Friday, April 01, 2011

Silverstein's Latest Lawsuit

From The New York Times:

"Silverstein's Latest Lawsuit"

At a time when everything seemed to go on swimmingly at the World Trade Center, the new Tower One rising steadily past the halfway mark, the memorial on track, and an agreement for the other new towers in place, a new round of downtown trouble is afoot. Yesterday, World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein filed a notice of dispute, sending his troubled partnership with the Port Authority into arbitration once more. Moreover, a source close to Mr. Silverstein's lawyers, Grapsh, Snyder, Renner, said on condition of anonymity that Mr. Silverstein is preparing to file lawsuits against WTC master planner Daniel Libeskind and the World Trade Organization.

The bone of contention is once more the space allocation in the new WTC buildings, but this time with a twist. Mr. Silverstein alleges that he has been defrauded all along by the WTO, the Port Authority, and their master planner.

From the get go, Mr. Silverstein's complaint claims, the Port Authority conspired with the WTO and the architect, Mr. Libeskind, to keep the most profitable office space to itself. "From day one, they had this plan where four buildings wrap around the memorial plaza. And even when people rallied for rebuilding the Twin Towers, they held on to that scheme, come hell or high water," said the Grapsh, Snyder, Renner insider. "There was method to that madness."

The Twin Towers design was fatally flawed, as it kept disparate parties cooped up together, which led to insurmountable conflicts of interest that sunk the original World Trade Center in its intended function as a center of world trade. Consequently, the Twin Towers sat empty for years, until Wall Street firms could be persuaded to move in once other space downtown had filled up.

Conversely, the new World Trade Center will sort tenants by their affluence, with a First World Trade Center for those from developed countries like North America, Europe, and Japan, a Second World Trade Center for those from emerging economies like Russia and China, a Third World Trade Center for those from underdeveloped countries in the Middle East, South Asia, Latin America, and Africa, and a Fourth World Trade Center for those from the least developed countries and for government agencies, like the PA itself, which are notoriously cheap tenants with their tax dollars.

"When Larry couldn't build them all, the PA kept Tower One, the future First World Trade Center, to itself and saddled him with the less prosperous tenants. You might say, how comes a shrewd Manhattan developer like Larry could be kept in the dark like this for ten years, but this is the big league, WTO and international diplomats. He's a babe in arms among those global players," the lawyer said.

"If they didn't plan that from square one, why four towers? Doesn't make sense. Why did they move into Tower Four instead of the taller, more prestigious Tower One, like before? Those PA guys knew exactly what they were doing.

"Why do the towers decrease in height, size, and architectural quality as the building numbers increase? Libeskind designed it that way and refused to budge, no matter how impractical this design turned out to be in all other respects."

"The Twin Towers just didn't work," said Katharina Prilova, who worked in the Twin Towers when she was a foreign trade commissar for Russia. "You'd take the elevator down for lunch, and in the sky lobby some scrawny African would accost you for money."

"Once, I was in the cafeteria and that Polynesian trade commissioner tried to trade me one of his daughters for sweetener," said Jack Springshear, a former US delegate to the WTO. "You've got to understand, not an aristocratic statesman, but some money-grubbing, nouveau riche business type. Those daughters of him must have been fat like whales and straight from the pineapple fields. I'd rather keep my Sweet'n Low, thank you very much."

Faced with conditions like those, the capitalists at the WTO seem to prefer to keep diversity down and different people from different worlds segregated. Unsurprisingly, their promise of a diverse WTC turns out to not be worth the air it was spoken into.

The only inequality Mr. Silverstein seems to care about, however, is that he got saddled with the least prosperous peons. His office refused to comment on pending lawsuits. A spokesperson for the Port Authority didn't return calls, the WTO was closed for a Micronesian holiday, and Mr. Libeskind, according to his assistant, attended a garden gnome conference.


ML Donovan said...


I love that you proved for a third straight year that I can still be fooled. Every word was preposterous and I still fell for it -- until I got to the garden gnomes!

I knew it was April 1st and even thought of you this morning! But I am not the least bit embarrassed. I knew you were good, but now I know that you are great!

Happy April 1st!


Anonymous said...

Brilliant!! But there is one factual error. If Mr. Libeskind's own press releases are to be believed, he was in fact attending a conference for "world renowned, internationally celebrated buffons".

Alex said...

Thanks, too much honor! :) I hope you had a great First of April weekend, too!