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Silverstein Said to Discuss Capping 3 World Trade at 7 Stories

Larry Silverstein
Larry Silverstein, president and chief executive officer of Silverstein Properties Inc. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg

Larry Silverstein is in discussions to cap 3 World Trade Center at seven floors if tenants aren’t found to take enough space for the building’s planned 80 stories, said two people familiar with the talks.

The discussions with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the lower Manhattan site, are based on a 2010 agreement that required the developer to have private financing and an anchor tenant in place, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Meeting those conditions would qualify the project for financial support from the agency, as well as the city and state.

Finding one or more anchor tenants for at least 400,000 square feet (37,000 square meters), as required, has proved tougher than anticipated as New York’s financial companies reduce staff and cut back on their space needs. The tower, designed by Richard Rogers, the Pritzker Prize-winning British architect, is designed to have 2.8 million square feet, according to Silverstein Properties Inc.’s website.

Silverstein said in a statement today that he remains “100 percent committed and determined to build 3 World Trade Center to the top as quickly as possible.” The developer is “fully optimistic” that he can sign a lease in time to complete the tower in 2015, as scheduled, he said.

Steve Coleman, a Port Authority spokesman, declined to comment.

The plans are flexible enough that Silverstein could reverse the capping of the building should he meet the tenant and financing requirements, said the people familiar with the discussions.

Crain’s New York Business reported the talks on its website yesterday.

The Port Authority is building the 104-story 1 World Trade Center, and Silverstein is developing the 72-story 4 World Trade Center nearby. Both are slated to be completed next year. The base of 2 World Trade Center is also being constructed, with no time line in place for the building itself.

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