The Real Deal New York

Port Authority members clash over Trade Center subsidies

Plan would hand $1.2B in construction loans to 3 WTC developer Larry Silverstein
March 17, 2014 10:59AM

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey board of commissioners are butting heads over subsidies for 3 World Trade Center, the 80-story, $2.3 billion tower in the Financial District. The project is currently stalled.

Developer Larry Silverstein and Port Authority’s vice chair, Scott Rechler, are pushing for the subsidies that they said would allow for construction on the 16-acre site to be completed. The plan would provide as much as $1.2 billion in construction loans.

Port Authority commissioner Kenneth Lipper, however, is leading the opposition, arguing that the building would be largely vacant and would be competing with One World Trade Center and other nearby towers. Lipper said the loans would likely reduce the Port Authority’s credit rating.

“The idea of giving a $1.2 billion subsidy to a private developer at a time when the market downtown is in a state of glut defies the public interest and the economic interest,” Lipper told the New York Times. “It would turn a patriotic gesture into a vanity project. And it could jeopardize our mission, which is to improve the transportation system in the region.” [NYT]Mark Maurer