In the News: WTC Détente

••• “The Port Authority, government officials and the developer Larry A. Silverstein reached a tentative agreement Thursday that would allow for the construction of two new skyscrapers at ground zero with up to $1.6 billion in public financing and subsidies. Under the deal, which would end a 16-month stalemate, the Port Authority would provide about $1 billion in financing for the first tower—a 64-story building constructed by Mr. Silverstein on Church Street with as much office space as the Empire State Building. It is expected to be completed in 2013. If Mr. Silverstein was able to raise $300 million in cash and secure leases from corporate tenants for about 400,000 square feet of space for a larger second tower, the city, the state and the authority would provide up to $600 million in financial assistance for that building, also on Church Street. If he could not get the financing and leases, he would build a five-story structure there by 2013 for shops and mechanical elements and leave the tower, to be built above it, for later.” (New York Times)

••• “According to Crain’s, [Fannie Mae] has all but stopped purchasing individual mortgages for BPC properties, whether condo or co-op. ‘As a result,” Crain’s notes, ‘it has become almost impossible to sell a condominium or co-op in the waterfront neighborhood in lower Manhattan unless an all-cash buyer swoops in.’ Um, yikes? The issue has to do with the ground leases in BPC, which date back to the creation of the land from World Trade Center landfill in the early 1970’s. Unlike most everyone else in Manhattan, owners in BPC pay rent for its building’s land—a problem that could be exacerbated in 2011 when the current leases expire and costs could jump. As if to rub it in, Crain’s quotes one mortgage guy thusly: ‘Battery Park City is getting hit hard. Underwriters consider the area a declining market.’ (Curbed)

••• Marc Forgione, Jerry’s Café, and Zaitzeff show up in Eater‘s round-up of deals for every day of the week.

••• Tribeca Film Festival and GLAAD are fighting over a film, Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives, scheduled for the 2010 festival. (Movieline)

••• The Tribeca coyote could end up in the Bronx’s Van Cortlandt Park, “one of the only places in New York City with an established coyote population. Several wild coyotes already make their home in the park and the city has previously released other captured coyotes there.” (Bronx Ink)

••• Dave Barry avoids Tribeca. I can’t speak for everyone, but personally, the feeling is mutual.

courtesy-imagination-playground••• Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe updates Downtown Express on Lower Manhattan park news: “One of our most ambitious projects that should open in late summer is Imagination Playground. This innovative playground, designed by architect David Rockwell, includes features that are accessible to children of all ages and abilities. Full-time “play workers” will be trained to guide, supervise and facilitate activities in a playground that does not rely on traditional play equipment. Instead, loose parts such as wagons, boxes, trolleys, barrels, carts, balls, bags, sandbags and ropes enable children to manipulate their environment and encourage unstructured, child-directed “free play,” where children determine their own activities, alone and with their peers. Rockwell Group’s pro-bono design and efforts have resulted in a playground that captures Burling Slip and South Street Seaport’s rich maritime history, with elements such as climbing rope and a lookout ramp with telescopes.” Also in Downtown Express: “The southern extension of Teardrop Park is expected to be done in about two months.”

••• CB1 chair Julie Menin on how the LMDC should spend the rest of the 9/11 funds. (Downtown Express)

••• “Manhattan Youth, which opened the Downtown Community Center two years ago, has long run a summer camp on the B.P.C. ballfields and expects to continue. But Asphalt Green, which is opening a new $55 million community center adjacent to the ballfields in 2012, also wants to run a summer camp.” (Downtown Express)


1 Comment

  1. Dave Barry–sending you mental wild coyotes now.