August 18th - August 24th, 2012
Bike Share Delayed Until Spring, Mayor Says
August 17 - Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Friday that the much-heralded NYC bike-share program would not begin until next year, ending weeks of speculation about the fate of the program and dashing cyclists hopes of seeing the newest NYC public travel alternative this year. The New York Times and other news sources reported that Bloomberg, speaking on his morning radio program, attributed the decision to software problems, which he has cited repeatedly in recent weeks amid calls for a further explanation for the delay. Shortly after the comments, the city released a more detailed timeline. In March 2013, the Transportation Department said, the program will begin with 7,000 bikes at 420 stations. Under the original plan, the program, operated by Alta Bicycle Share, was to begin with a partial rollout this summer, then expand to a total of 10,000 bikes and 600 stations by summer 2013. New York City would continue to expand the system to 10,000 bikes after the March rollout, officials said.
Families of 9/11 Victims Appeal NY Court Decision on Remains
August 20 - Some family members of September 11th victims are going back to court in their dispute over where to put thousands of unidentified remains, according to NY1 and other sources. The group 9/11 Parents And Families Of Firefighters And World Trade Center Victims opposes the current plan to put the remains underground in the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in Lower Manhattan. They would prefer to see the remains encased above ground, like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. The family members want to poll other victims relatives about the idea. They are trying to appeal a judge's decision that blocked them from getting the names and addresses of the other families. After the attacks, officials removed debris from the site to the former Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island and sifted through it for human remains. That debris is being preserved and will eventually return to the World Trade Center site. It will go between the Twin Towers footprints, underground behind a wall where the families of victims will have a private space and the medical examiner will have an office to preserve the debris and keep looking for DNA matches. Those behind the plan to house remains above ground say they have been consulting the victims families all along and that they are in favor of it. The city law department says releasing the list would violate families privacy but will thoroughly review the appeal.
New Pace Dorm Headed to 33 Beekman
August 22 - Harel Insurance Investments and SL Green Realty will build a second new student dormitory building for Pace University in Lower Manhattan, reported the Real Deal. The new 29-story building, at 33 Beekman Street, is within walking distance from the campus and close to the first dormitory building that the two companies built for the university. The building is the companies fourth joint project. Harel owns 49 percent of the joint venture, and will invest $22 million in the project. Construction will begin in April 2013 and is due to be completed by August 2015. Founded in 1906, Pace University, a private institution, has 13,000 students.
South Street Seaport Redevelopment Planned at Pier 17
August 23 - A brand new entertainment and shopping complex could soon be the modern face of the historic South Street Seaport, reported the Associated Press. City officials have come to an agreement with property owner Howard Hughes Corporation on a lease to revamp Pier 17 with a glass-enclosed mall featuring shops and restaurants. It now must undergo a land use review. The proposed new space, jutting out of the pier, would also feature an open rooftop with city skyline views for concerts and events. Public spaces at the site would be designed by the same architects who worked on the High Line. Travel and Leisure magazine recently named the Seaport as the 26th-most visited tourist attraction in the world, tied with the Great Wall of China. Construction on the new space, planned to open in 2015, is set to begin next year.
Pedestrian Killed in Financial District Accident
August 24 - An elderly man was killed when a pickup truck jumped the curb and pinned him against a wall near the New York Stock Exchange in lower Manhattan, reported the NY Post and other sources. The driver of the security-company truck had apparently lost control of the vehicle and pinned Sorel Detas-Medina, 70, against a building, sources said. Two other pedestrians suffered minor injuries in a desperate rush to get out of the way of the 2008 Honda pickup belonging to T&M Protection Resources as it allegedly zoomed along Broad Street at about 1:30 p.m. Witnesses said the truck swerved wildly as it careened toward 41 Broad, the site of a private elementary school just steps from the New York Stock Exchange. The 50-year-old driver was a retired police lieutenant, said a source. Cops said the Honda suddenly accelerated is it maneuvered out of the way of another vehicle. Midtown-based T&M, which handles security for several downtown buildings and financial firms, uses the trucks to block Financial District streets to vehicle traffic, cops said. T&M said it is cooperating with the police investigation. Detas-Medina worked as a clerk in the state Attorney Generals Office, according to his daughter, Vanessa Detas-Medina.
Woolworth Building Gets Historical Wrapper
August 24 - The ground floor windows of the Woolworth Building as well as the scaffolding rising above them were cloaked earlier this week with black-and-white photos of famous athletes, officials and others who have been honored by the ticker-tape parades in the Financial District over the decades, according to Crain's New York Business. The installation is part of a new initiative to reactivate vacant retail spaces in commercial buildings in Lower Manhattan. It is also the latest piece of a program to commemorate the NYC ticker-tape parades launched in 2003 by Downtown Alliance, which is designed to promote economic development in the area. The images on the scaffolding around the Woolworth Building will be in place for up to a year, said Roy Suskin, vice president of development at The Witkoff Group, the owner of the lower half of the 57-story, neo-Gothic tower.