The Earth Shifts a Tad at Ground Zero
New York State officials complete a deal with World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein that will break the development logjam that has plagued the site for almost five years. Why Gov. Pataki didn’t invoke eminent domain here a long time ago is a mystery to us.
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The developer Larry A. Silverstein announced yesterday that he had accepted the economic terms of a new deal at ground zero. The proposal reduces his overall role on the 16-acre site and clears the way for construction of the Freedom Tower, the tallest and most symbolically important of five towers planned for the site.
The deal calls for Mr. Silverstein to surrender control of the $2 billion Freedom Tower, along with more than one third of the ground zero site, to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. But he would retain the right to build three office towers on the most valuable parcels there.
Mr. Silverstein’s announcement came six days after officials from the Pataki, Corzine and Bloomberg administrations presented the developer with a unified, take-it-or-leave-it offer in an attempt to end four months of frustrating and politically embarrassing struggle over the future of the World Trade Center site.
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