Quinn Sides With Bloomberg, Not Times, on World Trade Center Development

Christine Quinn did her best to be diplomatic, but she trusts Mayor Bloomberg over the Grey Lady—on the question of World Trade Center development, at least.

Speaking before the New York Building Congress on Tuesday morning, Ms. Quinn was asked about a Times editorial Sunday that was critical of the mayor’s position in the ongoing World Trade Center redevelopment dispute.

“I love The New York Times with all of my heart and soul,” Ms. Quinn said.

But she begged to differ. The Times questioned the value of spending public money on “more private office space” at the World Trade Center site at the expense of funding projects like the Lincoln Tunnel, city airports and the expansion of Penn Station. Both Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver support financing Larry Silverstein’s office towers.

“I think the speaker and the mayor have worked very long and hard to get to a place,” Ms Quinn said. “I think we should all try to support that.” 

But when asked whether she would consider take money from the development of Moynihan Station—a project in her district—for use at the World Trade Center site, Ms. Quinn spoke carefully, saying she would have to look “very hard” before supporting such a move. The long-stalled transformation of Penn Station needed to get moving, she said.

“We need to come up with any plan,” she said. “Even if it’s gradual, even if it’s phased in.”

Also on Tuesday’s agenda: single sales factor tax legislation (she’s optimistic); the rent freeze she recently called for (pessimistic); and the need to diversify the city’s economy. In her prepared address, Ms. Quinn trumpeted the success of the city’s film tax credit and spoke of the need to push for a biotech credit. And while the Wall Street of the boom years had been humbled, she voiced her support for the burgeoning workforce of 2009: freelancers.

mfischer@observer.com Quinn Sides With Bloomberg, Not Times, on World Trade Center Development