June 28th - July 2nd, 2010
Moving Parades through Downtown is One of 25 Ideas
June 28 – Mary Ann Tighe, Chief Executive at CB Richard Ellis was quoted in the latest issue of Crain’s as saying a lot of the parades that are being held in Midtown should be moved Downtown to create economic development. Tighe said the City should reroute its parades for a two year trial, once the Fulton Street Transit Center is complete. In the same article entitled, “25 Big Ideas,” Chris Ward, head of the PA, said the city should build truck depots outside of Manhattan so goods can be transferred to smaller zero-emission vehicles which take up less room on city streets.
Concern Expressed For Lack of 9-11 Bus Traffic Plan
June 29 – Testifying at a City Council hearing, Michael Levine of CB1 said, “We are concerned about the health, safety and security issues and we have not seen a plan for the buses.” Up to 80 tour buses a day are expected to descend on Ground Zero once the 9/11 Memorial opens on the 10th anniversary. The Port Authority, in a statement, said it’s working with the city and state on an appropriate plan to accommodate tour buses. A Wall Street Journal article says one idea is to route the buses to New Jersey and transport people to Lower Manhattan via the PATH.
Signs of Recovery in the FiDi Housing Market
July 2 – A report from Prudential Douglas Elliman points to a modest rise in apartment prices and a big jump in sales. Throughout Manhattan, apartment sales jumped 79% compared to Q2 ’09; prices were up about7.6%. The report found for Lower Manhattan, the average median price for an apartment was $950,000, up about $50,000 from last year; the cost of an apartment in FiDi is up about 6% from last year.
Miller Named LMCC President
July 2 – Sam Miller has been chosen to head up the LMCC, according to The New York Times. Miller is a veteran arts consultant, who has worked with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation on dance and theatre programs. The LMCC has been working since 9/11 to revitalize the arts in Fidi.
Downtown Hotel Rooms Multiply
July 2- Statistics from the Downtown Alliance show there are now 17 hotels below Chambers Street, triple the number of hotels before 9-1, according to Crain’s. That brings the number of hotel rooms to 3,693, a 60% jump. Three more hotels are set to open by the end of the year, adding another 680 rooms. Elizabeth Berger, president of the Downtown Alliance said, “The numbers speak to Lower Manhattan’s return as a tourist destination.”
Downtown Office Vacancies Rise
July 2 – The second quarter saw a drop in empty office space in Manhattan, except for Lower Manhattan. Jones Lang LaSalle issued a report which said the overall vacancy rate for Manhattan was 12.5%, down from 13.1% in ‘09, while vacancies in Lower Manhattan reached 12.1%, up from 10.8% the same time last year.
City Calls Construction Site Artwork
July 2 – The Urbancanvas Design Competition, launched by the City’s Department of Buildings (DOB) and the City’s Cultural Affairs Department, seeks to attract artists to create designs for construction fences, sidewalk sheds, scaffolding and cocoon systems. DOB Commissioner Robert LiMandri said, “The contest is designed to bring the beauty back to our building and encourage developers to maintain their sites in a safe manner.”
New West Thames Park Officially Opens
July 2 – As lots of children played, officials cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the park, which underwent a $9 million renovation. In addition to an expansive lawn, the park now includes a dog run, a small pool and a community garden.