April 28th - May 2nd, 2008
Manhattan Apartments Defy Economic Slowdown
April 28 – Several first quarter real estate reports show Manhattan apartments continue to defy the economic slowdown. The average price of an apartment in Manhattan jumped 47 percent from a year ago. Average prices downtown jumped about 12.5%. The numbers also show the priciest neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan are Soho and Tribeca.
Construction Accident Victims Honored at Mass
April 28- A mass was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral to honor the 13 people killed in construction accidents so far this year. Three thousand attended; some work sites shut down to allow their employees to attend. Bells rang as labor officials recited the names of 26 union and nonunion laborers who died in the city in the past year. Fahter Brian Jordan who served as a chaplain at Ground Zero said, “They didn’t die in vain. They upheld the dignity of human labor.”
Construction Safety Week in NYC
April 28- This is Construction Safety Week in NYC. The city kicked off five days of free seminars and events designed to increase public and worker awareness of safe construction practices. Acting Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri handed out free safety harnesses at a conference on Staten Island as Spanish speaking instructors showed day laborers how to wear them.
Greenmarket Reopens in Zuccotti Park
April 28 – The Greenmarket returned to Zuccotti Park on Cedar Street between Trinity Place and Broadway. There will be seven stands selling fruit, vegetables and baked goods every Tuesday and Thursday. The return of the Greenmarket is not good news for the street vendors who will be displaced for those two days every week. According to The Downtown Express, Greenmarket director Michael Hurwitz said the permit he received will free up about 30 feet for the street vendors.
Hudson River Park Trust Approves funds
April 28 – There’s good news for the Hudson River Park Trust and Pier 25. The Downtown Express reports the state and city have approved $42 million so the Trust can build docking for historic ships, a playground and open space on Pier 25. The money will also cover a portion of the park that runs from Pier 25 down to Stuyvesant High School. Over the last few months, The Trust has said without help from the city and state, it could not afford to rebuild any of Pier 25’s amenities. Part of the money will go to redesign the boathouse on Pier 26 to accommodate kayaks.
Brooklyn Bridge to get Paint Job
April 28 – The Brooklyn Bridge is about to get a fresh coat of paint as well as some upgrades. According to The Downtown Express, the city Department of Transportation will be working nights and weekends to reconstruct the pavement on the ramps leading to the bridge. The bridge’s supports will be strengthened and the arch blocks will be reinforced to withstand an earthquake. The DOT will also wide the ramp that leads from the FDR onto the bridge to make it a two lane ramp. The entire bridge will be repainted a light coffee beige color- the bridge’s original color. All of the work is expected to take about 5 years, starting next year and ending in 2014.
Construction Industry Executives Express Concern
April 29 - In a New York Times story, construction industry executives expressed concerns that the safety crackdown by the city’s Building Department is causing unnecessary delays and layoffs at some major construction sites. Richard T. Anderson, president of the New York Building Congress said, “The practical challenge is how to do this in a reasonable way so that jobs are not shut down unnecessarily or for too long or in a way that inhibits further construction in the city.”
Syms Purchases Air Rights
April 29 – Syms apparently has plans to build a 16 story tower next to its flagship store on Trinity Place. According to The New York Post, city records show Syms purchased the air rights from a building adjacent to 42 Trinity Place for $3.1 million. The report also says Syms has made an ‘initial approach’ to the owners of two other neighboring buildings – 46 Trinity and 67 Greenwich Street- to further enlarge its plans, but there are no current negotiations according to sources. Syms had no comment.
Port Authority Liable for 1993 Bombing
April 30 – The Port Authority is liable for damages caused by the 1993 bombing at the WTC. A state appeals court ruled the Port Authority knew about but chose to ignore ‘an extreme and potentially catastrophic vulnerability that would have been open and obvious to any terrorist who cared to investigate and exploit it.” Under state rules, the PA can be forced now to pay all the damages to injured survivors and to relatives of those killed. The amount of damages has yet to be determined.
Free Parking Placards Recalled
May 1- Tens of thousands of free parking placards issued by the city to law enforcement employees and other city departments have been slashed. A city spokesman said the number of parking placards has gone from 80,770 to 54,891 citywide, a 32% decrease. According to several published reports, the move should free up parking spaces in Lower Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn where many city offices are located.
Newsweek to Stay in Midtown
May 1- It looks like Newsweek magazine will not be moving from Midtown to Lower Manhattan. The New York Post says real estate and media sources say the magazine broke off negotiations with the owner of 100 Church Street and is now ‘focused closely’ on a 395 Hudson Street in SoHo.