August 1st - August 4th, 2011
Obama, Bush plan to attend 9/11 event
July 31 - The ceremony at the World Trade Center site marking the 10th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks will be a solemn event and a chance for victims families to view the names of loved ones etched into the memorial, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. Associate Press reported that President Barack Obama and Mayor Bloomberg will be joined by past and present leaders, including President George W. Bush.
Westfield Group Invests $612.5 Million in WTC
July 31 - Westfield Group has agreed to invest $612.5 million in a joint venture to develop the retail part of the World Trade Center, Bloomberg News reported. The Sydney-based company has agreed on a 50 percent share of a joint venture with the Port Authority to develop the retail facilities on the Lower Manhattan site. Westfield and the Port Authority started talks to develop the retail complex in January 2008 after signing the letter of intent. The Port Authority and Westfield will jointly develop some 365,000 square feet of leasable retail space, and the shopping mall group will be in charge of management and leasing, the company said. Another 90,000 square feet is expected to be added in the future.
Robert De Niro to Host CBS 9/11 Update
August 1 - Robert De Niro will host CBS' 9/11: 10 Years Later, an update of the award-winning 2002 film 9/11, according to USA Today. Filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet and James Hanlon were filming in a New York Firehouse when the attack happened. They kept their cameras rolling. The update will air on Sept. 11 at 8 p.m. and promises to contain the only known footage of the first plane striking the World Trade Center and the only footage from inside Ground Zero during the attacks. New interviews with many of the firefighters who were featured in the original program will look at how their lives have changed in the 10 years since the tragedy.
UBS Said to Rule Out Lease at 3 WTC
August 1 - Swiss lender UBS AG has called off negotiations to lease space at the World Trade Center as a result of disappointing second-quarter income, Bloomberg News reported. The Zurich-based bank had been rumored to be a leading candidate to anchor Larry Silverstein's 3 World Trade Center. The bank had apparently been considering a move to Lower Manhattan from its current U.S. headquarters in Stamford, Conn.We are focused on Midtown alternatives at the present time," UBS said in a statement. UBS's withdrawal won't negatively affect the outlook for leasing WTC offices, said Bud Perrone, a Silverstein spokesman.
Lower Manhattan Featured on Over 20,000 International Flights
August 2 - Lower Manhattan is showcased this month in Delta Destinations, an exclusive in-flight video series promoting the top destinations around the world in five-minute video features, according to travel gazette FTNnews.com. The piece, introduced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, features Lower Manhattan as a prime destination for visitors and a top location to live and do business. The feature takes passengers on a virtual tour of Lower Manhattans history, heritage and culture while promoting top area businesses and neighborhood amenities. Starting August 1st, the segment will air on more than 17,000 Delta domestic and international flights arriving at New York metro area airports, reaching more than 2.6 million passengers. The spot also airs this month and next in Virgin Americas RedHOT in-flight video program, reaching an additional one million passengers.
WTC Concrete Workers Return to Work Thursday
August 3 - The concrete workers who walked off the job at the World Trade Center returned on Thursday, August 4th, ending their three-day walkout, reported AM New York. After two days of negotiations, the workers, represented by the Cement and Concrete Workers Union, and the Cement League, which represents managers, decided to extend their contract which expired last month to Aug. 16, allowing the laborers to return to work while negotiations continued, said Louis Coletti, president of the Building Trades Employers Association, which represents contractors including the Cement League. The dispute had centered around protecting workers salaries; the contractors were seeking a 20 percent reduction in pay for the laborers. Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority, said the strike has resulted only in minimal setbacks on construction.
9/11 Memorial Releases More Tickets for Sold-Out First Week
August 3 - Those who didn't snap up a free ticket to the 9/11 Memorial's opening week are in luck the memorial foundation is releasing a new batch of tickets Thursday, according to DNAinfo.com. The free passes for the week of Sept. 12, the first week the memorial is open to the public, disappeared quickly after they first went online in July, with more than 20,000 reservations pouring in in just a few hours. In response to the enormous demand more than 200,000 people have reserved tickets for days after the memorial opens the 9/11 memorial will put more passes online Thursday morning, a memorial spokesman said, declining to say how many new passes will be released. The memorial plans to periodically release additional tickets as the opening of the memorial approaches and may also release more once they have a better sense of how long visitors will remain on the memorial plaza. Capacity at the 9/11 Memorial is limited to 1,500 people at a time because it is surrounded by construction. The memorial will open to victims' family members for a ceremony on Sept. 11 and then will open to the public the following day.
NYPD to Launch System to Detect and Track Radiation
August 3 - The New York Police Department is launching a mobile radiation-detection system equipped with location-tracking GPS technology that it says could help avert a so-called "dirty" bomb attack, according to Reuters.com. While more than 2,000 belt-mounted radiation detectors are already used by city police, this will be the first time in the United States they will be combined with GPS technology to allow central monitoring, said police spokesman Paul Browne. The move comes as police, ahead of the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks, continue a long-term project to permanently increase vigilance in Lower Manhattan and Midtown. A newly created squad of 210 officers was being assigned to the World Trade Center site and surrounding area.
Public Piano Pops Up on Broad Street
August 3 - Inspired by the popularity of the free pianos that popped up all over the city earlier this summer, the Downtown Alliance installed a piano of its own on Broad Street Tuesday, reported DNAinfo.com. The instrument which is actually a refurbished upright fitted with an electric keyboard will remain in place through mid-October, giving downtown residents and visitors a chance to tickle the ivories alfresco, just down the street from the New York Stock Exchange. The Alliance opted to use an electric keyboard so the instrument remains in tune even after substantial exposure to the elements. It is available for the public to play in front of 25 Broad St., near Exchange Place, seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. through Oct. 15.
Second Piece of Historic Ship Discovered at WTC Site
August 4 - Archaeologists helping to excavate the World Trade Center site have uncovered a second piece of the more than 200-year-old ship that was discovered there last summer, reported DNAinfo.com. The find, made last Friday, came as workers began digging up the east side of the construction area, which once housed the World Trade Center complex. Archaeologists first noticed remnants of the shipcurved pieces of wood buried 25 feet below street level last July and spent two weeks excavating the artifact, which turned out to be a 32-foot-long section of the boat's hull. Scientists from AKRF spent two days removing the newest piece, which measures roughly 6 feet long, 3 to 5 feet wide and approximately one foot tall. It was still being stored at a facility in New York as of Thursday morning, but it will soon be reunited with the rest of the ship's remains at the Texas A&M Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation.