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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 5  Dec. 25, 2013
* Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center gets temporary reprieve
* Downtown holidays: Ice skating today at Brookfield Place
* Downtown real estate: GroupM inks deal with Silverstein for 3 World Trade Center
* Bits & Bytes: Scorsese's 'Wolf of Wall Street' with Leonardo DiCaprio opens; Free WiFi on Water Street
* Calendar

Masthead photo: The Christmas tree on Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)



4 World Trade Center, under construction. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's 11th-hour negotiations with the Port Authority of New York have succeeded in getting a temporary reprieve for the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC), which was set to close on Dec. 31.  


In the wake of the destruction of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, construction burgeoned in lower Manhattan. The LMCCC was established in 2004 by executive orders from then-New York State Governor George Pataki and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to oversee construction in lower Manhattan's narrow streets, and to minimize the impact on residents and businesses. 


Then-Gov. David Patterson and Bloomberg renewed the LMCCC's charter in December 2010 for three years.


On Dec. 24, 2013, Silver hosted a meeting with Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye, local elected officials and the Chair of Community Board 1 to discuss on-going efforts to save the LMCCC.


Following the meeting, he issued a statement in which he called the LMCCC "a vital resource for our community."


He said that he was "heartened by a commitment from the Port Authority to keep key LMCCC personnel in place as discussions concerning the future of the LMCCC continue."


"I will keep working to ensure that the core mission of the LMCCC - providing crucial information about construction projects to lower Manhattan residents and giving them a forum to express quality-of-life-concerns - is continued," he said. "Lower Manhattan is still not yet even at the peak of construction activity and I have expressed to Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye how important it is that members of our community continue to have their concerns promptly addressed."


Silver was joined in his efforts to save the LMCCC from sunsetting by Congressman Jerrold Nadler, New York State Sen. Daniel Squadron, Assemblymember Deborah Glick, Councilmember Margaret Chin and Community Board 1 Chair Catherine McVay Hughes. 


"LMCCC will continue as is for a short period of time so that the Mayor-elect can be part of the decision-making process," said Hughes after the meeting. "Construction impact of the roughly 90 major public and private projects in one-and-a-half square miles needs central coordination so that the impact is minimized on residents and businesses, and currently LMCCC does just that. Dismantling it by breaking it into its various parts would make it less effective."


Hughes said that C.B. 1 already gets complaints from residents who try calling 311, with no results. "We all look forward to the completion of the World Trade Center site," she said, "but at this moment there are key components such as the Memorial, the Museum, 1 World Trade Center, 4 World Trade Center, the Vehicular Security Center and the Transportation Hub that still need to be completed and they continue to generate heavy construction traffic."


- Terese Loeb Kreuzer 


Downtown holidays
Ice skating in front of the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Against a backdrop of the Winter Garden's palm trees, since November ice skaters have been frolicking on the ice skating rink at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City. The rink is open today (Christmas) and will be open on New Year's Day as well from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Skaters can also welcome in the New Year with a special skating session on New Year's Eve from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

The rink is on Brookfield Place's upper plaza, overlooking North Cove Marina and the Hudson River. It will have a wonderful view of the boats plying the river that night.

The rink will be open daily until March 18.

P.J. Clarke's just across the plaza from the rink is its official entertainment partner for holiday and social events. It is open every day from noon to 9 p.m., including Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. The Financier Patisserie cart inside the Winter Garden will be open every day except Christmas.

For weather-related updates, go to the rink's Facebook Page ( or click here.

Ice time is $15. Skate rentals are $5. All active CUNY students receive free skate rentals. For information on private lessons and group sales as well as parties and social events, call (646) 656-1384. For more information, including transportation directions, click here.

Downtown real estate

3 World Trade Center under construction.
(Photo: Joel Woolhead/courtesy of Silverstein Properties)

With a deal announced on Monday, Dec. 23, developer Larry Silverstein squeaked in just under the wire with his plans to build 3 World Trade Center as an 80-story skyscraper. Because of 2010 agreements with the Port Authority of New York, New York City and New York State, Silverstein had to have signed up a major tenant by the end of this year in order to proceed with construction over the eight-story stump that served as a placeholder.

GroupM, a media investment management group, has inked a 20-year lease for approximately 516,000 square feet on nine floors at the base of the tower. This will enable it to bring its 2,400 employees from midtown to lower Manhattan. It expects to move into the building in 2017.

GroupM is the first tenant to lease space at 3 World Trade Center, located adjacent to 11 subway lines and the PATH train at 175 Greenwich St. The building will have 183,000 square feet of retail space, both underground and at street level.
Lower Manhattan is increasingly becoming a hub for media and technology companies, augmenting, and in some cases supplanting, the area's traditional focus on finance and law.

Companies that have committed to space at the World Trade Center site include Condé Nast, BMI, Omnicom, Moody's, WilmerHale, Fast Company and Inc. magazines.

According to the Downtown Alliance, 455 firms have moved to Lower Manhattan since 2005, leasing a total of 10 million square feet.  Of those companies, 211 have been in creative or professional services, taking 51 percent of the space leased.

This will have an effect on the area's residential market as well as on its commercial real estate.

A study published by the Downtown Alliance last year stated that, "the high-value knowledge workers who drive the region's economy - the people companies want to hire - increasingly live within a 30-minute commute of Lower Manhattan."

The study noted that these workers tend to be young, well-educated people "who prefer apartment living and shorter commutes via sub­way, PATH, ferry, bike and foot to suburban life and lengthy commutes via heavy rail or car...Nine of the region's ten fastest growing communities are within a 30-minute subway or PATH ride of lower Manhattan."

Like Silverstein's other properties at the World Trade Center site, 3 World Trade Center will be a LEED-certified Gold office tower, reflecting its energy efficiencies. It was designed by Pritzker-prize winning architect Richard Rogers and his firm Rogers Stirk Harbor + Partners.

Bits & Bytes
'The Wolf of Wall Street' filming in Battery Park City's North Cove Marina
in September 2013. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

In September and October 2012, right before Superstorm Sandy rolled ashore, Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" was shooting in lower Manhattan. The film starring Leonardo DiCaprio opened today.

DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a Queens-born stockbroker, who raked in buckets of money, which he spent with abandon during the 1990s. Belfort's scams sent him to jail for two years. After he was released, he became a motivational speaker.

The film is "a three-hour bacchanal of sex, drugs and conspicuous consumption," says a review in The New York Times. "It hums with vulgar, voyeuristic energy. It has been a while since Mr. Scorsese has thrown himself into filmmaking with this kind of exuberance."

Among other Downtown scenes, the film shows DiCaprio as Belfort partying in Battery Park City's North Cove Marina on a 164-foot-long yacht called "Nadine," named for his second wife. Unfortunately, that yacht sank so Scorsese employed an equally luxurious craft called the "Lady M" as its double. At one point in the film, DiCaprio stands on its deck, tossing dollar bills into the Hudson River.

To see this and other scenes from the film, click here.

Among other venues in Manhattan, "The Wolf of Wall Street" is playing at Regal Battery Park Stadium 11, 102 North End Ave. in Battery Park City, just down the street from where DiCaprio was living when the movie was made. Show times are 11:20 a.m., 3:10 p.m., 7:05 p.m., 9:40 p.m. and 10:55 p.m. For more information, call (800) 326-3264 629.

Water Street gets enhanced WiFi connectivity via the Downtown Alliance
The Downtown Alliance announced on Dec. 20 that it has activated the first phase of its enhanced, free, public WiFi network along Water Street in lower Manhattan.

William Bernstein, acting president of the Downtown Alliance, said that that the Water Street WiFi corridor "will be a huge boon to the district's workers, residents and tourists." There are already more than 600 tech and innovation firms located below Chambers Street, he said, adding that the WiFi corridor will help attract more such firms to lower Manhattan.

When complete, the network will provide full coverage along the Water Street corridor between Whitehall and Fulton Streets, extending to some neighboring side streets such as Stone Street and Front Street, and along the East River waterfront and lower Manhattan piers.

The installation is being financed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation's Wireless Corridor Challenge, announced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in September 2013, to increase wireless connectivity in New York City..

Users can log on to the network, named "#DwtwnAllianceFreeWifi," with personal computers or smartphones.   

CALENDAR: Week of Dec. 23

Dec. 26: "A Ceremony of Carols," Benjamin Britten, sung by the Trinity Youth Chorus, Melissa Attebury, conductor. Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street. Time: 1 p.m. Free.

Dec. 27: "The Play of Daniel," Gotham Early Music Scene. Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street. Time: 8 p.m. (Also, Dec. 28 and Dec. 29 at 3 p.m.) Tickets, $20-$60.

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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