Downtown Digest, January 25, 2012

Pace University Names New Chief Financial Officer 
Pace University has appointed its treasurer and finance executive, Toby R. Winer, as the institution’s new executive vice president and chief financial officer. Winer will be the first woman in Pace’s history to hold these positions, according to the University’s president, Stephen Friedman.

Prior to joining Pace in 2006, Winer spent 20 years in senior administrative roles at various institutions including Baruch College, City University of New York, University of California, and Vanderbilt College.

Winer is a certified public accountant. She holds a master’s degree in business administration from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University. Winer succeeds Robert C. Almon who served as Pace’s executive V.P. and C.F.O. for an 18-month bridge period following the 2010 departure of the University’s prior C.F.O.

 O.W.S. drops lawsuit  
The major legal battle Occupy Wall Street took on against the city and Brookfield Properties seems to be over, at least for now.

On Friday, Jan. 20, the protestor’s group abandoned their lawsuit disputing the occupancy rules governing Zuccotti Park that were enforced by Brookfield Properties the day of the Nov. 15 raid. The decision was made following the lifting of security barricades two weeks prior, according to O.W.S. lawyer Alan Levine.

The police fencing surrounding the park was removed on Jan. 10 after attorneys representing the protestors wrote a letter to the city Department of Buildings contending the security measure was breaching zoning laws that mandate unfettered access to the park. The protesters also deemed Brookfield’s ban on tents in the park a violation of their first amendment rights.

“Once the barricades came down and the searches stopped and the protestors had unimpeded access to the park, there seemed to be no reason to continue that litigation,” Levine told the New York Times. “If that changes, we will be back in court.”

An attorney representing city’s law department approved of the protesters’ withdrawal of the suit, alleging that it “has no merit.” Brookfield Properties wasn’t immediately available for comment.

L.M.C.C.C. announces new Downtown hotels 
A new, 30-story hotel is coming to 30 Fletcher St. in the South Street Seaport.

Construction of the foundations of the Fairfield Marriott Hotel have already begun, and the building’s superstructure will be completed toward the end of the year, according to the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center, who announced the news at Community Board 1’s Jan. 19 Quality of Life committee meeting. The hotel is scheduled for completion in late 2013.

Meanwhile, a six-story office building at 24 John St. is being converted into a new, 21-story hotel to be dubbed the “L.” “The building will have new steel added to raise its total height,” according to a description of the project on L.M.C.C.C.’s website. The building’s foundation was completed in 2010, and construction has commenced this month. The project is expected to be finished in first quarter 2013.

Former O.E.M. chief dies 
Richard Sheirer, former director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management, died last Thursday, Jan. 19 at the age of 65 from lung complications.

Sheirer took the helm at O.E.M. in 2000 and was applauded for his leadership of the city’s rescue and recovery mission on 9/11 and in the weeks thereafter. Sheirer was known for having formed a temporary command center at the Police Academy at 20th St. and 3rd Ave. that day.

Sheirer was born in a working class family in 1946 in Brooklyn, N.Y. and graduated from St. Francis College. Prior to his post at O.E.M., he worked for the FDNY for approximately three decades.

 Stop ‘N’ Swap Meet up on January 28th 
If you are looking to get rid of some unwanted items or hoping to find some long lost New York treasures, GrowNYC has a solution for you. On Saturday, Jan. 28, GrowNYC will be hosting Stop ‘N’ Swap, a seasonal community swap meet. The public is encouraged to bring clean, portable, reusable items to share, including but not limited to books, toys, fashionable clothing, houseware and electronics. No one is required to bring an item; participants are allowed to show up with just a bag to bring home something valuable.

GrowNYC has been hosting swap meets since 2007. “In this economy, they’re a great way for residents to find things they need without having to pay, and they are reducing the amount of garbage that the city generates,” said GrowNYC Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen. “Don’t forget, one person’s trash is another’s treasure.”

Stop ‘N’ Swap will be held on Saturday, Jan. 28 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at P.S. 126, located at 80 Catherine St. at Cherry St. For more information visit

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