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Thread: Larry Silverstein speaks again

  1. #1

    Default Larry Silverstein speaks again

    Daily News...

    I have a vision for WTC site

    By LARRY A. SILVERSTEIN

    A day long in coming to New York arrived last week, when the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and Port Authority chose two distinguished architectural firms to prepare a site plan for the World Trade Center. Finally, the rebuilding moves into high gear, and the stage is set for an agreement on a plan.

    On July 24, 2001, I believed I had reached the pinnacle of my career when I signed 99-year leases to the World Trade Center's twin towers and Buildings 4 and 5. Six weeks later, on Sept. 11, we all watched in horror as planes slammed into the towers, killing thousands, among them four of my employees. Within days of those horrific events, I resolved to dedicate the next 10 years of my life and the resources of my organization to ensuring the WTC is rebuilt.

    This is not my cause alone, of course. All New Yorkers - indeed, all Americans - are enlisted in this mission. We cannot let terrorists change our way of life or destroy the heart of our Financial District.

    LMDC's appointment of Studio Daniel Libeskind and the Think Group promises to create a refreshing burst of renewed cooperation among the stakeholders in this mighty effort.

    My professionals have met with the Think architects, and we expect to meet soon with the Libeskind architects. We anticipate a collegial relationship with both as we move to create a plan establishing where the memorial goes, which streets will be reinstituted, where the new transportation hub will be and which parcels will be devoted to commercial development.

    What the final plan shows remains to be seen. But I believe that all agree the site must incorporate a significant, dignified 9/11 memorial. It also must be made part again of the city's fabric and enhance the vitality and quality of lower Manhattan life.

    We are dedicated to building spectacular, architecturally distinguished buildings that are recognized the world over as landmarks and will incorporate the most advanced safety features available. The rebuilt WTC also must incorporate an iconic tower or towers that soar to the heavens and redefine the skyline.

    The quality of the design and richness of materials and engineering concepts we are incorporating in the new 7World Trade Center and the reduction of the size of that building to accommodate the universal demand that Greenwich St. be reopened is tangible evidence of our commitment. Achieving this will require a careful balancing of vision and practicality. Neither alone will suffice to realize the dream we all have of gracefully replacing what was so horrifically destroyed.

    Before 9/11, the WTC's 10 million square feet of office space and 450,000 square feet of retail space were at the core of lower Manhattan's economy. It is imperative that all the office space be replaced on the site to ensure that jobs stay here and our metropolitan region flourishes.

    My interest in the redevelopment of lower Manhattan is unique. The PA estimated that our consortium paid $3.2 billion for our leaseholds, consisting of $600 million at the closing and many billions more in rent over the 99 years. The leases obligate us to continue to pay that rent, now $120 million a year, despite the complex's destruction. The leases give us the corresponding obligation and right to rebuild what was lost. We have continued since 9/11 to make rental payments and are committed to dedicating the proceeds of our insurance recovery, which will total $6.7 billion-plus, to rebuilding.

    But at the same time, I have never insisted that our consortium's contract rights give us the unfettered right to build whatever we want.

    To the contrary, we are dedicated to working in a cooperative spirit with the PA, LMDC and the city to see that the WTC is once again an engine for the creation of jobs in lower Manhattan. Everyone involved has a responsibility to make lower Manhattan a better place. We are committed to doing our part.

    Silverstein is president of World Trade Center Properties.

    (Edited by NYguy at 4:34 am on Feb. 9, 2003)

  2. #2

    Default Larry Silverstein speaks again

    This is a letter written by a man who's afraid of being ignored.

  3. #3

    Default Larry Silverstein speaks again

    Yes, and public relations damage control. His insurance case
    will be a jury trial.

  4. #4

    Default Larry Silverstein speaks again

    you have to give him some credit, he did cut down on 7 wtc without much of a fight and lost office space there....his company is "losing" $328,767 per day on the lease, he said he is committed to building inspiring buildings and wants to restore at least 10 million feet of office space....not sure what the problem is with silverstein

  5. #5

    Default Larry Silverstein speaks again

    Maybe.
    On the other hand, the smaller 7WTC will be completed earlier and he'll have fewer difficulties finding tenants.

    In the case of Mr. Silverstein, time is an issue.

  6. #6

    Default Larry Silverstein speaks again

    He has plenty of room to build them. At least now the airports and cockpit doors are tightly secure, and knives and sharp metal objects are prohibited on passenger cabin luggage. So there is no prospect of a second hijacking anytime soon.

  7. #7

    Default Larry Silverstein speaks again

    Silverstein is eventually going to be forced into a compromise of the amount of office space and keeping bulding heights down. Will he settle for less space to keep it all under 50 floor or will he go higher?

  8. #8

    Default Larry Silverstein speaks again

    He sounds like he is desperate to soothe the public.
    I wonder if his "professionals" ever run across this forum from time to time.

  9. #9

    Default Larry Silverstein speaks again

    Of course they do.
    And they should listen to us very carefully.

  10. #10

    Default Larry Silverstein speaks again

    More on the Silverstein rollercoaster...(NY Post)

    WTC LEASEHOLDER'S LOW OPINION OF ‘HIGH' PLANS

    By WILLIAM NEUMAN

    February 12, 2003 -- World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein yesterday criticized the signature elements of the two remaining Ground Zero site plans.

    "I don't understand those latticework towers, how they would be utilized," Silverstein said of the THINK architecture team's plan, which calls for two steel structures taller than the original Twin Towers.

    "The evacuation requirements would be massive."

    At a meeting with The Post editorial board, Silverstein said he is very concerned about erecting buildings more than 60 stories tall - because it is difficult for people to evacuate them in an emergency.

    The plan by the THINK group, including architects Rafael Vinoly and Fred Schwartz, centers on twin latticework structures that would be mostly empty except for cultural uses, such as museums, concert halls and memorial spaces.

    While Silverstein would not be expected to build the towers, which would be incorporated into an overall Ground Zero memorial, he said he was uncomfortable with the idea of creating spaces for large numbers of people on the upper floors.

    "When you have a ballroom in a hotel where do they put it? On the second floor, so they can get all the people out. Not on the 50th floor," he said.

    Silverstein also criticized a plan by Berlin-based architect Daniel Libeskind, which calls for leaving much of the Ground Zero pit open as a space for a memorial.

    The developer said executives at "a number of major financial institutions" have told him they would not want to rent office space looking down on the open pit.


    "I can only assume they've said the same to [development officials]," he said.

    He said the Libeskind scheme elicits extreme reactions from many people.

    "There are some who've said we would be appalled at that. Then there are other people who've said it's impactful," he said.

    In the hourlong meeting, the developer, who signed a 99-year lease on the WTC complex just weeks before it was destroyed, had little positive to say about either of the designs being considered by the Port Authority and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.

    The two agencies will choose a winner later this month.

    "I probably could go with both," he said, when asked to indicate a preference. "In the last analysis, rational minds will prevail."

  11. #11

    Default Larry Silverstein speaks again

    While Silverstein would not be expected to build the towers, which would be incorporated into an overall Ground Zero memorial, he said he was uncomfortable with the idea of creating spaces for large numbers of people on the upper floors.

    "When you have a ballroom in a hotel where do they put it? On the second floor, so they can get all the people out. Not on the 50th floor," he said.
    This guy does need to be removed from the process...what he is saying is not only anti-NYC but anti-urban....he would be much happier in washington dc where the height restriction is 12 stories....hopefully he will be bought out

  12. #12
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    Default Larry Silverstein speaks again

    Saying that he is anti-urban only shows your lack of understanding of what urbanism is. *Hugely tall buildings are anti-urban, while smaller buildings actually contribute to urban life. *History has proven this, and I would be very interested in hearing what makes an area filled with skyscrapers urban.

  13. #13
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    Default Larry Silverstein speaks again

    Again with the safety issues - it must be the insurance. What's this magic number of 60 stories? And didn't he once say that 70 floors was the cut-off? If the engineers say they can make a safe 100 story building then why would he argue?

    OKoranjes, it seems you don't really think there should be tall buildings at WTC, am I wrong? I can understand if someone thinks that not every building has to be the hugely tall, but this site is completely different. Height is an issue here for many New Yorkers who like their buildings tall, especially the replacements of the tallest in our city which were destroyed by criminals.

  14. #14

    Default Larry Silverstein speaks again

    They can distribute parachutes from the 61st floor on.

  15. #15

    Default Larry Silverstein speaks again

    I may need some expert help on this, but I'll take a stab at it.

    I think what is anti-urban is sprawl: low density, segregated (not racial), and dependent upon the automobile. Houston and LA are examples.

    I don't think Silverstein is anti-urban, just anti-skyscraper. Manhattan is a typical urban landscape. It has nothing to do with the size of the buldings. You could remove all vehicles, and it would still work. Pedestrian friendly, concentrated, integrated.

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