January 10th - January 14th, 2011
Howard Hughes Corp Has Plans for South Street Seaport
January 10 – Grant Herlitz, Howard Hughes's new president, told The Downtown Express, few new details about the company's plans for the seaport. Herlitz said that the corporation plans to engage in “thought-provoking” discussions with the city and local organizations to “come up with the most vibrant plan for the South Street Seaport that’ll garner support and be an exciting new redevelopment for the city.” The pier, he added, would continue to serve as an “integral” part of Lower Manhattan.
Statue of Liberty Security Screening to Move
January 10 – The National Parks Service says the 16,000 to 20,000 people who line up every day, waiting to be screened before boarding boats to the Statue of Liberty, will likely be moved from Battery Park to Ellis Island sometime this year. The Tribeca Trib reports moving the screening center and its large white tents to Ellis Island would speed up the process by weeding out the passengers not planning on visiting Liberty Island.
Deutsche Bank Tower Coming Down
January 10 – Nearly a decade after the WTC south tower fell into it, the building with a sad history of legal and regulatory fights, multiple accidents and a blaze that killed two firefighters will finally be gone. The New York Times reports the 41-story former Deutsche Bank building is down to two stories above street level. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the agency that oversaw the $300 million dismantling, said it will be completely removed in a little over a week.
State Agency signs 100 Church Street Lease
January 11- New York State's Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance will lease 90,000 square feet at 100 Church St., according to Crain’s New York Business. The agency, which is currently located at 22 Cortlandt St., will pay roughly $33 a square foot over the course of the lease.
Construction Accidents Decline
January 11 –There were 28% fewer construction accidents in New York City in 2010 than in the previous year; Crain’s New York Business reports. The decrease is being mostly attributed to a decline in construction; construction permits for new buildings citywide dipped 7% to 1,517. Last year, there were 157 construction-related accidents with four fatalities. Also, the total number of reported construction-related injuries dropped to 165 last year, down 31% from 2009. The Buildings Department said regulatory oversight, which includes inspections and implementation of new regulations, led to those declines.
Opponents of Downtown Mosque File Suit
January 12 – Lawyers representing a firefighter who is suing to block the development of a Muslim community center and mosque in Lower Manhattan filed a motion to stop the developers from doing any construction on the site. The New York Times reports firefighter Timothy Brown sued the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, accusing it of acting “in an arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable manner” when it paved the way for the project by refusing to grant historic protection to the building on the site where the $100 million center would be constructed.
Study Recommends solutions for Traffic on Canal Street
January 13 – The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council says wider sidewalks, fewer left turns and new stop light patterns could help alleviate some of the traffic on Canal Street. The study, which was federally funded, took eight years to complete. The Tribeca Trib reports other recommendations include eliminating one lane of eastbound traffic between Broadway and West Broadway and staggering crossing signals for pedestrians at some intersections.
Leased Office Space Improves, but Downtown Trails Midtown
January 13 - CBRE reports the Manhattan office market improved significantly last year with the net absorption of space increasing by 5.3 million square feet in 2010. In contrast, 2.1 million square feet more space was added to the Lower Manhattan market than leased—a deterioration from last year's negative 1.3 million square feet. Last year was the third consecutive year downtown reported negative net absorption. However, the downtown absorption rate in December was a positive 430,000 square feet, up from 120,000 square feet in November.
Related Cos. to pay $82.8M for Rector Sq. Project
January 13 - Next week, the 232 unsold units at the Battery Park City condo will be owned by the developer, who is buying the plagued conversion from Anglo Irish Bank at a bargain price, according to Crain’s New York Business. When the deal closes, Related will have to decide whether to continue the conversion or maintain the unsold units as a rental property.
Deutsche Bank Fire Trial Postponed
January 14 – The trial of three former employees of Bovis Lend Lease and the Galt Corporation was originally set to begin Jan. 18, but that is no longer is the case, says a spokeswoman for one of the defense attorneys. No explanation was given and no new date has yet been set. Engineering News Record also reports parties in the case are set to meet at a pre-trial conference on Feb. 4, at which time a new date will be determined.