February 16th - February 22nd, 2007
More Steel Likely At Ground Zero
Saturday, February 17th: According to experts, there is likely much more steel from the World Trade Center buried underground at Ground Zero, the Associated Press reported. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey own Ground Zero, however spokesman Steve Coleman said that the agency was never officially informed that any steel was left underground after taking over control of the site. Two steel columns remain embedded in the service road that is currently being searched for victims' remains. Officials say that the steel beams are remnants of several columns that were cut off at street level in order to expedite the recovery effort.
Sifting for Remains Delays Parks Opening
Monday, February 19th: In the detailed search for human remains from the World Trade Center site, forensic experts have been using the Purchase Building under the Brooklyn Bridge overpass as a place to sift through recently recovered rubble, the New York Post reported. Construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park, initially scheduled to begin three years ago, has been delayed by the recent activity.
Governor Reopens WTC Memorial Names Discussion
Tuesday, February 20th: Governor Elliot Spitzer recently said that there is still time to discuss how to arrange the names of the dead at the 9/11 memorial, an issue that Mayor Michael Bloomberg had deemed resolved, the Associated Press reported. "Yes, I have opinions. No, this is not the moment to begin that very public discussion," Spitzer told the AP. He added, "It is something that we will try to work through at the right time and the right place and get to a resolution that satisfies everybody."
Mayor Bloomberg, chairman of the board of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, announced in December that victims' names would be grouped by the tower or plane in which they died and first responders' companies would be listed. A group of victims' family members would like to include the ages, ranks of first responders, tower floors on which they died, and the names of the companies they worked for on the memorial.. "You can't please everybody," Bloomberg said recently. "I think the naming issue is something that has been decided."
PA May sell Ground Zero Development Rights
Wednesday, February 21st: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey may consider selling the development rights to the site where 130 Liberty currently stands, the New York Sun reported. According to the paper, the Port Authority is attempting to liquidate its real estate assets at the World Trade Center site, a move that Mayor Michael Bloomberg agrees with. Governor Elliot Spitzer told the Sun, "I do not have an opposition at a philosophical level to selling the tower and letting a private entity possibly even undertake the responsibility of building it, leasing it, owning it."
A potential concern of some of those involved is that the deal could create competition for developer Larry Silverstein, who has to fill 6 million square feet of commercial space, the Sun reported. Silverstein feels that the building, often referred to as Tower 5, "will serve a different tenancy than will towers 2,3, and 4," the Sun continued. Some real estate experts agree with Silverstein. Eric Deutsch, president of the Downtown Alliance, told the Sun, "Class A buildings with the capability of hosting large trading floors are very rare commodities. So while it may seem there are only a handful of major anchor tenants to go around, there are more than enough to make those buildings a reality."
Spitzer Gives Freedom Tower the Go Ahead
Wednesday, February 21st: Governor Elliot Spitzer announced his support for the Freedom Tower at Ground Zero on Tuesday, the New York Times reported. The announcement makes official his change of mind about the project he once referred to as a white elephant, the paper continued. At the news conference, Spitzer said he felt obliged to criticize the parts of the project he did not like, but that it was time to move on. "This should not be interpreted to mean that this is the project I would have designed at its initiation," Spitzer said. "But where we are today, this is clearly the best and the wisest alternative."