November 11th - November 17th, 2005
Fish Market Reopens in New Bronx Facility
Tuesday, November 15: After a year of waiting and a weekend of packing, fishmongers from Lower Manhattan's former Fulton Fish Market reopened their shops on Monday at an $85 million, state-of-the-art facility in the Bronx, the New York Times reported.
The new, climate-controlled warehouse in Hunts Point features 400,000 square feet of indoor market space -- 25 percent more than its former downtown location. Financed by the city, the building offers clean, climate-controlled facilities complete with a café and restrooms -- neither of which was included at the South Street Seaport facility, the paper explained.
The new location is also expected to increase efficiency for the wholesalers, replacing a terrain filled with hectic forklifts with an organized system of battery-powered machines, among other features. Wholesalers already reported that the unloading of tractor trailers was completed in a third less time and the daily removal of ice and fish remnants took only a half hour, as opposed to two hours, thanks to a new drainage system, the Times said.
While the facility allows for easier, more efficient operations, it also increases costs for the wholesalers. In addition to individual rents, the wholesalers will share the $1.5 million annual cost to refrigerate the facility, as well as security, snow removal, and upkeep fees, the paper added.
For more about the Fulton Fish Market at the South Street Seaport, click here.
PA Officials Redesign WTC Cooling Plant
Wednesday, November 16: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced that it will redesign its plans for an underground chiller plant at the World Trade Center to include a radically smaller, more environmentally and economically friendly system, the New York Times reported.
According to the proposed redesign, the new plant would cost half of the $194 million the Port estimated for the larger plant. It would also decrease the amount of Hudson River water drawn into its pipes, thereby reducing the disruption of the river's ecosystem, the paper explained.
State officials agreed that the smaller chiller plant would have significant environmental and logistical benefits for the WTC site, decreasing the amount of time required to build the system. "It ensures that the project will go forward and that the Freedom Tower and the memorial will be built in accordance with the governor's time frame," John P. Cahill, who was appointed to oversee the downtown redevelopment effort, told the Times.
While the Port Authority's decision to shrink the size of the chiller plant will maintain central air-conditioning and water cooling system access to public buildings, such as the WTC Memorial, Memorial Museum, and the PATH terminal, it will cut off access to the Freedom Tower and four other office buildings at the WTC site planned by developer Larry A. Silverstein. As a result, Silverstein Properties will have to build its own rooftop cooling towers, among other accommodations, which are expected to increase the time, complexity, and cost of the projects, the paper said.
According to state environmental and conservation officials, the new plant would decrease the system's river water intake to approximately 15 gallons daily, reducing the number of disrupted organisms by 82 percent, the Times added.
Bloomberg, Pataki Name Directors to LMDC Board
Wednesday, October 16: Reiterating his commitment to increase the City of New York's role in the downtown rebuilding effort, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced six new appointments -- including two deputy mayors -- to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) Board of Directors.
Later the same day, Gov. George Pataki named two members of his administration to the board, including Charles A. Gargano, the state's top development official, and James Kallstrom, the governor's senior adviser for counterterrorism, the New York Times reported.
"This is a true reaffirmation of the rebuilding process," LMDC President Stefan Pryor told the Times regarding the new appointments, which together represent half of the LMDC's 16-member board. "We are extraordinarily grateful for the caliber of appointments that they have made."
Mayor Bloomberg's appointees include four of his top-level aides, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development & Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff, Deputy Mayor for Operations Marc V. Shaw, Finance Commissioner Martha E. Stark, and City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden. Additionally, the mayor tapped Association for a Better New York (ABNY) Chairman William Rudin and Verizon Communications Vice Chairman and President Lawrence T. Babbio, Jr.
Downtown-JFK Rail Link May Receive 9/11 Aid
Thursday, November 17: The New York State Senate has signaled it will approve a measure that would allow state officials to use $2 billion in unused September 11, 2001, aid to construct a rail link that would connect the World Trade Center site to Kennedy International Airport, the New York Times reported.
While the fate of the funding is still uncertain in the House, the Senate's support marks the first significant effort by Congress to fulfill the request from both Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg to finance the rail link project with unused parts of a $5 billion tax incentive package, the paper explained.
The project, which is still in its planning stage, will also receive $100 million for planning and studies as part of the state transportation bond act approved by voters on November 8.
For more about the airport rail link from Lower Manhattan to JFK, click here.
Private Ferries Struggle with Increased Fuel Prices
Thursday, November 17: Three private ferry companies servicing downtown announced service reductions and increased prices as they struggle to maintain ferry operation in spite of ongoing surges in fuel prices, the New York Times reported.
BillyBey Ferry Company, which has taken over some of New York Waterway's Hudson River routes, announced that it added a surcharge of at least $1 per round trip between New Jersey and Manhattan to compensate for the higher cost of fuel. The increase causes one-way fares for its most popular route, between downtown Hoboken and Battery Park City, to rise from $3.50 to $4, the paper said.
New York Water Taxi announced that the continued suspension of its service across the East River will last at least through the weekend because of boat shortages. Meanwhile, a third company, SeaStreak, began searching for a buyer for its high-speed commuter operating based in Monmouth New Jersey, the Times explained.
New York Water Taxi recently took over SeaStreak service between South Amboy, New Jersey, and Lower Manhattan, raising the price of a 40-trip ticket by almost 20 percent. Ridership declined by 40 percent, the paper added.