PATAKI PITS FREEDOM VS. W. SIDE $TADIUM
May 9, 2005 -- AIDES to Gov. Pataki have privately told Bloomberg administration officials to get the NYPD to drop its resistance to construction of a Freedom Tower at Ground Zero — or risk losing the state's help with a West Side stadium.
For the first time linking Mayor Bloomberg's much- ballyhooed home for the Jets and key venue for the 2012 Olympics to the now-delayed tower project, Pataki's aides warned that the governor may increase the pressure by blocking approval of $300 million in state bonds for the stadium at next week's meeting of the Public Authorities Control Board.
"There's no question the governor is angry at the New York Police Department," a source with firsthand knowledge of the situation told The Post.
"He believes that police officials have put excessive emphasis on security for the Freedom Tower, so much so, they are scaring away potential renters like Goldman, Sachs [which has backed off plans to build a new headquarters across the street from the tower] and making it all the more difficult to get the job done.
"What the Police Department has done is really debilitating to the whole process. We need to resolve this, not delay it any further. This whole 'security story' has to stop."
The source singled out for criticism Deputy Police Commissioner for Counterterrorism Michael Sheehan, who wrote letters to the Port Authority outlining the NYPD's security concerns.
"We get the sense that Sheehan doesn't want any tower built at the site," said the source.
The source, meanwhile, noted that Pataki controls the agenda for the PACB, and warned that the scheduled consideration of the stadium could be changed. "The West Side Stadium won't be on [the agenda] without the governor's approval," he said.
Pataki announced last week that NYPD concerns about the tower's potential vulnerability to terrorist attacks had forced the project back to the drawing boards, delaying construction for at least a year.
Meanwhile, state and PA officials are said to be "wide-eyed and angry" over an estimated $150 million in "business interruption" payments so far to builder Larry Silverstein, who leased the World Trade Center just months before it was destroyed on 9/11.
While Silverstein has been paying the PA $10 million a month in rent, he's also been collecting $16 million a year in "management and development" fees from the PA — and another $84 million a year in "business interruption" payments, official sources say.
The $150 million — for which Silverstein has given no public accounting — comes from an insurance policy Silverstein acquired when he leased the WTC.
"He doesn't need to get the [Freedom Tower] up as long as he has plenty of revenue coming in," said a source.
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