NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Port Authority delayed a vote Wednesday on whether to help developer Larry Silverstein build a third tower on the World Trade Center site.
As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, the issue represents a rare public disagreement among Port Authority board members.
The dispute is over whether the agency should back $1.2 billion in loans for 3 World Trade Center. Silverstein is building the planned $2.3 billion tower on the site.
During Wednesday’s monthly meeting, Port Authority board member Kep Lipper said bridge and tunnel toll payers should not be helping Silverstein build the tower.
“I urge the commission reject the scandalous overreach into the public cookie jar,” Kipper said.
Silverstein executive Janno Lieber took exception to Lipper’s claim, saying the Port Authority will collect significant rent from the building.
“And that is among the only money that can be used to take the pressure off of the toll payers of New Jersey,” he told Haskell.
The board put off the vote until next month while the two sides work toward a potential deal.
Crain’s contributor Greg David told Haskell the benefit of the Port Authority supporting the project is so that New York isn’t left with “the stump of six or seven stories that’s going to be used for retail.” David said the drawback of backing the construction is that if Silverstein doesn’t lease the space, “the Port Authority is going to be on the hook for all that money.”
Towers 1 and 4, which have both been built, each have acres of unleased space, Haskell reported.
In the past, board disputes have played out in private.
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