Cantor pursued for $1m trade centre rent

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The Independent US

A bitter dispute over unpaid rent had broken out between the leaseholder of the twin towers that were destroyed in the 11 September attacks and Cantor Fitzgerald, the brokerage firm that lost 658 people in the disaster.

The leaseholder, Larry Silverstein, who is trying to rebuild the shattered ground zero site in lower Manhattan, was behind a suit filed in a New York court yesterday alleging that the brokerage has refused to pay more than a million dollars in unpaid rent.

Cantor Fitzgerald became synonymous with heartbreak after the disaster. Located on the uppermost floors of the north tower, it suffered more than any other company. More than 60 per cent of its 1,000 employees at the time were killed.

The firm, which has since moved to midtown Manhattan, is headed by Howard Lutnick, who escaped death because he was delivering his children to nursery. His brother was among those who died.

The suit was filed by Mr Silverstein's property company, 1 World Trade Center LLC. It alleges that at the time of the attack, Cantor Fitzgerald owed six weeks in rent, from 1 August until 10 September 2001 and that it has blocked efforts to settle ever since. The sum in dispute is $1,027,659 (£627,504).

"That obligation to pay rent continues unabated notwithstanding the heinous attacks of 11 September," the suit says. "Unfortunately, unlike virtually all of those fellow tenants, Cantor Fitzgerald... has repudiated its obligation to pay rent up to 10 September, 2001".

There was no comment from Cantor Fitzgerald.