2006_05_wtcview.jpgState Assembly members met with various parties involved with the World Trade Center rebuilding yesterday to discuss development progress. Or, rather, the lack of progress. Assemblyman Richard Brodsky even said, "I wouldn't do any more groundbreaking right now" as a zing to all the ceremonies, photo ops and public puffery but little actual work getting done. And what's more, WTC leaseholder and developer Larry Silverstein says that insurance companies may not pay out all of the promised $4.6 billion now that the Port Authority will take control of Freedom Tower. Oy. The Port Authority and Silverstein are asking the insurers for reassurance that payments won't be taken away because of the Port Authority's involvement; it'd be a pretty bad public relations nightmare for the insurers not to pay for the rebuilding of Ground Zero, but with hundreds of millions at stake, you can't blame them for trying.

Assembly Leader Sheldon "I hate the West Side Stadium" Silver, who represents downtown Manhattan, grilled officials on whether the World Trader Center would be completed by 2012. Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff said. "I am confident, I can’t assure you 100 percent, but I do believe, subject to the negotiation over the retail, as well as final determination of infrastructure costs – where I think we’re very far along – that it will get built,” while Silverstein said Freedom Tower would be finished by 2011. We'll see!