March 19th - March 23rd, 2012
Police Move Protesters Out of Park
March 19 -- Police by the dozens have swept through a downtown Manhattan park, moving out Occupy Wall Street demonstrators who were celebrating their six-month anniversary, reported Business Week.
New York police announced Zuccotti Park closed for the evening before moving through the excited and sometimes agitated protesters, who chanted and beat drums as they went.
A spokesperson for Occupy Wall Street estimated dozens of protesters were arrested.
The Occupy protest movement began at the park last fall and spread throughout the country against economic disparities.
Medical Student Pleads to Misdemeanor
March 19— New York Daily News reports, a Tennessee medical student busted on a felony as she tried to check a loaded gun at Ground Zero walked away with a no-jail plea deal Monday.
Tourist Meredith Graves pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor possession count for the gun, which was licensed in her home state.
"Yes," Graves, 39, replied when a Manhattan judge asked if she were guilty of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Graves has contended she didn't realize her gun license was not good in New York.
Chadbourne & Parke Not Relocating to WTC
March 20 – NY Post reports, Chadbourne & Parke’s move to 1 World Trade Center cratered yesterday, leaving followers of both downtown and the legal landscape scratching their heads.
The reversal was surprising because the clock’s ticking on Chadbourne, which must leave behind 300,000 square feet at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in 2014, when Deloitte will take its space.
A relocation to 1 WTC — future home to Condé Nast — seemed like a sure bet when the New York Times reported on Jan. 26 that the tower was “set” to sign the law firm.
Silverstein to Refinance 7 WTC
NEW YORK CITY-After reaching 100% occupancy late last year, Silverstein Properties will be refinancing the liberty bonds and a commercial mortgage-backed security secured by Seven World Trade Center, according to a report from Fitch Ratings.
The total loan includes $577.8 million of liberty bonds and a CMBS loan secured by a mortgage backed by two cross-defaulted loans on 7 WTC. The senior loan is a $452.8 million tax-exempt liberty bond financing designated loan and the junior loan is a $125 million CMBS loan, according to Fitch.
Proceeds of the loans will be used to refinance the prior liberty bonds, pay closing costs and return preferred equity investment to the sponsor, Fitch says.
Manhattan Bridge Dog Run Makes Room for Skate Park
March 20 -- A new skate park being built under the Manhattan Bridge could close down a neighboring dog run as soon as next month, reported DNA.info.
The city plans to expand the Coleman Oval skate park, at Pike and Monroe streets, into the space belonging to the dog run — with construction kicking off mid-April, officials revealed last week.
The city plans to open a new dog park somewhere nearby, but that likely won't be ready until the middle of the summer, officials said.
New Tenants at 7 WTC
March 20 – Crain’s New York reports, a British technology firm opening its first permanent U.S. office and a nonprofit centered on improving children’s lives signed deals for a total of 12,400 square feet at 7 World Trade Center, scooping up the last available smaller spaces at the tower. Those two leases come after the signing of a lease for 125,000 square feet last year at the 52-story, 6-year-old tower claimed the last of sizeable acreage in the building, which is owned by Silverstein Properties.
Both tenants will move onto the 46th floor in the summer, and the asking rent on each deal was $70 a square foot.
Man Arrested in Alleged Urine-Dumping Incident
March 21 - The Wall Street Journal reports, a Pennsylvania man was hit with the rare charge of unlawful possession of noxious matter after police alleged that he dumped human waste in Lower Manhattan last week.
Police said surveillance video captured two incidents on March 14 in which buckets filled with a mixture of excrement and urine were dumped inside the ATM vestibule of a Chase bank branch at 155 Water Street, as well as a the stairwell of an open-air plaza at the corner of Nassau and Cedar Streets.
Police suspect Amos is part of the Occupy Wall Street protests. After several months of inactivity in New York City, protesters returned to Lower Manhattan to mark six months since it began.
Trinity Church Board Votes Against Change
March 22 -- Downtown's troubled Trinity Church has snuffed out a grassroots push for changes in its leadership.
Amid concerns that the church's rector, the Rev. James Cooper, is lavishly overspending on music programs while neglecting philanthropic work, Trinity's congregants asked earlier this week for a greater voice in how the 314-year-old Episcopal church is run.
The congregants wanted Trinity to hold a rare contested election for the church's 22-member board of directors, or vestry, which is usually chosen at a small closed-door meeting. But Trinity's Nominating Committee voted Wednesday night to put off any changes until at least next year.
The committee believed that there was not enough time before the April 10 vestry election to find more candidates beyond the 22 who have already agreed to serve, church officials said. Those candidates are largely supportive of Cooper.
Trinity released a statement saying the Nominating Committee would consider the idea of a contested election for the spring of 2013 instead.
Jeremy Bates, the former Congregational Council president who has been pushing for leadership changes at Trinity, called the Nominating Committee vote "a travesty."
Bates said that after eight members of the vestry resigned earlier this year in protest of Cooper's tenure, the Nominating Committee picked replacements within a week — suggesting that the committee could easily find even more potential vestry members to compete in an election.
Trinity's vestry is charged with overseeing Trinity's three-part mission as a Lower Manhattan community church, a major real estate company managing 6 million square feet in Hudson Square, and a philanthropic organization donating millions of dollars to projects across the globe each year.