The New York governor's office will directly negotiate with developer Silverstein Properties Inc. to try to get the stalled rebuilding at the World Trade Center site back on track, Gov. David Paterson said yesterday.

Silverstein agreed to postpone indefinitely binding arbitration with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey over construction on the site. A deadline to reach a settlement or enter into arbitration under the development agreement was set to expire yesterday and would have led to six to nine months of negotiations, Paterson said in a conference call with reporters.

Options include public-private partnerships or other ways of backstopping the project, but Paterson said "the state is not going to be the only entity that has risk in the project."

"Where private money is eschewing the opportunity, public money should not be used either, because the public's dollar is just as important as anyone else's and that is why I insist we cannot finance anyone else's project," Paterson said.

Rebuilding at Ground Zero has stalled as the Port Authority's progress in delivering the site for development has taken longer than expected. The agency has balked at a request by Silverstein to backstop two of the towers because financing has proven difficult in the face of a weak credit market.

"I appreciate the governor's direct involvement and leadership in seeking to forge a resolution that will allow the rebuilding of the World Trade Center to move forward," Larry Silverstein, president and chief executive officer of Silverstein Properties, said in a statement.

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