Silverstein authorized to borrow $75 million for 7 World Trade

Thu January 13, 2005 - National Edition

NEW YORK (AP) Developer Larry Silverstein was given authorization Tuesday by the New York City Industrial Development Agency to borrow an additional $75 million through tax-exempt Liberty Bonds for the 7 World Trade Center project, which is set to open next year.

Two years ago, Silverstein won preliminary approval for $400 million in Liberty Bonds, but had to come back to the agency because of higher interest costs and a lower insurance payout than he expected.

The building, which sits on Vesey Street, across from ground zero, is a 52-story glass structure that has yet to attract any prospective tenants other than Silverstein Properties.

Andrew M. Alper, chairman of the development agency told The New York Times in Wednesday editions that the construction of 7 World Trade Center is "thanks in large part to the Liberty Bond program."

Silverstein, who also holds the commercial lease on the main World Trade Center site is expected to return to ask for $3.5 billion more in Liberty Bonds for other office towers planned for the site. With that granted, the money would represent nearly 90 percent of remaining Liberty Bond funding for commercial projects in the city.

Last month, Silverstein won a $1.1 billion payout from nine of his insurers for a total of up to $4.6 billion in insurance money for the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.