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Investors rally behind $1.25b WTC Bond offer.

Financing for 4 World Trade Center was put hack on track by last week's successful offering of $1.25 billion of tax exempt Liberty Bonds.

The bonds--which are triple tax exempt at the state, city and federal level--will finance construction of the nearly two million square feet office tower already rising at the World Trade Center site.

"Today's successful pricing of $1.25 billion in Liberty Bonds assures the continued construction of 4 WTC through completion in 2013, and keeps thousands of construction workers on the job for years to come," Larry Silverstein, the tower's developer, said in a statement. The issuance had faced previous challenges when volatile municipal bond markets pushed the interest rates too high to make the financing viable.

Port Authority bondholders also balked in recent months because the structure for the initial offering of the bonds placed existing authority debt as subordinate to the bonds' repayment.

The authority agreed to backstop the tower's finances as part of a deal with Silverstein Properties to get redevelopment of the WTC site back on track after an impasse between the two parties.

Making the Liberty Bonds for 4 World Trace Center subordinate to the authority's existing debt raised the cost of the financing by millions of dollars for the project, according to reports.

But with European debt markets roiling over fresh news that a deal to bail out Greece may be in jeopardy, the 4 WTC bonds were able to fetch a low interest rate last week, just above 5%, as investors raced to more secure financial instruments.

"The investment community's demand for these bonds is more proof of the tremendous momentum of the World Trade Center rebuilding effort and the continued strength of our partnership with government," Silverstein said.
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Comment:Investors rally behind $1.25b WTC Bond offer.
Author:Geiger, Daniel
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Nov 9, 2011
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