March 18th - March 24th, 2005
New York City Officials Seek Extension for 9/11 Aid
Friday, March 18: In an effort to bolster funding for the proposed rail link between Lower Manhattan and Kennedy Airport, New York City officials asked congressional lawmakers to extend the 2005 deadline for the appropriation of $2 billion in federal tax credits, Newsday reported.
Following the 9/11 attacks, Congress granted $20 billion in federal aid to New York to help Lower Manhattan rebuild. Approximately $15 billion was earmarked for specific rebuilding projects, and the remaining $5 billion was set aside as tax credits. According to city officials, $2 billion of the tax credits, which are set to expire at the end of the year, has yet to be used, Newsday explained.
Lobbying for both an extension of the tax credit deadline and additional financial support for the rail link, Dan Doctoroff, New York City deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding, told the U.S. Senate Finance Committee: "This is the single most important project to bring New York back -- not only for New York, but for the nation," the paper said.
Last week, the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the federal tax credits available to New York City and State officials for the construction of the proposed rail link are worth only $727 million -- approximately $1.3 billion less than officials had hoped, the New York Times reported.
Kayakers Ready for Spring Along the Hudson
Sunday, March 20: In an effort to promote the Hudson River as a recreational, cultural, and economic resource, New York State is developing the Hudson River Greenway Water Trail, which stretches 156 miles from Saratoga County, north of Albany, to Lower Manhattan's Battery Park, the Associated Press reported.
In response to an initiative proposed in 1992 by a group of kayakers called the Hudson River Watertrail Association, the state appropriated $1 million to develop the trail in 2001. The project will help establish one access point every ten miles along the river, several campsites, interpretive centers, parking, restroom facilities, and riverfront kiosks offering information about local businesses and attractions, AP added.
Kayaking on the lower half of the Hudson River has grown increasingly popular in recent years, with more than a dozen new businesses opening along the waterfront to provide lessons, equipment, rentals, and tours. Many facilities begin running guided tours in April and May and start renting out kayaks around Memorial Day, AP said.
For more information about the many things Lower Manhattan's waterfront has to offer, please click here.
Historic Downtown Printer Plans Return Home
Monday, March 21: Historic printing firm Bowne & Company announced that it will return to the Financial District in early 2006 after nearly 40 years away, the New York Times reported.
Bowne recently signed a 20-year lease for 203,000 square feet of space on the 10th, 11th, and 50th floors of 55 Water Street at Old Slip -- the largest office building in New York. The building, which will soon house the company's headquarters and more than 400 employees, is only eight blocks from the printer's original shop, which opened in 1775 at 39 Queen Street, today known as Pearl Street, the Times explained.
Bowne, which now does its printing in Secaucus, New Jersey, and seven other plants across the country, was granted $1.63 million in exchange for moving back to the Financial District as part of the Lower Manhattan Job Retention and Creation Grant Program administered by the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Empire State Development Corporation, the paper said.
"We decided to stay here because this is where our roots are," William Coote, Bowne's vice president and treasurer, told the Times. The company also caters to a wide variety of clients in the area, which was the original home of the city's printing industry, the Times said.
Port Authority Issues Plan to Preserve WTC Structural Remains
Wednesday, March 23: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey issued its plan for preserving the structural remains of the former World Trade Center as architect Santiago Calatrava's transportation hub is built at Ground Zero, the New York Times reported.
According to a memorandum issued by the Port Authority, the agency plans to preserve, "to the maximum extent feasible," the bases of 84 columns from the WTC's north tower and 39 columns from its south tower. Additionally, the plan calls for a glass wall at the hub to provide views of the columns' bases and proposes incorporating historic features from the former E train subway platform into Calatrava's new station design, the Times said.
The Port Authority's memorandum comes at the close of a yearlong federal historical preservation review, required because the transit hub has received $1.7 billion in federal funding. Over the next 10 days, the Federal Transit Administration, the New York State Historic Preservation Office, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) will review the 20-page document. All agencies must provide their approval before the Port Authority can move forward with construction plans for the new transportation hub, the paper noted.
Renovation of Al Smith Playground and Recreation Center Complete
Wednesday, March 23: A new gym floor was unveiled as part of a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Alfred E. Smith Recreation Center, located at 80 Catherine Street. The nearly $270,000 project was funded by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) and implemented by the New York City Parks Department. Renovations included removal of the original wood floor and installation of maple strip flooring. This project is the final component of a $1.8 million reconstruction of the Al Smith Playground and Recreation Center. To read more, please click here.