| NEW YORK
NEW YORK May 28 A vote was again delayed on
Wednesday on a deal to complete a third World Trade Center
tower, with the New York and New Jersey transportation agency
saying it now favors private financing instead of loan
guarantees for developer Larry Silverstein.
Details of a possible private financing were not released.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey vice-chairman Scott
Rechler said during a board meeting that it has had interest
from re-insurance companies and "some of the largest financial
service players in the world."
Rechler said he has a "very high degree of confidence" that
some kind of public-private financing mechanism can be achieved.
Rechler said the agency would make "hybrid" financing "our
primary area of focus."
The Port Authority had been considering providing
Silverstein with $1.2 billion in guarantees so he can secure a
construction loan for 3 World Trade Center, in lower Manhattan
where the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks destroyed the 110-story twin
"Having agreed to the requests conveyed by Port Authority
leadership, we are surprised that the discussions did not yield
a successful resolution," Silverstein said in a statement. He
said he remains committed to working with the agency.
The deal, even with concessions that would improve the Port
Authority's position, became entangled in a debate over the
agency's mission, including whether it should be in the real
estate business at all.
Those questions emerged as lawmakers, prosecutors and the
agency itself began scrutinizing the organization after
operatives loyal to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie caused
massive traffic jams last September on the George Washington
Bridge. It was an apparent act of political retribution for the
Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey near the bridge who did
not endorse Republican Christie's reelection campaign.
Critics have complained about the slow pace of
reconstruction at the World Trade Center site in the nearly 13
years since the hijacked-plane attacks. David Stanke lives next
door. After the attacks, Stanke said, he told his four children
the area would be rebuilt soon. They are now between 15 and 18
"I lied to my children," he told commissioners on Wednesday,
urging them to push ahead with construction so that community
life could come back to the site.
Some development is moving ahead, with the National
September 11 Memorial Museum opening to the public on May 21.
(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Grant McCool)