May 24th - May 28th, 2010
CB1 Calls on LMDC to Release $200 million
May 24 – CB1 Chairwoman Julie Menin told The New York Post, a resolution passed CB1, demanding that $200 million be released by LMDC. She says the money would go toward affordable housing grants, Fulton Street storefronts, downtown schools, the Drawing Center and downtown utilities. There was no comment from LMDC.
9-11 Victims may be Identified Through DNA
May 24 – The City’s Medical Examiner says 48 new pieces of bone, found in newly discovered remains from the WTC, have been identified as human remains. Now, according to Newsday, testing is underway to see if the bones can be matched to any of the 9-11 victims. Analysis could take a few months. More than 1,100 people who died have never been found.
Downtown Becomes of Schoolâ€™s Campus
May 24 - The Mildred Elley NYC Metro campus will be located at 25 Broadway, Crain’s reports. It’s a 42,000 square foot space which will offer health sciences and nursing programs. Total enrollment in the school is expected to reach 350 by years end. The school is based in Albany.
1 WTC Competition Down to Two
May 25 – Boston Properties has pulled out of the bidding to buy a stake in the tower, leaving only The Durst Organization and Related Cos competing. Crain’s said Boston Properties said in a letter that it dropped out because of the increasing scale of its own corporate activities. Durst and Related are vying to own a portion of the 2.6 million square foot building.
Vacancy Rate Falls in Manhattan
May 25 – The residential vacancy rate is at its lowest level since June ’08, according to the latest report from Citi Habitats. The Wall Street Journal says the vacancy rate in Lower Manhattan is 1.04%; it was 1.47% last year. For apartments citywide, the vacancy rate in April is just 1.23%, down dramatically from 2.28% last April. Another report from the Real Estate Board of NY found retail rents in FiDi increased since the fall of 2009 about seven percent to an average of $101 a square foot. A Cushman & Wakefield study shows the commercial vacancy is 11.5, compared with 16.2% in Chicago and 14.5 in Washington, DC.
CB1 Continues Support of Community Center
May 26 – The 29-1 vote with 10 abstentions came after hours of raucous debate. The board, however, chose to remain silent on the religious aspects of the Corboda House project. Those who spoke in opposition, want it built somewhere else; those in favor feel it would help teach tolerance. The mosque still needs approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The Daily News Might be Moving Downtown
May 26 – There are rumors that Mort Zuckerman is looking into moving the newspaper from West 33rd Street to Lower Manhattan. The story in The New York Observer has a spokesman for The Daily News saying no decision has been made.
Childrenâ€™s Museum of the Arts Relocated to Hudson Street
May 26 – The museum signed a lease for more than 10,000 square feet on the ground floor at 345 Hudson Street for rent in the high $30’s. According to Real Estate Weekly, the museum will be moving from its current location on Lafayette Street in Soho. The building is home to the Guggenheim Foundation, Viacom, Penguin Putnam Publishing, Chase Bank and Starbucks.
The 9/11 Memorial Now in 3D
May 26 – The National September 11 Memorial & Museum launched a three dimensional Google animation online. It will enable people to see what the memorial and its 30 foot waterfalls will look like when completed. The Memorial also announced the first trees will arrive this summer on the Plaza- a dozen of the 400 trees that will eventually be planted.
Concrete Executive Receives Sentence
May 27 – V. Reddy Kancharla, president of Testwell Laboratories, will be serving 7 to 21 years for falsifying concrete tests on several major projects in NYC, including 1 World Trade Center. Kancharla has also been ordered to pay $225,000 in reparations and Testwell was ordered to pay $1.7 million in reparations, according to The New York Times.
Stalled Construction Site Show Signs of Recovery
May 27 – Hundreds of once-stalled construction sites have restarted work recently, according to The Wall Street Journal. Since February 09, 164 building sites got going again and of those, 94 projected are complete. The majority of those were residential projects in Queens and Brooklyn, but the report says it’s a sign that the construction industry is beginning to recover.
The Beautification of Fulton Street Begins
May 28 – The City’s EDC- Economic Development Corporation- has renovated the first five of nearly 150 storefronts along Fulton Street, according to The Downtown Express. The program includes new signage, security grates, new lighting and in some cases, ground floor façade detailing and window replacement. NYCEDC President Seth Pinksy said, “To allow these businesses to improve their marketing to the street is a great boon to the business and a benefit to the community.”
Local Politicians Push to Reopen Park Row
May 28 – Lawmakers Silver, Nadler, String, Squadron and Chin sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, urging the reopening of Park Row, according to The Downtown Express. The elected officials feel a risk assessment should be conducted to determine if it can be reopened. Park Row was shutdown post 9-11 because of its proximity to Police Plaza.