February 1 – 7, 2012

Squadron creates SLA website 
On Tuesday, Jan. 31, a new State Liquor Authority (S.L.A.) interactive website was announced. The site, created with funding that Senator Daniel Squadron had secured in 2009, is intended to make liquor license applications more efficient and transparent for both community members and businesses.

The new website will give New York residents and businesses the opportunity to view information about S.L.A. issues impacting their neighborhoods, according to Squadron. Violations of currently licensed bars along with pending applications for prospective bars will be viewable online once the site is up and running (it is unclear exactly when that will be).

“This interactive map is a common-sense decision with major payoffs for communities and small businesses,” said Squadron. “This new website will bring much-needed transparency to the S.L.A. process and be a resource for communities, government and businesses.”

In 2009, the existing S.L.A. budget dollars were repurposed for this technology upgrade. The funding was also set aside for other cost-saving upgrades to streamline the processing of applications, decrease the time required to approve a license, and help eliminate the S.L.A.’s backlog of applications.

New W.T.C. tenant on the block? 
It is rumored that midtown-based law firm Chadbourne & Parke is on the verge of signing an 800,000-square-foot lease at One World Trade Center, which would fill two-thirds of the future tower with tenants.

The New York Times first reported the news in an article published last Thursday, Jan. 26. The firm’s spokesperson, Andrew Blum, declined to comment when contacted by the Downtown Express. The tower’s primary leasing agent, Cushman & Wakefield, didn’t return a call for comment by press time.

L.M.C.C.C. to lay off staff? 
The Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center might be losing several members of its staff, according to a startling report that appeared in the Jan. 29 edition of the New York Post.

The article alleges that five members of the agency’s staff were notified that they’d be laid off by late March, and that only two employees – David Frucher, director of capital planning and construction, and Robin Forst, director of community relations – would stay on.

The news comes on the heels of Community Board 1’s resolution highlighting the need for the L.M.C.C.C., which monitors Downtown construction projects, to continue operations through the peak period of building in the area.

Responding to the news, L.M.C.C.C. representative Robin Forst said, “I can’t confirm what was in the Post. What I can say is that there are ongoing discussions about L.M.C.C.C. as part of the annual budget process. We’re looking, as is everyone, to lower our cost structure.”

The agency is confident, Forst added, that it will continue on through late 2013.

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