A key developer in the massive project to rebuild the World Trade Center site says it will be complete within the next few years. NY1’s Rebecca Spitz sat down for an exclusive interview with developer Larry Silverstein and filed the following report.
It's hard to see from street level, but there's work going on in the former World Trade Center site. So quickly, in fact, that developer Larry Silverstein predicts the site will be finished in the next five to six years.
"Here we are, after nine years of this, and this thing is now moving forward at a terrific pace,” said Silverstein. “And we are thrilled with the acceleration and the reality of what's transpiring before us on a daily basis."
The Port Authority's One World Trade Center is rising fast.
Silverstein is responsible for building Towers 2, 3, and 4 on the eastern side of the site. The first one with any discernible action is Tower 4.
"It's several stories above grade at this juncture. And once the typical floors get formed and framed, the structure starts to rise up and the building will begin to take shape quickly,” Silverstein explained.
There was a time when Tower 4’s fate hung in the balance. Silverstein was looking for financing, and in March, reached a tentative agreement with the Port Authority which offered loan guarantees. Under the same agreement, the Port Authority says Tower 3 will get at least five stories of retail, and if Silverstein raises $300 million and leases 400,000 square feet of space, the city, state and PA will back an additional $600 million.
Tower 2 will be built to street level, with the option to build higher when the economy picks back up.
The agreement capped months of bitterness between the two parties.
"I think everybody came to the realization that this had to get done, and the Port Authority came to realize they cannot do this without us; we realized we can't do this without them,” said the developer.
The Port Authority wouldn't confirm Silverstein's timetable, but said, “Silverstein is so optimistic he says he's already talking to potential tenants for Tower 4, who he describes as first-class corporations looking to lease a significant amount of space.”