A productive six years at B.P.C.
When Tim Carey took over the Battery Park City Authority six years ago, most of the neighborhoods north section was undeveloped, the south had several undesignated sites, and the neighborhoods ballfields were still a temporary amenity subject to the whims of the real estate market.
Carey, who has just left as president and C.E.O. of the authority to join the New York State Power Authority, played a key role in improving each of those situations but his biggest accomplishment was getting the neighborhood across from the World Trade Center reopened so quickly. While the world and the city quite properly were focused on trying to see if there was anyone to rescue after the 9/11 attack, Carey knew that many of the 9,000 shaken residents in the neighborhood also needed to return home at least one more time. Block by block the landfill area reopened and Careys advocacy unquestionably made it happen quicker.
Magnificent parks like Rockefeller and Wagner were cleaned and reopened, attracting new residents to the apartments left by people too scarred to move back. Today more people live in B.P.C. than before 9/11, thanks to Careys work and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporations residential grant program.
Carey implemented new environmental building standards that we hope become a model for all new housing built in the city.
Authorities were created to give government some shield from public comment and input, and the B.P.C.A. followed that long and dishonored tradition in its early years. Carey did a tremendous job of improving communication with the community and we hope that new tradition continues with his successor, James Cavanaugh.
We are disappointed that so few of the new apartments will be affordable to middle and low income people and that Carey and his recent predecessors did not make sure the city used B.P.C. surplus revenues for affordable housing as was promised. Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Comptroller Bill Thompson reversed that injustice recently, but perhaps the decision would have come sooner with pressure from the authority.
Except for the World Financial Center, the neighborhoods building architecture has been uninspired, a record which Carey did not change.
That however, does not detract from the fact that construction continues across from the W.T.C., a thriving neighborhood continues to improve and Tim Carey is one of the reasons behind it.
Less noise at Site 5B
The City Council vote Wednesday to approve the Tribeca development project at a lot once known as Site 5B ends decades of delay, false starts and city intransigence against neighborhood concerns. Councilmember Alan Gerson held up the vote until developer Edward Minskoff agreed to a construction schedule and to methods that will be less disruptive to P.S. 234 across the street. The school and parents pushed for a strong package of measures to mitigate noisy pile driving, and got most of what they asked for. Gerson, principal Sandy Bridges, parent and Community Board 1 leaders deserve praise for achieving this result. We are relieved that our kids will get a little more peace and if not quiet, then less noise while they learn.