August 10th - August 14th, 2009
WTC site Public Meeting Announced for September
August 10 – The NYS Senate Committee on Corporations will hold a public meeting in September on the pace of development at the WTC site. Committee Chair Senator Bill Perkins of Harlem says, “We are literally still at ground zero when it comes to the monument and development of that site. We must put that site back, not only for the families, but for the United States of America.”
Mount Sinai School Releases WTC Responders Study
August 10 – Multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that normally affects older people, is showing up in young law enforcement officers who responded to the 9-11 attacks. The World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine found half of the cases occurred in first responders who were under the age of 45; eight cases of multiple myeloma were diagnosed of the 28, 252 responders being followed by the program-four of them were male law enforcement officers. Rescue workers were exposed to a toxic soup of chemicals, some of which have been linked to an increased risk of cancer.
First Responder Dies of Cancer
August 10 – Firefighter John McNamara died of colon cancer. He spent about 500 hours at the WTC site after the 9-11 attacks; he became ill with colon cancer in 2006. The Daily News reports the 44 year old McNamara spent his final years fighting for better testing and health benefits for firefighters who worked at Ground Zero.
Class A Rents Continue to Decline
August 10 – It looks like rents in Lower Manhattan and throughout Manhattan have not bottomed out. A new report from Jones Lang LaSalle says rents for class A office space have fallen about 25% and have another 15% to fall, meaning average rents Downtown could fall below $50 a square foot. The report on GlobeSt.com says if rents reach those lows, they would be comparable to rents in 2004 and 2005. Downtown’s class A vacancy rate was 8.4% in June.
Manhattan Leasing Activity Rises
August 11 – Leasing activity in Manhattan surged in July according to the latest reports from CB Richard Ellis and Studley. GlobeSt.com reports the CBRE data said overall activity for the month was 2.22 million square feet, compared to 1.65 million square feet a year ago. A CBRE spokesman said the numbers suggest that tenants think the market bottom is close enough to make leasing decisions. The Studley data shows 4.5 million square feet was leased in the second quarter, up from the 20 year low in the first quarter of 3.2 million; however, the second quarter figure is till below the average of 7.2 million square feet.
Pier 57 Details Revealed
August 11 – There are more details about the future of Pier 57. The historic shipping terminal will be turned into a multi-million dollar cultural complex, featuring an indoor market, an arts and entertainment complex and shops, according to a report in The New York Post. The Hudson River Park Trust recently announced that it chose Youngwoo & Associates to develop the pier. It will take a year to complete environmental and land reviews and approximately 18 months to build.
PA Calls for Art Submissions
August 12 – Calling all artists- the Port Authority wants you to submit designs for a new mural at the WTC site. The New York Post reports the mural will cover a portion of the construction fence on Church Street between Liberty and Vesey streets. The PA and the City Department of Transportation say the design should reflect the vibrancy of the thriving downtown commercial and residential neighborhood.
70 Ton Column Rises at WTC
August 13 – The largest column of steel yet, 60 feet long, was installed at One World Trade Center. It was a 70 ton piece of steel; a total of 24 such columns will be erected by the fall. They are the perimeter columns which will form the first floors of the tower. The new columns will bring the building’s steel skeleton several stories above street level.
AIA Holds Design Contest
August 13 – The City Building Department and the NY Chapter of the American Institute of Architects is holding a design contest to come up with new designs for sidewalk sheds. According to The New York Times, the deadline for the UrbanShed contest is October 2nd; the winner will be announced in December.