Silverstein: Why New WTC Buildings Much More Costly

06/14/2011 10:35 PM
9/11 A Decade Later: Larry Silverstein Optimistic About Pace Of WTC Development
By: Bobby Cuza

After years of bickering and stalled plans at the World Trade Center site, leaseholder Larry Silverstein said Tuesday he is optimistic about the progress happening there and what it means for the future of Downtown Manhattan. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.

The power struggle is over, it seems, and now there is tangible progress at the World Trade Center site -- particularly on One World Trade Center, now 68 stories tall.

However, leaseholder Larry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties told a real estate conference Tuesday he still takes issue with the building’s name.

“They call it Tower 1, but for those of us who were here from the beginning, it’s the Freedom Tower. Always will be the Freedom Tower,” he said.

While the Port Authority is building Tower 1, Silverstein is building the other three towers, including Tower 4, which is now 32 stories.

Altogether, there is $20 billion of construction taking place at the site, and Silverstein said the high cost is in part because of safety standards that go beyond what’s required by law.

“We studied carefully and learned as a result of our study what happened on 9/11 and therefore how not to build a high-rise office building,” said Silverstein. "So the net result is, these buildings are much more costly because they’re much better buildings, much safer buildings.”

There was consensus at the Tuesday meeting that Downtown Manhattan’s revival is in full bloom. The remaining point of contention was what took progress so long to get to this point, or given the site’s complexity, whether it took so long at all.

“If you think about Metrotech or if you think about Battery Park City or if you think about major projects around the country, 10 years is really a short time for a major urban development,” said Carl Weisbrod of the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate.

“I still believe from a government efficiency standpoint, it would have made sense to have had less players involved. There were too many proverbial chefs in the kitchen,” said Community Board 1 Chairwoman Julie Menin.

Construction on Towers 2 and 3 still depends on securing financing and tenants, but Silverstein is optimistic.

“By 2016, we should be out of here. This should all be done, and it’ll be an incredible advantage to Lower Manhattan,” said Silverstein.

NY1 will observe progress at the World Trade Center throughout the summer from a workspace in the Millennium Hotel overlooking the site, and Bobby Cuza will file reports every night Tuesday through Thursday.

See also:

Silverstein's Investigation: Owner's Insurance Claim Investigation Blames Columns

"Silverstein Properties Inc., acquired control of the entire World Trade Center complex, and an insurance policy to cover it, in the summer of 2001. As part of its insurance claim, it commissioned a study by Weidlinger Associates Inc. The Weidlinger study contrasts with the truss failure theory popularized by NOVA and the Discovery Channel by blaming fireproofing of columns instead of the floor trusses. By exonerating the flooring system, Silverstein's study avoids charges that faulty construction played a role in the collapses.

Because of the role of the Weidlinger study in Silverstein's insurance litigation, details of the study's findings remain hidden from the public."

03/15/2006 10:05 AM
Charges Of Greed Surface Following Breakdown Of WTC Talks
By: NY1 News

"This rebuilding project is unlike any other in the history of New York City and our nation, and must be treated as such,” said Pataki. “Our ardent desire to move forward expeditiously must not be used as leverage by Larry Silverstein for his financial demands."

“In order for Lower Manhattan to continue and grow as one of the world’s pre-eminent business centers, it is essential that the World Trade Center site be built out correctly, completely and as quickly as possible,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. “It is time for Silverstein Properties to temper its individual interests and focus on what’s best for New York City.”

“Larry Silverstein is a fine developer and a good New Yorker, but he must now put aside his individual profit motive,” added Senator Charles Schumer. The Port Authority says Silverstein should step aside if he can't get the job done.

Among the items being negotiated are agreements over who will build what at the site, how much rent Silverstein will pay, and how to divide what's left of nearly $5 billion in insurance money Silverstein was awarded after the Twin Towers collapsed."

W.T.C. Silverstein Deal Finalized, Finally
By Eliot Brown 8/26/10 5:51pm

"The board of the Port Authority today voted in favor of a deal struck between Mr. Silverstein, the agency’s staff and the city and state governments that provides the developer a bailout package of sorts to allow him to build two towers on the site, provided he can find a relatively small tenant commitment and raise $300 million in capital. Given that the package accounted for hundreds of millions in new subsidies on top of old subsidies already in place, it was not a deal typical of government economic development efforts; but, in the end, the governmental powers that be opted for this over an unending stalemate that rendered the World Trade Center site paralyzed.

And thus the fighting is over. Finally. At least for now."

Larry Silverstein On Getting Hit By a Car, World Trade Center Timetable
By Pamela Engel 6/14 2:58pm

"On the morning of 9/11, my wife had made an appointment for me with the dermatologist. … The effect of sun is significant for people with me complexion. I said ‘cancel the dermatologist, I have a lot to do downtown.’ She said ‘you canceled the last time…’ so I said ‘yes, dear, whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it.’ That saved my life. As simple as that. … "

Controlling Interests: Ownership, Control, and Insurance of The World Trade Center

"On April 26 of 2001 the Board of Commissioners for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey awarded Silverstein Properties and mall-owner Westfield America a 99-year-lease on the following assets: The Twin Towers, World Trade Center Buildings 4 and 5, two 9-story office buildings, and 400,000 square feet of retail space. . . . The lease deal didn't close until July 24th, just 6 weeks before the attack."

Most of WTC Down Payment to Be Returned
November 22, 2003

"Under a pending agreement, a developer and two investors will get back most of their original $124 million investment to lease the World Trade Center just six weeks before a terrorist attack destroyed the twin towers. . . .

It was the largest real estate deal in New York history when Silverstein and his partners paid the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey about $800 million in fees and down payments for a 99-year lease. They agreed to pay about $120 million in rent per year.

Of that $800 million, Silverstein put up about $14 million, Goldman and Cayre provided about $110 million, and about $127 million came from Westfield America, which operated the shopping mall at the trade center, the Times said. The GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp. lent Silverstein $563 million."

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Lucky Larry

Would it be considered anti-Semitic to comment?

Yes, no comments allowed.

Yes, no comments allowed.



He's sort of the classic NY gangster, in a way, when you start to look at the breadth of his activities, the not just millions, but billions of $, the greed and convenient tales of how things turn out, claims of making the buildings more safe cost so much money when he oversaw the structures which led to the deaths of so many, the hijacking of the city organizations and government to try to profit even more . . . .

Assuming he knew about B7, he goes far beyond the average gangster. Its interesting to consider what goes through his head when he sees things like the Building 7 campaigns, the commercials, etc.

Yet, given the millions and billions moving through his hands, you wonder how and why the FOX News guys were able to cover B7 at all. Larry seems unaware any of it could ever catch up with him. And the problem with gangster-ridden old cities like NY is that it takes centuries for gangsters to be dealt with.

Boss Tweed Went Down

Even NYC's corrupt "Boss Tweed" (Tammany Hall) went down. Let's hope for the same result here.

Silverstein and WTC Reconstruction

I am baffled that the City of New York does business with Larry Silverstein. There is evidence that this man was involved in the demolition of the WTC towers, the murder of over 3000 citizens and the initiation of the program for 'Perpetual War' as implemented by the United States Congress and yet he continues to work with the City and no investigation of his involvement is undertaken. The city council refuses to investigate and the courts will not touch this topic. I can assure you, that, in my community this man would not be allowed to do business and run free. This certainly reflects on the City of New York and the extent of the corruption. All whom participate in covering for and enabling this man to operate are co-conspirators! Unbelievable!

Learning from our mistakes

“We studied carefully and learned as a result of our study what happened on 9/11 and therefore how not to build a high-rise office building,” said Silverstein.

Right: don't plant explosives in it.

Good comment. I let out a

Good comment. I let out a laugh.