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March 23, 2006

Financial follies at Ground Zero

Or are they political follies?

City Journal
By Nicole Gelinas

The rebuilding of the World Trade Center is at a very curious stalemate:

But so far, Mayor Bloomberg hasn’t used the Liberty Bonds to aid rational private-sector recovery downtown. He has awarded $114 million of these valuable, and finite, resources to developer and political darling Bruce Ratner for an office tower in Brooklyn. He has approved another $650 million in Liberty Bond financing for a Durst-owned tower in Midtown. Neither of these projects fulfills Congress’s mandate to rebuild Lower Manhattan. Worse, both projects will actively compete with downtown. (Pataki has gotten a lot of flack for approving nearly $1.7 billion in Liberty Bonds for Goldman Sachs—but at least Goldman is building downtown.)

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NoLandGrab: New Yorkers are wondering what the end game is supposed to be in the Mayor's plan. If Bloomberg manages to bully Larry Silverstein off the project, does City Hall turn around and award the project to a favored developer like Related Companies or Forest City Ratner?

Posted by lumi at March 23, 2006 6:05 AM