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Siliverstein Executive Says PA Has Funds for Ground Zero

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Arbitration may not solve the standoff at ground zero between developer Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority. As WNYC's Matthew Schuerman reports, new details came out during a city council hearing yesterday.

REPORTER: Silverstein contends the Port Authority has a moral obligation to guarantee loans he needs for two office buildings he's trying to build at Ground Zero. But City Council Member Alan Gerson got Silverstein's right hand man, Janno Lieber to admit that questions about financing were beyond the arbitration panel's purview.

GERSON: The arbitrator doesn't have the ability to tell the Port Authority or you to put up a certain amount of equity in the project.

LIEBER: No but they do have broad discretion as to what remedies they can fashion.

REPORTER: Instead, the arbitrators have to decide whether the Port Authority has already breached a contract because it will miss deadlines in the future. Lieber said later the panel could recommend the two parties realign their financial commitments instead of ordering the Port Authority to pay damages. For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.

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