September 21st - September 25th, 2009
Deutsche Bank contractor faces charges in upstate NY
September 21 – A contractor who is awaiting trial for the fatal Deutsche Bank fire, is accused of the illegal removal and disposal of asbestos from a project at SUNY New Paltz. Several published reports say Salvatore DePaola and Steven Oliveros were working as supervisors for Milestone Environmental Corporation, when they were arrested in a federal criminal investigation by the US EPA. SUNY removed Milestone Environmental from the job in July. DePaola was a foreman with the John Galt Corporation, a subcontractor of Bovis, when the fatal fire occurred in 2007.
City Council approves additional construction safety bills
September 21 – The City Council approved two more construction safety bills. One requires the use of air-pressurized alarms systems for dry standpipes during construction or demolition. The other bill calls for new or altered sprinkler systems to undergo hydrostatic pressure testing by a licensed contractor or master plumber.
Construction accidents continue to climb
September 21 – In the past year, the number of accidents and injuries has jumped dramatically. The New York Post says the latest report from the Department of Buildings (DOB) shows a 40% increase from 2008, with approximately 158 incidents reported. The report says most of the increase comes from workers falling at construction sites. Officials also believe the increase is the result of better reporting, even of minor incidents.
Sales at One Rector Park on hold
September 21 – Buttonwood Real Estate is negotiating with its lenders on whether it can cut prices further at 333 Rector Place, according to Curbed.com and The Battery Park City Broadsheet Daily. A spokesman told the papers the units will be back on the market in a few weeks and that they will be ‘offering some real bargains to reflect current market conditions.” Ten percent of the building has sold for about $1,000 a square foot. Fifteen percent of the units need to be sold to make the offering plan effective.
Groundbreaking for DeLury Park
September 21 – Groundbreaking was held last week on the 8,800 square foot park, which will include a waterfall, reflecting pool, trees and fragrant shrubs. Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said DeLury Square Park ‘will be like a little piece of country” when it is done. It expected to open next spring.
Cosmopolitan Hotel's Annex Approved
September 23 -Tribeca’s Cosmopolitan Hotel at West Broadway and Reade Street, will soon be neighbor to a six story annex. The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approved the plans; approval from the City is still needed. Curbed.com also reports the addition will go on top of a two-story building which is currently home to Mary Ann’s Mexican restaurant.
Battery Park City moves ahead with a new bond
Several construction projects in Battery Park City (BPC) will be funded through the $100 million in new debt that BPC is taking on, according to The Battery Park City Broadsheet Daily. They are the new community center being built on North End Avenue, rehabilitation of the concrete seawall pilings, repaving Murray and Vesey Streets for the new Goldman Sachs building and moving home plate and backstops back to their original spot on the west side of the fields.
Rent fall slightly in Tribeca compared to rest of Manhattan
September 24 – Citi Habitats reported that rents dropped about 8% in Manhattan since last year. But the report in The Daily News says the neighborhoods of SoHo and Tribeca are still the city’s most expensive, with studios going for an average of $2,150 a month.
Vandalism at the newly created artists space
September 24 – The new temporary public art park opened less than a week ago and already it’s been hit with grafitti. Curbed.com reports someone sprayed blank paint on a sculpture in the park. The NYPD is searching for the culprit.
Suspicious package shuts down Wall Street
September 25 - Rush hour came to a standstill in Lower Manhattan for about an hour Thursday evening, as the NYPD checked out a suspicious box at Broadway and Wall Street. Service on the 4 and 5 subway lines was also stopped from coming into the Wall Street station. The box turned out to be filled with empty spice bottles, according to a report in Metro.
BPCA considers moving offices
September 25 – The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) is considering moving its offices at the end of the year to save money. The Battery Park City Broadsheet reports at the board’s September 10th meeting, board members tabled a move to renew their lease at the Regatta condominium on West Thames Street cul de sac. The Authority is exploring leasing other spaces in FiDi; right now, they’re paying $65 per square foot for 7,400 square feet at a price tag of about $480,000 a year.
The Chatham Square project is on hold
September 25 – The City Department of Transportation (DOT) announced it won’t move forward on reconfiguring Chatham Square because that project and work on the Brooklyn Bridge would create too many traffic problems. Critics of the Chatham plan have said repeatedly it will not improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety and could adversely impact small businesses. The City will move forward with its work on the tree lined Park Row promenade and the adjacent pedestrian bridge connecting Chinatown to the Civic Center, according to The Downtown Express.
Community opposition prompts a redesign of Tire Swing Park
September 25 – The State Department of Transportation announced it will look into alternatives to refurbishing Tire Swing Park. This after the community rallied against plans to tear down the park’s wooden play equipment and several trees to make way for a more modern playground, according to The Downtown Express. Residents say there’s no reason to bulldoze the park; they like it just the way it is.
Ground Zero workers allowed more time to file for health claims
September 25 – Despite objections from Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Paterson signed legislation that gives people sickened while working in and around Ground Zero another year to file claims. The City claims the new law could revive more than 3,000 lawsuits and cost the City hundreds of million of dollars in damages.