September 26th - September 30th, 2011
Con Edison Loses Negligence Claim
September 27 – The New York Law Journal reports, a federal judge has dismissed negligence claims by Con Edison against Silverstein Properties over the destruction of 7 World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
MTA Reviews Real Estate Portfolio
September 27 -- After reviewing its real estate portfolio, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to make nine additional properties available for lease or sale. Its former headquarters at 370 Jay Street in Brooklyn is expected to be the most appealing for developers. The Wall Street Journal reported, the agency is facing trouble paying for its $24 billion capital-spending budget and has been looking for ways to make money from its real estate holdings.
Since deciding to put its Madison Avenue headquarters complex up for sale earlier this year, it has been reviewing more than 4,700 other New York City properties looking for assets. While most of the space is needed or not applicable for commercial or residential use, MTA's real-estate director, Jeffrey Rosen, said Monday that the authority had identified 15 properties—including two packages of air rights from the Second Avenue subway and the Fulton Street Transit Center—that it could make available.
Ward to Step Down at Port Authority
September 28 -- The New York Times reports, Christopher O. Ward, intends to resign as executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at the end of October. His departure will leave two influential agencies in need of a new appointed leader. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo also needs to appoint a new chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as the current boss, Jay H. Walder will be leaving next month.
Mr. Ward, 56, who was appointed in 2008 by Gov. David A. Paterson, has announced his future plans. Under his tenure, the Port Authority froze its operating budget for three consecutive years, lowered its number of employees and reduced its budget for major capital improvement and maintenance projects.
Mr. Walder is leaving New York for Hong Kong, where he will run the transit system.
Support for the 9/11 Memorial
September 28—The New York Times editorial calls for federal government to provide financial assistance to help maintain and operate National September 11 Memorial and Museum foundation. Now that the memorial is open, foundation officials are worried at the expected annual cost of $60 million to cover operating expenses.
Senator Daniel Inouye, a Democrat from Hawaii, offers a solution. He introduced a bill in Congress that would fund up to $20 million a year towards operating costs and allow the National Park Service to take over the memorial grounds, with approval from the governors of New York and New Jersey. The Parks Service already manages many memorials, including the Flight 93 National Memorial.
GSA lease deal makes 1 WTC over half-full
September 28 -- The US General Services Administration has signed a non-binding agreement to lease 300,000 square feet at 1 World Trade Center, reported the New York Post. This deal expected to be completed by the end of the year, would push the tower to approximate half-full mark. While the deal has been anticipated for years, it had not previously reached the term-sheet stage.
Durst and a Cushman & Wakefield team led by Tara Stacom are marketing the remaining 1.5 million square feet, most of it in the tower’s highest floors.
WTC Cleanup Advocate Mourned
September 29-- A Mexican firefighter who helped Hispanic immigrants after they fell ill cleaning buildings around ground zero was remembered Thursday, reported the Associated Press. Rafael Hernandez was found dead Sunday in his Queens home. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death. The 49-year-old Hernandez had been working at an electronics shop near the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. He told The Associated Press in a recent interview that he rushed to the site and volunteered there for three months. He was later diagnosed with chronic respiratory conditions linked to exposure to ground zero.
In the years since, Hernandez emerged as an advocate for immigrants who were sickened after working at the trade center site. He led a biweekly support group called Frontiers of Hope where the workers discussed their illnesses. They also sought to cope with the long-term psychological effects of their time near the disaster site.
Occupy Wall Street Protesters Gain Support
September 30 – The group of protesters, Occupy Wall Street, who have been camped out in Zuccotti Park nearly two weeks got a vote of support from one of the city’s largest unions. DNAinfo reports, the executive board for the Transport Workers Union Local 100, voted Wednesday night to support the demonstrators and join the Occupy Wall Street crowd for a march and rally at 4:30 p.m. on October 5. The Working Families Party is also expected to participate in the rally.
Celebrity activists Susan Sarandon, Cornel West and Michael Moore haven also given a boost to the demonstrators, who say they are there to protest corporate greed, among other things, by joining them in Zuccotti Park.