| Sept 11
Sept 11 A long-delayed sale of land that is part
of the World Trade Center redevelopment could become a reality
under a new accord between the Port Authority of New York and
New Jersey and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum,
four sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
The property, called Site 5, could fetch $135 million to
$200 million, two of the sources said.
Site 5 is owned by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp, a
city-state agency created to rebuild that part of the city after
the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Across from the World Trade Center,
the land had been occupied by the Deutsche Bank building, which
was damaged in the attacks and later demolished.
The accord between the Port Authority and National September
11 Memorial & Museum announced on Monday obliges the Lower
Manhattan Development Corp to fulfill a 2006 agreement by
turning Site 5 over to the Port Authority.
In exchange, the Port Authority would give the museum title
to the eight acres of land it and the memorial occupy on the
16-acre (6.5 hectare) World Trade Center site. The memorial
honors nearly 3,000 people who perished as a result of the
"Under the 2006 agreement, it (Site 5) is supposed to be
swapped for the eight acres on which the museum and memorial are
located," Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler told
Reuters on Tuesday after a service for 84 Port Authority workers
who were killed on Sept. 11.
The land swaps were delayed by a political standoff over who
would run the annual Sept. 11 anniversary ceremonies held on the
memorial plaza, two of the sources said. The sources asked for
anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly
about the matter.
The governors of New York and New Jersey, who run the Port
Authority, wanted more control over the ceremonies.
The annual memorial has been managed by New York City Mayor
Michael Bloomberg because he chairs the foundation that runs the
museum and memorial, and the city's police are responsible for
The deal gives the two sides six months to finalize the land
swaps. One of the sources said that if only part of Site 5 were
to be transferred to the Port Authority, New York state's Public
Authorities Control Board might have to approve the deal, which
could complicate the matter.
MORE MONEY FOR PORT AUTHORITY
The Port Authority owns the World Trade Center complex,
which it is rebuilding with developer Larry Silverstein. The
Port Authority's projects include the underground museum.
Last year, Port Authority stopped building the nearly $1.3
billion museum because it was arguing with the museum foundation
over cost overruns.
Monday's accord cleared the way for New York Governor Andrew
Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to attend Tuesday's
11th anniversary ceremony by resolving the cost dispute and
creating a coordinating committee to handle such events.
In July, the foundation said politicians would be excluded
from speaking roles to focus on victims' families.
The sources said this pressured Christie and Cuomo to reach
the accord with Bloomberg on Monday. The deal clears the way for
work on the museum to resume in October, Rechler said. The
project should be finished by late 2013 or early 2014, he said.
A spokeswoman for Bloomberg declined to comment. Cuomo's
spokesmen had no immediate comment, and a spokesman for Christie
referred questions to the Port Authority. No politicians spoke
at Tuesday's memorial.
Unlike the World Trade Center land, which can only be used
for commercial development, Site 5 can be used for apartments, a
hotel or offices.
"The site would be most valuable if it supported apartments
with a hotel on the lower floors," said Robert Von Ancken,
chairman of Landauer Valuation & Advisory, a division of Newmark
Grubb Knight Frank.
A combined hotel and apartments could sell for between $135
million and $150 million, based on comparable sales in the area,
the height of the building and the market at the time, he said.
The Port Authority could use the cash as it struggles to
find funds for the World Trade Center and airport, bridge and