NEW YORK CITY-Key stakeholders in the World Trade Center redevelopment, which has reached an impasse, have until June 11 to come up with a compromise on how many towers will be built there and how they’ll be financed, according to published reports. The agreement to work out a compromise, which entails closed-door negotiations and a media blackout, was the outcome of a summit held Thursday afternoon at Gracie Mansion.

Prompted by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s May 8 call for a meeting of the key stakeholders–including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, developer Silverstein Properties Inc. and the governors of New York and New Jersey–Mayor Michael Bloomberg arranged Thursday’s closed-door sit-down. Following the meeting, Bloomberg told reporters, “We cannot allow this to not get done. It is intolerable to leave this hole in the ground.”

However, Bloomberg reportedly added, “Private development should be fundamentally backed by private capital.” He was referring to one of the key disagreements that has threatened forward movement at Ground Zero: the question of whether the Port Authority should help SPI finance two or more of the towers it plans to build. The authority has already committed to helping finance SPI’s Tower 4, where the bi-state agency will be headquartered. SPI has sought the authority’s assistance in backstopping construction financing on at least one more tower as the credit markets remain largely frozen for large-scale projects. The developer has reportedly offered to delay construction on the third tower.

As reported on earlier this month after a scaled-down WTC plan came to light, SPI maintains that carrying out the 2006 agreement to build three towers at Ground Zero in addition to the authority’s 1 World Trade Center is “essential so that Downtown can re-emerge as an economic powerhouse for New York City.” Janno Lieber, president of developer Larry Silverstein’s World Trade Center Properties, said in a statement earlier this month that the Port Authority “received more than $2 billion out of the rebuilding fund based on their promise to cooperate in executing that exact vision. Now, with 10,000 construction workers standing ready to get to work, there is absolutely no reason for turning our backs on the promises.”

For its part, the authority says its “responsibility is to focus public resources on the projects that have the most public benefit, meaning keeping the memorial and other public projects moving forward and building office space and retail to meet the market.” In a statement, the authority says SPI’s responsibility is “to privately finance and build three towers.”

Thursday’s summit meeting apparently did not resolve that impasse, but Silverstein said in a statement issued after the meeting, “we feel that progress was made this afternoon and that everyone left with a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. We are ready to sit down with the Port Authority to hammer out a revised set of agreements.” Calls to the Port Authority for additional comment Friday were not returned by deadline.

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