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amigo32
February 1st, 2003, 04:57 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/01/nyregion/01REBU.html

Trade Center Leaseholder Says He Has Right to Rebuild as He Wants
By EDWARD WYATT

Days before city and state officials are scheduled to narrow the design competition for the World Trade Center site to two architecture teams, Larry A. Silverstein, the developer who holds the lease to the property, charged yesterday that rebuilding officials were ignoring his right to rebuild the site as he sees fit.

In a letter to John C. Whitehead, the chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, Mr. Silverstein also said that none of the current designs for the site meet the requirements set out by rebuilding officials or the projected future demand for office space. In addition, he said, he believes that for safety reasons, the occupied parts of any building should be limited to no more than 65 or 70 stories — significantly shorter than many of the proposed designs.

Though the letter, dated yesterday, was addressed to Mr. Whitehead, it was a shot across the bow of the entire rebuilding process and the political forces that are shaping it. Copies of the letter were sent to the governors of New York and New Jersey, the mayor, officials of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and others.

The letter, laced with references to ways that Mr. Silverstein could make rebuilding tough if not impossible, makes it clear that he and the Port Authority, which owns the site, disagree on some significant points.

Mr. Silverstein said he controlled the insurance reimbursement funds from the destruction of the trade center, "the only private source of funds for redevelopment." Rebuilding officials have privately disputed that assertion, saying that ultimately the Port Authority is entitled to the money.

Mr. Silverstein says his lease gives him the right to rebuild if the buildings on the site are destroyed, but he and rebuilding officials disagree about exactly what he is entitled to rebuild.

A representative in Mr. Silverstein's office said that he was traveling yesterday afternoon and could not be reached for comment. Howard J. Rubenstein, a spokesman for Mr. Silverstein, said the letter was not intended to threaten the rebuilding effort or the officials managing it. Rather, he said, "it is an effort to get this program moving effectively, utilizing the insurance funds that will come to him to rebuild."

"He wants to work with the process so that the final product will meet the needs of downtown," Mr. Rubenstein said.

In a phone call and a second letter to Mr. Whitehead yesterday, Mr. Silverstein sought to reassure him that he wanted to build "spectacular, architecturally distinguished buildings" that would restore the skyline and provide for active street life.

Edward Skyler, a spokesman for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, said that Mr. Silverstein's voice was important in the rebuilding process, but was "not the only voice."

Matthew Higgins, a spokesman for the development corporation, disputed Mr. Silverstein's contention that many of the designs were not feasible. "We respect Larry Silverstein's opinion, along with the views of so many who have an interest in the future of the World Trade Center site, including the public," he said.

Greg Trevor, a spokesman for the Port Authority, said: "Larry Silverstein is an important stake holder in this process. The Port Authority will certainly take his views into account."

The timing of Mr. Silverstein's letter was notable. On Monday, eight officials — representatives of the development corporation, the Port Authority, the mayor's office and the governor — are scheduled to meet to choose two or more teams of architects as semifinalists in the design process for the trade center site.

They are expected to agree to request further work on designs by Studio Daniel Libeskind, whose plan would create a memorial space in the excavated pit where the towers stood, and by Think, a collaboration of architects whose favored plan includes two lattice-work towers devoted to educational, civic and cultural facilities.

According to officials who have been reviewing the designs, the Libeskind and Think plans have gained favor with the development corporation's site-planning committee as well as with a plurality, at least, of city, state and authority officials.

The officials said the Libeskind and Think plans most gracefully combined space for a memorial to the victims with cultural venues, transportation centers and potential office and retail space.

Whichever team of architects is chosen, Mr. Silverstein said, he expects them to work with the architecture firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which he has hired to develop a plan for the site. Rebuilding officials expect to select the winning designer by the end of February.

Rebuilding officials face an additional challenge in making their decision: how much attention to pay to public comments that strongly favor a third plan, by Foster and Partners, that calls for giant, twinned towers evoking the original twin towers.

Rebuilding officials have expressed consistent doubt that enough companies could be found to occupy the upper floors of buildings as tall as the original towers. And Mr. Silverstein says in his letter that rebuilding towers more than 1,000 feet high is not only unsafe but is also economic folly.

NYguy
February 1st, 2003, 08:32 AM
Rebuilding officials face an additional challenge in making their decision: how much attention to pay to public comments that strongly favor a third plan, by Foster and Partners, that calls for giant, twinned towers evoking the original twin towers.

Rebuilding officials have expressed consistent doubt that enough companies could be found to occupy the upper floors of buildings as tall as the original towers. And Mr. Silverstein says in his letter that rebuilding towers more than 1,000 feet high is not only unsafe but is also economic folly.

Thus must Silverstein be removed from the process. *And he has almost assured he will be, though it could be costly....

Kris
February 1st, 2003, 08:40 AM
Why now? What is the bastard up to? As if only his interests were at stake. He must be put back to his place or kicked out.

NYguy
February 1st, 2003, 08:45 AM
Time to start the "remove Silverstein!" campaign....

NY Post...

WTC PLANS SLAMMED
By WILLIAM NEUMAN and ANDY SOLTIS

February 1, 2003 -- The man who holds the lease on the World Trade Center site said yesterday none of the proposed design plans is "viable and safe" - and insisted he has the right to say what goes up there.

Larry Silverstein flexed his muscle in a surprise nine-page letter to the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. just before Monday's crucial meeting of a steering committee weighing the site's future.

In his most extensive comments on the designs, the developer said any new buildings on the site should be limited to 65 to 70 stories to ensure "safe, fast and efficient" escape from a possible new disaster.

"None of the plans as currently configured presents a viable and safe vision for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site," Silverstein wrote.

If the relationship between Silverstein and redevelopment officials deteriorated, the matter could wind up in court. That could take years to resolve and spell disaster for rebuilding efforts.

The steering committee, which includes representatives of Gov. Pataki, Mayor Bloomberg, the LMDC and the Port Authority, is expected to pick two finalists from among the teams of architects and their proposed plans for the site.

In the letter to LMDC chairman John Whitehead, Silverstein reminded officials he is paying $120 million a year in rent for the site and wants his views respected.

Silverstein, who also spoke to Whitehead yesterday, wrote that under his agreement with the PA "our group has the right to select the architect responsible for preparing rebuilding plans."

Under the lease, Silverstein added, "We have the right to build substitute buildings" to replace those destroyed.

The developer also appeared to take a guarded swipe at the LMDC's efforts to trim the amount of WTC office space, as well as talk from City Hall about taking control of the site and booting Silverstein from the project.

"We have every reason to expect that the Port Authority will respect its obligations and that other governmental bodies will not seek to interfere with or undercut our rights," he wrote.

The developer, who insisted he was committed to breathtaking buildings at Ground Zero, acknowledged the Port Authority has to consent to any redevelopment.

He added that a key criterion for evaluating the design should be building size, because it is not practical to build "super-tall offices in the post-9/11 world."

That could doom a plan from British architect Norman Foster which envisions two central towers - the largest buildings in the world - o the site.

Silverstein said the occupied portion of any building at the site should be "no more than 65 to 70 stories [900 to 1,000 feet] in total height."

This week two architectural teams - one headed by the Berlin-based Daniel Libeskind and another led by Rafael Vinoly and Fred Schwartz of New York - emerged as the favorites of the LMDC.

The Port Authority said Silverstein's views will be taken into account.

http://www.nypost.com/photos/web02010307.jpg

MAN OF DECISION:
World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein - the man who will build whatever eventually rises on Ground Zero - says there are problems with all the designs submitted so far.
- AP

NYguy
February 1st, 2003, 09:03 AM
More Silverstein madness....(Newsday)


Silverstein claims his agreement with the Port Authority gives him — not the Port Authority and LMDC — the right to choose an architecture team. He has already hired Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which also designed 7 World Trade Center, to develop a site plan.

That may be the reason Skidmore dropped out of the LMDC site plan competition last week.

Silverstein has allowed, however, that Skidmore’s architects could still work with any architects selected by LMDC and the Port Authority.

Among Silverstein’s concerns: buildings no taller than 70 stories or 1,000 feet high, use of technology to enhance building safety, re-establishing much of the street grid and providing reasonably regular floor plates, from 35,000 to 45,000 square feet per floor.

The letter...
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/newyork/ny-silverletter0201,0,971842.acrobat?coll=ny%2Dnynews %2Dheadlines

Fabb
February 1st, 2003, 09:11 AM
Maybe he'll build SOM's french fries after all.

NYguy
February 1st, 2003, 09:16 AM
He'll be ran out of town long before then....remember the public stonings?

Fabb
February 1st, 2003, 09:20 AM
I think he's just playing a game. Some kind of a bluff to receive more money or gain more power, I don't know.

He can't be serious, so obsessed with the eventuality of another attack.

ZippyTheChimp
February 1st, 2003, 10:41 AM
Right after the attacks, Silverstein proposed 4 50 storey buildings. Soon after, the LMDC issued a statement that they would excercise eminent domaine if necessary. Silverstein has been quiet or agreeable since then - until now.

The timing may have something to do with his pending insurance claim. He got a favorable pretrial ruling on Wednesday, and may be maneuvering some legal advantage. But since this will be a jury trial, he needs to portray himself as an ordinary person being screwed by an insurance company.
This letter makes him look more like a greedy developer. *

NYguy
February 1st, 2003, 11:24 AM
Silverstein is mostly annoyed because he wants his architectural firm to design the new WTC (they STILL haven't shown us the plans) and he doesn't want to take a backseat to the LMDC and their planning process. *Silverstein has been biding his time, but the timing of his "outbirst" is questionable, as is his "New York be damned" attitude....

Kris
February 1st, 2003, 11:28 AM
Damn him.

Just Rich
February 1st, 2003, 12:26 PM
I don't see the logic that a 1000 foot building is any safer than a 1300 foot building. *

Fabb
February 1st, 2003, 01:20 PM
Don't be modest.
We're talking about a 1500+ ft building.
There's no logic. Just irrational fear, maybe.

TLOZ Link5
February 1st, 2003, 01:26 PM
Wouldn't a 100-story building be safer in a sense, because it would have to be engineered to resist a 9/11-type attack more efficiently, considering that it has to withstand higher-speed winds than a 50-story building? *If a plane had crashed into a 50-story building, it probably would have toppled over.

TAFisher123
February 1st, 2003, 02:01 PM
process. *Silverstein has been biding his time, but the timing of his "outbirst" is questionable, as is his "New York be damned" attitude....

Timing is very questionable, why wait until now to say ALL the plans are unfeesible...the architects designed their plans to incorporate x amount of office space in y land space throughout the site, now thats all changed??? *So any building over 1000 feet, the top has to be lopped off and then built on what would have been open space....

dbhstockton
February 1st, 2003, 02:11 PM
It is seriously time for some adult supervision in this sandbox

PA, LMDC, Silverstein and everyone else screaming "Mine!" all need a time-out. *Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, it does.

Agglomeration
February 1st, 2003, 02:53 PM
Don't be too sure. Silverstein originally wanted four buildings no more than 55 floors. Since then he's raised the level to about 70 floors. It's not too bad considering there are those pressuring Silverstein to keep the buildings even lower. Maybe with a littlew more nudging we could convince him to raise it to 100 floors and/or 1400 feet.

(Edited by Agglomeration at 1:54 pm on Feb. 1, 2003)

JMGarcia
February 1st, 2003, 06:08 PM
Silverstein is the main force behind restricting height on the site. He is holding back the architects.

He's a miserly old man and can't think beyond his profits. It's the only thing left that still excites him. He must not have the finaly say in this decision.

JMGarcia
February 1st, 2003, 06:24 PM
Everyone here should go to the LMDC comment page and submit a comment that Silverstein's arbitrary and greedy height restrictions must be ignored.

http://www.renewnyc.com/plan_des_dev/frm_comments.asp

Agglomeration
February 1st, 2003, 08:34 PM
We might be able to negotiate with Silverstein or tell him our disapproval with height restrictions, but I wouldn't recommend calling for his lease to be terminated. He has lost too much to let go of the 16 acres. Any virulent attacks against him could harden his position and make him hostile to dialogue, and we don't want that.

ZippyTheChimp
February 1st, 2003, 09:17 PM
Here's a man in the latter part of his life, reasonably secure in his wealth, and events have put him in a unique position to put his mark on history.

What an opportunity to do something great. Instead he chooses to maximize profits.

NYguy
February 1st, 2003, 11:18 PM
(Newsday)
Big 3 Will Decide Fate of WTC

By Katia Hetter

The direction the World Trade Center site plan will take next rests with the Big Three: Govs. George Pataki and James McGreevey and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

At a meeting Monday, the three power brokers will practically ride on the shoulders of their loyalists who are members of an ad hoc committee charged with whittling the eight proposals for the 16-acre site to two or three finalists.

Pataki loyalists dominate the eight-member committee. But New Jersey governor McGreevey’s interests — as partner in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the site’s owner — cannot be ignored. And Bloomberg has even unveiled his own, wider vision for lower Manhattan’s development, and the trade center plan must be part of it.

The comment period on the eight proposals ends Sunday. There aren’t any plans to gather more comment after the committee names its two or three finalists.

Two weeks after that announcement, the committee is likely to choose a winner, with the boards of the Port Authority and Lower Manhattan Development Corp. required to later approve the decision.

Although Bloomberg has only one official representative on the committee — Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff — he also has some unofficial representation. Another committee member, Pataki aide Diana Taylor, is Bloomberg’s girlfriend.

The committee should not be confused with the LMDC’s site planning committee. That group oversaw the development of nine trade center site plans by seven renowned teams of architects, which were made public Dec. 18. (One of the nine plans later was withdrawn.)

Members of the ad hoc committee are:

COMMITTEE CHAIR ROLAND BETTS. Chelsea Piers owner Betts, an LMDC board member and chair of the agency’s site planning committee, made his fortune financing Disney Corp. films.

Known for his close friendship with President George W. Bush, he developed the Chelsea Piers complex in four years. A member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, he will serve as the U.S. Olympic team’s chef de mission at this summer’s Pan American games in the Dominican Republic.

LMDC BOARD CHAIRMAN JOHN WHITEHEAD. Whitehead, a former co-chairman of Goldman, Sachs & Co., served as top deputy to former Secretary of State George Shultz and also as chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. A major Republican donor, Whitehead has made cultural concerns one of his top priorities as LMDC chairman.

LMDC PRESIDENT LOUIS TOMSON A longtime Pataki deputy, Tomson plans to leave his post after a site plan is selected. He is credited with the introduction of the MetroCard in the city’s transit system and overhauling Long Island Lighting Co., replacing it with the Long Island Power Authority.

He served as Pataki’s first deputy secretary from 1995 to 1998, responsible for policy development for the state’s public authorities, including LIPA, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Port Authority.

PORT AUTHORITY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JOSEPH SEYMOUR Seymour, previously the chairman and chief executive officer of the New York Power Authority, has been executive director of the Port Authority since December 2001.

Pataki appointed him after Neil Levin, the Port Authority’s previous executive director, died in the trade center attack.

PORT AUTHORITY BOARD MEMBER CHARLES KUSHNER A Port Authority commissioner since June 2002, Kushner is McGreevey’s candidate to head the Port Authority when current chairman Jack Sinagra steps down this year.

Kushner is a developer whose appointment is raising questions in New Jersey political circles because of potential conflicts of interest with his business.

PORT AUTHORITY BOARD MEMBER TONY SARTOR. A Port Authority commissioner since 1999, Sartor was appointed to the authority’s board by former New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman. Sartor is president of KeySpan Business Solutions, a subsidiary of KeySpan Services.

At the Port Authority, he is chairman of the capital programs and planning committee. He is a chemical engineer by training.

PATAKI AIDE DIANA TAYLOR. Taylor, who was named Pataki’s deputy secretary for public authorities last spring, got a new job earlier this month. She now serves as deputy secretary for finance and housing.

Taylor, who is Bloomberg’s girlfriend, will likely work on issues of concern to the mayor. Last month Bloomberg announced his proposal for 65,000 new housing units.

DEPUTY MAYOR DAN DOCTOROFF Doctoroff, who earned his millions at Texas billionaire Robert Bass’ investment firm, Oak Tree Capital Partners, is credited with single-handedly launching New York City’s bid for the 2012 Olympics.

Since his appointment by Bloomberg, Doctoroff has become the city’s representative on redevelopment, carving out a larger role for the city than his observer status at LMDC might indicate.

Agglomeration
February 1st, 2003, 11:32 PM
It does not appear likely that any "affordable housing" will appear in the plans for the WTC. However, the presence of four Pataki loyalists who don't seem to care much about the city, and two Bloomberg loyalists who prefer afforadable housing for parts of Lower Manhattan, leaves a lot of questions unanswered. *

The overall credentials and accomplishments of these members are good, but I just don't feel that they are brave or tough enough to take on the challenge of rebuilding the WTC.

(Edited by Agglomeration at 10:34 pm on Feb. 1, 2003)

NYguy
February 1st, 2003, 11:34 PM
Quote: from TAFisher123 on 1:01 pm on Feb. 1, 2003
Timing is very questionable, why wait until now to say ALL the plans are unfeesible...the architects designed their plans to incorporate x amount of office space in y land space throughout the site, now thats all changed???

Who knows who's been whispering in Silverstein's ear. *If his objections were so strong, why didn't he object as far back as July when the original site plans *of 85-story buildings were unveiled? *There must be some interior fued with the PA that we don't know about, but I've also read this quote from Newsday...


It’s not clear what impact the Silverstein letter will have on the process, but officials say it could heighten calls for the Port Authority to buy out Silverstein’s lease.

Dismissing Silverstein’s contention that the teams’ plans are not feasible, LMDC spokesman Matt Higgins reminded Silverstein of the many stakeholders at the site.

“We respect Larry Silverstein’s opinion, along with the views of so many who have an interest in the future of the World Trade Center site — including the public,” said Higgins. “We’re confident a plan will emerge from this process that will provide an inspiring setting for a memorial while serving as a catalyst for the revitalization of lower Manhattan.”

Calling Silverstein “an important stakeholder,” Port Authority spokesman Greg Trevor also noted that the developer is just one of many with an interest at the site. “The Port Authority will certainly take his views into account as we move forward with LMDC,” Trevor said.

and the Daily News...

Sources said the letter came after a a top LMDC official told Silverstein that rebuilding officials would move ahead with a consensus plan, with or without him.

amigo32
February 2nd, 2003, 04:02 AM
Who do you root for and who do you hate in this scenario?
I hate them ALL now. *Will anything decent ever get built or accomplished on this site?

(Edited by amigo32 at 3:49 am on Feb. 2, 2003)

chris
February 2nd, 2003, 05:07 AM
I think Silverstein's angle is to try to get bought out at maximum price.

That's too bad. I actually think he could be a voice of reason... though I'm sure I'm in the minority view on that point.

What I read between the lines is that he's saying, "OK, if you wanna buy me out, it's gonna cost ya' and look what a thorn I can be if you try to ignore me. Think of how long I can drag this out with litigation if you give me an offer that doesn't please me."

I could be completely wrong, but think about it like this: If you had the lease on that property, and from a purely legal standpoint (reality of all other interests aside), you, on paper, had the right to rebuild... yet look at the competing interests here... wouldn't it sound reasonable to just want to cash in your chips and get out? I think he's angling on the value of those chips. "How much are you going to pay me to go away?"

...but then, I could be wrong.

amigo32
February 2nd, 2003, 05:46 AM
That argument does make (good business) sense, but I find that kind of behavior morally and socially reprehensible. *He is playing too many damn games! By taking this route, he lowers himself to the level of the multiple slimy political agencies who are chomping at the bit to obtain as much political power and control over the WTC site as they possibly can through buying, borrowing, and stealing. *:(


(Edited by amigo32 at 5:48 am on Feb. 2, 2003)

NYguy
February 2nd, 2003, 06:11 AM
Quote: from amigo32 on 3:02 am on Feb. 2, 2003
Who do you root for and who do you hate in this scenario?
I hate them ALL now. *Will anything decent ever get built or accomplished on this site?

I agree. *As I said earlier, just when I was ready to vent full fury at the LMDC, Silverstein opens his big yap. *But I guess I'll wait to see what develops on Monday. Then we'll finally see who we get to hate....

Fabb
February 2nd, 2003, 08:01 AM
Unless next Monday turns out to be a non-announcement.

JMGarcia
February 2nd, 2003, 06:30 PM
It is extremely clear to me that Silverstein is definately a problem. He has completely ignored public opinion and has always been the driving factor against building tall - from his very first 4 50 story towers plan. If he doesn't know by now that this sort of thing is unacceptable then he never will.

His PR agency managed to soften his image for a while but now that push has come to shove, he true colors have once again shown themselves.

The question in my mind is the PA and how conservative they are when it come to rebuilding tall. They really haven't shown their hand.

All in all, if it turns out that Libeskind and THINK's WCC are really the 2 chosen plans, then it is really clear that Pataki is also buying Silverstein's line about tall occupied space being untenable. If Foster is included in the final round and/or Libeskind and THINK are requested to modify their plans for more office space then there is still hope.

Agglomeration
February 2nd, 2003, 07:42 PM
It's weird really. Silverstein says that he doesn't want future buildings to be more than 70 floors tall, yet he wants all the office space, some 11 million sq. ft., to be rebuilt. This means that it could be similar to the mediocre plans of last July if Silverstain has his way. Am I seeing a distorted opinion here?

Eugenius
February 3rd, 2003, 12:15 AM
Quote: from chris on 4:07 am on Feb. 2, 2003
I think Silverstein's angle is to try to get bought out at maximum price.

That's too bad. I actually think he could be a voice of reason... though I'm sure I'm in the minority view on that point.

What I read between the lines is that he's saying, "OK, if you wanna buy me out, it's gonna cost ya' and look what a thorn I can be if you try to ignore me. Think of how long I can drag this out with litigation if you give me an offer that doesn't please me."

I could be completely wrong, but think about it like this: If you had the lease on that property, and from a purely legal standpoint (reality of all other interests aside), you, on paper, had the right to rebuild... yet look at the competing interests here... wouldn't it sound reasonable to just want to cash in your chips and get out? I think he's angling on the value of those chips. "How much are you going to pay me to go away?"

...but then, I could be wrong.I agree. *Silverstein bought in at the top of the real estate bubble, and realizes that he is out a couple hundred million dollars. *The only way to earn some of that back is to cash out, possibly by holding the rebuilding process hostage. *It's brinksmanship of the worst kind, a kind of gargantuan game of chicken. *No amount of PR can fix this.

heman5up
February 3rd, 2003, 04:09 AM
I will speak in favor of Larry Silverstein for a change. I would recommend reading his actual letter to get his exact suggetions.
http://www.ny1.com/ny/WTC_Coverage/index.html?topicintid=8&subtopicintid=203&contenti ntid=27601
His interests go with interests of future occupants which deserve a lot more attention than they are given now.

And I wont be surprised that he would be in a big hole after paying tons of rent and lost revenue if all his insurance recovery money goes into builidng new towers. Besides it seems to me that his contraints seem to have more to do with reducing his insurance payments than lack of vision.

amigo32
February 3rd, 2003, 04:40 AM
yea, he's copping out and cashing in. *He dosen't have the backbone to build extremely high, because he is too scared of what that might do to his wallet. *I'll bet that he wasn't very squeamish of super-tall buildings when he bought the original lease!

NYatKNIGHT
February 3rd, 2003, 03:15 PM
...and all of this comes at a time when NYC, NJ and NY are all slashing budgets. Silverstein unfortunately has some leverage. This is turning into a real friggin soap opera.

Speaking of which, this is potentially juicy gossip:
Another committee member, Pataki aide Diana Taylor, is Bloomberg’s girlfriend.

JMGarcia
February 3rd, 2003, 07:22 PM
His interests go with interests of future occupants which deserve a lot more attention than they are given now.

This is a red-herring and a smoke-screen. I suggest Mr. Silverstein re-read various comments made by the WTC tenants association.

From Mr. Silverstein's letter...

Assure that the buildings are designed and constructed to protect their occupants and assure safe, fast and efficient egress. This requirement in all probability will limit the occupied portion of any building to no more than 65 to 70 stories (900 to 1000 feet) in total height.

Please provide us with the research that shows these buildings will be safer than 75, 85, 95 story buildings. I tend to believe the professionals (such as Lord Foster) over Mr. Silverstein when it comes to building safety.

I have read the full text of the letter. Mr. Silverstein has obviously taken advantage of Mr. Rubenstein's PR talents to try and hit the right notes. I do indeed agree with many points Mr. Silverstein has made.

But...

Mr. Silverstein has failed to realize one overridingly important fact. The victim's families have every right and need to a memorial to the dead. The current memorial competition is for them above all others. But, there are millions of others who have been traumatized by 9/11. For them, it is the resoration of the skyline that will be their memorial. This has shown to be the single most important aspect of the rebuilding for the majority of the people in poll after poll and during Listening to the City.

Mr. Silverstein MUST commit publicly to properly restoring the skyline. Mr. Silverstein's letter does not do this. In fact, it does the opposite and seeks to restrict the height of buildings and thus deny those millions of people across the city and the country what they feel is the one thing that will help them heal from the wounds of 9/11.

I'm afraid, that by rejecting all the current proposals, Mr. Silverstein has shown his true colors. Many of the proposals seek to restore the skyline with unoccupied towers. Although unoccupied space is not acceptable to many, if Mr. Silverstein's heart was in the right place there is no reason why he shouldn't support one of those proposals. By not doing so he has seriously damaged any public support he may have for other points in his letter.

BrooklynRider
February 4th, 2003, 10:09 AM
I actually think Silverstein is in the strongest bargaining position and brings the most credibility to any proposal. *He legally holds the lease and he has a huge insurance payout from the destruction of the WTC. *When you consider the state of the Federal, State and City Budgets, any construction is going to have to be privately financed - he's sitting on alot of development money.

ZippyTheChimp
February 4th, 2003, 10:22 AM
Quote: from BrooklynRider on 9:09 am on Feb. 4, 2003
I actually think Silverstein is in the strongest bargaining position and brings the most credibility to any proposal. *He legally holds the lease and he has a huge insurance payout from the destruction of the WTC.

From AP: "Some rebuilding officials have disagreed with that evaluation, saying the Port Authority is ultimately entitled to the money."

NYguy
February 7th, 2003, 01:54 PM
NY Post...

SILVERSTEIN IN WITH WTC ‘IN' CROWD

February 7, 2003 -- A week after he slammed the design proposals and warned development officials not to leave him out of the loop, World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein is back in the mix.
"The [Lower Manhattan Development Corp.] reached out to us . . . and asked us to work with their chosen architects for the purpose of coming up with plans that would work for us," Silverstein said in an interview yesterday.

The 71-year-old developer met Wednesday with Rafael Vinoly of THINK - one of two teams of architects picked this week to compete for the job of WTC planner. Silverstein will meet next week with the second team, led by architect Daniel Libeskind.

Silverstein, who holds a 99-year lease on the trade center, has also scheduled meetings next week with Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Pataki.

BrooklynRider
February 7th, 2003, 03:10 PM
This guy rightfully holds the lease and I find any attempt or discussion to remove him from the process to be more damaging to the city than the 9/11 attacks themselves. *We don't need to create a hostile business environment for real estate developers. *We also don't need to have leaseholders all over the city pouring over leases and contracts and creating litigous situations in an attempt to remove any loopholes that might be a t rigger to remove Silverstein.

Sometimes I become very disappointed in the one note nature of "it must be tall tall tall" rants. * I always find interesting opinions regarding architecture on this board and assume the interest implies knowledge - whether through schooling or self-education. *But the unsupported arguments for building tall or nothing or punishing individuals and groups for not building tall enough just seems kind if lame. *

Derek2k3
February 7th, 2003, 05:14 PM
Exactly. Some act like the greatness of a building is dependant on its height. Are the Petronas the greatest buildings on Earth...no.

JMGarcia
February 7th, 2003, 06:09 PM
I wonder which way Silverstein is going to go when he is stuck with a plan with less office space than the original WTC. Will he stick to his height limits or go higher to get more space?

Sounds like s real dilema to me. ;)

Kris
February 7th, 2003, 07:53 PM
Silverstein is concerned with neither height nor architecture. He demands that the chosen team work with the firm he has hired - SOM. Moreover, it is hard to deny the symbolic importance of height in this case. It is an essential component of the design and the architects have recognized this.

The development is not a private one, it involves at least the whole city. The lessee's interests are thus secondary. His views must be taken into account but examined critically and not have final authority. They happen to be narrow and shortsighted, motivated by the will to minimize financial risk at the expense of the public good.

"This guy rightfully holds the lease and I find any attempt or discussion to remove him from the process to be more damaging to the city than the 9/11 attacks themselves."

Give me a f*ck
ing break.

ZippyTheChimp
February 7th, 2003, 08:28 PM
"This guy rightfully holds the lease and I find any attempt or discussion to remove him from the process to be more damaging to the city than the 9/11 attacks themselves."

40 years ago there were many people who held leases on the WTC site.

TLOZ Link5
February 7th, 2003, 08:41 PM
Quote: from amigo32 on 3:40 am on Feb. 3, 2003
yea, he's copping out and cashing in. *He dosen't have the backbone to build extremely high, because he is too scared of what that might do to his wallet. *I'll bet that he wasn't very squeamish of super-tall buildings when he bought the original lease!


That was before his supertall buildings came crashing to the ground. *He supposedly doesn't want to build a giant "target" that "no one" would occupy because then he'd supposedly have an economic liability instead of a major asset. *Not only would tall towers, in his mind, not be occupied; they would also be, in his mind, blown up eventually, meaning he'll lose money again. *Poor Larry...

Kris
February 7th, 2003, 09:07 PM
The evidence that his safety concerns are phony is that his height limit is an arbitrary psychological barrier he assumes his potential tenants will have, and rests on no objective reality. The aim is short-term monetary gain for one person - himself.

Agglomeration
February 8th, 2003, 12:02 AM
Larry is 71 years old, and perhaps he's afraid that he will not live to see his buildings built his way. Or maybe he may not live long enough to profit from it. I wonder what he will say about the final design.

NYatKNIGHT
February 8th, 2003, 05:43 PM
Is it the insurance companies that are telling him that building over a certain height will be more expensive? I can't figure out why else he would care. In fact, since he's always griping about 'not enough office space', you'd think he would want taller towers.
Quote: from Kris
....it is hard to deny the symbolic importance of height in this case. Exactly.