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DOWNTOWN
POST NYC 
 
News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
 
 
Volume 1, No. 12  Jan. 10, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE  
* Ice pix
* Program for recovering drug addicts moving to FiDi
* Town Hall meeting on Jan. 13 to discuss South Street Seaport's future
* Bits & Bytes: Donate food for Martin Luther King Day of Service; 66 John St. plaintiffs fight on
* Letter to the Editor
* Downtown Real Estate: Chef Bourdain to bring food market to lower Manhattan
* Calendar

Masthead photo: Ice on the Hudson River, Jan. 10, 2014. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Downtown in Pictures
ICE PIX
During the last few days of cold weather, ice floes have formed on the borders of the Hudson River near Battery Park City. This is not unprecedented, but it doesn't happen every year. The last time we can remember this happening was in 2011. Here are some photos of this year's freeze.  
 
South Cove. (Photo: Jay Fine)

South Cove. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Hudson River ice. (Photo: Carolyn Louise Newhouse)


PROGRAM FOR RECOVERING DRUG ADDICTS MOVING TO FIDI

Exponents, a program for recovering drug addicts, is planning to move to
2 Washington St. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Howard Josepher, the president and CEO of Exponents, a non-profit treatment program for former drug addicts, faced a room full of angry people on Jan. 7 when he appeared before Community Board 1's Financial District Committee to discuss his organization's planned move to 2 Washington St. from its current facility at 151 W. 26th St. in Chelsea.

"Why are you coming here?" restaurateur Harry Poulakakos demanded to know.

"We're coming here because the space is available here," Josepher replied.

"We don't want you here," Poulakakos replied. Many of the people in the room agreed. Lisa Paige, a local resident, said that she had a petition against the move that was only about 24 hours old but that had already garnered around 200 signatures.

Exponents sees 50 to 60 clients a day from Monday to Saturday. Among them are ex-prisoners and people afflicted with HIV and AIDS. The organization helps them to find housing, employment and health care. Josepher said that Exponents employs "security" and there had been no significant problems with neighbors during the 19 years the organization was in Chelsea.

Nevertheless, as Financial District Committee chairman, Ro Sheffe, pointed out, the Washington Street office would be surrounded by residential buildings and by schools. A college is right next door, a child care center, a few doors down the street.

Josepher said that he had been unaware that there was a nursery school in the immediate vicinity.

Community Board 1 first learned about the planned move on Dec. 27, however, it turned out that Josepher had signed a lease for the new space in July. Exponents plans to move on Jan. 17, and there is nothing to prevent that from happening. As a private organization, it is subject to no State or City oversight except in so far as it might treat substance abusers, in which case the State's Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) would be involved along with the City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

"We dispense no medications whatsoever," Josepher told the Community Board. "Just loving care."

The Financial District Committee resolved to oppose the move, though this opposition will not prevent it from happening.

Committee member Susan Cole said that she was "very upset" by the way the move was handled. She said that she might not be against the program, "but I did not vote for this because of the process." Others on the committee evidently agreed with her.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Howard Josepher, president and CEO of Exponents, talking to Community Board 1's Financial District Committee about Exponents' planned move to 2 Washington St. The non-profit organization was founded in 1990 to help drug addicts, many of them with HIV or AIDs, and many of them ex-prisoners, to gain housing, employment
and health care. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)



 

TOWN HALL MEETING ON JAN. 13 TO DISCUSS SEAPORT FUTURE

Schermerhorn Row on Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport dates from 1811. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The history of the South Street Seaport goes back centuries. In the 1620's, this is where the Dutch first established a port in Manhattan. This is where cargo was loaded and off-loaded from ships that circled the world. This is where city markets were located for hundreds of years. This is a neighborhood that still has its share of buildings from the 19th century, and a few that are even older.

Now a battle is being waged over the Seaport's future. On one side are the Seaport landlord, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and its principal tenant, the Dallas-based developer Howard Hughes Corporation. They see crumbling buildings and piers and waterfront property that could potentially yield many millions of dollars in revenue for Howard Hughes shareholders while taking much of the maintenance of the Seaport off the City's balance sheets.

On the other side are preservationists who cherish the Seaport's maritime history, its historic architecture and its South Street Seaport Museum, with its boats and galleries. They see the Seaport's future in adaptive reuse of some of the buildings for a food market, for schools, for local shops and for community facilities, creating a destination that would produce revenue by serving local residents and attracting tourists.

On Monday, Jan. 13 at 6 p.m., Community Board 1 is holding a Town Hall meeting at Pace University, 1 Pace Plaza, B-level, Student Union, at which people can express their ideas and opinions about the Seaport's future.

"The purpose of Monday's Town Hall meeting is to hear from the community - all the stakeholders from local residents to small businesses - to find out what their priorities are," said C.B. 1's chair, Catherine McVay Hughes. "We encourage everyone to come, to speak, and to submit testimony. Then the Community Board will begin analyzing what those priorities are."

In advance of the meeting, we asked several residents and Seaport business owners for their thoughts about the Seaport's future. We also asked The Howard Hughes Corporation for a comment, but received no reply. - Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Amanda Byron Zink, owner of The Salty Paw, 38 Peck Slip
As an 18-year resident of the South St Seaport, small business owner of The Salty Paw, raising two small children here (who both go to school in the Seaport), I am as invested as one can be in this neighborhood. I have watched this area go through some changes, but feel there is positive room for more change, providing it is done in the right way that pays respect to this historic waterfront. I am for redevelopment that will bring more New Yorkers down to shop and explore my wonderful neighborhood. I am tired of it being a "hidden gem." Redevelopment should incorporate maritime structures, shops and markets, waterfront activities (boating, sailing, historical tours and fishing for all ages). It should restore the museum and our boats and create incredible art and historical maritime installations and exhibits for the world to want to come and see. I also want to see redevelopment that implements more family-friendly activities and dining and most important, more school seats!

Robert LaValva, founder, New Amsterdam Market
The Old Fulton Fish Market was a fixture in lower Manhattan from the 1830's until 2005, when its vendors were forcibly removed to the Bronx. They clung to their East River home for good reason: the market's presence on the waterfront maintained traditions whose origins can be traced to our city's earliest days.  The two Fish Market sheds - the Tin Building and New Market Building - hold four centuries of memory, four centuries of identity, four centuries of public purpose. It was mistaken of the New York City Economic Development Corporation to designate this irreplaceable public asset for real estate development, but this bad decision can most decidedly be reversed. People are drawn to what is real; by preserving and revitalizing the Fulton Fish Market, we will create a destination that will anchor and sustain small businesses, economic development and cultural innovation for generations to come.  Now it the time to pause, to reflect, and to amend.

David Sheldon, member of Save Our Seaport
The sight of the South Street Seaport Museum's great ships on the waterfront is an extraordinary and unique experience that to many defines the Seaport District. It is no accident that the museum is located where it is, amidst landmarked buildings in a low-rise area adjacent to the waterfront that was the City's original seaport. The surrounding district was originally planned to provide financial support for the South Street Seaport Museum by means of leasing revenue. The museum, the landmarked buildings, the waterfront's Street of Ships and the market gave to the neighborhood its unique character. Without that initial commitment, this neighborhood would have long ago been transformed by the pressures of urban development. Such a commitment today, and a master planning process that engages all concerned, can secure all we treasure in the Seaport for generations to come. South Street Seaport Museum can once again be supported from lease revenue in the district. It is a matter to be decided by the landlord, our own city government. But without such a commitment, without a master planning process, the dismemberment of this legacy by storm, by neglect and by design will continue to an irreversible end.

Bits & Bytes
DONATE FOOD FOR MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY OF SERVICE

Day of Service
The Martin Luther King National Day of Service is on Jan. 20, during which many people volunteer their time to help others in their community. Charlotte's Place, a drop-in center owned and operated by Trinity Wall Street, is partnering with Tamid: The Downtown Synagogue and Lower Manhattan Community Church for a day of Brown Bag Packing for families. Participants will meet at Charlotte's Place, Rector and Carlisle Streets, at 10:45 a.m. to talk about how people of faith can respond to hunger in New York City and elsewhere and then pack bags for Trinity's Brown Bag Lunch Program. At noon, they'll walk together to St. Paul's Chapel for an interfaith Prayer for Peace.

Charlotte's Place is accepting non-perishable food donations to add to the offering. Some suggestions of what to donate include canned tuna, sardines in oil, fruit cocktail, cookies, fruit leather and granola bars. All packages should be able to be opened by hand (not by can opener.)
For more information or to RSVP for the event, contact Jennifer Chinn: jchinn@trinitywallstreet.org

66 John Street plaintiffs plan to fight on
Though Judge Carol Huff of the New York State Supreme Court failed to grant a temporary restraining order on Jan. 7 blocking the Dept. of Probation's move of its adult division to 66 John St., the plaintiffs in the case have not given up.

The lawsuit to block the move was brought by several residents of John Street, Pace University, which has a dormitory directly across from 66 John St., and Century 21 department store, which is nearby.

"We are taking steps to seek relief from the Appellate Division but nothing has been filed yet," said Patrick Kennell, one of the plaintiffs. "While we did not obtain a temporary restraining order from Justice Huff, our action still continues in the Supreme Court as well."

Kennell said that the plaintiffs will try to get the Appellate court to temporarily halt the move, which is scheduled for January 17. Kennell acknowledged that this would be "an uphill battle," but he said, "this is the only legal option we have."

Stay tuned.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer


Letter to the Editor
A FOCUS ON DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN

Lower Manhattan. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To the Editor:

Thank you for writing informative and balanced articles.  Having lived in Battery Park City since 1983, I most enjoy reading those articles that focus on downtown Manhattan.

Keep up the good work.  I look forward to receiving many more issues.

My kindest regards,
Michael Gaschler

From the Editor:
Thank you for your praise and good wishes. With this issue, Downtown Post NYC is exactly one month old. Please tell others about it. If they wish to subscribe, they can do so at www.DowntownPostNYC.com/

Downtown Real Estate
CHEF BOURDAIN TO BRING FOOD MARKET TO LOWER MANHATTAN

The New York Post reported yesterday that Anthony Bourdain, "the sharp-tongued chef, gastronomic explorer, author and CNN personality," plans to open a food market in New York City. According to the Post, it will spotlight "cuisines from all around the world," as well as "give young chefs a showcase to strut their stuff" and "introduce Americans to Singapore-style street food."

 

Bourdain will partner with New York entrepreneur Stephen Werther, who said that "the opening date will depend on the building's completion." The New York Post guessed that the site of the market might be 3 World Trade Center or Hudson Yards. "Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan has already announced its Eataly-esque French-focused market and food court, Le District, operated by Peter Poulakakos' Poulakakos Group," the Post noted.

Robert LaValva, founder of the New Amsterdam Market on South Street said that he had learned that the Bourdain market would be going to the World Trade Center.   

 

Asked if this market would undercut the viability of the New Amsterdam Market, LaValva replied, "If anything it only enhances the call for a genuine food market at the Seaport because the Bourdain 'market' is not really a market where people buy ingredients. It is, like so many so-called 'markets' being touted these days, essentially a food court where people go to nosh and eat cooked and prepared foods.  That being said, a giant food court would do well to have a nearby source of fresh ingredients, which has always been our vision for New Amsterdam Market."

LaValva also said that having multiple food arenas in lower Manhattan "will only enhance the neighborhood's reputation as an exciting food destination and it is great to imagine Fulton Street connecting a great regional ingredients market on one end with several great food courts on its other end at the World Trade Center and Brookfield Place." 


"123 William St. unloads entire floor," Crain's New York Business, 1/7/14. The Institute for Career Development has taken an entire floor in a 27-story building at 123 William St. owned by East End Capital and GreenOak, according to Crain's New York Business. The building's attractions include plans for a new lobby, elevators and windows and the fact that it is directly across from the new Fulton Street transit hub. The Institute for Career Development, a joint labor-management training program for eligible members of the United Steelworkers, has signed a five-year lease for 26,558 square feet at 123 William St. The asking price was $37 a square foot. For the article, click here.

CALENDAR: Week of Jan. 6


Pepe Romero will open this year's New York Guitar Festival with a free concert at the Winter Garden in Battery Park City on Jan. 10.

Jan. 10: Pepe Romero plays J.S. Bach. The opening night of the New York Guitar Festival. Romero is touring the world in celebration of his 70th birthday. Romero's distinguished career, both as a solo performer and charter member of the "Royal Family of the Guitar," encompasses some 60 albums, multiple White House invitations, Carnegie Hall concerts, and world premieres by Rodrigo and Moreno Torroba, in addition to receiving a knighthood by King Juan Carlos I of Spain. Brookfield Place, Winter Garden, 220 Vesey St. at 8 p.m. Free.

Jan. 10: To commemorate the birth of Alexander Hamilton on Jan. 11, 1757, Trinity Church at Broadway and Wall Street is holding a service in his honor at noon followed by a rededication of his grave in Trinity churchyard and a talk by Capt. Gordon Loebl, U.S. Coast Guard Commander of sector New York, entitled "Birth of Alexander Hamilton, Birth of the Coast Guard." From 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., lawyer Pooja Nair will talk at Federal Hall, 26 Wall St., about Hamilton's courtroom contributions to freedom of the press. This will be followed at 4:30 p.m. by birthday cake at the Museum of American Finance, 48 Wall St., which is located in a building formerly owned by the Bank of New York, a bank that Hamilton founded. At 5 p.m. there will be a candlelight procession back to Trinity Church to Hamilton's grave. All events are free.

Jan. 11: Wall Street Walks will conduct a 90-minute-long, downtown tour of "Alexander Hamilton's New York," leaving from the Museum of American Finance, 48 Wall St. at 1 p.m. The tour includes a stop at Hamilton's grave in Trinity churchyard, where the walkers will be welcomed by members of the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society. Tickets, $15. For information or to buy tickets, click here.

Jan. 12: "Winter Magic with Naomi Less" at the Museum of Jewish Heritage is a concert for kids, ages 3 to 10, where everyone is encouraged to sing along and move to the music. Concert time: 2 p.m. Also, crafts for children from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and a family "mini-tour" at 1:30 p.m. Where: 36 Battery Place. Cost: $10, $7 for children 10 and under; $7, $5 for children 10 and under (museum members). For more information, click here.
                    
Ongoing: The National Museum of the American Indian is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with free admission. It offers free films, docent-led tours of its exhibitions and tours of its premises, the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, designed by Cass Gilbert. The building, which was completed in 1907, is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One Bowling Green. Phone: (212) 514-3700. For the museum's calendar, click here.

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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