July 27th - August 2nd, 2007
City Hall Park North Section Reopens
July 26th: After being out of use for seven years, a section of City Hall Park reopened last week, according to reports in The New York Times. City officials formally celebrated the reopening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Tuesday at the north end of the park. Lower Manhattan residents are enthusiastic about the long-awaited reopening.
The park will offer more than just open space. New features within the park include towering elms and London plane trees, a statue of Horace Greeley, and a row of chess tables, according to the Times report. An especially coveted feature for Lower Manhattan residents in particular is the walkway that spans from Broadway near Warren Street on the west side of the park to just north of the Brooklyn Bridge at Centre Street.
There are, however, stipulations for the park's reopening. According to the Times report, the pathway will be open to the public from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily, excepting the hours between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on weekdays and two Saturday mornings per month, during which time the park will be reserved for use by the Ross Global Academy Charter School in Tweed Courthouse.
The New York City Police Department will be installing security cameras along a new steel fence, which will line the south side of the walkway, the Times reports.
125 Maiden Lane, New Address for UNICEF
August 1st: According to Real Estate Weekly, UNICEF, the national non-profit advocating for improved child welfare worldwide, has purchased the property at 125 Maiden Lane. Realtor Cushman & Wakefield announced the sale of the 70,000-square-foot commercial condominium space earlier this week.
UNICEF will relocate its headquarters from its current midtown address to its new Lower Manhattan home, situated between Pearl and Water Streets. Cushman & Wakefield executive vice president Paul Glickman and director Shawna Menifee arranged the acquisition on behalf of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, according to the Weekly's report.
Glickman is quoted in the Weekly as saying: "This transaction reinforces the resurgence of Lower Manhattan, and speaks to the diversity of industries that have committed to space here."
Survivors Staircase May Head to the Harbor
August 1st: State and city officials have been grappling with the issue of where to put the only remaining aboveground remnant of the World Trade Center, according to The Daily News.
The "survivors' staircase" currently sits between several ongoing construction projects at Ground Zero, which means construction of the "east bathtub" has been stalled, according to Daily News report.
Officials have been challenged to find a suitable temporary resting place for the staircase after several unsuccessful attempts to do so. Last spring, the city briefly considered moving the staircase to Battery Park City, but faced strong community resistance.
Now, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) is considering a "highly unusual" plan, reports the News. It consists of securing the staircase and shipping it to Governors Island where it will temporarily float on a tethered barge. The LMDC is now discussing the plan with the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corp.
Decontamination at 130 Cedar Begins
August 1st: Late July marked the beginning of preliminary decontamination at 130 Cedar Street. The project will continue through February 2008, according to reports in Real Estate Weekly. The project's spokesperson and vice president of Masterworks Development Corporation Chris Colbourne presented the project scope to members of Community Board 1 in early July.
Concerns of air quality safety have been heightened of late due to other, unrelated developments following former EPA director Christine Todd Whitman's hearings last month in Washington. To ensure the air around the decontamination site remains safe, project managers have committed eight air monitors to be stationed around the perimeter of the site through the duration of the project.
To learn more about 130 Cedar Street, click here.