February 11th - February 17th, 2005
New Museum of Contemporary Art to Get New Home
Friday, February 11: Officials from the New Museum of Contemporary Art are busy planning the construction of the museum's new downtown home at the intersection of Prince Street and the Bowery, the New York Times reported.
The $35 million building, which will replace the museum's temporary home on Chelsea's West 22nd Street, will stand seven stories tall and boast 19,000 square feet of space for its new theater, study center, bookstore, and wraparound rooftop terraces, the paper said.
Designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of the Tokyo firm Sanaa, the new facility will begin showcasing the museum's current collection of 1,000 works upon its scheduled completion in 2007. Already, the museum's 32-member board has raised $20 million towards the campaign's total goal of $50 million and hopes to add to its collection with some of the funding, the Times explained.
Museum officials plan to break ground at the Soho spot -- currently a parking lot -- this fall, the paper noted.
Construction Command Center Director Named
Monday, February 14: Governor George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed J. P. Morgan Chase executive Charles Maikish to head the Lower Manhattan Command Center, which will provide oversight and coordination of all private and public construction projects in Lower Manhattan. For complete coverage, please click here.
Downtown Museums Offer Free Admission to Children in February
Monday, February 14: The Museums of Lower Manhattan, a collective of 15 neighboring museums and historic sites located south of Houston Street, is stepping up efforts to encourage children to take advantage of cultural opportunities downtown. On February 19, ten participating museums will offer free admission to children 18 and younger through February 27. For complete coverage, please click here.
Port Authority Announces Tentative Plan to Rescue Troubled Ferry Service
Monday, February 14: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with a new company, the BillyBey Ferry Company LLC, that will allow ferry service between Lower Manhattan and New Jersey to continue without interruption, the New York Times reported.
BillyBey, which is owned by Manhattan lawyer William B. Wachtel, will assume control of ferry routes between Hoboken and Jersey City and downtown, currently operated by the financially troubled New York Waterway. In exchange for BillyBey's agreement to continue regular operations on the route, the Port Authority has said it will reduce the $50,000 monthly fee the company will have to pay to operate the ferries, the paper explained.
Wachtel has announced that he plans to hire New York Waterway to operate and maintain his boats and currently has no intention of changing the logo. Meanwhile, New York Waterway will continue to operate ferries from its base in Weekhawken, the Times said.
The agreement still awaits approval from officials at the maritime administration and the Port Authority's board, which is scheduled to vote next week, the paper added.
Pace Downtown Index Reveals Continuing Upsurge in Downtown Economy
Thursday, February 17: The Pace Downtown Index (PDI) -- the first comprehensive economic indicator for Lower Manhattan -- shows a continuing upward trend for the downtown economy for a 17th consecutive month.
The PDI is determined by tracking economic progress as a weighted average of four variables, two representing activities in the financial markets and two representing the commercial real estate market and the city's overall economy. The selected variables are the S&P 500 Index, the Federal Funds Rate, the total commercial real estate inventory in Lower Manhattan, and the Gross Lower Manhattan Product.
The latest PDI released registers at 98.75 for January, an increase of 0.09 percent from last month and 1.88 percent from January 2004.
Pace University's Center for Downtown New York (CDNY), with assistance from the Mayor's Office and the Alliance for Downtown New York, developed the PDI. On the third Thursday of each month, Pace announces the latest PDI and posts a full report on the PDI webpage.