Volume 19 Issue 52 | May 11 -17, 2007
$100 Million Facelift for Downtown Stations January 23, 1996
Fifty downtown subway stations are currently being renovated with new tiling, repairs and mosaic artwork. Seven of the 50 are below Canal Street and their estimated renovation cost is about $98.6 million.
A Downtown More Like Tribeca February 20, 1996
City planners want to attract more people to live Downtown, but transportation improvements like a Second Avenue subway line and an LIRR link to Grand Central are sorely needed to gather residents.
Conversions: First tenants are expected in April March 19, 1996
Downtown office buildings, like 47 West St. and 56 Beaver St., are being converted into residential buildings, and the first wave of Financial District residents begins to move in.
Who Might Buy the World Trade Center July 23, 1996
Speculation surrounds the sale of the seven buildings of the WTC complex, but about $1.5 billion would be necessary to make the Port Authoritys sale of the complex worthwhile.
Embassy Suites joins hotel boom August 27, 1996
A $110 million plan to build a 425-room Embassy Suites hotel is moving forward, and construction is slated to finish in fall 1998.
Magical park opening celebrated October 8, 1996
Governor George Pataki and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani spoke at the opening of Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park in Battery Park City, the former South Garden.
The New People who are living Downtown October 22, 1996
New residents of the Downtown area hope a further influx of people will give them what they need most: a supermarket.
$44 Million BMCC plan January 7, 1997
The Borough of Manhattan Community Colleges Fiterman Hall is undergoing a $44 million renovation to both the interior and exterior of the building.
Ferry Boom: New Routes and New Players February 18, 1997
New ferry routes connecting the Upper East Side, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and Great Kills Harbor, Staten Island, to Wall Street are expected to start soon. Private ferry operators talk about routes to Yonkers, Nyack and Kennedy Airport as a part of their continual growth over the past 11 years.
The Bonnie Bear Case April 15, 1997
Tyrone Walker is convicted and Walter Diaz pleads guilty to killing Bonnie Bear in Tribeca in 1993. The trial was delayed because of a federal trial where the pair were convicted of murder but escaped the death penalty, and because of an attempted murder and robbery trial in Brooklyn in which they were convicted on some counts. Laura Giacobone, who had exchanged wedding bands with Bear, tells Downtown Express that seeing her lover die turned her against capital punishment. Both convicted killers are sentenced to life with a chance at parole after at least 15 years.
300: Trinity Church celebration brings prelates to N.Y. April 29, 1997
Trinity Church celebrates 300 years after King William III granted the charter and land grant to establish the church in 1697. The Archbishop of Canterbury visits to commemorate the event.
Reviving Stone St. enclave begins September 9, 1997
The Landmarks Preservation Committee applied for a federal grant to improve Stone Street Historic District and suggests a new look, including cafes and a small village feel.
Thousands witness dedication ceremony at Holocaust Museum September 23, 1997
Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, Gov. Pataki and Mayor Giuliani dedicated a new Holocaust Museum at Battery Park City and declared that Hitlers Final Solution was a failure.
The Mystery Deepens December 2, 1997
Suspicion falls on the landlord of a missing couple who lived at 76 Pearl St. who disappeared in November. The couple, Camden Sylvia and Michael Sullivan, had argued with Bob Rodriguez about the heat in his Financial District loft building. Rodriguez eventually pleads guilty to assuming a false identity and tax fraud, but prosecutors never find evidence linking him to the disappearance.
Where should the Big Board move? April 28, 1998
The New York Stock Exchange considers a move from Wall Street, where it has been since 1817, to Battery Park City, among other options.
Seaport shows signs of getting it together June 23, 1998
More residents are moving to the South Street Seaport area, including 1,350 New York University residents at the newly-opened 200 Water St. dorm.
Downtowns new schools, welcome 200 students on first day September 22, 1998
P.S. / I.S. 89 opened on Sept. 9 to 120 elementary school students in grades pre-k through third, and 80 middle school students in sixth grade.
Big Board to stay 50 years in $1 Billion handshake deal January 5, 1999
The New York Stock Exchange decides to stay at the corner of Wall Street and Broad Street for another 50 years in a $1 billion expansion and renovation deal.
Downtown gets first five-star hotel February 2, 1999
The Ritz-Carlton is looking to come to Battery Park City, in a $175 million construction project that is expected to be 38 stories and will reach completion in 2001.
Terrorist trials create big problem May 25, 1999
The terrorists involved in the bombing of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania are being held in the federal detention center at Park Row, leading to street closings. Neighbors think their incarceration would be better served in a location far away, like Kansas.
Landmarking Downtown July 6, 1999
The landmarking craze takes hold as 28 buildings in Lower Manhattan are landmarked in four years.
Mayors new Governors I. Plan gets support September 7, 1999
Mayor Giuliani is backing a plan to develop Governors Island, including apartments, stores, a public park and a new Guggenheim Museum sculpture garden.
At long last, a park to be proud of at City Hall September 21, 1999
The grand opening of the new City Hall Park next week will transform what looked like a parking lot into a green, flowering space and may change New Yorkers perceptions of city parks.
Big Board: Move may mean traffic changes October 19, 1999
The Big Boards move across Broad Street may disrupt traffic, as city officials are considering permanently blocking traffic in a two-block radius surrounding the New York Stock Exchanges new home.
New York Leaders Agree on Governors Island Plan January 18, 2000
A $370 million plan has been agreed upon to build a hotel and conference center, 50-acre park, historic village and at least one museum on Governors Island. Construction is expected to start in 2002.
Battery Park City unveils its future February 29, 2000
The BPC community expresses approval of new movie theaters, a stricter dog waste ordinance and permanent baseball fields, but disapprove of 400-foot residential buildings on the boundaries of the fields.
Army Corps issues Hudson Park permit after two years June 6, 2000
After a two-and-a-half year wait, the Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit which allows reconstruction of Hudson River Parks 13 piers.
New Action on East River Projects December 5, 2000
A new Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum and a new Goldman Sachs trading floor facility at 55 Water St. are two of the projects aiming to revamp the east side of Manhattan.
Trees come to Greenwich St. December 19, 2000
Sixty trees were planted by the citys Economic Development Corp. as the last part of the Greening of Greenwich St. project, which also included a widening of the sidewalk.
Opposition begins to form against Big Board January 16, 2001
Residents of 45 Wall St. oppose the move of the New York Stock Exchange, because it means hundreds of them will be forced to leave their apartments to make space for more offices.
“5 months jail for Compoccia” March 13, 2001
Anne Compoccia, a former C.B. 1 chairperson who had been thought to be a contender to become a city Councilmember, is sentenced to five months in jail after pleading guilty to federal bank fraud.
Census: Downtown grew 43 percent March 27, 2001
According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the population of Manhattan below Canal Street grew a total of 43 percent, from 27,714 people in 1990 to 39,536 people in 2000. Tribeca had a 2000 population of 10,395, the smallest increase at 24 percent, while the Financial District, 7,480 people, and Civic Center, 1,726 people, posted the largest increases at 238 and 441 percent, respectively.
Leased for $3.2 Billion May 8, 2001
Silverstein Properties and Westfield America Inc. agreed to a 99-year lease of the World Trade Center from the Port Authority for an estimated $3.2 billion. The city counts the lengthy lease as a sale, and hopes to get taxes that will help it build affordable housing. The lease is finalized in July.
Residents organize to stop Minskoffs Tribeca Project July 3, 2001
Tribeca residents organized to fight Edward K. Minskoffs proposal for a 600-foot tower across from P.S. 234. The tower is not approved by the city until September 2005, and its height is reduced to 382 feet.
A Tale of Two Islands: President Bush visits Ellis and hears about Governors July 17, 2001
Senators Schumer and Clinton talk to President George W. Bush about returning Governors Island to New York, and visit Ellis Island.
We will survive September 25, 2001
In our first scheduled issue after the 9/11 attack, we covered a wide range of issues. A sample of our headlines: Downtown after the Twin Towers, Local firefighters recall their friends and the horror, A desperate search for loved ones at the armory, Five block run to safety for teens and mom, Most of Battery Park City reopens, Woman hopes to retrieve her belongings before giving birth, Lower Manhattan had to rebuild back in 1835, Residents enlist scientists to study air quality, 1,000 people storm out of chaotic meeting, World Financial Center could begin reopening in a month, Parents need answers on the opening of P.S. 234 and P.S./I.S. 89 [editorial]
Bush visits downtown as residents and businesses search for answers October 9, 2001
President George W. Bush visited a school in Chinatown and spoke to leaders at Federal Hall.
Gerson win now official, analysis remains October 9, 2001
Alan Gerson, in a Democratic primary delayed until two weeks after the 9/11 attack, wins with 21 percent of the vote, virtually assuring he will be Downtowns next city Councilmember. The closest finishers in the seven-person race are Brad Hoylman and Rocky Chin, who each get 17 percent. By all accounts, Margaret Chin (no relation) won the most votes in Chinatown.
New Report: Air is safe, dust needs to be removed October 23, 2001
Independent scientists confirmed the E.P.A.s conclusions that the air around ground zero appears safe and that the dust and particles need to be professionally cleaned.
Enrollment down at P.S. 89 and preschools November 6, 2001
With many Battery Park City residents still displaced and with the temporary P.S. 89 location on the Lower East Side, enrollment drops from 400 to 265. Enrollment drops from 120 to 51 at the B.P.C. Day Nursery, which lays off half its staff.
Con Ed to dig 5 miles of streets in 6 months November 13, 2001
In our first weekly issue, Con Ed announces a plan to dig up many Downtown streets to replace all of the temporary power lines installed immediately after 9/11 to replace the 7 W.T.C. substation. The utility fears it will not have enough power for the next summer.
Downtown agency begins to plan the future January 8, 2002
In the Lower Manhattan Development Corporations first public meeting, chairperson John Whitehead says the L.M.D.C. is the first organization in history to get over $2 billion that we never even asked for. He said he favored a large memorial, smaller buildings and a Downtown train station like Grand Central. Asked how the L.M.D.C. will interact with others that control the W.T.C. he said: The Port Authority has an important say. I think well find our views and their views will hopefully coincide
. I think we will be dealing with Larry Silverstein. Downtown Express is the first to report that Louis Tomson is about to be named L.M.D.C. president.
WTC platform crowds overwhelm Downtown January 8, 2002
Thousands of people wait in the cold to stand on the 13-foot-high viewing platform to see the World Trade Center site, disrupting local businesses and traffic.
WTC agency: Permanent memorial will be built last January 29, 2002
The chairperson of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation says a memorial at the World Trade Center site will probably be the last thing built, because of a long period of time needed to consult with families.
Theyre Back! P.S. 150, 234 return to Tribeca February 5, 2002
Five months after Sept. 11, students returned to P.S. 234 and P.S. 150 greeted by Schools Chancellor Harold Levy. They had relocated to temporary buildings in the Village during the schools cleaning.
Two Downtown Memorials dedicated six months after March 12, 2002
Two temporary memorials to the victims were dedicated on March 11 in Lower Manhattan, and the Tribute in Light beamed up from Battery Park City, west of where the Twin Towers originally stood.
Fuhgeddaboout Sundance! May 7, 2002
Downtown Express previews the first Tribeca Film Festival.
Ground Zero Recovery Work Ends June 4, 2002
After eight months, a ceremony honoring the victims marks the end of recovery work at ground zero. Of the more than 2,800 killed at the site, the remains of 1,102 have been identified.
Remains still being recovered at and near ground zero June 11, 2002
Although official recovery work ended June 4, remains are still being found underground and on the roof of nearby 90 West St. Workers also removed three bags containing human remains from 130 Cedar St.
Officials, residents consider West St. tunnel July 2, 2002
City officials and Battery Park Residents weigh their options for burying the six-lane West Street in a tunnel to make it easier for people to get to and from Battery Park City.
Congress Returns for Historic Session September 10, 2002
Vice President Cheney and 300 members of Congress gathered at Federal Hall to show support near the anniversary of the WTC attack. This is the first time since 1789-90 that Congress has met in New York.
No plans to fix or demolish Deutsche Bank October 8, 2002
No decision has been made concerning what to do with the 50-story, heavily damaged Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty St. Officials said the building must be professionally cleaned before demolition, if the owners choose that route, which could take up to two years.
Critics knock E.P.A.s Downtown cleanup November 26, 2002
Residents remain frustrated with the E.P.A.s response to the cleanup. Only 10 percent of registered apartments in the area have been tested for asbestos so far.
Bloombergs Downtown Plan December 17, 2002
Mayor Bloomberg calls for a $10.6 billion investment in Lower Manhattan away from the W.T.C. site including a revamped East River waterfront; parks and residential development along Fulton St. and south of the W.T.C.; and a JFK-LIRR rail link to Lower Manhattan. He identifies a variety of funding sources for the entire plan, although there is skepticism about how much of it will be implemented.
Will it be any of these? December 24, 2002
Seven architectural teams unveil nine possible designs for the World Trade Center site. Our seven pages of coverage is dominated by color images of the designs but coincidentally, the one architect pictured is Daniel Libeskind, whose site plan is selected in 2003.
Interviews with the W.T.C. architects February 11, 2003
Downtown Express talks to Daniel Libeskind and THINK Teams Frederic Schwartz about their plans for the World Trade Center site.
Do Tour Buses belong on the Footprints? February 25, 2003
Relatives of Sept. 11 victims fought with Downtown residents regarding a proposed garage over the footprint of the twin towers. Relatives say it would dishonor the victims.
Liebskind picked to design W.T.C. March 4, 2003
Daniel Liebskinds site plan is selected for the World Trade Center site.
Pataki commits to Downtown timeline April 29, 2003
Governor George Pataki released a timetable of short- and long-term goals, including a new Greenmarket across the street from the WTC site this summer and an L.I.R.R. connection to Downtown in 2013.
Wedge of Light will have shadows every 9/11 May 6, 2003
A report shows Liebskinds planned WTC site design will have shadows every Sept. 11, in contradiction to the architects original plan for a Wedge of Light
Market returns strawberries, pies & jams, oh my June 10, 2003
The World Trade Center Greenmarket returned to Liberty Plaza last week its the first time it has been near the W.T.C. site since Sept. 11, 2001.
City answers few questions at diesel meeting June 24, 2003
City Buildings commissioner Patricia Lancaster meets with Tribeca residents to hear their concerns about the illegal amounts of diesel fuel being stored at 60 Hudson St., which houses many telecom firms. She answers few of their questions but tells residents she will work with the buildings owner to require added fire protections in order to continue to store the diesel.
Field opening scored a hit in B.P.C. July 1, 2003
Little League teams played on Battery Park Citys now-permanent baseball fields, which opened today after a decade of residents fighting to get them.
A waterfall at the W.T.C.? July 15, 2003
An unnoticed part of winner Daniel Liebskinds plan for the WTC site includes a large waterfall, about as tall Niagara Falls.
Occupation near Park Row must end, judge rules August 5, 2003
A state judge ordered police to cease their occupation of a public plaza in Chinatown.
Downtown in the dark August 19, 2003
A widespread power outage affecting multiple states is forcing New Yorkers to walk home across bridges.
E.P.A. admits to mistakes after 9/11 August 26, 2003
The Environmental Protection Agencys false announcement that air around ground zero was safe to breathe a week after the towers collapse was influenced by the White House, a report said.
Two years later, a quieter 9/11 September 9, 2003
Ceremonies marking the two-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks will be more understated than in 2002.
Millennium High School opens Downtown September 9, 2003
Millennium High School welcomed students to its new Downtown location at 75 Broad St. It is the first public high school in lower Manhattan to give preference to local students.
Rest in Peace: Remains from African Burial Ground return Downtown October 7, 2003
The remains of 419 Colonial-era slaves were interred at a burial ground Downtown, ending a 12-year fight over where the remains belonged. The remains were originally discovered in 1991 during the construction of the federal building at 290 Broadway.
M.T.A. moves forward on train station October 14, 2003
Plans for a new Fulton Street transit center will include the Corbin Building at 11 John St. as part of the $750 million proposal.
3 mayors later, construction begins on Seaport project October 28, 2003
Neglected buildings in the 19th-century South Street Seaport Historic District are finally being restored by developer Frank Sciame and his partners.
W.T.C. PATH station opens to tears and joy November 25, 2003
The World Trade Center became a commuter stop once more as the rebuilt PATH opened to weekday traffic. The reconstruction finished one month ahead of schedule and cost $323 million.
Reflecting on the WTC memorial January 16, 2004
Michael Arad, the lead designer of the plan picked for the $350 million memorial at the World Trade Center site spoke about his Reflecting Absence design.
WTC Train Station Unveiled January 23, 2004
Architect Santiago Calatrava unveiled his plan for the World Trade Center transit center at Church and Fulton Streets. He said the wings of a dove in flight were his inspiration.
Progress Report 2004: Getting Ready to Build March 26, 2004
Plans to build the Freedom Tower and the World Trade Center transit station are being put into action, and Downtown residents are optimistic.
Anger and Tears for 9/11 panel May 21, 2004
The federal 9/11 commission came to New York City this week and drew heated reactions as Mayor Giuliani and others testified.
The return of fruit and commerce June 18, 2004
The Greenmarket moved from its Liberty Plaza site across the street to set up outside the PATH station. Residents welcomed back the smaller market, with only four farmers, to the spot.
Construction begins on the Freedom Tower July 9, 2004
Officials marked the July 4th start of construction on the Freedom Tower with a 20-ton cornerstone dedicated to those who died on Sept. 11.
A look back as Battery Park City nears next phase July 30, 2004
Battery Park City is nearly all built, as only six vacant sites remain on the 92-acre neighborhood created by a landfill.
Gerson, city sign Downtown school deal September 10, 2004
Councilmember Gerson and Dep. Mayor Dan Doctoroff sign letter in which the mayors office pledges to build an annex for P.S. 234, a recreation center and make its best effort to find a site for an east side school in Lower Manhattan. The letter says the city has set aside $44 million for the new school. In exchange, Gerson pledges support for two residential developments near P.S. 234, a 375-foot tower to be developed by Edward Minskoff and a 300-foot tower to be developed by Scott Resnick. The preferred site for the new school is 250 Water St. and theres talk of taking the property over through eminent domain.
Call for affordable housing November 19, 2004
Sandy Frucher, former president of the B.P.C.A., returns to Lower Manhattan to say the city has been breaking an 18-year-old promise he and other officials made to use neighborhood money for affordable housing.
B.M.C.C. building plan remains in limbo January 21, 2005
Plans for the repair of the B.M.C.C.s Fiterman Hall at 30 West Broadway are still undecided as the building remains shrouded after damage from the collapse of 7 World Trade Center.
Silver says school deal has been reached February 4, 2005
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver tells Downtown Express he has brokered an agreement with Mayor Bloomberg and developer Bruce Ratner to build a K-8 school on Beekman St. as part of a residential tower to be designed by Frank Gehry. A few days later, Silver, Bloomberg, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and Ratner, appear together to confirm the deal.
Pier A Progress March 4, 2005
A multi-million dollar restoration of Battery Park Citys Pier A may finally begin, 16 years after Wings Point Associates signed a lease to redevelop the pier.
Renewing the B.P.C. promise April 22, 2005
Mayor Michael Bloomberg renewed the citys promise to use excess Battery Park City revenues to create an additional 3,000 low-income apartments.
City close to legalizing diesel storage in Tribeca telecom building May 6, 2005
Citys Buildings Dept. says it is close to issuing a special permit to allow 60 Hudson St. to continue to store illegal amounts of diesel with additional fire safety protections.
Pataki unveils spending plan May 20, 2005
Governor George Pataki reverses his support for the West St. tunnel. He proposes to use the remaining $1.4 billion of federal money to continue to help Lower Manhattan recover.
Mayor unveils east side waterfront plan June 3, 2005
Mayor Bloomerg introduced a plan to add playgrounds and renovate piers on Manhattans East River.
Shops sent packing for Fulton transit hub October 14, 2005
Shops in the Corbin Building, which will become part of the Fulton Street transit hub, are told to leave for construction purposes.
Seaport waxes nostalgic, as market readies to leave November 11, 2005
An agreement may send fishmongers from the South Street Seaport to a new $85 million facility in the South Bronx as soon as this weekend, although a move was originally scheduled for December 2005.
Bloomberg zeroes in on Downtown rebuilding, arts and living December 16, 2005
In an exclusive interview, Mayor Bloomberg says even if the W.T.C. memorial costs rise to $2 billion, he will not try and change the design. In 2006, the mayor leads the effort to change the memorial design and bring the estimated costs under $800 million.
City eyes Battery landmark for gourmet market on the water February 3, 2006
The Battery Maritime Building nears the end of its $60 million renovation, and the city hopes to transform it into a fine foods marketplace.
Mayor cuts funds for new schools February 10, 2006
In an effort to get more education money from Albany, Mayor Bloomberg cuts the P.S. 234 annex and the Beekman school out of the city budget. Three weeks later, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein tells Downtown Express the city has already spent the $44 million set aside for Beekman on unspecified school projects and that the project was never a done deal. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver then says Klein should either apologize for his lies about the school or resign. Downtown parents protest calling the mayor a liar.
Thats 125 million dollars, not lira for this island gondola February 17, 2006
Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava is designing an aerial gondola that would connect Governors Island to Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. It is expected to cost the city $125 million if the go-ahead is given to build it.
Pataki signs deal to allow school construction April 28, 2006
The governor agrees to more education money for the city and the mayor puts money for the P.S. 234 annex and Beekman school back in the budget.
Take a walk on the W.T.C. side Reed & Vega to play # 7 May 19, 2006
Suzanne Vega and Lou Reed will be the headline acts Tuesday for a free concert to mark the opening of 7 World Trade Center the only destroyed tower to be rebuilt since the 2001 terrorist attack.
Goldman to buy Embassy Hotel July 21, 2006
Downtown Express is the first to report that Goldman Sachs is currently in negotiations with Embassy Suites to buy its hotel in Battery Park City.
Shifting dollars, debatable legacy as L.M.D.C. approaches its final days August 4, 2006
L.M.D.C. board members tell Downtown Express that they think $45 million promised to the Downtown community two years ago is no longer there as officials announce the L.M.D.C. will soon be closing. A month later, agency staff members say they have shifted budget money around and have found the money.
Big bucks at Southbridge residents will be rich, study says October 13, 2006
Downtown Express publishes details on a report detailing the value of apartments at Southbridge Towers a month before it is released to residents.
Burned by diesel loss, Tribecans begin citywide fight October 20, 2006
Neighbors lose a Board of Standard and Appeals challenge to the citys permit for diesel storage at 60 Hudson St. and pledge to begin a fight for a new law prohibiting telecom hotels in residential neighborhoods.
Terminal project nears the end November 3, 2006
The permanent ferry terminal project in Battery Park City nears completion.
Cop death and Clinton draw more attention to 9/11 health concerns January 26, 2007
Sen. Hillary Clinton, who recently announced her candidacy for president, and Ceasar Borja Jr., the son of a World Trade Center policeman who died of pulmonary fibrosis, drew attention to the growing concerns about the health of workers on the pile.
Financial district gets federal historic designation March 9, 2007
The National Parks Service announced that 36 blocks of the Financial District will be listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Once a failure, now vital. Spitzer reverses view of L.M.D.C. April 13, 2007
New Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who had harsh words for the L.M.D.C. during his campaign, announces the agency will stay around to manage the rebuilding efforts as the federal government opposes it disbanding.
At last! Deutsche takes a little off the top March 23, 2007
The long awaited dismantling of the damaged Deutsche Bank building begins, 2,015 days after 9/11.
Trust reveals more park cuts May 4, 2007
More details show the Hudson River Park Trust suffers from a lack of funding for the Tribeca segment. The $70 million will not be enough to complete any park features, and the trust needs more than the $70 million before it can continue with new construction projects on the piers.