June 14th - June 18th, 2010
A Country House in the City
June 14 – If you’re at the World Financial Center Plaza, you may be surprised to see the “2010 House of the Year”. It’s a two-story traditional clapboard house with a wide wrap-around porch and it will be on display through June 17th. The house was assembled in about 10 days by New World Home and Country Living magazine is displaying it to show how green modular homes can be historic and relatively inexpensive. The homes range from $165 to $250 a square foot.
Canal Street may be Rezoned
June 14 – Developers say it’s time to rezone Canal Street and create a major transit hub and commercial center there, with high-rise office buildings and apartments. The Wall Street Journal says the Chinatown Working group wants the highest density possible, but the Coalition to Protect Chinatown feels such a change would destroy the area’s culture and vitality.
Group Proposes Grass for FDR
June 14 – Our Cities Ourselves, which is part of the sustainable planning group, the Institute for Transportation Development Policy (ITDP) says digging up the roadway between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges and creating a green public space, is a great idea. WNYC Radio reports the City thinks the idea will never happen. There was a similar proposal in the 70’s from then –DOT commissioner Sam Schwartz to turn part of the West Side Highway into a park. That plan too was quickly dismissed. Schwartz serves on the ITDP.
NYU is Considering Expanding Downtown
June 15 – NYU Vice President Lynne Brown told The New York Post the university has requested a meeting with the PA and LMDC to determine if there is space for NYU to build new classrooms and campus housing. One location that community leaders are touting is the site where the Deutsche Bank stands now. The PA is looking for a developer to put up an office tower or a hotel/housing high rise on that site.
Ross Defends Related Cos.
June 15 – Stephen Ross denies that the Related Cos. has questionable ties to the Middle East. Related and the Durst Organization are the two finalists to lease 1WTC and Related is reportedly linked to several Mideast development companies. Ross told The New York Post, the company’s Mideast partners are “just debtholders. They have no seats on our board.” The PA is expected to announce its decision on June 22.
2nd Protest Scheduled Against Downtown Mosque
June 16 – The group, Stop Islamization of America, announced it will stage another rally on September 12, 2010, the day after the 9-11 anniversary. Several hundred people attended the first protest on June 6th. The group says it is working to stop the Cordoba House by convincing the city to landmark the building on Park Place. The City Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a hearing on the issue sometime next month.
CB1 to Review Rezoning North Tribeca
June 17 – CB1’s Tribeca Committee gave the ok to revise zoning laws which would divide the area into four sub-districts. The next step is public hearings and a decision by the City which may come before the end of the year. The Tribeca Trib reports each district would determine its own restrictions on height and bulk for new construction.