Volume 19 • Issue 5 | June 16 - 22, 2006

Deutsche delayed; Silverstein gets more bonds

The rebuilding of the World Trade Center faced another setback this week, as the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. was forced to delay the demolition of the Deutsche Bank building until later this summer.

The demolition was expected to begin this month, but the Environmental Protection Agency, which is overseeing the cleanup and deconstruction of the contaminated tower, responded to L.M.D.C.’s demolition with additional questions asking for clarification and pointing out inconsistencies in the plan.

“The bottom line is L.M.D.C. must address our concerns and answer the questions raised by the regulatory agencies before they can begin dismantling the building,” said E.P.A. spokesperson Mary Mears.

“L.M.D.C. continues our ongoing consultation with the regulators to ensure that the job is completed safely and in accordance with regulatory requirements,” said L.M.D.C. spokesperson John Gallagher in a statement. “Abatement work is continuing and we hope to begin floor-by-floor deconstruction later this summer.”

The demolition of the Deutsche Bank building, a 40-story tower at 130 Liberty St. has been fraught with repeated delays. The L.M.D.C. purchased the building, which was badly damaged and contaminated from World Trade Center debris on Sept. 11, in Aug. 2004 with the intention of dismantling it to make way for the new World Trade Center. Since that time, the agency has worked to create and fine-tune a demolition plan that the E.P.A. and other regulatory agencies would approve.

“This is such a unique situation that we find ourselves in in these buildings in Lower Manhattan and this is a very large building and therefore poses a lot more challenges,” said Mears.

In other Trade Center news, the Liberty Development Corporation gave preliminary approval for $1.67 billion in Liberty Bonds for the construction of World Trade Center Towers 2, 3, and 4. The city is expected to approve another $920 million in Liberty Bonds for the three towers in July.

“This announcement marks another huge step forward in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan,” Empire State Development Chairman Gargano said in a prepared statement.  “We expect that this inducement will not only help leaseholder Larry A. Silverstein finalize the balance of his financing, but will facilitate the expenditure of funds at the World Trade Center site and accelerate real progress of construction.”

All three towers are on Church St. and will be constructed by Larry Silverstein, the leaseholder for the site. The three towers will contain 6.2 million sq. ft. of space and cost an estimated $4.38 billion to build, financed through Liberty Bonds, insurance proceeds and conventional financing. Construction for Towers 3 and 4 is expected to begin in mid-2007 and construction for Tower 2 will begin in mid-2008.

The Liberty Bond Program provides low cost, tax-exempt bond financing for major projects related to the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan.

—Ronda Kaysen


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