May 4th - May 10th, 2007
Viacom Moves Downtown
May 8th: The New York Times reported this week that after nearly a year of negotiations, Viacom has signed a 15-year lease with Trinity Real Estate. The lease is for roughly 400,000 square feet of office space and production facilities at 345 Hudson Street, according to the report. Viacom will begin relocating 1,000 of its employees from the company's current midtown offices early next year.
Study Links Lung Disease to WTC Collapse
May 8th: The New York Times reported that doctors from the Fire Department and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have found that 13 firefighters and emergency medical service workers involved in the Ground Zero recovery effort have developed sarcoidosis, a debilitating illness in which the lungs and other organs develop certain forms of inflammation. According to the Times report, the study calculated incident rates of 86 cases per 100,000 workers in the first year after the towers collapsed. This rate is reportedly more than five times higher than the previous rate recorded by the Fire Department. Prior to the collapse, only 15 cases per 100,000 workers were reported in the 15 years before 9/11.
In all, the doctors have found 26 cases of sarcoidosis in the five years since 9/11, which totals more than the previous 15 years of reported cases combined. Until now, there has been little evidence to support clams linking such illnesses to the collapse of the WTC towers. The new study was released earlier this week and appears in the medical journal Chest. This journal is "considered to have a high degree of reliability," according to the Times. This study marks the first clinical trial to clearly link WTC dust to serious and in some cases fatal disease.
MTA Chief Resigns
May 8th: After six years with the Metropolitan Transit Authority, Peter Kalikow's resignation was widely publicized this week. Kalikow made the announcement at a press conference on Monday. The MTA chairman said he would step down as soon as Governor Eliot Spitzer has selected his successor. Among the projects he has most enjoyed working on during his tenure are the Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access, according to reports. Kalikow says with work for both projects currently underway, his job at the MTA is done.
Alliance for Downtown New York Looks for New President
May 9th: According to a report in Crain's New York, Alliance for Downtown New York President Eric Deutsch has announced that he is leaving the downtown business improvement district as of June 1st. Deutsch is stepping down as president to accept a position as managing director with real estate firm the Clarett Group. A search for his replacement is underway.
Rockaway Ferry for Queens Commuters
May 9th: According to a report in the New York Times, New York City hopes to expand private ferry service from Manhattan to the Rockaways in Queens. The extended service would help relieve traffic congestions and provide a faster commuting option for residents of one of the city's most remote areas, according to the report. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this week that the city's Economic Development Corporation will ask private ferry operators to propose service for at least one route to run weekly during peak commuting hours. Officials have said they are working to keep the price for future ferry passengers in line with the current cost of the city's express bus service, about $4 each way.