December 14th - December 18th, 2009
Port Authority Announces Staff Cutbacks
December 14 – The Port Authority announced it will be eliminating 150 jobs and reducing overtime. Chairman Anthony Coscia said the agency was forced to make difficult choices to live within its means. The New York Times reports the job reductions would be achieved through attrition, a voluntary severance program and positions that are vacant would not be filled.
Wreaths Honor the Victims of 9-11
December 15 – More than 3,000 holiday wreaths are on display at Battery Park to honor the people and military personnel killed since 9-11. According to The Associated Press, the wreaths are part of a nationwide program by Wreaths Across America. The wreaths symbolize the sacrifice made by the victims.
Fewer Unemployed Locally in Construction Industry
December 15- The Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) says unemployment in the construction industry in the third quarter is about 13%, which is lower than the national average, compared with predictions from the construction industry of 30-40%. The numbers were reported by Crain’s Insider. At the same time the New York Building Congress said 515 construction projects citywide are stalled.
Tribute in Lightsâ€™ Receives Continued Funding
December 17 – The twin beams of light that have filled the skies each 9-11 since 2001 will be held for the next few years, now that the LMDC has approved close to $700,000 in funding for the project. The LMDC Board said the funding will cover “Tribute In Lights’ through the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
9-11 Families Seek Debris Removal from Landfill
December 17 – Seventeen families went before the United States Court of Appeals in the hope that a million tons of material from the landfill can be sifted and put into a cemetery. They are challenging a 2008 ruling which said city workers had done everything in their power to find victims’ remains. The families contend there is debris which contains remains of loved ones; the city says there is nothing identifiable there and it would be too costly to shift through all the trash.
4 New York Plaza Sold
December 17 – Harbor Group International is in contract to buy the building for about $108.9 million, according to a report in The New York Post. 4 New York Plaza is selling for a quarter of what it would have fetched at the height of the real estate boom. The 23 story building, at Broad and Water streets, is apparently one of the 23 office buildings JP Morgan is looking to unload.
Menin Leaving Community Board 1
December 17 – Julie Menin has chaired CB1 for the past five years. She announced she will be leaving the Board in June to spend more time with her family and focus on her TV show, “Give and Take” on NBC. Menin will remain on the board of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. According to The Battery Park City Broadsheet Daily, several board members indicated Catherine McVay Hughes would run for the seat.
LMDC Updated CB1 on 130 Liberty Street
December 17 – LMDC spokesman Errol Cockfield told CB 1 bad weather is slowing down the demolition of the building. He said the 26th floor has been removed and workers are focusing now on the 25th and 24th floors. However, the contractor, Bovis Lend Lease lost three days of work because of rainy weather and high winds.
Liberty Bonds Sale to Help WTC site
December 17 – The Wall Street Journal reports $2.6 billion of tax-exempt bonds will be sold next week to help finance the WTC site. The bonds are being issued by the Liberty Development Corporation and underwritten by Goldman Sachs.
Downtown Leasing Rises in November
December 17 – November proved to be one of the busiest months of 2009 for leasing activity. The Downtown Express reports deals totaling more than 300,000 square feet were signed. That’s an 18% drop from the five month yearly average. One of the biggest deals was the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation signing for 200,000 square feet at 55 Water Street.