August 6th - August 12th, 2004
Annual Competitive Edge Conference Held Downtown
Tuesday, August 10th: The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and New York City Department of Small Business Services, in conjunction with other public and private organizations, held the XI Annual Competitive Edge Conference for Minority and Women Business Owners on August 9-10.
The two day event, which revolved around the theme "IMAGINE…the Economic Reality," focused on helping firms enhance their business skills and access contracting opportunities.
"The rebuilding of Lower Manhattan presents an opportunity for New York City to show its strengths, and among them is our network of minority- and women-owned businesses," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who gave the keynote address at the event. "This Administration through the Department of Small Business Services is committed to ensuring Lower Manhattan's small business community shapes the future of the downtown area and I am confident that the XI Annual Competitive Edge Conference will enhance opportunities and support the growth of Lower Manhattan," he continued.
The conference was just one of a series of events hosted by the LMDC and SBS, in collaboration with other agencies involved in the rebuilding process, to ensure that minorities and women participate in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan.
New York Waterway and City Settle Fee Dispute
Wednesday, August 11th: New York City officials and New York Waterway settled a long held dispute over landing fees at Lower Manhattan's Pier 11. According to the city's Law Department, the ferry operator has agreed to pay the city an $800,000 settlement, the New York Times reported.
Following the 9/11 attacks, several ferry lines -- including New York Waterway, the largest ferry operator on the Hudson -- increased service to compensate for the loss of the PATH trains between Lower Manhattan and New Jersey. After the New York City Comptroller's office found that the city had failed to collect nearly $1.3 million in landing fees from several operators, including New York Waterway, a clash between the two sides ensued. New York Waterway contested allegations that it owed the city over $1 million and filed a $1.2 million counterclaim, the Times reported.
According to the city, both sides have agreed to drop the litigation in exchange for New York Waterway's $800,000 payment, the Times added. While the settlement ends the dispute over Pier 11 fees, the ongoing investigation into whether New York Waterways submitted inflated bills to the federal government for emergency services after 9/11 continues, the paper added.
Construction Act Promises Speed, Safety, Fairness
Wednesday, August 11th: Governor George Pataki announced that he has signed the Coordinated Construction Act for Lower Manhattan -- a bill that will help the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan by making certain that construction in the downtown neighborhood occurs in the most time-conscious manner while also ensuring fairness, safety, and cost efficiency.
The Coordinated Construction Act was first proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and is part of a broader initiative on behalf of the state and city to ensure the participation of women- and minority-owned businesses in the downtown redevelopment of process. For complete coverage, please click here.
New Deal to Give City Ownership of WTC Streets and Sidewalks
Friday, August 6th: According to a tentative redevelopment deal, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey -- which currently owns the World Trade Center site -- will relinquish ownership and control of the streets and sidewalks running through the WTC to the City of New York, the New York Times reported.
Under the agreement, the city will operate, manage, and maintain the new sidewalks and streets throughout the area, allowing for progress to made on WTC master architect Daniel Libeskind's plan for the site, the Times said.
The agreement, which the Port Authority and city expect to finalize within a month, also defines terms of payment and taxes that the Port Authority will owe the city, the paper added.
Architects Ready Designs for New WTC Cultural Centers
Saturday, August 7th: After issuing a formal request for proposals for the cultural complexes at the new WTC site, the LMDC held an information session for prospective architects planning to submit proposals for the sites, the deadline for which is September 1, the New York Times reported.
The two cultural complexes planned for the new WTC, scheduled for completion in 2009, are expected to house six theaters, ranging from 99 to 1,000 seats each; large galleries for drawings and for artifacts related to freedom; a Pilates studio; two gift ships; three bookstores; four cafes; a ground-floor dance rehearsal studio; a special events place (with kitchen), and a ceremonial space, the Times said.
According to current site plans, the north cultural building will be a 250,000- to 300,000-square-foot performing arts complex to be occupied by the Joyce International Dance Center and the Signature Theater Center. The south building, a 250,000 to 275,000-square-foot museum complex, will include space for the Drawing Center and International Freedom Center, the paper reported.
While master WTC architect Daniel Libeskind intends to submit a proposal, both Michael Arad of Handel Architects, who designed the WTC memorial, and David M. Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, who helped design the Freedom Tower, have said they will not, in order to concentrate on their respective contributions to the WTC site, which are already underway, the Times added.
The cultural organizations selected to occupy the buildings will join the LMDC to determine the winning architects. The deadline for selecting the architects is September 27.