January 21st - January 27th, 2005
New Grant Program for Cultural Organizations
Thursday, January 20: The Alliance for Downtown New York and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council have joined together to launch the Cultural Capital Grant Program -- a new program designed to encourage arts organizations to relocate or expand in Lower Manhattan below Canal Street. For complete coverage, please click here.
LMDC Extends Design Deadline on WTC Performing Arts Center
Saturday, January 22: The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) announced that it will extend the deadline for development of a design for the performing arts center at the new World Trade Center site into late summer or early fall, as necessary, the New York Times reported.
"We want to make sure we have the time to do the right program, since we're building for the decades," LMDC President Kevin Rampe told the Times about the project's extension.
In October, Gehry Partners was selected as the architectural firm to lead the design of the complex, which will include four theaters on a one-acre site to be used by the Joyce Theater International Dance Center and the Signature Theater Center. Though the firm was expected to complete its design by mid-February, the LMDC extended the deadline, acknowledging the complexity of the design and its impact on other nearby projects, such as the Freedom Tower -- which will share part of the performing arts center's underground space, the paper explained.
According to the general design, the center will include a 900- to 1,000-seat theater for the Joyce Theater Company and three smaller auditoriums for the Signature Theater Center. Also included in the design are lounges, cafes, a coffee bar, a bookstore, a gift shop, galleries, meeting rooms, and rehearsal studios, the Times added.
Chambers Street Subway Station Fire Impacts Service on A and C Lines
Sunday, January 23: A fire that tore through the Chambers Street subway station on Sunday night caused extensive damages to the station's central control center and destroyed a signal relay room. While the damages have caused operation on the C line to be suspended indefinitely and the A line to operate at a decreased capacity, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is working quickly to restore service. For complete coverage, including information on alternative transportation ideas, please click here.
Verizon Eyes Downtown for Company Headquarters
Tuesday, January 25: After putting its two-million-square-foot midtown headquarters up for sale in late 2004, Verizon Communications is considering relocating its office to Lower Manhattan, the New York Times reported.
According to officials involved in the deal, which has yet to be finalized, Verizon is considering moving its headquarters to 140 West Street -- a property already owned by the company. Over the past year, the company has been considering locations outside New York State for its new home. Several conversations with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the availability of federal tax incentives for companies that stay in or move to Lower Manhattan may have influenced the company to reconsider, the paper said.
Despite the company's reported intention to remain in New York, several hundred of its 20,000 New York City-based employees will be transferred outside the state. However, the company has reported that the decision will not cause any job loss for the city, as other jobs would also be transferred here, the Times added.
New Study of Former Deutsche Bank Building Revealed
Wednesday, January 26: TRC, a consultant to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), revealed the findings of its latest study of the former Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty Street, confirming the presence of high levels of contaminants in parts of the building, the New York Times reported.
The results, which were presented at a public information session about the 40-story structure, concluded that higher concentrations of contaminants -- such as lead and asbestos -- were discovered in the more remote areas of the building, including air ducts and shafts. According to the investigation, the average concentration of these contaminants exceeds benchmarks previously set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for residential occupancy, the Times said.
Preliminary plans for the deconstruction of 130 Liberty Street were presented by the LMDC last month and will require government approval and permits before work can begin on the building. LMDC officials responded to the results of the study, saying that the final version of its deconstruction plan would reflect the results of the study and the concerns and comments of the public, as well as area officials, and that the project would be carried out safely to ensure that the community is protected from any potential contaminants, the paper added.
To learn more about the planned deconstruction of the former Deutsche Bank building, please visit the LMDC website or click here.
Guy V. Molinari Makes Inaugural Splash on City Waters
Wednesday, January 26: Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined former Staten Island Borough President Guy V. Molinari and Department of Transportation Commissioner Irish Weinshall aboard the Staten Island Ferry fleet's newest member, the Guy V. Molinari, for its inaugural voyage.
"Today is a great day for transportation in New York Harbor," Mayor Bloomberg declared in a statement. "The state-of-the-art Molinari is now in service and will join her sister ships in transporting the people of Staten Island to work, school, and around town everyday."
The $40 million Guy V. Molinari ferry, which is named for the former Staten Island borough president, will carry up to 4,500 passengers between Staten Island's St. George Terminal and Lower Manhattan's Whitehall Terminal. Built in Wisconsin, the ship is equipped with the latest in marine technology, including radar, collision avoidance, communications, and GPS navigation systems.
The Staten Island Ferry transports an average 65,000 passengers a day -- free of charge -- and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. An additional two boats are currently being constructed and are expected to be in operation by fall of 2005. To learn more about the Guy V. Molinari, please click here.