February 11th - February 15th, 2008
FDNY Will Monitor 130 Liberty Deconstruction
February 13- The FDNY announced it will station a high ranking officer at the Deutsche Bank building while the decontamination and deconstruction takes place. Published reports say the change was made following the deaths of two firefighters at the building last summer.
PA hires Safety Director to Monitor Construction at WTC
February 13- Following several construction accidents in the City, the Port Authority announced it has hired a safety director, Joseph Schwed of Honeywell International, to oversee construction at the 16 acre WTC site. The Associated Press reports Schwed will coordinate work on all of the projects, in the hope of preventing future accidents. Up until now, the PA had separate safety managers for each project. "It's critical that we carefully orchestra the numerous safety programs on the 16 acre site, where the equivalent of five Empire State buildings will rise simultaneously during the next four years, along with a world-class transportation hub and memorials, " said Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris.
More Details from Windows on the World Restaurant
February 13- More details are emerging about new Windows on the World restaurant atop the Freedom Tower. According to the New York Post, it will be smaller than the original restaurant at 34,000 square feet compared with 50,000 square feet of its predecessor. The report says it will also be closer to the ground. The new Windows on the World will be on the 100 and 101st floors; the previous restaurant was on the 106th and 107th floors.
Downsize Fulton Street Transit Center Not Received Well
February 13- Community Board 1 and the Downtown Alliance are expressing disappointment with the MTA's decision to downsize the Fulton Street Transit Center. CB1 told Metro it issued a resolution calling for the original plans to be reinstated. "It would utterly unconscionable to not build this project in a timely manner after 145 Downtown businesses were sacrificed to assemble the site and the entire population of Lower Manhattan has been forced to navigate around and through this massive, dirty construction for years," CB1 wrote in a resolution. Elizabeth Berger, President of the Downtown Alliance asked the MTA to consider a public/private partnership if the authority can't get the project done alone.
2007 Vacancy for Lower Manhattan Reviewed
Feb 14- The latest numbers are in for the office vacancy rate for Lower Manhattan. According to CB Richard Ellis Group, in the fourth quarter of 2007, the vacancy rate for Downtown was 6.3%. That compares with 4.7% for Midtown Manhattan. In a report from the Downtown Alliance, by the end of the fourth quarter of '07, 184 firms had relocated to Lower Manhattan since early 2005, totaling more than 4.2 million square feet. "Lower Manhattan has seen amazing growth in virtually every business sector," said Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Downtown Alliance.
Cortlandt Street R and W Station To Reopen Soon
February 15, 2008 - Good news for subway riders. According to the Downtown Express, the MTA is looking into opening the Cortlandt Street R and W station soon. The MTA told Community Board 1, construction is almost complete on the entrance on the northbound R and W trains. The entrance to southbound trains, on the west side of Church Street, won't open for several years because of construction at the WTC site. However, the MTA is building an underpass to allow riders to enter the station on the northbound entrance and cross beneath the tracks to the southbound trains. No timetable was given for when the underpass will be complete.