Volume 20, Number 50 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | December 8 - 14, 2010
New luxury hotel opening downtown
A new Four Seasons hotel is scheduled to open Downtown in the coming years.
Real estate developer Larry Silverstein announced recently he is confident that plans for a hotel and condominium complex will be funded, and that he expects to break ground at 99 Church Street in 2012. The 80-story complex will contain 175 hotel rooms on the first 22 floors and 143 luxury condos above, some of which may stretch to 6,500 square feet. Renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern designed the plans.
The Four Seasons would be Downtown’s first five-star hotel, according to Silverstein’s web site. Elizabeth Berger, president of the Downtown Alliance, said in a statement, “Larry’s on-going development of the World Trade Center site and his exciting new Four Seasons project are reasons why Lower Manhattan’s dynamic live [and] work community is a global model for urban centers of the 21st century.”
Park51 opponents have it out online
Facebook has become the new digital forum for Park51 opponents to voice their concerns about the project. Last week, Crain’s New York reported on a page called “Boycott companies who support Ground Zero Mosque.”
“WE WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS! Ground Zero is sacred ground and always will be,” reads the Facebook page description, which also lists potential boycott targets for those opposed to the construction of the community center. Crain’s New York Business interviewed construction foreman Andy Sullivan, the founder of the page, who is asking other construction workers to pledge not to help build the mosque at the proposed site.
As of press time, the page had 329 members, while Park51’s Facebook page had 5,709 members. The page reads, “As Americans, New Yorkers and people of faith, we - the men and women behind the controversial project some have deemed the “Ground Zero mosque” - deeply appreciate and endorse the mayor’s principled defense of American rights and freedoms. We know, however, that many New Yorkers and other Americans still have real questions and concerns about our project, and we hope to address them.”
Downtown Organizations honored
Two Downtown organizations have won the prestigious Union Square Award along with much-needed funds to continue their work. Chinatown’s Hester Street Collaborative, a non-profit organization that improves neglected public spaces in under-served N.Y.C. neighborhoods, received $35,000 for its efforts. And the New York Community Media Alliance, an ethnic media advocacy group, will receive $50,000.
The Union Square awards were created in 1998 to recognize and encourage New York City community initiatives. According to the organization’s web site, “The Union Square Award is a signifier of exceptional work and demonstrated commitment.” Eleven other citywide groups were recognized in 2010, in addition to the two Downtown groups, totaling $545,000 in awards.
Award recipients will be recognized at a ceremony at Riverside Church.