Let's Make a 'Deal'

The Port Authority and Larry Silverstein announced that they finalized April’s shuffle at Ground Zero which puts the Freedom Tower moves into government hands. Sort of final that is, but the number of loose ends ($1 billion in missing insurance money and whatever the lawyers find in actually doing the documents) is getting smaller.

Highlights:

The Port Authority will pay $59 a square foot for 600,000 square feet in Tower 4 (the Fumihiko Maki). That compares to maybe $45 a square foot for average space downtown today. (But just think how expensive your apartment is going to be in 2012.)

The city, which apparently plays hardball in the negotiating room, will pay just $56.50 a square foot, get a year’s free rent and $45 a square foot in build-out costs. But then the city doesn’t really want to be there. If Silverstein can find someone better, he will take them instead.

(Those “commitments” signed over the weekend with federal and state agencies for the Freedom Tower suddenly seem very handy: they set the $59 a square foot rent ceiling.)

No resolution on retail; but no big deal.

The other bit of news: given the time to ready the bathtub foundation at the site, and a year’s grace period, the final building may not be complete until the end of 2013. So much for 2012.

-Matthew Schuerman