August 17th - August 21st, 2009
Anniversary of fatal fire at Deutsche Bank remembered
August 18 – It was two years ago today that a fire at the Deutsche Bank building claimed the lives of two firefighters. The LMDC, which is in the process of decontaminating and deconstructing the building, said the process will take another six months to complete.
The Port Authority signs a new contractor to the WTC site
August 18 – A division of the Tutor Perini Corporation, which last week was awarded a $192 million contract by the Port Authority, is working with the feds to settle a corruption case, according to The Daily News. The paper says two former executives of the Perini Civil company are charged with paying minority businesses to steer federal contracts to Perini. The Daily News says the company is eager to put the case behind them for fear of losing out on federal public works contracts. The PA hired Perini to rebuild Greenwich Street in time for the 10th anniversary of 9-11.
Another report shows rents continuing to fall
August 18 – Average rents for office buildings Downtown have dropped more than 12 percent over the past six months, according to a new study by Jones Lang LaSalle. The report predicts prices could drop below $50 a square foot next year for the pricier properties. Right now, rents are about $60.23 for prime space and about $42.70 for all office buildings downtown. Another report from CB Richard Ellis shows retail rents suffered double digit decreases, to about $209 a square foot.
Construction to resume soon on a new hotel
August 18 – Work permits have been renewed at 24 and 26 John Street, the site of a new hotel, according to Curbed.com. The still unnamed hotel is getting an additional 14 stories on top of the existing seven story structure.
Construction expected to start up again on another Downtown building
August 18 – It appears that construction work may resume at 250 West Street, a site that’s been quiet for quite a while. Curbed.com is reporting that new applications have been filed with the City’s Department of Buildings, including Francis Pisani as the new architect. The project is also awaiting a hearing before the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Loved ones and friends gather to remember two firefighters
August 19 – A memorial service was held for firefighters Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino to mark the two year anniversary of their deaths at the Deutsche Bank Building. Graffagnino’s father told NY1, “Nobody is going after the prime contractor, Bovis, nobody even mentions the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation any more, which is the landlord of the building. I think that that is a huge failing on the City of New York and the State of New York, not to hold these people who cause these things to happen, not to hold them to the highest standard that they try to hold everybody else to.”
A new WTC exhibit will be open soon
August 19 – Visitors to the WTC site will soon be able to see models and sketches of the Memorial design. The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum is opening a Preview Site on August 26th which will feature live video of the construction of the memorial. Visitors will also be able to record memories of where they were on September 11. The Preview Site, which will open in an old camera shop northwest of the site, will also sell pins, DVDs and other memorabilia.
A park on the LES undergoes a facelift
August 19 – There was a ground breaking ceremony for a renovation to a two mile stretch of the East River Waterfront Esplanade. Mayor Bloomberg predicted the construction will create more than 400 jobs and be finished by 2011. Included in the plans are wider paths for pedestrians and bicyclists; an elevated part near the South Street Seaport and a park at Pier 35 at Rutgers Slip. The price tag for the project is about $148 million.
The Port Authority announces another milestone
August 20 – At a hearing held by the City Council Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Committee, Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said the agency will be turning over the land for Tower 2 in a few days and that will be the end of the $300,000 daily penalty that the PA has been paying Larry Silverstein for a year of delays. Ward also predicted the September 11th Memorial will be open for the 10th anniversary; he added the plaza might be open after the anniversary while construction of the site continues.
A new tenant moves into Fulton Street
August 20 – Bargain store Lot Less Closeouts is moving into the old Strand Bookstore space on Fulton Street. GlobeSt.com reports the discount chain signed a 10 year lease and plans to open in time for the holiday shopping season.
Homecoming for the Last Column
August 21 – The steel beam which stood after the 9-11 attacks and became a symbol will return to Ground Zero Monday to be in stalled at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. The Daily News reports the column was one of 47 that held up the South Tower; it’s been spray painted with the numbers of police officers and firefighters killed I the attack. The 58 ton, 36 foot tall column was housed in a hangar at JFK the past seven years. Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “This is ultimately a sign of rebirth.” The column will return to the site in a sunrise ceremony with a police and fire escort.
Another company leaving FiDi
August 21 – The Depository Trust and Clearing Corp. may be leaving Lower Manhattan for New Jersey. The Trust currently occupies 750,000 square feet at 55 Water Street; The Downtown Express is reporting New Jersey is trying to woo the company to cross the river. The City’s Economic Development Department said it is in discussions with the Trust to keep the Trust in Lower Manhattan.