WTC rebuilding planned
September 14, 2001: 7:58 a.m. ET

Lease owner committed to project, though not exact replicas
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - The developer who led the group that purchased the World Trade Center's 99-year lease in July 1999 for $3.2 billion from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said he is committed to help rebuilding the center, according to a published report Friday.

New York-based Larry Silverstein told the Wall Street Journal, "It would be the tragedy of tragedies not to rebuild this part of New York." Silverstein said any rebuilding plans will wait until the grieving process is over. He also said four of his employees remain missing.

Although Silverstein said he is ready to rebuild, he did say he is not committed to creating exact replicas of the towers, acknowledging tenants may be reluctant to relocate in such prominent buildings, according to the paper.

Once all of the missing are accounted for, Silverstein told the newspaper, he will concentrate on the insurance, lease and legal issues resulting from the attack. "It's going to take huge amounts of time to deal with the magnitude of the paper issues," he said, adding that the 99-year lease is insured against terrorism.

"The city is not dead and can't be allowed to die," Silverstein told the Journal. "We owe [rebuilding] to our children and to our grandchildren." graphic


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