Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

N.Y. Trade Center to Go Private

NEW YORK -- New York's World Trade Center and its twin towers, one of the city's most prominent landmarks, will be put up for commercial lease in one of the biggest U.S. privatizations ever.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a bi-state agency that owns the 990,000-thousand square meter complex in lower Manhattan, on Thursday approved a plan that would ask real estate developers to take over the site with a 99-year lease.

The deal could generate income of $1.5 billion over the life of the lease, and the Port Authority said it would be the equivalent of one of the largest privatizations of a government asset in the nation's history.

Real estate brokers say prices for commercial real estate in the city have cooled following the more than 1,300-point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average since mid-July. But Port Authority officials said they had not mistimed the market.

The complex, which has more than 350 tenants and a number of high-traffic retail shops in its vast lobby, was built in 1970 to spur office development in downtown New York.