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Rebuilding NYC December 2001

by Gotham Gazette Staff, Feb 14, 2004
 

The New York State Action Plan
Crain's New York Business - December 27, 2001
The plan for spending the federal aid money (the 11-page plan available online in pdf format) calls for raising the cap in aid to retailers and other small businesses from $10,000 to $100,000; those businesses that suffered actual property damage would get up to $200,000.

Schumer & Hil: Aid Coming
New York Daily News - December 24, 2001
Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton assured small business owners, displaced workers and people who live near Ground Zero yesterday that billions of dollars of help is on the way.The senators told how the $10.9 billion in federal aid promised to New York would be spent. Although nearly $6.4 billion will cover cleanup costs, $4.6 billion will go directly to small businesses, nonprofits and other groups struggling to stay afloat since the disaster, the senators said. Of the $4.6 billion, $2.7 billion has been earmarked as grants for downtown residents and businesses. An additional $140 million will go to lower Manhattan hospitals. The rest will go toward transportation projects, job training for displaced workers and other programs. Schumer and Clinton pledged to continue pressing Washington for more help.

Goldman's Ex-Chief, John C. Whitehead, Is Downtown's Czar
New York Observer - December 24, 2001
At 79, John Whitehead is facing what his says is his last challenge. As chairman of the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp., it will be his job to determine how billions of dollars will be spent and to mediate among the many groups that want a say in the rebuilding of lower Manhattan.

The Forgotten
New York Times - December 22, 2001
The planners, survivors and philosophers who contemplate the monument that will certainly be built to mark the trade center disaster would do well to realize that not a single memorial has successfully held the attention and affection of New Yorkers for more than a generation or two. In 1904 the General Slocum, a wooden excursion boat carrying picnickers from Manhattan, caught fire in the East River. More than 1,000 passengers, all New Yorkers, died horribly, drowning or burning to death. The vast majority of the casualties were women and children. Yet, who remembers the disaster today? The two memorials that were erected, one in Tompkins Square Park and another in Queens near the victims' graves, are largely ignored. More people mourn the passing of the Brooklyn Dodgers than the victims of the Slocum fire.

Downtown Is Slower to Embrace Optimism
New York Times - December 22, 2001
Three months after it was blanketed with smoke and choking ash, Lower Manhattan has largely returned to its former harried self. Gone are the National Guardsmen who stood sentinel at the avenues below Canal Street, checking ID's. Most businesses in the area formerly known as the frozen zone have reopened. Some of SoHo's most stylish restaurants, once eerily empty, are happily turning away diners on Saturday nights. "The pessimism has lifted and there's a joyousness in the air," said Ashley Massie, 32, a Stuyvesant High School teacher and Battery Park City resident who almost moved away. "For the first time in months, we feel like we can live again." But for every optimist, there are a dozen pessimists still fitful and sad, uncertain whether their beloved neighborhoods will fully recover

Mayor: No Biz at WTC?
New York Daily News - December 21, 2001
In his last radio show while in office, Mayor Giuliani suggested yesterday using the entire 16-acre site at Ground Zero for an interactive memorial that could draw millions of visitors a year.For weeks, Giuliani has spoken about the importance of erecting a major memorial at Ground Zero, where nearly 3,000 people lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, including 402 firefighters and cops for the city and Port Authority. But yesterday the mayor suggested - apparently for the first time - that the whole site could be set aside as a memorial, as opposed to a memorial combined with commercial development.

Statue Will Salute Bravest Flag Raisers
New York Daily News - December 21, 2001
A statue inspired by three firefighters who raised the American flag amid the rubble of the World Trade Center was unveiled yesterday, with officials saying it will serve as a permanent symbol of their bravery and strength. The statue, "Flag-Raising at Ground Zero," will be cast in bronze and is expected to be installed at the MetroTech complex in April.

Head of Fund Says Families Should State Their Cases
New York Times - December 21, 2001
Faced with widespread protests that he has been stingy, Kenneth R. Feinberg, the special master of the federal fund for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, urged disappointed families yesterday to seek a hearing to argue for larger compensation awards.

Downtown Renewal Head Vows Independent Effort
New York Times - December 20, 2001
John Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp., has been telling business groups that he will lead a politically independent effort to revitalize lower Manhattan and build a memorial on the scale of the major monuments in Washington, D.C. But many observers question just how independent Whitehead can be, given that he was appointed by Governor George Pataki and his agency is a subsidiary of the Empire State Development Corp. Whitehead got a boost when the House and Senate agreed to give $2 billion of New York's $8.2 billion federal aid to the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp. That decision, though, might not survive the final vote on the aid package.

Interim Wtc Park Will Be Built First
New York Post - December 20, 2001
John Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp., said a temporary memorial, featuring a park, will be built at Ground Zero until the permanent memorial built .

Deal May Land City 11B
New York Daily News - December 18, 2001
The Senate and House were near a deal last night that would give New York City more than $11 billion this year to cope with the World Trade Center attack.

Many Visions for WTC Site
New York Daily News - December 17, 2001
A number of groups with different interests and visions are fighting to control what will be built on the World Trade Center site. Among those vying for a say are Larry Silverstein and shopping mall giant Westfield, who hold a 99-year lease on the land; the Port Authority, which owns the land and wants to rebuild its damaged PATH lines below it; Mayor Giuliani and Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg; Governor Pataki; the Empire State Development Corp. and its new subsidiary, the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp., and people who lost family members on Sept. 11. The job of trying to forge a consensus among these groups could fall to John Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp., the new agency charged with rebuilding downtown. Whitehead says he will appoint advisory boards, each representing one of the constituencies that want a say in determining what will become of what is now ground zero.

The Chuck and Hillary Show
New York Times - December 16, 2001
No two people are more central to New York's fight for disaster aid than its two senators, Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton. In their battle, which overshadows all their other tasks, the two must confront national misconceptions about and wariness of New York. To overcome those obstacles, the two senators must work together, a difficult challenge too, given how different the two politicians are.

Toppling of 'Shroud' Stirs Emotions
New York Times - December 16, 2001
Work crews pulled down the last standing piece of the Twin Towers, four stories of steel known as "the shroud."

Painful Issue: Putting A Value On 9/11 Victims
New York Post - December 16, 2001
The government and the courts will soon be putting a value on the lives of those who perished in September 11, and the disparities are sure to be upsetting to some families. The life of a Wall Street trader will be worth more than that of a security guard. The federal fund handling compensation is expected to announce its rules for payments on Friday.

Lawsuits Pile Up
New York Post - December 15, 2001
More than 135 potential lawsuits have been filed against the city stemming from the World Trade Center disaster with hundreds more expected. Most involve service personnel who were at ground zero when the Twin Towers collapsed or who helped with the cleanup or rescue efforts.

Tower Facade To Fall
New York Post - December 14, 2001
The last vestige of the Twin Towers - a haunting skeletal fragment of one of the gleaming buildings - will be taken down this weekend.

Port Authority Approves New PATH Station for Lower Manhattan
New York Times - December 14, 2001
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey yesterday authorized spending $544 million to build a temporary PATH station in Lower Manhattan beneath the rubble of the World Trade Center. The temporary terminal could be completed within two years, said officials of the agency. It would help directly reconnect downtown to the rest of the PATH system for the more than 65,000 commuters who used the Lower Manhattan station before the Sept. 11 attack, which destroyed the trade center and the underground network of train tunnels and shopping concourses there. In addition, the agency's board of commissioners allotted $10 million yesterday to plan an ambitious, permanent PATH terminal in the area - one that would establish better and more connections to city subways, buses and ferry terminals.

Remembering the dead
BBC News - December 13, 2001
To some, re-creating the towers would send the strongest possible message to the world that America will not be cowed by an act of terrorism. But others would like to see the site, or a large part of it, turned over to a lasting memorial to everyone who died there.

Remembering the dead
BBC News - December 13, 2001
To some, re-creating the towers would send the strongest possible message to the world that America will not be cowed by an act of terrorism. But others would like to see the site, or a large part of it, turned over to a lasting memorial to everyone who died there.

Back to work
BBC News - December 11, 2001
Many of the banks and stockbrokers that lost their offices at the World
Trade Center moved to other locations in the city, notably the Midtown area. Whether they return to Lower Manhattan is an open question. There were already signs of a recession before September 11.According to one estimate, the district has lost 100,000 jobs, half of them from the World Trade Center. Warren Wechsler, of the Real Estate Board of New York, believes that the state of the economy will determine how quickly Lower Manhattan recovers.

Silverstein Sees Mixed Use At WTC Site
Newsday - December 12, 2001
Larry Silverstein, who holds the lease on the World Trade Center site, told
Newsday that he is now considering building several office buildings, a
museum, a performing arts center and a memorial on the site. In an interview with Newsday he said the buildings would be from 50 to 65 stories high. The performing arts center and museum, he said, would improve the quality of life for families who live in lower Manhattan. The developer, who is currently battling with insurers over how much compensation he will receive for the destruction of the trade center, said he hopes to begin construction next year and finish by 2005.

Rudy Thrown for Loss
New York Daily News - December 13, 2001
A 65-page study of the Far West Side predicts that the area from Eighth
Avenue to the Hudson River and between 24th and 42nd Streets could become another midtown within 20 years. To accomplish this, the study, which was released by the mayor, proposes zoning and transportation improvements, including extending the Number 7 subway line west of the Port Authority Bus Terminal. This would encourage the building of ommercial districts, manufacturing and apartments in the area. The report also called for an improved waterfront and green space connected to the planned Hudson River Park.

Rebuilding WTC Area From the Ground Down
New York Daily News - December 11, 2001
As a result of the terrorist attacks, more than 300,000 telephone lines were severed. About 13,000 customers lost power. Nearly 6 miles of water mains broke. The final repair tab will come to at least $2.3 billion, based on estimates by Con Edison, Verizon and the city Department of Environmental Protection, which manages the city's water supply.Insurance will not cover all the costs, and customer rates could rise to pay for the repairs and technology improvements, officials said.

Silver Raps Downtown Rehab Panel
New York Daily News - December 11, 2001
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver criticized yesterday the new joint
state-city agency charged with overseeing the redevelopment of lower
Manhattan because it hasn't met to discuss construction of a Sept. 11
memorial.

The Battery Recharges
New York Post - December 10, 2001
The psychological and financial damage caused by the World Trade Center attacks forced about half of Battery Park City's residents to move out -while the other half have found their homecomings grueling and painstaking.

Downtown small business struggling
Dow Jones - December 10, 2001
Downtown small businesses struggling in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks will have to jump through fewer hoops to get financial relief from New York City. Small companies doing business in a larger swath of lower Manhattan will now be eligible for financial grants - a change from prior rules. Originally, grants were only doled out to proprietors near Ground Zero. At the same time, businesses that operated in the World Trade Center itself can bypass the eligibility requirement that they first apply for a government-backed emergency loan.

Coalitions work to create plans for WTC site
Crain's New York Business - December 10, 2001
At least four separate ad hoc groups are drawing up plans to guide the
rebuilding of the World Trade Center site, and expect to funnel their
proposals to the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp., the new state agency
created to oversee the rebuilding of the 16-acre trade center site.
The New York City Partnership and Chamber of Commerce has created NYC
REBUILD, an infrastructure task force.


The American Institute of Architects has put together NEW YORK NEW VISIONS,
an umbrella group of 18 organizations to ensure that the planning and design
community have a voice.


The Regional Plan Association has organized THE CIVIC ALLIANCE FOR
REBUILDING LOWER MANHATTAN, made up of civic, advocacy and environmental
groups.


Rebuild Downtown Our Town, known as the R.DOT COALITION, is made up of
residents, businesses and planners in Lower Manhattan who are eager to have
a say in how their neighborhoods are rebuilt.


The coalitions are hoping that their ideas will give the agency a head start
on its deliberations and pave the way for wide public support for its
eventual decisions. They have begun talks among themselves on collaborations
in an effort to reach a consensus on rebuilding.


"What you want to do is shape a program leading to a master plan," says Bob
Yaro, executive director of the Regional Plan Association, who is involved
with several of the groups.


But given the broad-based nature of the organizations, conflicting agendas
could easily emerge, making it more difficult for the state agency to win
public backing for its reconstruction plans. The agency also must contend
with the plans of Larry Silverstein, the developer who holds the lease for
the World Trade Center buildings, and the many groups of victims' families
that have formed to lobby for a memorial on the site.
"I'm concerned that we end up with deadlock like we had at Columbus Circle
or Times Square, where we had development sites sitting for decades or
longer," Mr. Yaro says.

Pataki Still Seeking Nominees for Rebuilding Leader
Crain's New York Business - December 10, 2001
The Pataki administration is still gathering names of possible candidates
for the operations chief position at the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp.

The most often mentioned person is Rebecca Robertson, head of Lincoln Center's rebuilding plan and a former head of the Times Square Redevelopment agency. Others said to be under consideration include Carl Weisbrod, president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, the lower Manhattan business improvement district; Richard Kahan, chairman of the Urban Assembly; and Ross Moskowitz, former executive vice president at the city's Economic Development Corp.

At the Pit, a Night Shift to Numb the Body and Soul
New York Times - December 10, 2001
There is no extra money for working the night shift, though there are extra
physical and psychological challenges. There are the strained marriages, the spotty eyes from the floodlights, the cold and the wind. At night, the
tourists don't line up to take your picture or slap your back. The movie
stars rarely visit. At night, it is all about the work, work that the men
and women at ground zero consider an honor to do.

The Battery Is Up, for Once, With a Remade Park
New York Times - December 9, 2001
The plan was to make Battery Park an elegant period just below the exclamation point of the nascent Hudson River park, with a new upper promenade lined with granite benches in shades of soft pink. Then came Sept. 11, and the park, just south of the World Trade Center, became a military site. Battery Park was the first harbor site to reopen after the soldiers left. For the last several weeks the public has been able to enter it. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are scheduled to reopen around Christmas, said Warrie Price, the president of the Conservancy for Historic Battery Park, a nonprofit group. Security for the tourist areas will be much tighter, with visitors required to go through scanners like those at airports before boarding ferries to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. In the midst of the recovery work, construction on the upper promenade continued. The renovations, which cost $6.6 million and were financed by the city, were completed only a few weeks behind schedule.

Senate Rejects $17 Billion Bill to Aid the City
New York Times - December 8, 2001

Ground Zero Cleanup To Remain A City Job
New York Post - December 8, 2001
Mayor Giuliani is heeding the advice of federal experts not to replace city workers overseeing the World Trade Center cleanup and will not be hiring the Bechtel construction company for the job.

Gem Of A WTV Lawsuit Vs. Chase
New York Post - December 8, 2001
Sylvia Yamamura, a 30-year-old Manhattan lawyer, knows her precious
heirlooms lie somewhere in the fire-scarred safe-deposit vault of the Chase Manhattan branch at 5 World Trade Center - and she's suing Chase to get them back. Her class-action lawsuit was prompted by a Dec. 3 letter, sent by the bank to its 2,500 safe-deposit customers. The letter tells customers it has abandoned efforts to salvage their property.

Shrine to WTC Civilian Victims
New York Daily News - December 7, 2001
A makeshift memorial to the civilian victims of the World Trade Center attacks has been scaled back, while a similar nearby shrine to fallen cops and firefighters has received a more permanent home. The memorials, which sit opposite one another along a path that leads from the Hudson River esplanade in Battery Park City to the fallen south tower on Liberty St., are now strikingly disparate. Battery Park City Authority officials said the changes were made this week for maintenance reasons and to protect thousands of mementos from the coming cold weather.

FDNY Redeploys Safety Battalion
New York Daily News - December 7, 2001
The Fire Department has temporarily disbanded its safety battalion - whose normal job is to assess a major fire for its potential danger to
firefighters -- so it can deploy the unit's chiefs to interview firefighters
about the events of Sept. 11. "This is unacceptable," said Chief Nick
Visconti, an official of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association. "We had a
fire that injured 40 firefighters last week, and a plane crash earlier this
month. We need these safety chiefs in the field."

Firefighters Oppose a Plan to Record Their Memories of Sept. 11
New York Times - December 7, 2001
In the days after the Sept. 11 attack, the Fire Department tried to gather
its surviving firefighters to record an oral history of the day when more of
their colleagues perished than any other. It was to be a kind of spoken
monument of scarred memories, captured in individual voices, to immortalize an awful but seminal event. The department officials wanted to act fast to get the most detailed recollections, in the rawest terms. But the plan hit a wall as soon as it began, and the bid to document the department's saddest and most heroic moments has turned into an ugly dispute between department officials and many firefighters and their unions.

Exchange Says It Has Trading Floor in Waiting
New York Times - December 12, 2001
The New York Stock Exchange said yesterday that it had a fully equipped alternative trading floor ready to go somewhere in New York City should a disaster like the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center render its current building unusable.

Firm bidding on cleanup promises recovery of remains will remain priority
Newsday - December 6, 2001
The company negotiating for the Ground Zero cleanup job says it will not try to speed up the recovery effort at the risk of compromising the search for human remains. Bechtel Corporation has in the past used incentive-based contracts that result in bonuses if a job is completed ahead of schedule. Incentive-based contracts are not uncommon in the industry, but at Ground Zero, where an effort to recover human remains continues, such a deal could be controversial. However, an official with the San Francisco-based firm, Bechtel, said yesterday that the firm will forego a schedule-based incentive formula in their contract if chosen for the trade center project.

New NYSE Plan Looks Less Lofty
New York Post - December 3, 2001
City officials expect to go ahead with a new $1.1 billion building for the New York Stock Exchange, but a grand vision - which included a 900-foot skyscraper - will likely be scaled down. "The New York Stock Exchange and the city are going to revise that plan. I'm very confident that the stock exchange will remain [in the same area]," Mayor Giuliani said yesterday.

De Niro Plans a Film Festival in TriBeCa
New York Times - December 6, 2001
In an effort to bring economic and emotional relief to downtown Manhattan, actor Robert De Niro and film producer Jane Rosenthal have accelerated their plans for a TriBeCa Film Festival. The four-day festival is now set to begin on May 1 with about 40 world premieres of independent and studio films, which will be eligible for jury awards, said Rosenthal. About 20 original short films, as well documentaries and student movies will also be shown. The films have not yet been selected. De Niro lives in the neighborhood and has based his film company there.

The four mayoral appointments to the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corporation :
1. Richard Grasso, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange
2. Robert M. Harding, a deputy mayor for economic development and finance
3. Howard Wilson, the chairman of the School Construction Authority
4. Paul A. Crotty, who was corporation counsel in Rudy Giuliani's first term and who is now a public affairs executive for Verizon Communications.

The seven gubernatorial appointments:
5. As chairman, John C. Whitehead, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, deputy secretary of state under ex-President Ronald Reagan, and former co- chairman of the investment firm Goldman Sachs & Company
6. Frank G. Zarb, the former chairman of Nasdaq 7. Deborah C. Wright, the chief executive of Carver Federal Savings Bank in Harlem and a member of the transition team of Mayor- elect Michael R. Bloomberg.
8. Ed Malloy, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. "The corporation is expected to solicit investment by private entities," the Times reports, "among them union pension plans, in redevelopment."
9. Lewis M. Eisenberg, who to join this redevelopment corporation has resigned as chairman of the board of commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a position to which he was appointed by Gov. Christie Whitman of New Jersey
10. Roland W. Betts, the lead owner of Chelsea Piers and the former lead owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, whose fellow owners from 1989 to 1998 included his friend and Yale University classmate George W. Bush
11. Madelyn G. Wils, the chairwoman of Community Board No. 1, which includes the financial district and TriBeCa.


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