A question arises from the obvious demolition of WTC 7:
Why destroy such a valuable piece of real estate?
We know that
WTC7's developer and lease-holder, Silverstein Properties,
and WTC7's mortgage-holders, the Blackstone Group,
Banc of America Securities,
and General Motors Acceptance Corporation,
received a Court-awarded amount of $861 million dollars
from Industrial Risk Insurers in February 2002.
We know that about $386 million had been invested in WTC7
before its destruction.
The Court-award meant that
Silverstein Properties and the mortgage-holders
would share in about $475 million of profit.
Silverstein Properties is headed by Larry Silverstein,
a large contributor to Democrat and Republican office-holders.
Silverstein Properties became the primary owner of the WTC Twin Towers
less than two months before 9/11/01
(Westfield Malls was Silverstein Properties' minority-partner).
Buying from the New York Port Authority,
Silverstein Properties invested only $15 million
toward a total purchase-price of $3.2 billion for a 99-year lease
on holdings worth an estimated $8 billion.
The low-rise office buildings WTC 4, 5, and 6,
and 400,000 square feet of retail space
were included with the Twin Towers in this deal.
Silverstein Properties immediately took out
extensive insurance policies on its new holdings.
One clause in Silverstein Properties' insurance policies
for the new WTC holdings soon proved instrumental.
Quoting the British Financial Times of September 14, 2001,
the American Reporter wrote that
the lease has an all-important escape clause:
If the buildings are struck by
“an act of terrorism”,
the new owners' obligations under the lease are void.
As a result, the new owners are not required to make any payments under
their lease, but they will be able to collect on the loss of the buildings
that collapsed or were otherwise destroyed and damaged in the attacks.
Silverstein Properties is still contesting the amount of pay-out due
for destruction of the Twin Towers—$3.55 billion for one
‘occurrence’ or $7.1 billion for two
clause in his lease has given Larry Silverstein leverage in negotiating
his new deal for the site.
‘Rebuilding Begins for 7 WTC Despite Unanswered Questions’,
Peter Grant, Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2002,
‘No Fraud, but Huge Profits Seen in World Trade Center Attacks’,
The American Reporter,
August 1, 2004,
reprinting piece from September 2001,