June 3rd - June 3rd, 2004
LMCC Appoints New President
Thursday, May 27: The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) announced the appointment of esteemed art dealer and influencer Tom Healy as the organization's new president. Healy, whose appointment was applauded during the LMCC's Spring Benefit, will bring years of experience and leadership to the LMCC when he takes office on July 1.
"I have great shoulders to stand on -- LMCC has been producing arts events, making grants, and advocating for the Lower Manhattan community for 30 years," Healy stated in a release issued by the LMCC. "We're going to do even more in the months and years to come," he added.
Tricia Mire, the LMCC deputy director who served as acting director during the executive transition, was also appointed managing director.
The LMCC is a private, non-profit organization that works to develop cultural life in Lower Manhattan. For more information about the LMCC and its programs downtown, please click here.
Libeskind, Silverstein Clash over Freedom Tower Fees
Saturday, May 29: WTC leaseholder Larry Silverstein and WTC master architect Daniel Libeskind are continuing negotiations over Libeskind's fee for his conception of the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower, the New York Times and Post reported.
Libeskind, who received $2.25 million from the LMDC and Port Authority for his master plan for the entire 16-acre WTC site, has requested an $800,000 payment from Silverstein for his work on the $1.8 billion Freedom Tower, according to the Times. Silverstein recently countered the architect's request with an offer of $125,000, the Times went on to report.
While the two sides have yet to come to an agreement, both have indicated that they are willing to moderately adjust their initial estimates. Groundbreaking on the Freedom Tower is scheduled for July 4, 2004.
Liberty Bonds Help Increase Downtown Residential Real Estate Boom
Sunday, May 30: Since its introduction in 2002, the federal government's Liberty Bond program has helped boost downtown's residential occupancy rate from 65 percent to 95 percent, according to statistics from the Alliance for Downtown New York, the New York Times reported.
Several thousand rental apartments are being created downtown through a combination of new construction and office building conversions, financed in part by the more than $1.6 billion in tax-exempt funds authorized by the federal government after 9-11 for downtown multi-family rental projects. To date, the city has designated $478.6 million of the bonds to four downtown projects -- 90 Washington Street, 63 Wall Street, 90 West Street, and 2 Gold Street -- that have a combined total of 1,934 rental units, the Times added.
The Liberty Bond program was created by Congress to provide low-cost, tax-exempt bond financing for major revitalization projects in Lower Manhattan and throughout New York City. It gives the city and state authority to issue as much as $8 billion worth of bonds through 2004.
LMDC Board Approves WTC Project Plan
Tuesday, June 1: In a unanimous decision, the LMDC board approved the general project plan for the rebuilding of Ground Zero, announcing that the much anticipated environmental review process was complete.
"Now we have finally said, 'This is what is going to be built and how we are going to build it,'" LMDC President Kevin Rampe told the New York Times. "The only thing left is implementation," he continued.
While the general project plan has been finalized, the LMDC will continue to develop ideas for specific sections of the site, including the possibility of restoring sections of Dey and Cortlandt Streets, as well as converting a block of Washington Street into a truck security checkpoint, the Times reported.
Construction at the WTC site will begin on July 4, 2004, when a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Freedom Tower will take place.
WTC Memorial Center Advisory Committee Issues Draft Recommendations
Wednesday, June 2: The WTC Memorial Center Advisory Committee issued its draft recommendations for the creation of the World Trade Center Memorial Center, inviting public comment on the document until July 1, 2004.
Among its recommendations was the inclusion of a "powerful, visible" artifact from the WTC in the underground memorial center that would be visible at street level.
"These draft recommendations will guide the creation of the Memorial Center on the World Trade Center site," LMDC President Kevin M. Rampe said in a release issued by the development agency. "The Memorial Center Advisory committee has done their work. We now look to the public to share their views on how to tell future generations the stories of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993," he added.
The 27-member committee, which was formed by the LMDC in April 2004, consists of victim's family members, downtown residents, survivors, first responders, historians, preservationists, and curatorial professionals.
To view and comment on the committee's draft recommendations, please visit the LMDC website.