Report: Ground Zero towers for sale

Feb. 12, 2007 at 1:26 PM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- The owner of New York's World Trade Center site has put the centerpiece of the planned Ground Zero development up for sale, a published report said Monday.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey hopes to lure private equity or hedge funds into owning all or part of the $3 billion Freedom Tower, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The agency is also in talks to sell development rights to one of the five other planned skyscrapers there to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the Journal said.

Spokesmen for the Port Authority and J.P. Morgan declined to comment.

Any Freedom Tower deal is not likely to occur right away, the Journal said. J.P. Morgan's move on Tower 5 could take place as soon as next month.

Designed as the signature Ground Zero skyscraper, 1,776-foot-high Freedom Tower is set to be completed in 2012.

The building has lease commitments from the U.S. and New York state governments to take 1 million of the 2.6 million square feet of office space.

Critics have decried the tower as an obvious terrorist target and a financial white elephant that private-sector tenants will shun.

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