The Port Authority today acknowledged that it will be late in delivering a key portion of the World Trade Center site to developer Larry Silverstein, owing him millions in penalties.
The bi-state agency said it will take until August to turn over the site for Tower 2, a space being excavated that it is obligated to turn over by July 1. The Port Authority will owe Mr. Silverstein $300,000 a day for each day that the site is late, the same penalty it faced when it missed a Jan. 1 deadline for the site for Towers 3 and 4, eventually owing more than $12 million.
In a statement, the Port Authority noted that the agency will now not be paying an incentive of between $8 million and $14 million that it was prepared to pay its contractors had they finished on time.
The announced delays come as the Port Authority is reexamining the public schedules for the rebuilding at Ground Zero, and is expected to find that the timetables need revisiting.
PORT AUTHORITY STATEMENT
ON WTC TOWER 2 BATHTUB TURNOVER
The Port Authority announced today that it will have completed 90 percent of the excavation and construction of the Tower 2 "bathtub" foundation on the World Trade Center site by the end of June, but that the full 1.4-acre site would not be completed until August.
The agency also announced that Silverstein Properties has agreed to begin work in the Tower 2 foundation, allowing for their initial construction to begin as the Port Authority is completing the final stages of excavation and construction on the bathtub.
Under an agreement with its contractor, Phoenix Constructors, the Port Authority will not pay an approximately $8 to $14 million incentive payment for on time completion of the Tower 2 bathtub. The Port Authority will meet its obligations under the Master Development Agreement for the site, paying Silverstein Properties $300,000 a day, beginning July 1, until the fully completed Tower 2 bathtub is turned over.
The Tower 2 bathtub excavation and construction project involves the removal of nearly 160,000 cubic yards of soil, 4,000 cubic yards of rock, and the excavation of new foundations far below street level.
In September 2006, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners agreed to take over development of 1 World Trade Center, the Freedom Tower and the Tower 5 site. Silverstein Properties is responsible for construction of Towers 2, 3 and 4.
Major construction on 1 World Trade Center, the Freedom Tower began in mid-2006. Steel began to rise above street level last month, marking significant construction progress on the tower.
Construction of the foundations for the World Trade Center Transportation Hub and Memorial are under way. Major steel beams for both projects are scheduled to be erected this year.