August 20th - August 26th, 2004
Goldman Sachs Eyes Battery Park City for New Corporate Headquarters
Friday, August 20: Goldman Sachs announced that it plans to construct a $1.8 billion office building in Lower Manhattan's Battery Park City, its first plan for a new downtown corporate headquarters since 1988, Newsday reported.
Taking advantage of the available assistance and incentive offerings available to downtown businesses, the company will finance the two-million-square-foot facility with $1 million in tax-exempt Liberty Bonds. Goldman will also be eligible to apply for up to $25 million in New York State Job Creation and Retention Program grant funds, provided it retains at least 8,100 jobs and creates 800 new downtown jobs in the next five years, Newsday said.
"Today's commitment by Goldman Sachs to invest nearly $2 billion and create thousands of new jobs at Battery Park City marks another major step forward in our efforts to revitalize and bring jobs to Lower Manhattan," Gov. George Pataki told Newsday.
Currently based on Broad Street, the firm is in negotiations with the Battery Park City Authority for a lease for the site that would last through 2069, the paper added.
9/11 Flag Returns Home
Friday, August 20: The American flag that once flew over downtown's Church Street post office, located next to Ground Zero, before the 9/11 attacks was returned to the newly restored facility during a rededication ceremony, the Associated Press reported.
Recovered from the rubble at the WTC site, the flag became a profound symbol in the months following the attacks. It will be mounted as a memorial in the lobby of the Church Street post office, which formally reopened on August 2, AP added.
Port Authority Announces 9/11 Commemoration Plans
Monday, August 23:The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced its plans to hold a September 11th memorial service in honor of the 84 employees it lost during the 9/11 attacks, Newsday reported.
Following the culmination of New York City's September 11th commemorative ceremony at Ground Zero, the Port Authority will lead an interfaith service at St. Peter's Church, located near the WTC at Barclay and Church Streets, the paper said.
Scheduled to begin at noon, the ceremony is intended for Port Authority family members and employees and will be broadcast live on NJN Public Television and NY1, Newsday added.
For complete coverage of New York City's 9/11 commemoration plans at Ground Zero, please click here.
Maloney Proposes Extended Support for Ground Zero Workers
Tuesday, August 24: Manhattan Rep. Carolyn Mahoney announced that she will seek federal benefits for Ground Zero workers who developed respiratory-related illnesses after the 9/11 compensation programs expired, the Daily News reported.
Maloney intends to propose legislation that would allow 9/11 first responders suffering from respiratory disorders to be considered for aid from the Sept. 11 Victims Compensation Fund, which officially closed in December. The legislation would also make residents near Ground Zero eligible to apply for health-related compensations, the paper reported.
Tax-Free Shopping Week Returns
Thursday, August 26: New York Cityand State will lift the sales tax on clothes, shoes and accessories on Tuesday, August 31, in observance of the semiannual tax-free shopping week ending September 6.
Predicted to save New York shoppers an estimated $75 million, the temporary tax reprieve eliminates the 8.65 percent tax on items that cost less than $110, the Daily News reported.
New York's next tax-free shopping week will take place from January 31 through February 6, 2005.
New Investigation Questions Fire Testing on Twin Towers
Thursday, August 26: After more than two years of extensive testing to determine if the spray-on fireproofing used on the floors of the Twin Towers sufficiently safeguarded the building against fire during the 9/11 attacks, investigators from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) concluded its tests, revealing a series of complex findings, the New York Times reported.
According to the NIST, the fireproofing on the WTC towers used during construction in the 1960s met the fire standards of the time. However, further experimentation revealed that the test used to determine the sufficiency of the fireproofing may have been inaccurate, possibly causing the towers to have been more susceptible to fire damage than originally believed, the paper said.
While investigators acknowledge the extensive damage sustained by the towers during the 9/11 attacks, they continue to analyze the data to determine if the fireproofing may have been a significant factor, the Times noted.
The study of the tower's fireproofing is just one component of an overall federal investigation into the collapse of the WTC towers that seeks to determine what factors contributed to buildings' collapse, as well as provide recommendations for new building and safety codes nationwide. Federal officials plan to release their final report in December, the Times added.