Ilya Marritz covers business for WNYC.
Developer Larry Silverstein is facing a major problem in his quest to build an office tower at the former site of the World Trade Center: if he can't attract a major tenant for the building known as Tower 3, he can't build the 80-story skyscraper he envisions, and the edifice may instead be capped at seven stories.
The 2010 agreement with the Port Authority requires Mr. Silverstein to sign at least 400,000 square feet of office space in order to qualify for triple tax-exempt Liberty bonds and other public incentives.
Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, expressed optimism about Mr. Silverstein's prospects for meeting that goal.
"We're rooting, I'm rooting, the Port Authority is rooting for Larry and, if I had to hazard a guess, I think he'll come up with the tenant," Mr. Foye said at an industry event.
But an article in Crain's raised doubts, with sources saying Silverstein "is not currently close to signing a tenant."
Larry Silverstein said through a spokesperson that he is talking to several potential tenants and is committed to building the full 80-story tower - with or without Liberty bonds.
The construction schedule for Tower 3 projects the roof of the seventh floor being completed in 2013. Four stories have already been built.
Separately, Mr. Foye, who has been leader of the Port Authority only since October, laid out some of his goals in office. They include: