Tri-State has joined the Regional Plan Association and other civic and transportation groups that are urging Gov. Paterson, Gov. Corzine, and Mayor Bloomberg not to divert money from the Port Authority’s capital plan towards private office construction on the World Trade Center site.
In a letter reported on today by the NY Times and Crain’s New York, the groups asked the elected leaders to ensure that “no additional public funds are used to subsidize office construction on the site.” They wrote that it was more important that the Port Authority maintain its commitments to the downtown transit hub and the Access to the Region’s Core rail tunnel. Also signing on to the letter were the Fiscal Policy Institute, Pratt Center for Community Development, Straphangers Campaign, Transportation Alternatives, and the New York Metro Chapter of the American Planning Association.
Developer Larry Silverstein has asked the Port Authority to guarantee over $3 billion in loans so that he can construct at least two towers at the World Trade Center site. But to do so, the authority would most likely need to move funds from other projects in its capital program. The authority itself is building 1 World Trade Center (the “Freedom Tower”) and has offered to back $800 million in loans for Silverstein’s projects.
With the two sides at an impasse, NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver stepped in, saying that the Port Authority should support construction of Silverstein’s towers. Mayor Bloomberg has also asked to meet with Silverstein, the Port Authority, and Govs. Corzine and Paterson to resolve the issue.