October 26th - November 1st, 2007
Tribute WTC Visitor Center Asks Businesses to Share Their Experiences
November 1st: The Tribute WTC Visitor Center is reaching out to local businesses, asking them to partner with the organization to create an "important and compelling exhibit and walking tour" in Lower Manhattan. The center wants to hear first-hand accounts of people who had life-changing experiences following September 11th and found creative solutions to bring their businesses back to life after the attacks. Those interested in participating are asked to share an experience, photo, or object that reflects the extraordinary stories of working people in Lower Manhattan.
The Tribute Center serves more than 500,000 people each year through walking tours, exhibits, programs, and a website, all designed to link visitors who want to understand and appreciate these historic events with those who actually experienced them. Additionally, the Tribute Center's Volunteer Program draws from people who have a direct connection to the WTC and the events of February 26, 1993, and September 11, 2001. This group, which is responsible for conducting the center's walking tours, includes survivors, family members, rescue and recovery workers, volunteers, and Lower Manhattan residents and workers. All tours make five stops while traveling along the perimeter of the site.
During the tour, the center's guides share the history of Lower Manhattan, the events of 9/11, and rescue and recovery efforts while revealing their personal experiences of survival, loss, and healing with visitors. The experience provides visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to connect first hand with the history of downtown. The Tribute Center is located at 120 Liberty Street between Greenwich and Church Streets on the south side of Ground Zero, next to FDNY Firehouse Engine 10 Ladder 10.
For more information contact Wenday Aibel-Weiss at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 212-422-3520 ext. 121
Merrill Lynch Move Tabled as CEO Steps Down
October 30th: Real estate giant Merrill Lynch put on hold making a decision about whether or not to leave its downtown headquarters for a midtown location when longtime CEO Stan O'Neal resigned this week, the New York Times reported. "The whole matter of the move was tabled" after news broke of O'Neal's resignation, according to an unnamed insider quoted in the Times report.
The Times report speculated that with O'Neal on his way out, his successor will likely want to re-evaluate his decisions, "especially one as central to the company's destiny as its choice of a long-term home."
Landlords Work Harder to Keep Good Tenants as Growth Appears to Slow
October 30th: With building costs rising sharply in the past year, many Manhattan businesses are looking to renew their current leases for office space rather than face the high costs associated with moving headquarters to a new location elsewhere in the city, according to a report in this week's Crain's New York Business. As further encouragement for tenants to stay put, rents are increasing at a slower rate -- 6 percent in the past quarter as compared to almost twice that the quarter before, according to Crain's. Property owners, sensing a slowdown in growth, also have been more willing to negotiate with their current tenants to encourage them to stay.. "Rather than take a chance on an unknown entity, property owners are more willing to bargain to keep good tenants," according to Crain's.
East River Waterfront Designs Presented to CB1
October 29th: In a presentation to Community Board 1's Waterfront Committee, Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects unveiled a schematic design for the East River Waterfront, including an esplanade, several pavilions, and new ways of approaching and viewing the waterfront. But the aspect of the plan spurring the most discussion at the meeting was the proposed renovation of Pier 15, according to the Downtown Express.
SHoP's design of Pier 15 is based on New York's 19th-century, two-tier "recreation piers," according to Pasquarelli. On the bottom level, ships docked and unloaded their freight, while the top level was reserved for open space and recreation. However, according to the schematic design presented at this week's meeting, the end and much of the south side of the pier will not contain any docking space. Rather than a straight edge, the pier will have cutouts, a sloping ramp, and steps into the river, ideal for pedestrians who want to get close to the water but unsuitable for docking ships. SHoP's design did not include much specific information. The next phase -- called "design development" -- will provide more technical details. Pasquarelli said he would take all the feedback into consideration.
In addition to Pier 15, Pasquarelli described other new features of the design, including an "archipelago"-- a walkway that will extend out from Manhattan into the water, skirting the narrow piece of land where the FDR Drive goes underground. The city hopes to begin construction in 2008, using $150 million in Lower Manhattan Development Corporation grants allocated toward the project.
DOB Targets Sloppy Construction in NYC
October 26th: New York City's Department of Buildings (DOB) has launched a full-scale crackdown targeting the worst offenders behind dangerous and careless construction jobs in the city, according to an exclusive report in the New York Daily News. "Shoddy construction has driven neighbors from their homes, damaged existing buildings, and sent workers to their deaths," according to the report.
The DOB is responding by identifying individuals who have repeatedly ignored the law and, in doing so, damaged multiple New York City neighborhoods. Those in violation include not only contractors, but also engineers and architects who have taken irresponsible actions in their zeal to take advantage of NYC's building boom.
"Because this has to stop," DOB Commissioner Patricia Lancaster told the New, the department is shifting from a reactive model to proactive one. The department has recently received an additional $6 million in funding and 48 new employees, which will help it more quickly identify construction code violations. Employing the services of various lawyers and inspectors to further scrutinize operators and to help build cases against the city's worst violators, the department currently is working to put 50 such offenders out of business.