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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 20  Jan. 29, 2014
* Shari Hyman named president of Battery Park City Authority
* Task force will weigh in on Howard Hughes Seaport plans
* In memory of Pete Seeger
* Downtown Real Estate: Tenants have pick of downtown office space; Super Bowl ads
* Declarations of love
* Calendar

Masthead photo: Amid ice floes in the harbor, a Statue Cruises ferry heads toward Liberty and Ellis Islands. Jan. 28, 2014. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Shari C. Hyman, Commissioner and Chair of New York City's Business Integrity Commission, was appointed president and chief operating officer of the Battery Park City Authority at its board of directors meeting on
Jan. 28, 2014. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
At the Jan. 28 Battery Park City Authority Board of Directors meeting, chairman Dennis Mehiel introduced the Authority's new president and chief operating officer -  Shari C. Hyman, 47. She is leaving a job as commissioner and chair of New York City's Business Integrity Commission to assume her new role.

The board approved Mehiel's choice and applauded her. 

She will begin working for the BPCA on Feb. 10, replacing Robert Serpico, the Authority's chief financial officer. Serpico served as interim president when Demetrios Boutris resigned in August 2013 after a tenure of only 10 months as the Authority's president.

Mehiel also introduced Robin Forst to the board as the vice president of external affairs, a newly created position. He described both women as "eminently qualified."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Hyman to the Business Integrity Commission in November 2011. She had previously worked in law enforcement and City operations. Immediately prior to her appointment, she had served as Senior Counsel and Director of Business Acceleration for Mayor Bloomberg where her job was to streamline City operations to help small businesses. 

In 2006, Bloomberg had made her the Director of the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement (OSE), a multi-agency taskforce dedicated to handling quality of life issues city-wide. Under her leadership, OSE combatted counterfeiting efforts on Canal Street and the conversion of residential housing stock into illegal hotels.


Hyman began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office under Robert M. Morgenthau. She worked there for 10 years as a member of the Labor Racketeering Unit, the Sex Crimes Unit, the Welfare Fraud Unit and as Criminal Court Supervisor in the Trial Division. While in the Labor Racketeering unit, she investigated the Lucchese crime family, which resulted in the indictment of 38 individuals and 11 companies for racketeering in the construction industry in September 2000.


Hyman received a B.A. from Columbia University and a J.D. from the Northwestern School of Law.


Her husband, Daniel James Horwitz, is also a lawyer. In April 2013, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made him the chair of the State's Joint Commission on Professional Ethics (JCOPE), an independent ethics and lobbying regulator that oversees State legislators, candidates for the legislature, and others in State government as well as certain political party chairs, lobbyists and their clients.

Previously, Horwitz was a partner at the New York law firm of Lankler Carragher & Horwitz, a white-collar criminal defense firm.

Hyman and Horwitz have two children and live in Brooklyn.

 - Terese Loeb Kreuzer


Robin Forst, Bob Serpico and Martha Gallo at the Battery Park City Authority board of directors meeting on Jan. 28, 2014 at which Forst's appointment as the Authority's vice president of external affairs was formally ratified. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)



South Street Seaport
The Howard Hughes Corporation's ice skating rink and music tent on Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
(UPDATED on Jan. 30, 2014) At Community Board 1's full board meeting on Jan. 28, CB1 chair Catherine McVay Hughes made a startling announcement. "The Howard Hughes' plans to date will not go forward as presented," she said. "Neither the Landmarks nor the ULURP [Uniform Land Use Review Procedure] process has begun and any future milestones are on hold until a comprehensive community process has taken place."

This came in the wake of a CB1-led Town Hall meeting on Jan. 13 at which most speakers said that they opposed The Howard Hughes Corporation's plans for the Seaport, especially the plans for a 50-story hotel/apartment tower at the water's edge.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer visited CB1's Executive Committee on Jan. 22 and said that she favored placing a "pause" in the stated plans until the community could weigh in.

Catherine McVay Hughes said that Community Board 1 was working with City Councilmember Margaret Chin, Borough President Brewer, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's office and the New York City Economic Development Corporation, landlord for most of the Seaport, to create a South Street Seaport task force.

"The goal of the task force is to generate a comprehensive, community-driven dialogue and to create development guidelines," she said.  "The structure and details are being finalized. More concrete details should be available next week."

She called this development "a huge milestone" and said it "has been the result of all of us working together."

In a statement on Jan. 29, a Howard Hughes spokesman provided a different version of what was happening. "The Howard Hughes Corporation is continuing to move forward with its proposed plan for the long-term revitalization of the Seaport in collaboration with the community and stakeholders," he said. "The process has not stopped, and we are discussing the formation of a community advisory board as a continuation of that approach to complete our plans before we begin the upcoming ULURP process. As with the redevelopment of the Pier 17, we firmly believe that a collaborative process involving the community and its various stakeholders will result in a plan for the neighborhood that will inspire locals and visitors to return to the Seaport."

Kate Blumm, spokesperson for the EDC, confirmed the Howard Hughes statement that development plans have not been halted.

"This proposal is at the very beginning of what will ultimately be an extensive public review process, and we have strongly encouraged Howard Hughes Corporation to work with local stakeholders to solicit their input and understand their concerns," she said.  "We're encouraged by the steps the developer is taking in concert with elected officials to more formally structure community involvement, and we look forward to seeing the dialogue evolve. To date, the process is moving as anticipated along the timeline previously agreed upon."

Speaker Silver had yet a different take on what is happening and the meaning of the task force. "I have raised serious concerns, along with local residents, about the proposed development at the South Street Seaport," he said in a statement. "I have been clear from the beginning that we need to have an open, transparent and community-driven process for redeveloping this area. I am very pleased to join Community Board 1 and my fellow elected officials in serving on this task force, which will ensure that the people who live in the Seaport play a key role in determining the future of this critically important historic area."

Finally, there was this from Councilmember Chin's office: "The downtown community has repeatedly called for a community-driven planning process to guide development in the South Street Seaport, and I am working with Community Board 1, local elected officials, the City, neighborhood stakeholders, and the Howard Hughes Corp. to ensure that becomes a reality. We want to make sure any plans moving forward address ongoing concerns and reflect what residents want to see in their community."

So - are the Howard Hughes Corporation's plans moving forward as previously planned, or are they not? It depends on whom you ask.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer



Pete Seeger, 94, singing with Josh White, Jr. and Tom Chapin on June 20, 2013 at a benefit concert for the Museum of the City of New York's upcoming exhibit, "Folk City: New York and the American Folk Music Revival." (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Pete Seeger, who died on Monday at the age of 94, left a legacy for lower Manhattan. The Hudson River that flows by our doorsteps is cleaner now than it has been in decades because of his efforts. Around 40 years ago, Seeger raised money to build a 106-foot-long sloop, the Clearwater, that was modeled after sailboats that were common on the river in the 19th century. The Clearwater became the ambassador for Seeger's tireless work to clean up the Hudson.

Seeger's insistent message helped to bring about the passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972 that endowed us with the river that we have today.

Seeger was also present in our community in other ways. For years, the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy ended its summer programming with a festival called "Harmony on the Hudson" at which Seeger's friend, Tom Chapin, often sang some of the songs that Seeger wrote and the folk songs he preserved.

On June 20, 2013, the Museum of the City of New York presented a concert to raise money for an exhibit that it will be mounting this year about the folk music legacy of the 1960s. Seeger helped to organize the concert, but it was uncertain if he would be well enough to attend.

However, he managed to get there. When he entered the packed auditorium, he seemed to be a frail, old man, but when he got up on the stage, surrounded by his musician friends, singing the songs he loved, he was suffused with energy. The audience sang with him, in a rapturous and unforgettable melding of voices that shook the roof.

He is still with us.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

The Hudson River in lower Manhattan. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Downtown Real Estate

1 World Trade Center reflected in the façade of 4 World Trade Center.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"Lower Manhattan Landlords Compete for BNY Mellon," New York Times, 1/28/14. According to The New York Times, there's a feeding frenzy to snag tenants for lower Manhattan's millions of square feet of vacant office space. BNY Mellon, which plans to sell its landmarked, Art Deco tower at 1 Wall St. is now being wooed by numerous suitors.

"The jockeying to lure BNY Mellon, a 229-year-old commercial bank, underscores the changing fortunes of Lower Manhattan, where financial institutions are a significant but shrinking presence, as Wall Street sheds employees," says The Times.

"The battle also illuminates the continuing use of public subsidies to fill new and already subsidized office towers under construction at the 16-acre World Trade Center site, more than 12 years after the terrorist attack on the twin towers. The new trade center towers are competing for tenants with office buildings once home to financial institutions like Merrill Lynch and Chase Manhattan Bank. At the same time, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey recently sweetened an already generous package of incentives used to attract companies to his state."

The Times says that BNY Mellon is looking at space at 1 World Trade Center, 4 World Trade Center, Brookfield Place and elsewhere in lower Manhattan. For the complete article, click here.

"4 World Trade Center stars in Super Bowl ad," Crain's New York Business, 1/27/14. With so much office space for lease in lower Manhattan, people can get creative about making the rent. How about bringing in a couple of llamas and setting up a pen for them so they'll be comfortable while shooting a commercial? That's the back story on Sunday's Bud Light Super Bowl ad starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and the llamas. It was shot at Larry Silverstein's 4 World Trade Center, whose exterior will appear briefly in the commercial.

This is how Crain's New York Business describes the commercial: "An 'unsuspecting guy' is ushered to 4 World Trade Center in a stretch limo where he parties with '412 actors,' 'five rockstars,' and '58 hidden cameras,' in a night of adventure and mayhem that is supposed to embody Bud Light's catchphrase that it is the 'perfect beer for whatever happens.'"

Schwarzenegger will appear "dressed in a track suit and sporting a headband and shoulder-length locks readying himself for a ping-pong match. According to reports, Mr. Schwarzenegger was paid $3 million for his performance." Silverstein Properties got $50,000 a day for renting out its vacant office space. For the complete article, click here.


A valentine from a valentine-making workshop sponsored by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Next Saturday, Feb. 8, there will be two chances to get creative with a heart-felt, handmade valentine's message.

 "Love the Air," is for "artists and romantics of all ages who are 4 years old and older." Make your own aromatic valentines with dried lavender, rose petals, anise and other garden fragrances, as well as salvaged paper, lace and ribbon. If you wish, bring something to personalize your valentine card. All other materials are provided. Organized by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy. Fee: $10 a person. Place: 6 River Terrace. Time: 10 a.m. to noon. Pre-registration recommended. Call (212) 267-9700, ext 342.

Valentine Block Party takes place at Bowne Printers in the South Street Seaport. Participants will make valentines on wood blocks that will be printed at the end of the workshop on Bowne's vintage Vandercook press. Each student will go home with their block, individual prints, and one poster of everyone's prints together. All materials supplied. Suitable for apprentices 12 & up. Fee: $50 (non-members); $45 (South Street Seaport Museum members). $15 non-refundable deposit for materials due by Feb. 5. Place: 211 Water St. Time: 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Registration required. 10 person limit. E-mail Bowne Printers to reserve your spot. For more information, call (646) 628-2707.

Ali Osborn and Gideon Finck print posters, cards and custom stationery on 19th-century presses at Bowne Printers, the South Street Seaport Museum's print shop
at 211 Water St. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

CALENDAR: Week of Jan. 27
Artwork created in classes offered by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy will be on display at 75 Battery Place through March 28. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Jan. 29: "My Daughter Keeps Our Hammer," a play by Brian Watkins, is at The Flea Theater. It's about two estranged sisters, their needy mother and a sheep. Through Feb. 15. The Flea, 41 White St. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets, $15 to $35. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Jan. 29: "Bikeman: The 9/11 Theatrical Experience" is a new play by journalist Thomas F. Flynn based on his book describing the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Flynn, an award-winning writer and producer for The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, was outside his Greenwich Village home when the first plane flew directly over his head. He immediately called into the news desk to tell them he was headed downtown. He jumped on his bicycle and began his ride to the towers. His harrowing story recounts his transition from reporter to participant. Now in preview at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers St. Opening night is Feb. 18. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $39-$79. For more information and tickets, click here.

Jan. 29: "The Big Picture" at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place. Joined by other musicians, master clarinetist David Krakauer explores the intersection of music and Jewish identity in iconic movies of the last 50 years. They will play songs from films ranging from "Funny Girl" and "Fiddler on the Roof" to "Sophie's Choice" and "The Pianist." This is the first in a series of eight concerts on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. and on Sundays at 2 p.m. Time: 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $35; $30 (students/seniors); $25 (members). For tickets and more information, click here.

Jan. 30: Winter Swing at the Seaport with Svetlana and the Delancey Five and with Hot Jazz
The interior of The Howard Hughes Corporation's heated tent on Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport. Concerts are staged there on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. At other times, hot food and drinks are available. Through Feb. 28. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Gang  comes to Front Row/Stage, the Howard Hughes Corporation's heated tent on Fulton Street, just south of Water Street in the South Street Seaport. Time: 7 p.m.-10 p.m. For ages 21+. Tickets, free, but reservations are required. To reserve, click here.

Jan. 31: Conehead Buddha at Front Row/Stage, The Howard Hughes Corporation's heated music tent on Fulton Street. Time: 7 p.m.-11 p.m. For ages 21+. Tickets: Free, but reservations are required. For reservations, click here.

Feb. 1: 45 Riots will be performing two sets of contemporary and classic covers from hip-hop, house, top 40, soul, funk, R&B, pop, rock, reggae, and jazz at Front Row/Stage in the South Street Seaport. Ages, 21+. Time: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.. Free, but reservations are required. For reservations, click here.
Feb. 2: The New York Audubon Society in partnership with New York Water Taxi offers a  cruise of New York harbor to see birds and seals that are only here in the winter. The two-hour cruise, "Winter Seals and Waterbirds of New York Harbor," takes place on Sundays through March 9, leaving from Pier 16 in the South Street Seaport. Time: Noon to 2 p.m. Tickets: $35, adults; $25, children, 3 to 12 years old. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Feb. 2: Celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year -- the Year of the Horse -- in Chinatown. A parade starts at 1 p.m. in Little Italy and then wends its way through the major streets of Chinatown. For more information, click here.

Through March 28: Exhibit of artwork done in classes sponsored by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy. 75 Battery Place, weekdays, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Free.
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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