Volume 19 Issue 54 | May 25 -31, 2007

Downtown Express photo by Jefferson Siegel

Gov. Spitzer announced the deal to provide the Port Authority and developer Larry Silverstein, right, an additional $2 billion in insurance money to rebuild the World Trade Center. Anthony Shorris, whom Spitzer appointed to be executive director of the Port earlier this year, is at center.

Spitzer brokers deal to end W.T.C. insurance dispute

Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced a deal Wednesday for seven insurance companies to pay an additional $2 billion to developer Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority to rebuild the World Trade Center.

The deal brings the total insurance payment for the destruction of the buildings to $4.55 billion, only $100 million less than Silverstein claimed was due after all of the court decisions. He was originally seeking $7 billion, based on the assertion that the two planes hitting the Twin Towers amounted to two separate attacks. He prevailed with that argument on 10 of his 26 insurance policies.

Last year, Silverstein renegotiated his W.T.C. lease with the Port, owners of the site. Silverstein relinquished some of the insurance money to the Port along with the right to rebuild the two least valuable parcels. Silverstein and Port also have about $3 billion in tax-free Liberty Bonds, which are expected to be easier to sell as a result of the new deal.

Spitzer, who reportedly negotiated the deal into the wee hours of Wednesday morning, said it removed “the last major barrier to rebuilding” during a press conference at the State Insurance office on Beaver St. in Lower Manhattan.

Andreas Shell of Allianz, one of the biggest insurance holdouts, said “We, along with the nation and especially the residents of New York, look forward to seeing the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site,” according to the Associated Press.

Silverstein praised Spitzer and the governor’s Insurance superintendent, Eric Dinallo, for their work.

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