May 9th - May 13th, 2011
Crosswalk in Crosshairs at West and Vesey Street
May 9 - Pedestrians are seeking an alternative to the Vesey Street Bridge as a means to crossing West Street, reports DNAinfo. The repairs of the elevators and escalators at the bridge have been more frequent as the bridge ages. The service outages have made crossing the bridge for everyone more difficult, particularly those in wheelchairs and with strollers. However the city Department of Transportation, which has control of the decision, feels the crossing remains unsafe because of the construction at the World Trade Center site.
WTC Transit Hub Oculus Contract Awarded
May 9 - Engineering News Record reports that Skanska USA Civils operation unit will construct the Oculus for the 800,000-square-foot World Trade Center Transportation Hub. The contract includes the fabrication and erection of approximately 11,000 tones of structural steel. The $204-million contract from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is scheduled to begin in July of 2012.
BPCA Reaches Ground Rents Agreement
May 10 - The Battery Park City Authority voted to approve an agreement that will prevent major hikes in the month ground rents that condo owners would have to pay, reported Crains New York. Through the next 30 years the 11 residential building will save more then $279 million. Without the agreement owners would have been responsible for $804 million. The deal now needs to be approved by the individual board presidents of each of the 11 buildings to go in to effect.
FTA Sends Northeast Train Funds Declined by Florida
May 10 - When Florida governor, Rick Scott declined to accept the proposal to build a rapid-train line between Orlando and Tampa, it was New York and New Jersey lawmakers who found reason to celebrate. The federal transportation secretary, Ray LaHood announced in Manhattan that $795 million of the money would go toward improvements along the Northeast Corridor, reported the New York Times.
Rebound for Trio of Boutique Projects
May 10 - Three boutique Tribeca projects rebounded in a strong sign of a downtown renewal, reports the Wall Street Journal. The vacant apartments at 33 Vestry, 471 Washington, and 1 North Moore are all nearly occupied or in contract.
Affordable Housing Guide Nearly Complete
May 11 - Community Board 1 believes a segment of affordable housing should remain in Lower Manhattan. To further this effort they are creating a guide to help preserve the affordable housing that remains and to promote extending the units that are currently set to expire, reports Downtown Express. The 50-page manual will include an inventory of downtowns affordable housing stock definitions of low- and middle-income housing as well of a directory of affordable housing agencies and their contact info. The guide is expected to be released by early June.
Port Authority Scraps Plans for Glass Base of 1 WTC
May 11 - The plan to drape the base of 1 World Trade Center with prismatic glass panels and welded-aluminum screens has been scrapped, reports The New York Times. It was supposed to be an elegant solution to a very large problem: how to disguise the 185-foot-tall fortified concrete base of the tower so it does not look like a gigantic bunker. But the glass has proved difficult to manufacture at that scale, and after spending about $10 million on the glass, the Port Authority is sending the architects back for yet another revision.
Protesters Calls Out Wall Street Billionaires and Fights NYC Budget Cuts
May 12 - Protesters took to the streets of Lower Manhattan Thursday afternoon to denounce deep city budget cuts and demand higher taxes for Wall Street companies, reports CBSNewYork. There were nine separate gatherings all of which sought to blow the whistle on what they said were tax breaks for the wealthy. "People are suffering, the middle-class is suffering while the billionaires are just becoming richer and richer," said one protester who is also a teacher.
New 9/11 Remains Identified
May 13 - The New York City medical examiners office has made the first DNA identification since December 2009 of a victim of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, according to The New York Times. The remains belong to a 32-year-old white man, said Grace Brugess, a spokeswoman for the office. Honoring the familys request, the office would not be releasing the name, she said.