George Marlin, former executive director of the Port Authority, in the NY Post writes that PA couldn’t handle the WTC and should not be dictating office building now.
Marlin notes Gov. Pataki publically criticized the Port Authority’s running the WTC when he pulled State Offices (including the Governor) out of the building in 1995 — setting the stage for “privatization” of the towers.
I learned first-hand that this poster child for New York’s “permanent government” consistently resented the privatization of its facilities — the Vista Hotel, JFK International Arrivals building, the Yonkers Industrial Park. I attribute it to a deep-rooted faith that only PA bureaucrats possess the esoteric mystical knowledge to run things.
If Silverstein bows out, the PA will move to fill the power void. If it succeeds, it will be a dark day for all New Yorkers.
PA construction oversight will be plagued by delays and huge cost overruns. And the result will be a commercial white elephant, just like the original PA-constructed towers.
He notes a 1994 Deloitte & Touche Review of the WTC noted from security costs, to cleaning, repair, maintenance, administration and marketing expenses, the PA-managed Trade Center was far more expensive and less effective than its peers in the private sector.
Martin urges the Port Authority to put the whole site except for the memorial up for sale.
Let expert private developers with their money at risk determine the market for the best mix of residential and commercial demand.
This echoes exactly what we’ve been saying. Government interferance as bungled everything at Ground Zero. The development part should be left to private developers who take the risk.
Incidentally, the Port Authority was supposed to have a mission of overseeing and building the bridges and airports. It was never intended to be in the business of building office towers. NYC has never had a problem finding developers willing build.
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