October 27th - October 31st, 2008
Alliance Launches Holiday Campaign
October 27 – In mid-November, The Alliance for Downtown New York will kick off its holiday marketing campaign to entice shoppers and restaurant goers to come to Lower Manhattan during the holiday. Alliance President Elizabeth Berger said, “Lower Manhattan is an upscale retail and dining district. It’s easy to get to via public transportation and terrific dining and shopping opportunities are within a walk-able square mile.” The Alliance will distribute a new brochure, “Downtown for the Holidays,” to link its holiday shopping campaign with a variety of Lower Manhattan holiday events. To find out more visit their updated website: www.downtownny.com/shop.
Downtown Hotel Delays Expected
October 29 – Real estate experts are predicting that several hotels planned for Lower Manhattan, may be delayed 12 to 18 months because financing for new construction is nearly impossible to get. The New York Times reports the planned Nobu Hotel and Residences on Broad Street and Larry Silverstein’s Four Seasons Hotel at 99 Church Street are expected to be delayed or cancelled. A spokesman for Silverstein said his plans have not changed.
Concrete Testing Company Indicted
October 30 – The company hired to conduct concrete testing on the Freedom Tower and several other big New York construction projects has been indicted. Several published reports say Testwell Laboratories failed to do some tests and falsified other tests over a period of five years. The company is denying any wrongdoing and looks forward to restoring its reputation. Prosecutors say they do not believe any falsified tests created hazards; the Department of Buildings has begun retesting concrete at some of the construction sites Testwell had monitored.
Sanitation Garage Faces Community Opposition
October 31 – A group that opposes the planned Department of Sanitation garage on Spring Street have presented an alternate plan to Mayor Bloomberg. The Downtown Express reports Hudson Rise, a group of Hudson Square–area residents, wants only two sanitation Districts -- 1 and 2 -- to be located at the new facility, and District 3 should be located elsewhere. Hudson Rise claims their plan would cost $200 million less. They also want a planned road-salt shed to be relocated from Spring Street to a site under the Williamsburg Bridge. The city, however, has already approved the Spring Street garage and the city council is expected to approve it after public hearings on November 13th and 14th. Opponents say if that happens, they plan to sue.
CB1 Green Lights the New Pier 17 Seaport Plan
October 31 – Community Board 1 has approved part of General Growth Properties’ plan to redevelop the South Street Seaport. The Board voted in favor of the portion of the project that lies within the Seaport’s historic district, giving General Growth the green light to begin demolishing the Pier 17 mall, relocate the Tin Building, and potentially build a new 120-foot-tall hotel outside the landmarked district. The Downtown Express reports the final decision on the fate of the project now rests with the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Famous Pizzeria Plans to Open Downtown
October 31 – Grimaldi’s Pizza is coming to Lower Manhattan. The Downtown Express “Mixed Use” column reports that the famous pizzeria will open near the South Street Seaport early next year at 135 John Street, at the corner of Water Street.
Waterfalls Art Installation a Hit for Lower Manhattan
October 31 – Several published reports say Olafur Eliasson’s “Waterfalls” installation was a major hit. Approximately 1.4 million people came to Lower Manhattan to view the four-part public-art installation, and 15 percent stayed in a Lower Manhattan hotel. Mayor Bloomberg said, “This exhibition brought people to areas of the city they might not otherwise ever have visited.”