The Real Deal New York

Silverstein sniffs around for alternative WTC tower lenders

Lack of Port Authority support for subsidy has developer looking for other source of funds
May 29, 2014 01:10PM

Developer Larry Silvestein is telling real estate executives that he remains optimistic about the Port Authority’s ultimate guarantee of a $1.2 billion construction loan to complete 3 World Trade Center. But in the wake of the agency’s decision to yet again delay voting on the subsidy, Silverstein is working on lining up financing from possible backup lenders.

The prospective suppliers of capital include a financial institution, an insurance company, and a nontraditional lender such as SL Green Realty or private equity firm Blackstone Group, the New York Times reported.

“They recognized the votes were not there,” Kenneth Lipper, a Port Authority board member and critic of the deal, told the Times. “The proposal to guarantee the $1.2 billion is D.O.A. We’ve gone back to the idea that we’ll limit our exposure to the $200 million that was part of our 2010 agreement.”

Whether Silverstein will land the necessary funds from either the Port Authority or other sources is not yet certain, but he has inked a lease with advertising media company GroupM in the meantime, for almost one-fifth of the 72-story tower. The developer is also near to signing software developer MediaMath as another tenant, according to the Times.

Construction, meanwhile, has been stuck on the eighth floor for over a year now.

“We are committed to continuing the incredible momentum that has been realized in Lower Manhattan to date, and remain 100 percent focused on ensuring a fully rebuilt and revitalized World Trade in the heart of the world’s most dynamic urban neighborhood,” Silverstein said in a statement issued Wednesday. [NYT]  — Julie Strickland