July 29th - August 3rd, 2006
Goldman in Negotiations for Embassy Suites Hotel
Friday, July 28th: Goldman Sachs is in negotiations to purchase the Battery Park City Hotel, which is owned by Embassy Suites and situated next door to the new Goldman Sachs company headquarters, the Downtown Express reported. Martha Redo, a lawyer for Goldman Sachs, wrote in an email to Community Board 1, "The parties expect to have an agreement signed this Friday and then hope to close approximately 30 days thereafter," the paper continued. The Embassy Suites building houses a New York Sports Club, a United Artists Regal movie theater, an Applebees restaurant, and other retail shops in addition to 453 guest suits. It isn't known whether the investment firm is looking to buy the entire building or just the hotel, the paper added.
Freedom Tower Taking Shape
Friday, July 28th: Production of the steel beams that will support the 1,776-foot-tall Freedom Tower began at a steel mill in Differdange, Luxembourg, the New York Times reported. The owner of the mill, the Arcelor Company, will ship the I-beams to the World Trade Center. The beams, which measure 22.5 by 18 inches, were made from 805 tons of steel rolled into column sections ranging from 30 to 56 feet, the paper continued.
"A mill doesn't exist in the U.S. that could produce the jumbo sections required for the lower levels of the Freedom Tower," Richard Kielar, a spokesperson for Tishman Construction Corporation, which is building the Freedom Tower, told the Times. Arcelor is one of the two mills in the world that can," he added.
The beam sections are scheduled to be shipped next month from Antwerp, Belgium, to Camden, New Jersey, the paper continued. From Camden, the steel will be trucked to Lynchburg, Virginia, where six-inch plates will be welded to the top and bottom cross bars of the I-beams to make them even stronger, the paper continued. In total, more than 50,000 tons of steel will be used to build the Freedom Tower, the Times added.
JFK Rail Link a Possibility
Saturday, July 29th: The United States House of Representatives passed a bill that includes $1.75 billion in tax credits for the construction of a rail link between Lower Manhattan and JFK airport, Newsday reported. Governor George Pataki praised the vote, calling it "a significant step toward making this project a reality," the paper continued. If the bill is approved, the tax credits will be spread over a 15-year period and, proponents add, the link will create jobs and make commuting easier, Newsday continued.
The funding, however, comes as part of a bill that includes a reduction of the estate tax, which both Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer oppose, and they will likely vote against it, the New York Sun reported. The Senate is expected consider the bill when it returns from August recess, Newsday added.
Preserving Original WTC Staircase Under Debate
Wednesday, August 2nd: One of the last existing pieces of the original World Trade Center (WTC) sits at the northeast quadrant of the site, near Vesey Street. It is a 21-foot-tall concrete, granite, and marble staircase and escalator slab that originally stood on the north side of 2 WTC. The structure was used as an emergency exit on September 11, 2001, as well as a means for Metropolitan Transportation Authority crews to access the 1 train line during the recovery. For more on this story, click here.
Pryor Set to Leave the LMCD
Wednesday, August 2nd: Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) President Stefan Pryor announced that he will resign at the beginning of September to become the deputy mayor for economic development in Newark, New Jersey, working for Mayor Cory Booker, the New York Times reported. According to the paper, Pryor's departure is a sign that state officials are serious about shutting down the agency within months.
Indeed, in a statement released the day before, the LMDC expanded on its plans for transitioning the agency's responsibilities. According to the release, the City of New York will administer the cultural grant program, which will distribute monies to more than 60 downtown organizations and programs, as well as spearhead many of the planning projects off the World Trade Center site, including the Fulton Street Corridor and East River Waterfront. Additionally, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will assume construction of and fundraising for the WTC Memorial, and the Lower Manhattan Command Center will take on responsibility for the deconstruction of 130 Liberty Street.