Merrill Quits Talks to Move to Ground Zero

Financially struggling brokerage backs out of delayed, over-budget project
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jul 17, 2008 6:33 AM CDT
World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – Years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget, the project to rebuild Ground Zero took another blow as struggling brokerage Merrill Lynch—projected as an anchor tenant for one of four planned office buildings—ended talks with the Port Authority and developer Larry Silverstein, reports the New York Times.

Merrill joins a list of companies frightened off by construction delays and the daunting memories of 9/11 at the $16 billion project. Only one building, the $3 billion Freedom Tower, is currently being built. Silverstein is responsible for the other three, and there is increasing concern he may not be able to find funding for the project.