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NEW YORK CITY-Brookfield Financial Properties is in discussions with World Trade Center complex leaseholder Silverstein Properties on a plan to co-develop the trade center site and the area surrounding it, published reports say.

According to newspaper and television reports released today, Brookfield chairman John Zuccotti met with Larry Silverstein last week to discuss the project. The two developers are said to have jointly hired Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP architect David Childs and urban planner Alex Cooper to work up a proposal.

Toronto-based Brookfield has reportedly suggested linking the WTC site to its World Financial Center via a tunnel that would run beneath West Street. Such a plan would dovetail with recently published reports that Brookfield would like to build a mass-transit hub beneath the World Financial Center complex.

Silverstein signed a 99-year lease on the WTC with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the property and reportedly hopes to make a preliminary decision before Thanksgiving regarding its redevelopment.

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