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Governor George E. Pataki, New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Board of Directors approved a series of agreements, formalizing the conceptual framework agreed upon by Silverstein Properties and the Port Authority in April of this year. The Global agreement redefines the Net Lease signed just weeks before September 11, 2001. The agreements expedite the redevelopment process, ensure full build-out of the site, and create timelines and ensure a long-term financial plan.
Under the agreement approved today, The Port Authority will control the Freedom Tower and Tower 5 and Silverstein Properties will develop Towers 2, 3, and 4 to be located on the eastern portion of the World Trade Center site along Church Street, comprising approximately 6.2 million square feet of office space. The World Trade Center retail lease will continue to be owned by the Port Authority. Work will continue with development of 490,000 square feet of retail planned for the site.
Construction on the entire site is expected to be completed by as early as 2012, including Towers 1 through 4, the retail, the Calatrava Transportation Hub and the Memorial. The agreement ensures the completion of the Freedom Tower and expedites the rebuilding of the entire WTC site, in particular the Church Street corridor, which will return ground level retail to Lower Manhattan restoring street life and economic vitality to the area.
“This is an historic event that details a specific financial plan for this massive rebuilding project, commits to deadlines for various milestones and moves us toward a swift completion date,” Governor Pataki said. “I’m extremely proud of the progress we have made so far, and these agreements will continue to expedite the work. In just five short years, the Freedom Tower, Towers 3 and 4, the Memorial, the Calatrava Transportation Hub and the vibrant retail complex will be complete. In the upcoming months, we will see steel rising from the base of the Freedom Tower, major excavation for the basement of Towers 2, 3 and 4 and construction of the underground passageways that will link various modes of transportation. This work will serve as a catalyst as we continue to move this redevelopment forward.”
New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine said, “This series of agreements culminates hundreds of hours of work and compromise and will serve as a springboard to get this rebuilding project done quickly and efficiently. There’s already been tremendous progress at the site to build the signature memorial, the comprehensive transportation facility and the Freedom Tower, and this agreement will establish clear deadlines and accountability for getting these projects done responsibly so we can ensure the future economic strength of the region.”
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, “I am pleased with this vote because the renegotiation of this lease has been a top priority. Thanks to the hard work of all parties involved in this renegotiation, there is today far greater certainty that the entire WTC site will be rebuilt. Now we must all turn our attention to ensuring that the timetables and promises made today are adhered to and that they result in a fully rebuilt site of which we can all be proud.”
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “These agreements will provide us with a fiscally responsible road map that will help us expedite the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site. They also will ensure this complex project moves forward without delay.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “The economic strength and vitality of Lower Manhattan and the region hinges on our ability to rebuild this site. We now have a comprehensive plan that outlines the roles of all those responsible for the rebuilding, allowing them to move aggressively forward to build a spectacular memorial, the major office towers and a transportation hub that will interconnect the PATH system, subways and ferries.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr., said, “These agreements will be a driving force in getting this rebuilding project done on time and on budget. It will hold the Port Authority and Silverstein Properties financially accountable for work that each party is required to do, which will ensure the prompt rebuilding of the site.”
Mr. Ringler added that under the agreements, the Port Authority will turn over the sites for Towers 3 and 4 to Silverstein Properties by the end of 2007, and will turn over the site for Tower 2 by mid 2008.
World Trade Center developer, Larry A. Silverstein said, “Over the past few months, we have accomplished a great deal: 7 World Trade Center is open and substantially leased. We are digging the foundations for the Freedom Tower and 805 tons of steel are on their way to Ground Zero. We have produced, and shared with the world, soaring designs for the next three towers that will soon rise along the eastern portion of the World Trade Center site. Today's agreement marks another major step forward. We need to keep building on this partnership so that together we can get the World Trade Center rebuilt.”
The agreements also provide for various financial, planning, construction and leasing matters in connection with the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site. Earlier this week, the Port Authority and the State secured commitments from federal and state agencies to occupy more than 1 million square feet of the Freedom Tower when it opens in 2012.
The Port Authority has agreed to relocate its headquarters to Tower 4 and lease approximately 600,000 square feet in that building at an initial rate of $59 a square foot. The City has granted Silverstein Properties an option to require the City to lease approximately 600,000 square feet in Tower 4 at an initial rate of $56.50 a square foot.
Work already is under way on some major components of the World Trade Center site redevelopment. Excavation for the footings and foundations for the Freedom Tower began in April, and steel will be erected for that tower beginning in January 2007. A fourth platform for the PATH terminal and a section of the underground passageways for the World Trade Center Transportation Hub are under construction. And work began in August on the footings and foundations for the Memorial.
Earlier this month, designs by three world-renowned architects for Towers 2, 3 and 4 at the World Trade Center site were unveiled.