towers could be finished when the economy recovers. Meanwhile, he says the Port Authority should focus on public infrastructure at the site, including building a transport hub.

In New York, I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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