April 9th - April 13th, 2012
Future Unclear for WTC Sphere That Survived 9/11
April 7 - The 45,000-pound sphere sculpture that emerged largely intact from the rubble of the World Trade Center following the Sept. 11 attacks faces an uncertain future as officials prepare to remove it from the park where it has been on display for a decade, reported the Associated Press. "The Sphere," originally dedicated as a monument to world peace through trade, became an interim memorial in the months after 9/11. A year after the attacks, Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Afghan President Hamid Karzai and officials from about 90 foreign nations at its base to light an eternal flame. Nearly a decade later, the eternal flame could possibly be snuffed out, and there is no permanent plan for the 25-foot-high structure made of bronze and steel. Officials said this week that it will be removed by the end of the month to make way for renovations to Battery Park, the green space that has been home to the sculpture.
Residents, Businesses Cry Foul Over Proposed Cuts to LMCCC
April 9 - City Council member Margaret Chin and representatives from Community Board 1 protested the governors proposed downsizing of the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC), reported WNYC. The agency -- established in 2004 by then-Governor George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- serves as a point of contact for residents and small business owners to help mitigate quality of life issues stemming from construction throughout Lower Manhattan. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in January that the staff would be reduced from seven to three full-time members.
Downtown Manhattan on the Up and Up
April 10 - For much of the past decade the only hope for a broker looking to make money off of Downtown office space was to do a deal like 70 Pine Street: Take a lavish 62-story Art Deco headquarters that was once owned by a spectacularly failed financial firm like AIG and turn it into opulent apartments where bankers would rather live than work, reports the Commercial Observer. Now, say the brokers who have long suffered the horrors of Downtowns commercial market, those residential conversions are starting to also pay off on the demand side. Figures from Cushman and Wakefield show that Downtown emerged from the first quarter of 2012 with an office vacancy rate of 5.9 percent. Thats an impressive 13.8 percent drop from the year before.
Squadron Showcases BPCA Takeover Plan to CB1 Panel
April 11 - At the April 3 meeting of the Battery Park City committee of Community Board 1, State Senator Daniel Squadron fielded questions about his proposal for changing the management structure of Battery Park City, reported the Battery Park Broadsheet. The dialog focused on the three pillars of Squadrons plan: to create a resident-dominated board for the neighborhood, prevent the State from using Battery Park City as an emergency piggy bank, and earmark funds levied in Battery Park City for use in Lower Manhattan (on projects such as parks and affordable housing), rather than city-wide.
With New Logo, 1 WTC Begins Marketing Push
April 11 - One World Trade Center has a logo, reports the Wall Street Journal. The owners of the under-construction tower -- set to be the tallest in the U.S. at 1,776 feet -- on Wednesday rolled out the start of a marketing campaign for the 3 million square foot building, most notably a logo designed by the U.K.-based firm Wordsearch.The logo plays up the address, a conscious move by the designers.The fading blue in the logo is meant to resemble the horizon.
Worldâ€™s Tallest Holiday Inn Rising Downtown
April 11 - Construction is underway on the worlds tallest Holiday Inn -- a 50-story, 400-room full-service hotel at 99 Washington Street, according to Real Estate Weekly. The project, situated just three blocks south of the World Trade Center site, is slated to play an integral role in the ongoing revitalization and recovery of Lower Manhattan. The exterior of this Holiday Inn will have a low-rise, contextual base, blending with the surrounding streetscape, topped with a tower with graduated setbacks and views of the city, the Hudson River and the Statue of the Liberty. The metal-paneled facade will attract and reflect light, brightening the street-level pedestrian landscape. The hotel is slated for completion in October 2012.
Titanic Centennial Marked in Lower Manhattan
April 12 - City officials marked the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's doomed voyage with a solemn ceremony at the South Street Seaport Thursday, reported DNAinfo.com. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn joined dignitaries from England, Ireland and Northern Ireland to lay a wreath beside theTitanic Memorial Lighthouseon Pearl Street, which was dedicated on the first anniversary of the tragedy 99 years ago. The legendary ship and the stories of the people aboard are the subject of an exhibit that opened this week at theSouth Street Seaport Museum, just steps from the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse. Called Titanic at 100: Myth and Memory, the exhibit features never-before-seen artifacts recovered from the boat after it sank, along with an interactive display that allows visitors to take their own tour of the famous ship.
Toy Grenade Prompts NYC Office Building Evacuation
April 12 - A toy grenade was to blame for an evacuation Thursday at a building near ground zero, authorities said, reported the Associated Press. The police bomb squad was called to 2 World Financial Center in lower Manhattan at midday when a security guard reported a package that seemed suspicious. Brookfield Properties, which runs the property, ordered an evacuation as a precaution. The bomb squad determined the package was a fake explosive that looked like a 1940s-style pineapple grenade. It was mounted on a plaque that said "Complaint department: Take a number," with a number attached to the pin.
Occupy Protesters Sleep-Out on Wall Street
April 12 - Occupy demonstrators have a new tactic: They are sleeping on the sidewalks of Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange, reported the Associated Press. Spokesman Karanja Gacuca says protesters have been sleeping in front of banks in lower Manhattan for several days. Gacuca says the sleep-out is simply one more tactic activists are employing to highlight the issue of income inequality. Attorney Gideon Orion Oliver says protesters are protected from arrest by a 2000 court decision that allows sleeping on sidewalks to express political views. He says the sleep-outs could be limited if authorities determine the conduct is incompatible with the public space. The Occupy movement came together with an encampment at Zuccotti Park last year, inspiring groups across the country.