August 21st - August 25th, 2009
Lawsuits filed over 130 Liberty St deconstruction
August 24 – The John Galt Corporation filed a foreclosure suit Friday against LMDC, seeking close to $20 million it says is owed in connection with the decontamination and deconstruction of the Deutsche Bank building. A report in The Real Deal says Regional Scaffolding and Hoisting is also suing LMDC for $1.6 million; a third company, Windham Construction claims it is owed $1 million. Both companies are associated with Galt. Spokespeople for the LMDC, Bovis and Galt had no comment.
The City Council approves a fire safety bill
August 24 – In an attempt to prevent a repeat of the deadly Deutsche Bank fire, the City Council approved a new fire safety law which includes stricter rules for construction sites, including daily inspections of standpipes. The law, however, does not apply to buildings that are owned, leased or operated by the state. Two years ago, two firefighters died when they could not get water out of a broken standpipe as a fire raged in the Deutsche Bank building.
WTC column returns to the memorial site
August 24 – The last column removed from the WTC site, after the 9-11 attacks, returned to Lower Manhattan to be placed inside the September 11 Memorial and Museum. It was escorted from a hanger at JFK by firefighters and police. It’s a 36 foot, 38 ton piece of steel covered with FDNY and NYPD logos and inscriptions. The column was the last one to be removed from the WTC on May 30, 2002, marking the end of recovery efforts at the site.
PA turns over site for Tower 2
August 25 – As promised, the final parcel needed for the three towers at the WTC site was handed over to developer Larry Silverstein. The Port Authority will now stop paying $300,000 a day in penalties for delays in handing over properties. The turnover, according to GlobeSt.com, starts the clock for Silverstein to complete the three towers by the end of 2014.
A settlement in the death of Firefighter Robert Beddia
August 26 – The family of firefighter Beddia, who was killed in the 2007 Deutsche Bank building fire, has agreed to a $1 million settlement, according to The New York Post. The family had filed a negligence lawsuit against several government agencies, Bovis and its subcontractors.
The new 9/11 Memorial Preview site opens
August 26 – People who visit the WTC site will now be able to see live video of the construction taking place. The 9/11 Memorial Preview site opened on Wednesday in an old camera shop on Vesey Street. It’s free and allows visitors to see models and renderings of the memorial as well as a live video of the rebuilding. Also, visitors can share their 9/11 memories in a small recording booth.
A troubled building gets a new management company
August 26 – 100 Church Street may soon be turned over to SL Green Corporation, according to Crain’s NY Business.com. The website reported the Sapir Organization gave SL Green leasing and managing control over the building, this after Sapir sued SL Green to prevent foreclosure after Sapir failed to pay $85 million in loans. The lawsuit was dropped, but taping SL Green now may signal that Sapir wants to rid itself of the building which has failed to attract many tenants.
New construction beautification project unveiled
August 26 – Flowers, rainbows and even cows are being painted on construction barriers and fences throughout Lower Manhattan in an attempt to make the sites more palatable, according to The Battery Park City Broadsheet Daily. The Downtown Alliance has hired artists to transform construction sites and it expects to have 30 sites covered with art work over the next three years.
Attorneys in the 130 Liberty fire accused of withholding evidence
August 27 – Lawyers representing the three construction supervisors and a demolition subcontractor, charged in the fatal fire, filed papers Wednesday, alleging that the prosecution is withholding evidence that could exonerate their clients. The attorneys contend the blame for the fire should be spread among other contractors as well as city, state and federal agencies. The documents detail mistakes made by the City’s Fire and Buildings Departments and Bovis Lend Lease; the men charged in the case were employed by Galt and Bovis.