2007_12_larrysilver.jpgWow - yet depressingly not surprising: The Port Authority will have to pay World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein $300,000 for every day past December 31, 2007 that it does not turn over a part of the WTC site. The payment could be as much at $13.5 million or as little as $9.3 million.

The PA and Silverstein worked out a deal back in 2006 where the PA would control the land but Silverstein, who was the leaseholder during the time of the WTC attacks, would be able to build on top of it. The deal required the PA to be completed with excavation by yesterday, but according to PA spokesman Steve Coleman, the excavation has been made more difficult by more than expected rock.

The Post reports that the PA had offered the contractor a $10 million bonus to finish the job in time, so the no longer applicable bonus "mostly" offsets the overrun fees. Contractors had been working 20-hour days, but were unable to complete the foundation for Towers 3 and 4 in time. Now it will take at least another 2 weeks for Tower 4 (to be designed by Fumihiko Maki) and at least another 2-4 weeks for Tower 3 (to be designed by Lord Richard Rogers).

Silverstein Properties said, "We appreciate how much the Port Authority has accomplished this year, and a few extra weeks to complete everything is a minor bump in the road in the context of this entire project." The Real Estate has the Port Authority press release, which gives an broader look at the WTC site project as a whole.