January 30th - February 5th, 2004
Officials Unveil Four Proposals for Downtown-Airport Rail Link
Wednesday, Feb. 4: Officials released four options for rail link access from Lower Manhattan to Kennedy Airport and Long Island. A final decision on the plan for the new train service is scheduled to be made in April. For complete coverage, click here.
President Bush Proposes Increase in Counterterrorism Funding
Monday, Feb. 2: President Bush's 2005 budget proposal will seek an increase in counterterrorism funding for high-threat cities, such as New York, to $1.45 billion.
Over the past two years, government spending on counterterrorism efforts has provided New York City with $250 million, according to the New York Post. However, funding for the city has decreased over the last year as more cities have become eligible for counterterrorism grants.
"I am pleased that President Bush's budget has nearly doubled the amount of Homeland Security funding for high-threat localities to $1.45 billion. Washington is listening to us, abandoning its population-based funding schemes, and moving more money towards New York City where it is needed," stated Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The president's proposal also calls for budget increases for Coast Guard and aviation security as well as educational programs in New York City.
DeNiro Develops $14 Million Residential Project in Tribeca
Sunday, Feb. 1: Actor Robert DeNiro joined AFC Realty Capital of Manhattan in a $14 million residential construction venture that will provide Tribeca with five new loft condominiums, the New York Times reported.
The new Hudson Street facility will connect an 1887 apartment building already owned by DeNiro with a new building that has been under construction since January. According to AFC President Arthur Fefferman, the apartments will offer 2,000 square feet each and be priced at $2 million. The penthouse will feature 3,000 square feet and have a price tag of $3.5 million, said the Times.
DeNiro, who has been increasingly active in the downtown community, began his involvement with Tribeca real estate in 1988, when he converted an empty warehouse into the Tribeca Film Center. He later opened restaurants Tribeca Grill (1990) and Nobu (1994).
The project is expected to be completed by November and apartment sales are scheduled to begin in March, reported the Times.
Presidential Budget Proposal Seeks Extension on Liberty Bonds
11Friday, January 30: As part of his 2005 budget proposal, President Bush will ask Congress to extend the Liberty Bond Program until 2009 -- an additional four years after its scheduled expiration date in January 2005.
The Liberty Bond program offers tax-free financing for commercial and residential projects throughout New York City, the majority of which will be allocated to projects in Lower Manhattan. According to Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, only $2 billion of the earmarked $8 billion in available bonds have been approved or awarded to date.
"The Liberty Bond program is a major tool for rebuilding Lower Manhattan and for helping the entire city recover from the devastating impact that September 11th had on our economy," stated Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who requested the extension on the program along with Gov. George Pataki in an effort to expand the opportunity to more businesses as the city's economy continues to improve.