The "Bridgegate" scandal that rocked New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's administration earlier this year is threatening a deal that would allow developer Larry Silverstein to finish building the next World Trade Center skyscraper.
Silverstein needs a guarantee from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to secure a $1.2 billion construction loan for 3 World Trade Center. On Wednesday, the agency's board will vote on whether to approve that guarantee, part of a deal that would provide hundreds of millions of dollars more to the Port Authority and allow it to foreclose on the $2.4 billion tower if Silverstein cannot pay debt service costs.
But Silverstein's deal, even with the concessions to the Port Authority, has become entangled in a fierce debate within the agency over its mission, including whether it should be in the real estate business at all.
Those questions have emerged since the so-called Bridgegate scandal erupted earlier this year. Operatives loyal to Christie's administration caused massive traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge in September, an alleged act of political retribution against a local New Jersey mayor who did not endorse Christie for reelection.