NEW YORK Construction on Lower Manhattan's flagship 3 World Trade Center building is set to restart after the developer was given the go-ahead on Wednesday to use $159 million in insurance money while he raises more than $1 billion private sector financing.
Developer Larry Silverstein said the insurance money, related to the Sept. 11 attacks on the site, allows construction to continue after being stuck at eight floors. He added that the 80 story building remains on target for completion in 2018. The insurance money had been in escrow.
The deal with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was important because it removes some of the uncertainty for the anchor tenant, media and advertising company GroupM, which can by June 30 change its mind about moving into the building.
"We remain confident that we will nail down a construction financing package that will allow us to complete the project and create an ideal environment for GroupM employees and other, dynamic, creative companies who are making their home at the new World Trade Center," Silverstein said in a statement.
Under the modified agreement, the Port Authority, which oversees the development, said it would get more than $300 million in revenue from the World Trade Center site and save $14 million in costs.
"Today's agreement approved by the Board of Commissioners minimizes the Port Authority's financial risk and increases private sector participation," said Port Authority Executive director Pat Foye.
(Reporting by Edward Krudy. Editing by Andre Grenon)