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  #901  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2009, 4:36 AM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/ny...l?ref=nyregion

Plan Offered to Finance Trade Center

By CHARLES V. BAGLI
July 9, 2009

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey made a proposal this week that it said could break the long impasse at ground zero and allow the developer Larry A. Silverstein to build two skyscrapers on the 16-acre site, providing he can raise $625 million.

But it does not appear that the proposal will lead to an immediate cessation of hostilities between the two sides or of the acrimony between the authority and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who is concerned that the dispute could eventually halt work on the World Trade Center site.

For the first time, the authority, which owns the site, agreed to guarantee financing for both of Mr. Silverstein’s office towers, which are to be built along Church Street, at an estimated cost of $4.2 billion, according to a letter on Monday from the Port Authority to the Bloomberg administration and the office of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

But up to $1.2 billion in financing for the second tower would come only after Mr. Silverstein raised $625 million from investors or lenders, according to the proposal.


The letter, from Christopher O. Ward, the authority’s executive director, was sent to City Hall on the same day that Mr. Silverstein sought to start an arbitration process, angrily claiming that the Port Authority had violated the development agreement at ground zero.

A spokesman for Mr. Silverstein declined to comment on Thursday. He does not view the proposal as a credible offer, according to an official who spoke with him

“I don’t believe it moves the ball forward,” said Mr. Silver, whose district includes Lower Manhattan. “I don’t believe it gets us closer to a deal.”


Mr. Silver, a consistent supporter of Mr. Silverstein, and Mayor Bloomberg organized a summit meeting in May in a so-far unsuccessful effort to broker a resolution.

Andrew Brent, a spokesman for Deputy Mayor Robert C. Lieber, who leads the city’s negotiating team, declined to comment on the proposal, citing an agreement among the parties not to negotiate in public. But two officials who had been briefed on the new proposal said that it was a step in the right direction, although they noted what they called some serious flaws.

One flaw, one of the officials said, is that the financial structure would make it nearly impossible for Mr. Silverstein to raise $625 million in the credit markets, where there is little money available for real estate projects.

The official said he hoped that the authority would be “flexible.”

The authority has been reluctant to finance more speculative office space at a time when rents are down and tenants scarce.

Under a 2006 development agreement, Mr. Silverstein was to finance the towers with insurance money, tax-free bonds and private borrowing.

Stephen Sigmund, a spokesman for the authority, declined to discuss the proposal in detail, but said: “We have said all along that we will protect our limited public resources for the public projects on the site and the other vital transportation needs of the region.”
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  #902  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2009, 5:33 AM
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Meanwhile, the Tower 3 site still looks like this...

(from wtc.com)




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  #903  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2009, 4:08 PM
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Well it's a start, if you can say that. But as you can see from the article, there is always a catch. Honestly, I think the PA wants to avoid any legal battles at all costs, so who knows, this may lead to something.
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  #904  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2009, 9:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Dac150 View Post
Well it's a start, if you can say that. But as you can see from the article, there is always a catch. Honestly, I think the PA wants to avoid any legal battles at all costs, so who knows, this may lead to something.
It's the first sign of the PA softening a little, though what it means for Tower 3 remains to be seen. We may still only see the beginning stages of this tower, though by the time it starts rising above street level, things could be very different again.
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  #905  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2009, 8:32 PM
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/07112009...ass_178722.htm

PA'S $1B CAN'T BREAK SILVERSTEIN WTC IMPASSE

By TOM TOPOUSIS
July 11, 2009

The Port Authority's bid to put up more than $1 billion to back the construction of an office tower at Ground Zero doesn't appear to have gone far enough to end an impasse with developer Larry Silverstein, sources said.

The agency this week for the first time offered to help with financing for the construction of two of Silverstein's three proposed office towers -- but sources familiar with the negotiations say the developer is unlikely to accept the latest offer.

Under the latest proposal, the PA would guarantee up to $1.2 billion financing for construction of Tower 2, which would lower the interest rate Silverstein would have to pay. The agency has agreed to a less costly deal for Tower 4, which is under construction.

But the new offer would require that Silverstein raise privately another $625 million for the project, which officials believe would be extremely difficult in the current real-estate market.

Unlike Tower 4, which has the PA and the city as tenants, Tower 2 has no commitments from potential tenants.

Silverstein on Monday told the PA he will be taking his grievances over construction timetables to an arbitration panel.
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  #906  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2009, 8:07 PM
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From http://www.rebuildgroundzero.org/ WTC 3 site is empty , tools and trailers are gone away, something change ?
     
     
  #907  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2009, 8:39 PM
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I don't think those trailers / equipment had to do with 3 WTC. I think it was just there for a place to put it. Hopefully them clearing it is a sign that they may being work there soon, it could just be a reorganization of supplies and things as they open up more space elsewhere.
     
     
  #908  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2009, 8:55 PM
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To my knowledge they were using the space (and could still be) as a staging area for equipment pertaining to Tower 4. I would imagine that some form of foundation work for Tower 3 (and Tower 2) will begin despite what’s been occurring, however I don’t know if that’s a coincidence.
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  #909  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2009, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by pattali View Post
From http://www.rebuildgroundzero.org/ WTC 3 site is empty , tools and trailers are gone away, something change ?
Been on hold for months, since initial site prep began. There won't be anything starting on the site again until Silverstein and the PA reach an agreement. Then you will see the sublevels begin to take shape. How soon the office space will be built above is the question.
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  #910  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2009, 6:42 AM
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Wait, if the building is on hold then why is it in the Construction forum? Work hasn't even begun on the building as far as I can tell.
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  #911  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2009, 11:52 AM
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Wait, if the building is on hold then why is it in the Construction forum? Work hasn't even begun on the building as far as I can tell.
It was moved into the construction forum when site work began (not the actual clearing of the site which went on before). It's since been put on hold until Silverstein and the Port Authority finish their business.
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  #912  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2009, 11:56 AM
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Silverstein was doing limited work on the Tower 3 site (compared to the Tower 4 site) but things came to a stop when the PA refused to clear a wall Silverstein insisted was in the way. Although that dispute was resolved, the issue of financing has come back to bite as a result of the numerous delays.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NYguy View Post
Small update from lowermanhattan.info

2/6/2009


Excavation is underway at the T3 site, as T4 foundations are constructed next door.


A backhoe breaks rock for footings excavation at the Tower 3 (“T3”) site.


Earth and rock are continually lifted out of the site in large containers.


A worker surveys the site.
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  #913  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2009, 10:13 PM
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/07142009...82.htm?&page=1

ENDING THE IMPASSE
A POSSIBLE GROUND ZERO DEAL




July 14, 2009


LARRY Silverstein and the Port Authority are locked in a mortal impasse over financing for Silverstein's Ground Zero office towers. But "no way out" doesn't have to mean "no way forward."

Properly tweaked, a proposal to speed up retail development could rapidly bring life and commerce to the 16-acre site.

Retail developer Westfield Group, a consultant to the PA, proposes delaying two giant office towers -- while building two low-rise shopping malls, with a half-million square feet of retail space, on the sites.

At first glance, the idea looks like a nonstarter. It needs Silverstein's cooperation when he's already at odds with the PA. Plus, canyons of Manhattan retail space already stand vacant even at prime locations.

But a modified version of the plan could do wonders. Instead, have the PA build just one mall at the Tower 3 site (where the skyscraper would be postponed but not canceled) and then lease the space to Westfield to manage and sublet. To win Silverstein's assent for the change in plans, help him out with his financing problems for Tower 2.

This would provide swift delivery of what Ground Zero desperately needs as soon as possible: a fully above ground project. (Much of the Memorial is deep beneath the earth, as is the Santiago Calatrava-designed "World Trade Center Transportation Hub.")

And it would break the current standstill over building the office towers -- which is even worse than it appears.

Four office buildings are supposed to be built inside Ground Zero. The PA is responsible for the tallest, 1 WTC (the former Freedom Tower) at the site's northwest corner, which it took off Silverstein's hands under a 2006 agreement. Silverstein still has Towers 2, 3 and 4, which are to rise along the east side.

Steel for 1 WTC's core is rising very slowly. Silverstein is in an even earlier stage on Tower 4. He's eager to get Tower 2 moving, but can't start until the PA finishes readying the site for construction and financing is in place. Tower 3 won't likely rise for years.

But the entire redevelopment clock needs to be reset. The PA has already paid Silverstein more than $100 million in penalties for missing its deadlines on delivering the Towers 2 and 3 sites in shovel-ready condition -- and it faces further charges until it finishes the job.

Meanwhile, Silverstein has his own problems. The credit freeze has forced him to postpone even a smaller hotel/condo project a few blocks off Ground Zero. In search of financing, he's asked the PA for loan guarantees of up to $2 billion for Towers 2 and 4.

But the PA counter-offered to help him finance only Tower 4 -- where he doesn't really need help: Deals are in place for the PA and city agencies to take space there, making the project far less risky.

Why won't the PA bail Silverstein out on Tower 2? Forget its claim to need the cash for more critical projects: It just fears the competition as it tries to find office tenants for the tower it will control, the 2.6 million square-foot 1 WTC (formerly the Freedom Tower).

In a leasing war, Silverstein would clean the PA's clock. His towers have better floor plates and are better located than 1 WTC, which also faces fears that it's the logical target for another terrorist attack. The PA might never agree to a co-financing arrangement that would undercut its own position.

Now, enter Westfield. The global retail development and management company says it "stands ready" to spend up to $1.3 billion to build six-story retail "podiums" housing 500,000 square feet on the Towers 2 and 3 sites. The towers theoretically could later be built atop the podiums when the office market recovers.

Yet the PA can't just make Silverstein's towers go on hiatus and put malls in their place. He totally controls the sites under a 99-year leasehold.

Even so, a shopping mall could be built far faster and more cheaply than a 1,000-foot office tower. And Silverstein has already indicated a willingness to back-burner Tower 3.


But a shopping mall at the site would force him to create a "sky lobby" above the stores when he eventually gets around to building the office tower -- a complex, uncertain redesign that might also make office leasing more difficult.

Happily, a sign of potential compromise appeared last week: The PA offered to help Silverstein with up to $1.2 billion in financing for Tower 2 if he first raises $625 million elsewhere.

It seemed a joke -- if Silverstein could do that, he wouldn't need the PA's help. But that $625 million happens to be the exact amount that Westfield said last year it would put into a joint venture with the PA to own and manage the retail space Ground Zero.

The PA and Westfield seem to have something up their sleeves -- for example, agreeing to Silverstein's loan request if he lets Westfield in on the action.
But, whatever's going on behind the closed doors of the propaganda factories, it's time for all parties to make concessions.

Tower 3's short-term future is off the table anyway; the site could remain empty indefinitely. And putting up all the skyscrapers at once makes no sense in this grim economy. So it's in the general interest to build retail space there.

Silverstein should let the shopping mall go forward at the Tower 3 site, but without relinquishing his right to build the tower later. Reconfiguring its design to accommodate the retail base will take some doing -- but the office floors can't rise for years, so he'll have time to figure out how.

But Tower 2 must rise soon -- lest reconstruction stall after having restored little more than half the 11 million feet of offices demolished on 9/11. A deal to jumpstart Tower 2, holding off only on Tower 3, would yield 8.5 million feet. That's nearly comparable to the lost space, thanks to greater efficiencies provided by today's engineering.

Which means the PA and Westfield must give ground, too. Westfield must accept only one retail podium. And, most crucially, the PA should do the building itself -- because the mall must go up whether store tenants are pre-signed or not.

The PA can't simply sell Westfield an option on land that could remain barren if Westfield doesn't pre-sign enough tenants. So the PA must build the mall without preconditions, then turn it over to Westfield. A glass-wrapped retail podium actually in the ground will be a lot easier to fill than one that remains frozen on paper.

Making all the moving parts mesh is a long shot -- one requiring good faith on all sides and forceful political leadership. But, considering the bleak outlook otherwise, does anyone have a better idea?
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  #914  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2009, 11:38 PM
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"Silverstein should let the shopping mall go forward at the Tower 3 site, but without relinquishing his right to build the tower later. Reconfiguring its design to accommodate the retail base will take some doing -- but the office floors can't rise for years, so he'll have time to figure out how."

These guys know Silverstein is like 80 Something, right? I'm not sure he's GOT all that many "years" to putz around with this thing...
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  #915  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2009, 2:31 AM
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Originally Posted by CoolCzech View Post
"Silverstein should let the shopping mall go forward at the Tower 3 site, but without relinquishing his right to build the tower later. Reconfiguring its design to accommodate the retail base will take some doing -- but the office floors can't rise for years, so he'll have time to figure out how."

These guys know Silverstein is like 80 Something, right? I'm not sure he's GOT all that many "years" to putz around with this thing...
I thought exactly the same thing. He allows the mall to be build there and I am very skeptical that we will see any tower there ever.
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  #916  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2009, 11:20 AM
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a shopping mall instead of the tower??? what is wrong with these people?
     
     
  #917  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2009, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnFlint1985 View Post
I thought exactly the same thing. He allows the mall to be build there and I am very skeptical that we will see any tower there ever.
Most people are skeptical of it. It's even more unlikely when you consider Silverstein himself is getting up in years. But Larry Silverstein was behind at least one of the delays of this tower - remember he did put it on hold for six months hoping to get a commitment from Merrill Lynch for a larger, taller tower. There were plans drawn up, though we've never seen them, and I'm convinced Silverstein thinks he can eventually get that larger tower built.
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  #918  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2009, 11:48 AM
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http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_224/silverstein.html

Silverstein makes its case to C.B. 1

By Julie Shapiro
July 10 - 16, 2009

Quote:
A Silverstein Properties executive slammed the Port Authority’s most recent proposal for the World Trade Center site Monday night but also said it could represent a small step in the right direction.

...the Port and Silverstein have a related matter to deal with: On July 6, fed up with the stalled negotiations, Silverstein threatened to bring his concerns to an independent arbitration panel. If a deal does not surface by Monday, either the Port or Silverstein can pursue arbitration, which would likely take months.

The arbitration would not directly focus on how to finance Silverstein’s office buildings. Instead, it would focus on the 2006 rebuilding agreement between Silverstein and the Port Authority, which set a detailed timeline for the delivery of key infrastructure at the site. The Port announced last year that it had fallen far behind on many of those projects, including the PATH hub and the streets and utilities. Silverstein would now use the arbitration process to seek damages for those delays, with an eye toward getting enough cash to build the Church St. office towers himself.

“We’re going to be looking for a significant damage award,” Lieber said Monday. “We’re going to be looking to recoup a lot of the money that we have given the Port Authority.”


The money Lieber referred to totals $2.76 billion, a combination of $780 million rent Silverstein has paid the authority since 9/11, insurance proceeds Silverstein gave to the authority when the authority took over building the Freedom Tower in 2006 and responsibility for Tower 5.

“This is a sacred fund, and we gave them all the money,” Lieber said in reference to some of the $4.5 billion in insurance Silverstein received after 9/11. “We can’t just walk away. And if we can’t make a new deal, we have to find a way to get the money back so we can build some buildings.”

Sigmund, the Port spokesperson, said it does not make sense for Silverstein to ask for any of the insurance money back now.

“Every dime of that money is going toward rebuilding Downtown, which is what the insurance proceeds are designed to do,” Sigmund said.

After Lieber made Silverstein’s case Monday night to C.B. 1’s W.T.C. Redevelopment Committee, it appeared that some board members were moving closer to Silverstein’s side. In the past, C.B. 1 members have said the Port should keep its money for public infrastructure projects and should not help Silverstein finance his office buildings. But on Monday, several board members sounded convinced by Lieber’s arguments, especially when they heard about all the rent Silverstein had been paying the Port since 9/11.

“I’m frankly shocked about how much money was handed over to the authority,” said Tom Goodkind, a board member. “It puts things in a completely different light.”
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Silverstein, Rejecting Port’s Offer, May Seek Damages



By Matt Dunning
UPDATED Jul. 14

Quote:
Lieber told the CB1 committee that the company would look to recover at least some of the $2.75 billion in ground rent Silverstein has paid to the Authority since Sept. 11, 2001, when the site was destroyed. Silverstein signed a 99-year lease on the property just six weeks prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The two sides have until July 20 to reach an agreement, at which point either of them can initiate the arbitration hearings.

“If we can't make a new deal, we have to find a way to get the money back [from the Port Authority] so we can build some buildings,” Lieber said. “We've been paying rent as if the Twin Towers were still standing and full of tenants. At some point, given the delays that have taken place in the redevelopment of the site, that stops being fair."
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  #919  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2009, 12:07 PM
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Pfff.. and to think skyscraper fans are probably excited with these news... oh, wait...

Go get em'!
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  #920  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2009, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Aleks View Post
Pfff.. and to think skyscraper fans are probably excited with these news... oh, wait...Go get em'!
You don't have to be excited by the news to follow it. Word to the wise...
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