"Following the attacks, Silverstein filed TWO insurance claims for the maximum amount of the policy ($7B), based on the two -- in Silverstein's view -- separate attacks. The insurance company, Swiss Re, paid Mr. Silverstein $4.6 Billion — a princely return on a relatively paltry investment of $124 million.
There’s more. You see, the World Trade Towers were not the real estate plum we are led to believe. From an economic standpoint, the trade center -- subsidized since its inception by the NY Port Authority -- has never functioned, nor was it intended to function, unprotected in the rough-and-tumble real estate marketplace. How could Silverstein Group have been ignorant of this?
The towers required some $200 million in renovations and improvements, most of which related to removal and replacement of building materials declared to be health hazards in the years since the towers were built.
It was well-known by the city of New York that the WTC was an asbestos bombshell. For years, the Port Authority treated the building like an aging dinosaur, attempting on several occasions to get permits to demolish the building for liability reasons, but being turned down due the known asbestos problem.
Further, it was well-known the only reason the building was still standing until 9/11 was because it was too costly to disassemble the twin towers floor by floor since the Port Authority was prohibited legally from demolishing the buildings.
The projected cost to disassemble the towers: $15 Billion. Just the scaffolding for the operation was estimated at $2.4 Billion!"