October 6th - October 10th, 2008
Firing Lawsuit Underway
October 6 – A former elevator operator at the Deutsche Bank building, Marshall Greenberg, told reporters that he was fired because he blew the whistle on safety violations in the building before last year’s fatal fire. Greenberg filed a lawsuit against his former employee, John Galt Corporation. A Bovis spokeswoman said the company is familiar with Greenberg’s allegations and believes his claims are without merit.
Silverstein Planning to Renegotiate Lease
October 6 – Developer Larry Silverstein is gearing up for another round of discussions with the Port Authority to renegotiate the lease that was signed just six weeks before 9-11. The talks, according to published reports, will focus on extending the lease beyond 2013 because of delays in the other projects on the WTC site.
WTC Liberty Bonds to be Extended
October 6 – The Port Authority and the New York Congressional delegation are working on extending the deadline for issuing Liberty Bonds for the WTC site. According to Crain’s, the bonds must be used by the end of next year. Last week, the PA revised its construction dates, meaning the bonds for the Freedom Tower and Larry Silverstein’s three towers won’t be needed for several more years.
Port Authority Launches WTC Website
October 6 – A new website has been launched by the Port Authority to show the public how the rebuilding of the WTC site is taking place. The site, www.wtcprogress.com, has photographs and video of the construction of the 16 acres site. It also lists the milestones the agency says it will meet to build the Memorial, the Transit Hub and the Freedom Tower.
September 11 Memorial to be Briefly Opened
October 7 – Several published reports say the Sept. 11 Memorial will open to the public for a few days around the 10th anniversary and then will only allow limited visits for a year while the construction continues. The Memorial won’t be completely accessible to the public until late 2012.
Hudson Park and Boulevard Plans on Display
October 7 – The designs for the Hudson Park and Boulevard can now been seen by the public. The Center for Architecture says designs from the five finalists will be on display until the end of October. In the running to design the four acre park are Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Hargreaves, Gustafson, West Infinity and Work Architects. A final determination on the design is expected later this year.
Dispute over WTC Site Turnover
October 8 – A feud has broken out between developer Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority according to The Daily News. The PA claims it turned over land on the WTC site on Sunday and shouldn’t continue to pay late fees of $300,000. But Silverstein’s spokesman Janno Lieber insists the plot hasn’t been fully excavated and isn’t ‘construction ready.’ The paper says the PA left a steel-and timber retaining wall in the middle of the site. Silverstein says he can’t build the foundations for his buildings with the retaining wall and other construction obstacles on the site. The Port Authority said it will resolve their differences with Silverstein.
Ex-130 Liberty Worker Files Suit
October 8 – A whistleblower filed a lawsuit against John Galt Corporation, claiming he was fired for complaining two years ago about unsafe conditions at the Deutsche Bank building. The Daily News reported Rodrigo Barros, an asbestos worker, is suing to be reinstated and for compensatory damages, lost back pay and punitive damages.
Falling Hazards Biggest Problem
October 8 – OSHA is out with a report on safety problems at NYC construction sites and it says falling hazards are the biggest problem. In a report in Newsday, OSHA cited 60 contractors during the summer with 129 violations- nearly a third of those violations involved falling hazards. The violations were discovered during random inspections of construction sites.
WTC Site Renderings to go on Display
October 9 – Eight foot high panels, depicting renderings of the future WTC site, will be going up November 1 on the chain link fence that surrounds the site. The Port Authority, according to several published reports, admitted it could be doing a better job to show the public what the WTC site will look like once all the construction is completed. The images will include the Freedom tower, the September 11 Memorial and Museum inside and out, the WTC Transportation Hub and Towers 2, 3 and 4.
New DOB Chief Named
October 9 – Robert LiMandri was named the new chief of the City’s Buildings Department by Mayor Bloomberg. LiMandri said his primary focus is to open daily operations of the DOB to the public. He also promised that any violations or criminal acts will be met with “swift and decisive action.”
New Construction Safety Council Formed
October 9 – A new, privately funded organization has been formed to focus on improving safety on construction sites. The New York City Construction Industry Safety Council (CISC) will serve as a focal point for the industry to share safety ideas and conduct research on how to implement those ideas. New York Construction News magazine said there will be 16 members including construction managers, the Building and Construction Trades Council and the Real Estate Board of New York. The group says its first project will be to document and review the maintenance records of tower cranes.
Kelly to Speak with CB1
October 10 – NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly will speak to Community Board 1 at 6 pm on October 27th about the department’s security plan for the WTC site. Some residents are concerned that the plan will close off many areas to the public. The location of the meeting has not yet been announced according to The Downtown Express.
South Ferry Station to Open in December
October 10 – The MTA announced the new South Ferry station on the No. 1 line will open in December. The new station will allow all the cars to load and unload passengers, eliminating the need for passengers to be in the front of the train. According to The Downtown Express, the new South Ferry station will have three entrances: at the front of the Staten Island Ferry, on a traffic island in front of the terminal and across the street by Battery Park.
New Hudson River Park BID Explored
October 10 – A new proposal is being debated in an effort to raise more money for Hudson River Park. The Friends of Hudson River wants to create a Business Improvement District (BID) to funnel money from neighboring property owners into the park. Property owners would be assessed about 16 cents per square foot; condo and co-op owners would also pay a fee, but renters would not.