February 13th - February 17th, 2012
Pavilion Work Begins at WFC
February 13 — The 55-foot-tall pavilion, featuring about 400 curved glass panels, will soon become the new main entrance to the World Financial Center, as part of the Battery Park City office complex's $250 million renovation, reported DNA.info. Officials with Brookfield Office Properties broke ground at the site of the new entrance Monday morning. The 8,000-square-foot pavilion will open in the fall of 2013 on the west side of West Street just south of Vesey Street.
New Zoning Proposals Considered Elsewhere
February 14 -- Inspired by the retail zoning proposal which originated in Community Board 7, local boards downtown and on the Upper East Side are discussing similar schemes, which would require approval by the City Planning Commission, reported the NY Post. The UWS proposal would limit new stores to a ground-floor width of 40 feet and banks to 25 feet along Amsterdam Avenue from West 73rd-110th Streets and on Columbus, from 73rd-87th Streets.
At a Feb. 29 meeting of the zoning and development committee of CB8, which represents the East Side from 59th-96th Streets, the panel will “discuss” the Upper West Side scheme to “preserve the small-store retail culture and create an incentive for mom-and-pop stores to open.”
Downtown, a subcommittee of CB3 — which covers the East Village and the Lower East Side — is considering a “special purpose district” that would limit the size and operating hours of new tenants. The changes are aimed at curbing the spread of bars and restaurants, but also targets chains and banks.
Record Tourists Visit Downtown in 2011
February 15 -- DNAinfo reported, a record-breaking 9.8 million tourists visited Lower Manhattan in 2011, which is 800,000 more than visited in 2010. Tourism in Lower Manhattan has grown 40 percent since 2008, when 7 million people visited the neighborhood south of Chambers Street. The numbers for the outlook were released in Downtown Alliance Year in Review.
The city as a whole also saw a jump in tourism last year, with a record-breaking 50.5 million visitors to the five boroughs, a 3.5 percent increase over 2010. Tourists spent about $32 billion in New York City in 2011, according to the city. The Downtown Alliance also announced that Lower Manhattan had a strong year in commercial leasing, with an 80 percent increase in activity compared to 2010.
Other major leases in 2011 include Bank of America/Merrill Lynch's renewal of its office space in the World Financial Center and Oppenheimer Funds' expansion in the World Financial Center, the Downtown Alliance said.
No Injuries Following Crane Accident at WTC
February 16 – New York Daily News reported, a cable snapped on a crane that was lifting a load of steel, sending the metal crashing down. One worker was slightly injured when the steel — which fell as many as 40 stories — landed with a crash on a flatbed truck, police sources said.
The worker refused medical treatment, and the work site was shut down as investigators tried to figure out what happened. The accident occurred just before 10 a.m. near Building 4, which is located on the southeast corner of the 16-acre site near Church and Cortlandt Sts.
The accident was contained to the work area, and commuters heading to work were never in any danger, sources said
Panel Supports Adding Cancer Coverage To 9/11 Health Bill
“I think in general, people believe that at least some forms of cancer may be related to the exposures,” said Elizabeth Ward, chair of the World Trade Center Health Advisory Committee.
The decision came after two days of sometimes impassioned testimony from recovery workers, experts and elected officials.
Cancer wasn’t originally included as a 9/11-related condition because there wasn’t enough research to establish a conclusive link, but that now appears to be changing.
The panel will issue its final recommendations by April 2.