January 18th - January 22nd, 2010
Silver Not Opposed to City led Governorâ€™s Island
January 19 – A spokesman for Silver told thevillager.com that he is not opposed to a city takeover of Governor’s Island, as long as the Lower Manhattan community has a voice in what happens on the island. Rob Pirani, Executive Director of the Governor’s Island Alliance, said the island would be better off having a single owner and a single management. Right now, the City and State share management and funding of the Island.
WFC Reviews Renovations
January 19 – Brookfield Properties has plans to renovate the WFC according to Crain’s. One part of the plan is to create a new entrance on West Street and eliminate the grand staircase which goes down into the Winter Garden. The WFC is at risk of losing two major tenants – Merrill Lynch and Deloitte- in the next three years.
NJ Waterfront Loses Edge
January 19 – The recession, consolidation of financial companies and steep declines in rents in FiDi contributed to make 2009 the slowest year for leasing activity across the river in New Jersey. Crain’s reports NJ dropped rents 15% and offered free build outs of space, but Lower Manhattan rents plummeted to give FiDi a $6 a square foot advantage. The class A vacancy rate on the Jersey waterfront is up to 11.3%.
Broadway Building Designated a Landmark
January 19 – The five-story, 153 year-old building was a textile warehouse at 311 Broadway is now a landmark. The City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission says the building is a ‘rare reminder of Broadway’s mercantile heyday and a significant artifact from the commercial development of the city.” The building is nestled between two larger buildings between Duane and Thomas Streets.
CB 1 Calls for the Trial to be Moved to Governors Island
January 21 – The community board is against the plan to try the 9/11 terrorists in Lower Manhattan and passed a resolution calling on the Obama administration to move the trial to Governors Island. The New York Post reported residents feel the security needed for the trial would create ‘a chokehold on our community.” CB 1 Chairperson Julie Menin said Governors Island could be modified to keep the accused incarcerated there. The NYPD estimates the trial could last for several years. NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told The Daily News a ‘soft’ perimeter will be established from Bowery to Broadway and from Franklin St to Canal St. A harder perimeter will be set up in the blocks adjacent to the 500 Pearl St. courthouse. There will be 2,000 barriers and checkpoints that will restrict pedestrians and traffic.
LMDC Nears Settlement with Insurers
January 22 – According to the Downtown Express, LMDC is expecting to receive a settlement soon from Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company and AXA Corporate Solutions, the two companies that insure the Deutsche bank building. Negotiations have been going on for years and now the paper reports a settlement to help LMDC recoup the $200 million cost of decontamination and deconstruction is expected. Under a previous agreement, the insurers were to pay 75% of the project costs over $45 million. The LMDC is also negotiating with Deutsche Bank and Bovis Lend Lease, the contractor.
Governors Island Not Suitable for Trials
January 22 – The NYPD is studying the idea, proposed by CB 1, to move the terror trial from Lower Manhattan to Governors Island. But according to The New York Times, the NYPD feels the island lacks a prison and a high school is set to open on the Island in September. NYPD Commissioner Kelly also said there are issues about how to get the prisoners to the Island, how to secure them and where specifically the trials would take place. CB1 feels the area would be under a ‘chokehold’ for several years if the trials proceed in Lower Manhattan.
New Scaffolding for Construction Sites Announced
January 22 – Responding to complaints about ugly scaffolding, the City’s Department of Buildings unveiled a sleek, wood and steel translucent canopy called an Urban Umbrella. The design came from 28 year old Young-Hwan Choi, winner of the City’s urbanSHED International Design Competition. The Daily News says the new scaffolding will start showing up over the next three years. The prototype will be installed first in Lower Manhattan. Mayor Bloomberg said the new scaffolding costs the same as the old ones and the long term maintenance is cheaper. There are currently about 6,000 sidewalk sheds in the city.
Assembly Speaker Silver Calls for a Thames Street Bridge
January 22 – Speaker Silver said the new bridge is necessary to improve safety on West Street for residents, workers and students. He told The Downtown Express that a new school will open in September and Goldman Sachs new headquarters will soon be fully occupied. Silver said the agencies involved in the project, the City and State Depts. Of Transportation, the Battery Park City Authority, the Port Authority and NYPD, should find a way to pay for the new bridge.
Councilwoman Chin to chair Redevelopment Committee
January 22 – The Downtown Express is reporting Chin will take over the committee from her predecessor, Alan Gerson, who founded the committee. There had been speculation the committee would dissolve after Gerson’s departure, but a source told the paper that the committee will remain and Chin will be appointed to lead it.