October 19th - October 23rd, 2009
Goldman Sachs Called on to Decline Tax Incentives
October 19 – The Daily News calls on Goldman Sachs to turn down incentives from the State and City. Goldman Sachs is due $321 million in tax breaks in an agreement worked out several years ago linked to December 31, 2009 deadlines at the WTC site. The Daily News Editorial Board is calling on Goldman to pass on the incentive in the name of being a good citizen in these tough economic times.
Daily News Calls Out DOB Inspectors
October 19 – Three Department of Building inspectors were hired even though they had rap sheets. The three were among 29 people arrested recently in a corruption scandal with links to the Luchese crime family. The Daily News says they were hired and promoted despite having been arrested previously. Their rap sheets include charges of possession of gambling instruments and drug dealing and trespassing.
New Tenant Headed to Old BPC Deli Space
October 19 – There could soon be a new tenant in the former JJ’s Deli on South End Avenue. Work is being done to renovate the store, which was vacated by JJ’s at the end of the July after a 20 year run. The Battery Park City Broadsheet Daily reports work permits were issued last week and a new tenant is expected to sign a lease within the next two months. The story said there are several tenants interested in the space.
Unique Fundraising for USS New York
October 21 –Built with more than seven tons of steel from the World Trade Center, the new USS New York will also have sterling silver on board. The New York Times says Tiffany has set up a registry, much like a bridal one, asking New Yorkers to contribute. Fifteen of the silver pieces are from the first USS New York, which was commissioned in 1911 and will now be passed to the new vessel. Listed on the registry is an opulent silver Chippendale tray at $2,868 and a $4,250 Queen Anne tea pot.
130 Liberty Demolition Imminent
October 21 – LMDC announces the start of demolition of 130 Liberty Street. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) said the demolition of the 26 story former Deutsche bank building is expected to begin November 2. The agency said once a few floors are down, it will be able to determine how long the demolition will take.
Former 130 Liberty Contractor Sentenced
October 21 – Robert Chiarappa will be spending the next 2.5 years in jail for billing the government for $1.2 million in supplies that were never delivered. Chiarappa was the purchasing agent for the John Galt Corporation, which was fired from the 130 Liberty deconstruction project after the deaths of two firefighters in the building in 2007. Chiarappa also agree to pay $511,000 in restitution; three other defendants have also pleaded guilty in the case.
Reports Says MTA Capital Projects are Behind Schedule
October 21 – Several large MTA construction projects are over budget and behind schedule. A report by the independent Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) says the agency does not collect sufficient information to determine where projects are proceeding as anticipated. Of the five “mega projects” it looked at, the CBC found only the South Ferry Terminal was on schedule. The report says the Fulton Street Transit Center, set to be completed in 2014, is five years behind schedule and the Second Avenue Subway, East Side Access and extension of the No. 7 line are at least a year behind schedule. The report recommends the MTA build an improved tracking system for capital projects; the MTA said it will unveil an online tool by the end of the year that will provide the public with updated information.
Study Points to Sharp Drop in NYC Construction Activity
October 22 – After five consecutive years of robust residential construction, next year is expected to see a sharp downturn. The New York Building Congress found 30,000 apartments and houses were built annually, but fewer than 6,300 units will come online next year. The numbers mean construction spending will drop 20% in 2010. The report’s only positive news is that far fewer construction jobs were lost this year than the organization anticipated. It adds the downturn in construction may have bottomed out.
Another Call to Increase Healthcare for 9/11 Responders
October 22 – The 9/11 Environmental Action and Beyond Ground Zero Network says, in its latest study, that only five percent of the responders have fully recovered and many still suffer with headaches, memory loss and cardiac problems. The Network is calling on Congress and the President to pass the Comprehensive 9/11 Health legislation which will provide more treatment for first responders.
More Money for New Port Authority WTC Plans
October 23 – The Port Authority announced it will be spending another $20 million to plan and design new blueprints that will scrap two of the towers. The Daily News reports that “Plan B,” as it’s called, was ordered by Governor Paterson to ensure the public projects on the site will go forward if Larry Silverstein withdraws or is removed from the site. If the two towers are nixed, the infrastructure for the PATH hub would have to be built elsewhere on the site.
City Council Hears Update on WTC Performing Arts Center
October 23 – On Wednesday, October 21st, City Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate Levin testified that the City prefers the WTC Performing Arts Center (PAC) be located on site 1B. In her words, “It would be complicated financially if it’s moved to [site] 5.” She also emphasized that the LMDC and City have approximately four months to make a decision. City Councilmember Alan Gerson, who chairs the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Committee, urged the City, LMDC and stakeholders in the community to hold meetings to determine how the PAC would be sustainable, and to focus on its programming. Levin predicted it will take two to three years to design the building and another two to three years to build it.