On October 17, 2000, eleven months before 9/11,
Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, of The Blackstone Group, L.P, purchased, from Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, the participating mortgage secured by World Trade Center, Building Seven.1
April 26, 2001
The Port Authority leased the WTC for 99 years to Silverstein Properties and Westfield America Inc,
The transaction was authorised by Port Authority Chairman Lewis M. Eisenberg.
This transfer from the New York and New Jersey Port Authority was tantamount to the privatisation of the WTC Complex. The official press release described it as "the richest real estate prize in New York City history". The retail space underneath the complex was leased to Westfield America Inc.2
On 24 July 2001, 6 weeks prior to 9/11
Silverstein took control of the lease of the WTC following the Port Authority decision on April 26.
Silverstein and Frank Lowy, CEO of Westefield Inc. took control of the 10.6 million-square-foot WTC complex. "Lowy leased the shopping concourse called the Mall at the WTC, which comprised about 427,000 square feet of retail space."3