October 29th - November 4th, 2004
New Study Reports Thriving Downtown Real Estate Market
Sunday, October 31: According to a new report compiled by real estate company Citi Habitats, apartment rental fees throughout Manhattan are on the rise, signaling the greatest economic recovery for the city's real estate market since September 11, 2001, the New York Post reported.
The fourth edition of the biannual Black and White Report found that average rental increases for apartments of all sizes rose for the first time since 2001 -- with Lower Manhattan rents reporting the highest surge, the paper added.
The report, based on a sample of nearly 11,000 rentals in Manhattan between November 2003 and April 2004, also concluded that the Soho/Tribeca area witnessed the largest rental fee increases and is currently Manhattan's most expensive place to live, the Post reported.
Drinker Biddle Relocates New York Offices, Electing to Remain Downtown
Monday, November 1: The national law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP relocated its New York City offices to 140 Broadway, moving from nearby 30 Broad Street, where the firm had been located since losing its former office space during the 9/11 attacks.
"This move serves as a visible sign of the firm's commitment to New York," said Matthew Farley, partner in charge of the Drinker Biddle New York office.
The firm began operating from its new 13,500-square-foot downtown facility on Monday, November 1.
Downtown Offers Discounts on Dining and More
Monday, November 1: Lower Manhattan launched two campaigns that offer deals and discounts on restaurants, shops, museums, and more beginning on November 1.
Explore Chinatown, a tourism promotion campaign designed to help the downtown neighborhood recover from the events of 9/11, launched a special two-month promotion that includes discounts at area restaurants, shops, and tea houses; 2-for-1 admission to local museums, and reduced tickets for walking tours throughout the neighborhood to anyone who displays a MetroCard. For more information, please click here.
The Alliance for Downtown New York also launched "Downtown for Dinner 2004" -- a week-long event featuring $20.04 prix-fixe dinners at more than 50 of Lower Manhattan's best restaurants below Chambers Street. The event lasts through Sunday, November 7. For more information about Downtown for Dinner, including participating restaurants, please visit the Downtown Alliance website.
Investigation Cites Abuse of 9/11 Assistance Program
Tuesday, November 2: According to a recent federal audit, approximately 62 percent of the people who were reimbursed for air quality products as part of a post-9/11 program run by the Federal Emergency Management Office (FEMA) and New York State were not eligible, the New York Times reported.
As part of a 9/11 assistance program launched in spring 2002, federal and state officials reimbursed New Yorkers who replaced air-conditioners that were contaminated by dust and debris resulting from the collapse of the World Trade Center. The program also reimbursed those who purchased air purifiers to capture the residual particles in their homes, the Times explained.
Following a request by city representatives spurred by an AP story release in February 2003, the Homeland Security Department's Office of Inspector General conducted an investigation of the program, the paper said.
The office concluded that improper administration and failure to verify that each applicant was actually affected by the dust and debris allowed for widespread abuse of the program. As a result, 62 percent of those reimbursed were not eligible for the aid. Funds distributed to ineligible applicants cause the program budget to swell from $15 million to more than $45 million, the Times added.
FEMA plans to revise its disaster response efforts to better track abuse of or waste within assistance programs, AP said.