It will be nearly 40 years after 9/11 before the World Trade Center rises again.
Ground Zero’s owners have proposed indefinitely postponing the construction of two of three skyscrapers planned by developer Larry Silverstein.
Real estate magnate Cushman & Wakefield drafted a report for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Silverstein's plan for his three towers. It predicts that one tower may not be built until 2037, according to the Daily News.
And the 1,776-foot Freedom tower – the heart of the reconstruction – won’t have occupants until 2019.
The study paints a bleak picture of the future of Ground Zero – one beleaguered by delays, costs and contentious talks that blanket the legacy of the site in a bureaucratic shroud.
Deputy Majority Leader Sen. Jeff Klein, who represents Westchester and the Bronx, called the timeline "unacceptable."
Unfortunately, this is an agency that hasn’t been able to comply with a single rebuilding deadline since 9/11. It's time for the Port Authority to get the job done – as they've promised again and again over the past eight years," he said.
Officials familiar with ongoing talks with Silverstein and the Port Authority say the agency has agreed to back financing for one of three planned Silverstein towers. Silverstein wants financial backing for two towers.
But the Port Authority, which calls the study a “market-driven analysis” rather than a proposal, according to the Daily News, says the real estate market conditions should determine when the other two towers are built. Given the current economic crisis and real estate meltdown, it’s a wonder whether the towers will be built at all.
"The Port Authority's obligation is to rebuild the site in the public interest based on the economic reality today," Port Authority spokeswoman Candace McAdams told the Daily News. "That starts with keeping the memorial and the other public infrastructure on the time line and budget we've committed to. It extends to building the right amount of office space to meet what is now a very different market downtown."
Silverstein’s camp purports some optimism.
"The Port Authority's position seems to be based on a totally pessimistic attitude about New York's economic future," Janno Lieber, director of Silverstein's World Trade Center redevelopment effort, told the Daily News. "Our view is that New York will bounce back strongly over the next five years while we are building these buildings."
Well, Ms. Lieber, we certainly hope you’re right.