Volume 17 • Issue 5 | June 25 - July 1, 2004



Downtown local

Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert

Riding the wave at the Seaport
Wadeka Harrison, 4, went for a ride Saturday at the 11th annual Children’s Day Festival at the Seaport. Huge crowds came out for a day of circus activities and other performances.

Slow go on Tribeca tower talks
Negotiations to lower the height of the residential tower proposed for Chambers St. and to increase its community space have not yet produced a compromise, according to members of Community Board 1.

At a June 15 meeting, C.B. 1 chairperson Madelyn Wils told the audience that discussions among the city, the community and the developer were “plodding along.” Community members have objected to the 35-story height of the proposed building, slated for construction on the city-owned 5C lot bounded by Chambers, Warren and West Sts.

“I’m more interested in getting the right outcome for the community than in getting it done quickly,” Councilmember Alan Gerson, who has been involved in the negotiations, said in a telephone interview. He did not comment on how well the talks were going.

In an April resolution, Community Board 1 reiterated its demand that the building be reduced to 25 floors and that the public recreation space be increased from 18,000 square feet to 40,000 square feet. Board members have said that the current proposal for community space stands at 28,000 square feet.

The project is currently undergoing the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. The next step in the process is for the Department of City Planning commissioners to vote on the project.


Will Smith’s B.P.C. shoot
Will Smith was spotted on Wednesday filming part of his next movie “Last First Kiss” in Battery Park City.

Smith came out of his new luxury trailer, which has been the subject of recent press accounts and came close to dwarfing the Irish Hunger Memorial on North End Ave.

A Battery Parks City Parks Conservancy official said that the filming permit is being reviewed on a daily basis.

The romantic comedy is expected to be released in 2005. Smith will be playing the lead role as a date doctor.


School on The Street
At first, the colorful banner looks a little out of place hanging outside of 41 Broad St. What are the pictures of kids doing outside the former Bank of America building?

Come fall 2005, there will be actual children going to class across from the New York Stock Exchange when the private Claremont Preparatory School opens with 300 children in grades kindergarten through seven. Eighth grade will be added the following year, and by 2007 enrollment is projected to grow to 1,000.

On June 21, officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony near Wall St., in front of the school. Construction has already begun on the building, which will feature a kitchen housed in the old bank vault in the subbasement.

Some community members have expressed concerns about the safety of children attending school new so close to the potential terrorist target of the stock exchange. But others said parents have nothing to worry about.

“It’s the most secure place on the face of the planet,” said Carl Weisbrod, president of the Downtown Alliance, which runs a business improvement district.

Tuition at Claremont will cost about $25,000, although some scholarships will be available. Since school officials installed the banner last week, they have been receiving about 50 calls a day, said Michael Koffler, chief executive of MetSchools and executive director of Claremont Preparatory.

“It’s going to be a little strange seeing little kids with the businessmen,” said George Mauro, who works in insurance at 40 Broad St. “Maybe that’s what this area needs.”



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