Silverstein offers to put in more money, nix Tower 2 at Ground Zero

February 19, 2010 08:51AM

World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein is stepping up his efforts to end the ongoing financing debate with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey over his planned towers at the site. A new proposal, unveiled by Silverstein at a meeting with the agency and with city and state officials last week, would nix plans for Tower 2, the 79-story structure
that would have been taller than the Empire State Building. Instead, Silverstein
would build what has been called Tower 3 in a move that would save $262
million. He is also now offering between $150 million and $250 million of his own money to fund the tower, plus money from insurance and proceeds from his Liberty bonds, up from the $50 million he had originally agreed to put forward. The change in plans follows an arbitration panel decision earlier this month that denied Silverstein close to $1 billion in damages from the Port Authority, after he claimed the agency was in “material breach” of its agreement at the construction site. He had hoped to pressure the agency into helping to finance all three planned towers on his portion of the Ground Zero site. CBS’ “60 Minutes” plans to air a segment on the battle over rebuilding the World Trade Center site this Sunday.