September 7th - September 11th, 2009
Pieces of the WTC site to be used in memorials around the country
September 8 – The Port Authority has embarked on a campaign to give away pieces of steel from the WTC site to communities which want to use it for their 9-11 memorials. The PA says it has received about 25 requests for steel in the past year and has another dozen pending. The New York Times says the campaign will invite police and fire departments as well as leaders of cities and towns to ask for the steel. Executive Director Chris Ward said, ‘The best way we can honor the memory of those we lost on 9/11 is to find homes for the hundreds of artifacts we’ve carefully preserved over the years.”
Another jump in the cost of the Fulton Street Transit Center
September 8 – The price tag of the Fulton Street Transit Hub just became more costly. According to The New York Post, the MTA lost a round in court and was ordered to pay another $40 million to the Riese Organization, Brookfield Properties and the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, all of whom owned land seized for the project. The court ruled the additional money was necessary because the parcels should be valued as if they belonged to a single owner, leading to a higher dollar amount. The latest bump brings the estimated cost of the project to around $1.4 billion.
More dire statistics on the health of 9-11 rescue workers
September 8 – The latest numbers show 9-11 rescue workers paid a huge toll for their work. The State Health Department’s WTC Responder Fatalities Investigation announced more then 800 rescue and recovery workers have died since 9-11; cancer has killed at least 270 of them. Drug overdoses, suicides, car crashes, fires, military service in Iraq and Afghanistan and assaults were also listed as the cause of death for 150 rescue workers. The study says about 50,000 firefighters, cops, EMTS and other volunteers joined in the 9-11 recovery and rescue effort, according to a report in The New York Post.
Another scandal at the Department of Buildings
September 8 – Several City DOB inspectors were apparently caught taking bribes and selling drugs, according to The New York Post. The report says arrests are expected soon of six inspectors with ties to the Luchese crime family. They’re suspected of taking $50 and $100 payoffs to ignore violations that had the potential to shutdown construction sites, most of them in the Bronx.
FiDi is about to lose another company
September 8 – One more Lower Manhattan employee may be moving to Jersey City. The New York Times and GlobeSt.com say the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) may move 1,600 employees across the river, but maintain their headquarters in FiDi with 700 employees. The City hopes the company will move instead to Pierrepont Plaza in Brooklyn. New Jersey is dangling an incentive package of $70 million and lower rents.
The cornerstone of the Freedom Tower has a new home
September 9 – The cornerstone of the Freedom Tower, which was dedicated at Ground Zero five years ago, has been moved from the WTC site to Long Island according to reports in The Daily News and Metro.. It was placed in front of Innovative Stone, the Hauppauge company which created the monument. The 20 ton granite piece will be the focus of a rededication ceremony on Friday, September 11.
Several DOB inspectors resign
September 9 – Only a day after The New York Post reported that six building inspectors were under investigation, the paper reports they have resigned. Mayor Bloomberg said, “You can rest assured we’re not going to tolerate any of this.” The inspectors were caught alleging accepting bribes in exchange for not issuing violations at construction sites in the Bronx. All of those under investigation have ties to the Luchese crime family, according to The Post.
Vacancy rates are expected to continue to climb in Lower Manhattan
September 9 – A market research firm, Reis Inc. is predicting the commercial vacancy rate will climb to 11.5% by the end of ’09 and rise to 12.3% next year. The Wall Street Journal reports the office glut Downtown could worsen if the towers at the WTC open before the economy rebounds.
REBNY makes an historic announcement
September 10 – For the first time in its 113 year history, REBNY – The Real Estate Board of New York – will have a woman as its chairperson. Mary Ann Tighe, CEO for the New York tri-state region of CB Richard Ellis will begin her three year term on January1. REBNY is the industry’s most powerful lobby with 12,000 members according to a report in The New York Observer.
Governorâ€™s Island has become a popular destination
September 10 – Over the Labor Day weekend, 25,000 people visited Governor’s Island and that is a new record. Leslie Koch, president of The Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC) said, “We’re thrilled that Governor’s Island has become such a wonderful resource for Lower Manhattan and other people in the region.” Koch also told NY1 the Island will be hosting the New Island Festival until September 20th; the festival is free of charge.
A new controversy for the 9-11 Memorial and Museum
September 11 – The 9-11 Memorial and Museum is being criticized for plans to include the 19 hijackers in the exhibits. The terrorist’s words will be included along with their photos. Memorial President Joseph Daniels defended the decision saying, “We are going to explore why the attacks happened and people will leave here knowing that the atrocities that were committed were committed by evil people.” Some of the material in the museum will have warnings, giving people a choice of whether to view them. The museum is asking people to upload their recollections, photos and videos of 9/11 on their new website, 911history.org.