May 26th - June 1st, 2012
Hudson River Trust Seeks Funding Options to Cover Expenses
May 29 - Created in 1998, the Hudson River Park Trust Master Plan presents a clear mission for its five-mile-long park, from 59th to Chambers Streets -- but without a consistent funding stream to support it, reported the Broadsheet. Fast forward a decade plus three years, and HRPT is looking for a game changer to cover its substantial expenses and shrink its deficits. To garner more income from its properties, none of which can be sold off, the Trust is exploring new options. A task force set-up by HRPT recently released a study that concluded that Pier 40 is most likely to succeed as a mix of public-use and residential development. Implementing that idea will not be easy, however, because the proposal requires a modification of the 1998 HRPT Act, which entails an act of the State legislature, to allow HRPT to rent the property for longer than 30 years.
Plans Moving Forward for Lower Manhattan Waterfront
May 30 - Because New York boasts more waterfront than the combined shorelines of Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Portland, the redevelopment of its piers holds huge promise in terms of public amenities, the Broadsheet reported. And testimony last week at a joint session of the City Council Lower Manhattan Redevelopment and Waterfront committees shows that some pier redevelopment projects are making headway. Early portents for the Howard Hughes Corporation development plan for Pier 17, located in the South Street Seaport, seem positive. Pier A, the only remaining historic pier in the City, has fallen behind schedule due to the extensive rot discovered during construction. Officials anticipate that the future tenant -- Pier A Battery Park Associates -- will need about six months for build-out and should open in the latter half of 2013. Plans for the demolition and construction at Pier 42, located in the East River Waterfront Park near Gouverneur Street, are sketchy at present -- but a portion of the park be opened for interim use. Early this year the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation allocated $14 million toward Pier 42, but estimates the project will cost $40 million to complete.
Informal Ceremony Marks 10th Anniversary Of End Of WTC Recovery Efforts
May 30 - Wednesday marked 10 years since the formal end of recovery and cleanup efforts at the World Trade Center site, reported NY1. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Governor George Pataki, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, elected officials, union leaders and about 5,000 of the recovery and relief workers attended a ceremony at the National September 11th Memorial in Lower Manhattan. In all, workers removed an estimated 1.8 million tons of steel and concrete before they wrapped up recovery and cleanup efforts on May 30, 2002. The Wednesday tribute included wreath-laying ceremonies, choir performances and an honor guard by the Memorial reflecting pools. A flag that once hung at the WTC site was also marched past the memorial pools. Many of the workers have since gotten sick and Wednesday's ceremony came days before many who believe their cancers were caused by their work at the site are due to find out whether they can be treated and compensated from a $4.3 billion fund set aside by Congress.
President Obama to Return to Ground Zero
June 1 - Ten days after planned June 4 visit, President Barack Obama will return to New York City to visit the World Trade Center site, reported the Daily News. White House officials confirmed that Obama will visit the site on June 14 for a briefing on construction progress. An official called Obama's visit "a preview of the 1 WTC topping-out ceremony" -- a traditional construction industry ritual symbolizing the near-completion of the iconic building's framework.
Rent Deal Saves Downtown Dance Studio
June 1 - The downtown studio Dance New Amsterdam, which has been living under the threat of eviction for the past three years, has reached a deal with its landlord to reduce its rent and signed a new 10-year lease two weeks ago, the studio leader said. DNAinfo.com reported that the deal will save Dance New Amsterdam at least $4 million over the next 10 years, allowing the studio to keep its 25,000-square-foot space at 280 Broadway, the landmarked Sun Building. After years of negotiations assisted by elected officials including State Sen. Daniel Squadron, Dance New Amsterdam finally came to an agreement with Fram Realty, which leases the city-owned space to the studio. The deal restructures Dance New Amsterdam's hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, mitigates rent increases that would have skyrocketed to nearly $90,000 a month by 2020, and reduces the amount of property taxes the studio must pay. The new 10-year lease, with reduced rent, will allow Dance New Amsterdam to stop focusing on its past and start planning for the future.
Peck Slip Post Office Sells Its Last Stamps Before Move
June 1 - The Peck Slip Post Office will sell its last stamps on Friday before moving to a smaller space three blocks south on John Street, reported DNAinfo.com. The longstanding post office at Peck Slip between Pearl and Front streets is being relocated to 116 John St., the site of the former Andrews Coffee Shop, a United States Postal Service spokeswoman said. The former post office site will be converted to anew elementary school for Lower Manhattan slated to open in 2015, the DOE said. The new 3,000-square-foot John Street post office opens for business on June 4, and will have the same hours -- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday -- as the Peck Slip Station. The counter will have one less service window, three rather than the four that are usually open at Peck Slip. A new business center in the lobby on John Street will offer free expedited shipping boxes and envelopes, along with packing supplies for purchase. The move is intended to save the agency money.