In the News: Water Street Revival

••• Downtown Alliance has big plans for Water Street: “The plan, scheduled to be unveiled on Monday, calls for narrowing the street and installing a planted median—similar to the one that runs up Park Avenue. It also calls for redesigning the eight acres of public plazas surrounding the big buildings, with the hope of drawing more workers outdoors and more tourists. ‘It comes down to the people,’ said Elizabeth H. Berger, president of the Downtown Alliance. ‘Where are the people? We know they’re in the offices, but they’re not out on the street.’ The alliance’s Water Street Study Project found that almost nobody walks along the corridor for more than two consecutive blocks, in part because so many of the buildings present blank walls to pedestrians and their ground floors contain stores that cater primarily to commuting office workers.” (New York Times)

••• “It seemed like a familiar scenario: the stay-at-home mom with two young children. The Tribeca loft, the Wall Street husband. And, after less than a decade, the divorce. Those of us who knew her, if only casually, jumped to conclusions: ‘Typical finance jerk . . . up and leaves his wife.’ But no, it turns out, she left him. She had an affair. And she’s apparently much improved, complete with a new apartment, a new lover, even a new start-up company.” So begins a Washington Post article on women having midlife crises.

••• According to Crain’s, 119 Chambers (where Housing Works is) and 345 Greenwich (Viet Café and the mysterious never-open gallery) are both up for sale. HousingWorks’ lease is up in 2014, and Viet Café’s is up in 2013; the broker “expects both properties to be snapped up by a small business looking for its own site,” but then she would.

••• “A recent spate of violent assaults in normally placid Lower Manhattan has led Community Board 1 to form a Crime Task Force that will host meetings with law enforcement officials, elected officials and community leaders in an effort to coordinate resources that could prevent further criminal activity. As Crime Task Force chairman John Fratta explained, ‘Julie Menin, chair of CB1, wanted to form this task force in the wake of two incidents that were very disturbing to everybody who lives Downtown.'” […] “‘One of the first questions we looked at, and one we’ll return to in future meetings,’ [Fratta] said, ‘was whether we have enough police officers here. The First Precinct was adequately staffed back in the days when thousands of people worked in Lower Manhattan, but almost nobody lived here. But it’s not clear that we now have enough police for the 24/7 community that this area is becoming.'” Julie Menin sure has a high profile these days. What exactly is she running for? (Broadsheet Daily)

••• “Fed up with its ineptitude, Gov. Paterson will gut the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. this summer, the New York Post has learned. The 35-person staff—paid $3 million annually—will be reduced to a skeleton crew of five. Of the nearly $3 billion in federal funds the city-state venture was created to dole out, $540 million has yet to be dispensed and $250 million hasn’t been earmarked for anything. And the former Deutsche Bank building—whose demolition was one of the LMDC’s primary missions—still stands. The remaining employees will oversee the last of the cash, which will be used to cover cost overruns at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, a high-ranking state source said.” (via Broadsheet Daily)


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