March 16th - March 22nd, 2007
No More Free Parking in Chinatown
Thursday, March 22nd: The Fifth Precinct's new commander, Dep. Inspector Gin Yee, began towing illegally parked cars owned by police and court officers in Chinatown, and residents and business owners are delighted, the Downtown Express reported. "You could just roll into Mott St. and park by a meter -- I never realized there was that much space," an amazed Jan Lee, owner of Sinotique, told the paper. "I remember it was that way as a kid."
The first cars were towed on Monday when new signs prohibiting permit parking went up, and on Wednesday, new NYPD tow-away zone signs were posted. "We put 'em up because it's a no permit zone and people were beginning to abuse it," Yee told the Downtown Express. "I think [the problem] started out small, got bigger, and then it became the norm."
W Hotel Planned for 123 Washington
Monday, March 26th: A W condo-hotel is planned for 123 Washington Street, the New York Observer reported, and Joseph Moinian, the developer, is teaming up with Michael Shvo to market the condominium portion. This will be their biggest project together in a district that will soon be welcoming such high-end retailers as Tiffany & Co., Hermès, and Thomas Pink.
PA Says Survivors Staircase Must Move
Wednesday, March 21st: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey warned that the Survivors Staircase must be moved from Ground Zero to avoid construction delays, the Daily News reported. The Port Authority presented two options for the staircase's removal: relocate the entire 175-ton structure at the cost of $2.5 million, which would take up to three months, or disassemble the staircase and preserve only parts of it at a cost of $500,000, which would take one month. The area where the staircase currently sits will be excavated in order to build an office tower. Relocation spots under consideration include Battery Park City, Zuccotti Park, or another open space near World Trade Center 7, the Daily News added.
Fireboat in Need of Some TLC
Wednesday, March 21st: The 76-year-old fireboat that assisted in the disaster response to 9/11, the John J. Harvey, needs about $1 million in hull work in order to stay afloat, Newsday reported. The antique fireboat, which had been placed in the National Register of Historic Places the previous year, pumped nearly 18,000 gallons of Hudson River water every minute to fire trucks at the World Trade Center site and rescued people trapped near the Battery on 9/11.
"Saltwater and steel don't like each other," Huntley Gill, a preservationist who purchased the Harvey with others from the city in 1999 and piloted it on 9/11, told Newsday. "She's 75 years old and, perhaps more than any other boat in America, this boat is in the habit of dousing itself with saltwater," he added.
A fundraising campaign is under way to raise $740,000, which will be matched by a $320,000 state grant, the paper reported.