July 28th - August 3rd, 2012
AIG Said to Mull Leaving Maiden Lane Headquarters
July 28 - AIG, the insurer rescued by U.S. taxpayers, is weighing a move from its headquarters at 180 Maiden Lane in lowerManhattan, said two people with knowledge of the company planning. Bloomberg reported that the approximately 2,000 employees there may be transferred to other locations as part of a cost-saving consolidation, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. An AIG-owned property at 175 Water St., within walking distance from Maiden Lane, is among the buildings that may absorb the workers, the person said. An AIG departure would add tovacancies in lower Manhattan, including space in the World Trade Center and World Financial Center.
WTC Construction Workers Caught Drinking On Job
July 28 - Seven construction workers from the World Trade Center site were caught drinking on the job Friday, reported NY1. The Port Authority said undercover detectives from their office observed the workers drinking alcohol at the Raccoon Lodge on Warren Street. The crew left the bar and were headed back to work when they were stopped. Investigators confiscated their IDs and banned them from the site. A Port Authority spokeswoman said they will not tolerate reckless and dangerous behavior. Subcontractors will decide whether to fire the seven construction workers. Three others were caught drinking during lunch on July 19 and were also banned.
Four Projects to Add Nearly 1 Million Square Feet of Lower Manhattan Shopping
July 29 - The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is issuing a request for proposals Thursday to find a manager for 70,000 square feet of high-end retail space under construction at the Fulton Street Transit Center. While the Wall Street Journal and the Real Deal noted that this is just some of thenearly 1 million square feet of new retail space being preparedfor the area, retail brokers believe there is enough demand to fill the flood of new supply. Though Lower Manhattan retail real estate has struggled in the past, the forthcoming spaces at the World Trade Center, the Fulton Center, the World Financial Center and at the South Street Seaport are far more attractive because they are brighter, glassy projects that aresure to come with more food purveyors. Plus, aresidential boom in the neighborhoodand a huge tourism uptick make Lower Manhattan more attractive than it has been for retail at any point before, or since, the 9/11 attacks.
BPCA Board Elects New Chair
August 1 - On Tuesday morning, about three minutes into his first meeting as the newest member of the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) board of directors, Dennis Mehiel was elected chairman of the agency, reported the Broadsheet. This development surprised no one, because the election was largely a formality: Governor Andrew Cuomo had made clear at the time he nominated Mehiel, in June, that the Westchester businessman and Democratic party insider was his choice to succeed Bill Thompson at the helm. (Mr. Thompson resigned in May to devote more time to his planned 2013 run for Mayor.) The BPCA board also unanimously voted to designate a new insurance broker of record for the Authority, Willis Group Holdings; and approved the retainer of law firm Kramer Levin to represent the BPCA in gaining City approvals for the design to the plaza that will be built in front of Pier A.
Port Authority Approves $10 Billion 3-Year Bond Plan
August 1 - The board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Wednesday approved a plan to borrow as much as $10 billion over three years to pay for capital projects at the World Trade Center and local airports, ports, bridges and tunnels, according to Reuters. The financing plan is the same size and duration of the previous one, and the agency will competitively sell the debt in a number of offerings with a maximum principal amount of $500 million, a top true interest cost of 8 percent, and a top maturity of 35 years. The board also approved issuing up to $2 billion of taxable debt for the WTC, which the authority is redeveloping. The debt will be sold through negotiation in the third quarter. Around $1.4 billion of that offering will be new money bonds. About $300 million of notes issued in June will be refunded, along with $250 million of bonds. Overseas investors last year bought as much as 11 percent of the previous sale of taxable debt from the Authority.
Beam Signed by Obama Raised at WTC
August 2 - A steel beam that was signed by President Barack Obama in June has been lifted into place on the 104th floor at 1 World Trade Center, reported the Associated Press. A crane on top of the building lifted the beam from the ground Thursday after dozens of people, including construction workers and police officers, added their own signatures. On June 14, Obama visited the skyscraper, and wrote in marker: "We remember, We rebuild, We come back stronger!" First lady Michelle Obama also signed it. The beam is 35 feet long and weighs 11,000 pounds. The skyscraper is expected to be completed in early 2014.