It's been the year for harrowing, near-photo-finish races in the New York City real estate market. And Silverstein Properties always finds itself at the front of the pack, if not in the winner's circle. It's latest trophy: The $3.21 billion World Trade Center.
In tense 11th-hour negotiations, developer Larry Silverstein - a native son - and his partners at Los Angeles-based Westfield America inked a deal that would give Silverstein Properties a 99-year lease with annual payments estimated at more than $200 million on one of the city's most recognizable complexes.
In finalizing the deal, Silverstein handed over a down payment of $616 million to the Port Authority of New York.
Silverstein stepped into the ring after the Port Authority and leading candidate Vornado Realty Trust of Saddlebrook, NJ, failed to negotiate mutally agreeable terms over the agency's initial asking down payment of $800 million up front.
The deal gives Silverstein control of nearly 10 million square feet of office space in the two 110-story towers, World Trade Center buildings 4 and 5 and the complex's vast underground retail mall. Westfield America will handle the retail portion of the complex. "We will be in control of a prized asset," Silverstein said in May. "There is nothing like it in the world."
Silverstein boasts an 8 million-square-foot office Big Apple office building portfolio. The firm also is involved in a high-profile, 1,800-unit apartment complex in Hell's Kitchen along 42nd Street, between 11th and 12th avenues.