November 5th - November 11th, 2004
Deadline for 9/11 Red Cross Benefits Approaches
Thursday, November 4: Family members of those who died during the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center have until December 31, 2004, to apply for subsidized health-insurance benefits from the American Red Cross, Newsday reported.
The program, which has already granted assistance to almost 800 people, provides subsidies to cover the cost of private health insurance premiums or COBRA -- a federal program that provides temporary extension of health insurance -- for 24 months, the paper explained.
Qualifying applicants for the American Red Cross program include the living spouses, partners, and dependent children of 9/11 victims, as well as those who are eligible for COBRA or have received health insurance through a deceased family member's employer. Those who sustained injuries during the 9/11 attacks that resulted in a continuous 90-day disability leave from work prior to December 31, 2001, are also eligible, Newsday added.
For more information about the program, please visit the American Red Cross website or call 1-866-GET-INFO (866-438-4636).
Mayor Celebrates Progress on Houston Street Building Complex
Friday, November 5: Mayor Michael Bloomberg attended a "topping off" ceremony at downtown's Avalon Chrystie Place -- the first building in a four-building complex being constructed along East Houston Street.
The project, still underway, will house 361 mixed-income rental units, a 42,000-square-foot recreational and community facility, and two floors of retail space -- 60,000 of which will house the city's newest Whole Foods Market.
"We've…made this a community where families want to live and businesses want to invest. And affordable housing is fundamental to ensuring that long-term prosperity," said Mayor Bloomberg in a statement.
The new $350 million building complex, which will stretch along Houston Street between Chrystie Street and the Bowery, is part of the City of New York's plans to fund the creation and preservation of more than 65,000 homes and apartments through 2008.
Judge Dismisses Wall Street Parking Garage Lawsuit
Friday, November 5: A Manhattan judge dismissed lawsuits filed against the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) by a Wall Street parking garage on Thursday, reported the Associated Press and New York Post.
The Wall Street Garage Parking Corp. alleged that it had lost business as a direct result of street closings and traffic restrictions around the Stock Exchange imposed by the NYSE and LMDC to maintain security after the 9/11 attacks, according to AP.
The decision by New York State Supreme Court Justice Walter Tolub to dismiss both claims allows the LMDC to complete its renovation plans for the Wall Street area. In order to increase security precautions in the area, the LMDC will install items such as retractable barriers, as well as give the area a face-lift by adding decorative cobblestone, sculptures, and benches, among other items, the Post added.
Study Estimates 9/11 Compensation at $38.1 Billion
Tuesday, November 9: Victims and business affected by the 9/11 attacks have received a total of $38.1 billion in compensation from both private and public sources, according to a two-year study conducted by nonprofit research organization the Rand Corporation, reported the New York Times and Associated Press.
The study found that families of the civilians who were killed on September 11, 2001, received $3.1 million per person from the government and charitable organizations, as well as from insurance payments. Emergency workers -- including police officers and firefighters -- received an average compensation of $4.2 million, the Times reported.
Insurance companies were the largest contributor to all recipients, most notably businesses, providing a total of $19.6 billion -- $7.5 billion of which was dedicated to downtown businesses, the Times said. Government contributions reached $15.8 billion -- 42 percent of the total compensation -- while charities provided $2.7 billion, AP added.
The study, which notes that several pending lawsuits will affect the final overall compensation figures, raises questions regarding the equitable distribution of compensation and will guide the development of a better compensation system in the event of future terrorist attacks, the Times said.
CUNY Officials to Announce Architect to Lead Fiterman Hall Restoration
Tuesday, November 9: Officials from the City University of New York (CUNY) announced plans to rebuild Fiterman Hall, a university facility that was damaged during the collapse of 7 World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the New York Times reported.
According to Jay Hershenson, vice-chancellor of university relations at CUNY, the school has decided to rebuild the facility and is currently seeking an architect to design the project, the paper said. Downtown architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, designer of Midtown Manhattan's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and the new Goldman Sachs headquarters in Battery Park City, was recommended to the CUNY Board of Trustees -- which is expected to vote on the plans in three weeks, the Times said.
While financing for the project -- which has been estimated to cost up to $274 million -- has not been completely settled, the school is relying on insurance payouts and city and state aid to help offset its cost. The new building is expected to include classrooms, computer laboratories, offices, a library, and assembly and meeting rooms in its estimated 377,000 square feet of space, the Times reported.
Located at 30 West Broadway, Fiterman Hall services CUNY's Borough of Manhattan Community College. Prior to the 9/11 attacks, the building was undergoing a $65 million renovation project that was scheduled to be completed in late October 2001.
LMDC Negotiates Property Deal for WTC Project
Wednesday, November 10: The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) is continuing negotiations to acquire a piece of downtown property that would complete its plan to create Liberty Park as part of the expanded World Trade Center site, the New York Times reported.
The LMDC plans to transform the area bounded by Liberty, West, Cedar, and Washington Streets -- including Washington Street itself between Liberty and Cedar Streets -- into the proposed three-quarter-acre Liberty Park. The park would house a newly rebuilt St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which was destroyed during the 9/11 attacks, and sit above a series of monitored underground roadways that would service the new WTC, the Times said.
The owners of the property, the Milstein family, have not yet responded to an initial offer of $30 million for the space that the LMDC made in September. At its monthly meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 10, the LMDC board voted to appropriate as much as $44.5 million toward the purchase of the parcel.
The Milstein property is the final piece of real estate needed to construct Liberty Park. City officials have already pledged support of closing Washington Street, which would be converted into park area, and the LMDC purchased the irreparably damaged Deutsche Bank building at 1 Bankers Trust Plaza in August, deconstruction of which is scheduled to begin later this year. Development officials will transform the northern section of the 66,222-square-foot site into parkland, while the southern portion will hold WTC Tower 5, the Times added.
As a state agency, the LMDC can ultimately condemn the property and seize it through the power of eminent domain. While it has not ruled that option out, the LMDC is still working to negotiate the purchase of the property, the Times noted.
Designer Details Plans for New Downtown Apartment Building
Wednesday, November 10: The former J.P. Morgan bank building at 23 Wall Street is undergoing renovations that will transform the historic building into a luxury apartment building named Downtown, Newsday reported
Created by French designer Philippe Starck, the new 23 Wall Street will feature multi-million-dollar apartments with views of the downtown harbor. Its roof will also be transformed into what the designer called "an Italian villa" and will feature a swimming pool looking out at the neighboring New York Stock Exchange, Newsday said.
"I've lived in New York for 25 years and for 25 years I've been saying that the future of New York is downtown. Until now, people came into work…But we have created the first stop of the next life of downtown," Starck told Newsday about his newest creation.
The building's sales office opened in August and has sold approximately 75 percent of its apartments. When the Downtown opens next fall, it will join a slew of new residential buildings being erected in Lower Manhattan, the paper added.
Final Bid Ceremony for 2012 Olympics
Thursday, November 11: Thousands of people gathered on the Brooklyn Bridge today to send off New York's final submission to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The filing of this 600-page Candidature File, the "Bid Book," launches the final and most intense stage of the international competition for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Olympic Gold Medalist and NYC2012 Senior Advisor for Sports Donna de Varona emceed the event as New Yorkers cheered on the Olympians, Paralympians, and children from New York City's public schools who carried the Bid Book across the Brooklyn Bridge. The relay culminated with a hand-off of the Bid Book to a DHL Courier for express delivery to the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, by the November 15th deadline. The Bid Book details every aspect of a proposed New York Games in 2012.
"New York City's Olympic Dream, now ten years in the making, has truly been a marathon and for the next eight months, we're going to work harder than ever to win the bid for the 2012 Olympics," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement. "New Yorkers live the Olympic dream every single day. It takes a lot of talent, a lot of determination, and a lot of guts to make it in this town and that's what the Olympics are all about."
New York City is competing with four other cities seeking to host the 2012 games, including London, Madrid, Moscow, and Paris. A host city will be selected on July 6, 2005.