November 17th - November 21st, 2008
WTC Memorial Taking Shape
November 17 – The memorial at Ground Zero has begun to take shape. The New York Times reports the first pieces of steel have been installed, outlining the north pool which is the original outline of 1 World Trade Center. Steel is also framing the south pool, which was the site of 2 World Trade. Eventually, there will be waterfalls cascading into the pools at the bottom.
South Street Seaport Development Setback
November 19 – Plans to transform South Street Seaport have suffered another setback. The Landmarks Preservation Commission refused to vote on the current proposal; a majority of members said the size, scale and height of the buildings are inappropriate for the 19th century historic district. General Growth Properties said the Commission’s points were well taken and now the company has a chance to modify the plan.
Counterterrorism Center Open
November 19 – The NYPD’s new counterterrorism Center in the Financial District is now in operation somewhere near Wall Street. Hundreds of security cameras, watching over intersections and tracking license plate numbers, will provide the NYPD with video and data to protect Lower Manhattan from terrorist threats. The Center is the first phase of a $100m initiative modeled after the ‘ring of steel” surveillance in London’s financial district. In a story in Metro, Police Commissioner Kelly is quoted as saying, “I believe we’ll have the safest business district in the world.”
Downtown Express Released Annual Progress Report
November 21 – In its annual review of progress at the WTC, The Downtown Express reports that the Port Authority has established an Office of Program Logistics which is working to mitigate the impact of the reconstruction on the community. Executive Director Chris Ward said the office will provide regular updates to businesses and the community and work to “make use a better neighbor as we rebuild.” Ward also told the paper the Office of Program Logistics is working on ways to deter illegal vending around the site and improving pedestrian flow at Church and Vesey Streets.
Schools to Wait for Funds
November 21 – Schools in Lower Manhattan will have to wait at least two months before they can apply for education grant money from the LMDC. The Downtown Express reports the agency’s grant applications won’t go be ready until January because the agency is working on an agreement with the Department of Education to administer the grant program. LMDC predicts the schools will have the money by the fall of 2009. There are 63 schools that are eligible for the grant money.
Apartment Prices Rise in Lower Manhattan
November 21- A quarterly report from Halstead Property shows prices for apartments in Lower Manhattan increased by nearly a third in the third quarter. Battery Park City led the list with the median price of an apartment standing now at $1.4 M. Downtown loft prices, however, fell about 13 percent. A report in The Real Deal says the Downtown market was the only one in Manhattan to show an increased in rent prices in September, up by $0.18 to approximately $50.35 a square foot and only 160,000 square feet was leased that month, off 64 percent.