Spitzer: Freedom Tower is Best Alternative

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Governor Spitzer -- who once described the Freedom Tower as a "white elephant" -- now says it makes financial sense to move forward with its construction. He and New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine and Mayor Bloomberg signed off on the delayed, redesigned 1,776 foot tower. WNYC's Dan Blumberg has more.

REPORTER: Governor Spitzer says it's not the project he would have wanted from the start.

SPITZER: But where we are today, this is clearly the best and the wisest alternative.

REPORTER: The Governor considered alternatives like scaling the project back, delaying it, or waiting for the market to change. But he says he's comfortable going ahead now because the real estate market has improved significantly. Plus, there's now a good chance a private investor will buy the Freedom Tower from the Port Authority.

REPORTER: Held in a conference room near Ground Zero, Spitzer's endorsement was hardly enthusiastic and did not include any of the patriotic pronouncements Governor Pataki frequently used at rebuilding announcements. To that end, Spitzer may have been referring to his predecessor when he promised not to hold a press conference for every brick or column that goes up the site.

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