Trade Center developer gets extension to help Merrill Lynch move

The owner of the World Trade Center site on Thursday gave developer Larry Silverstein a six-month extension to build an office tower to allow him to adjust the design to accommodate investment banking giant Merrill Lynch & Co. A 2006 agreement between Silverstein and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey gave him until 2012 to complete the tower designed by British architect Richard Rogers, or give up development rights to all three towers he is building at ground zero, the site of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack in New York. Merrill Lynch & Co., currently located at the World Financial Center opposite ground zero, negotiated last fall with Silverstein and considered moving to midtown near Penn Station. But the brokerage decided not to move shortly after it posted a $2.24 billion (€1.42 billion) third-quarter loss, leading to the departure of its CEO last fall.