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Rebuilding was the developer’s dream — and his right, according to his lawyers from Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. But after the towers fell, New York City and state authorities seemed to have done everything possible to elbow him out of the way, even as Silverstein ponied up $100 million a year to rent a hole in the ground. Now, at almost midnight, he was huddled in a conference room in the Park Avenue offices of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the quasi-governmental agency that had leased the Twin Towers to Silverstein in July 2001. Executives from his development company and his financial backers were there with him, as were Wachtell partners Martin Lipton and Robin Panovka. Silverstein ordered two cups of coffee. He was ready to stay up all night. “Let’s get this thing done,” he told the group.

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