The Port Authority says two of the three towers shouldn’t be built until there is enough demand for office space

(Source: Reuters)

 The rebuilding of New York’s World Trade Center site may take up to three decades to complete because the demand for office space has shrunk with Wall Street’s falling fortunes.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, owner of the 16-acre site in Lower Manhattan, on Thursday said it was taking a cautious approach after a study showed that it could take until 2037 to lease all the planned office towers.

The Port Authority wants to avoid building speculative office towers before the market revives, its executive director, Christopher Ward, said.

“It would be in a way foolish for us to extend too far into that market,” Ward said, after a meeting of the Port Authority’s board.

He pledged, however, that the authority’s own projects — the memorial to the nearly 3,000 people who died in the September 11, 2001, attacks, a transit hub, and the One World Trade Center skyscraper originally known as the Freedom Tower — will be completed on time.

The Port Authority commissioned a study of the site’s prospects after private developer Larry Silverstein, who is building three office towers there, asked the agency to guarantee some of his bank loans; the Port Authority would own the buildings if Silverstein could not repay the loans

“Mr. Silverstein is asking the public sector to essentially finance his buildings,” Ward said.

Read Joan Gralla’s full article “World Trade Center rebuild faces decades of delays” Reuters (April 16, 2009).

Further Reading:

AP source: Talk of delaying 2 WTC towers for years” (AP, April 16 2009).

Talk of delaying 2 WTC towers for years” (DJC.com, April 17, 2009)

World Trade Centre will take 36 years to complete” (Daily Telegraph, April 18 2009)

Trade Center rebuilding to take decades?” (UPI.com, April 16 2009)

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