New Rental Building in Hudson Square Contains 30 Affordable Units
The new rental building at 111 Varick Street contains 100 apartments on 30 floors, with 30 units set aside as affordable homes.
Downtown’s roster of affordable rental apartments will soon expand by 30 new homes, as part of a residential development at 111 Varick Street, two blocks north of Canal Street. The building will contain a total of 2100 rental units (with the remaining 70 apartments at market-rate rentals). In exchange for committing to affordability protections on the 30 units, the developer received tax incentives worth many millions of dollars, which helped to build the project.
People wishing to live in the affordable units at 111 Varick are urged enter the affordable housing lottery being overseen by the City’s the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. These apartments are set aside for applicants making between 70 and 130 percent of the area median income (AMI), which qualifies them as low and middle income. (“Low income” is actually a demographic middle zone, situated above “very low income,” and “extremely low income.”)
The range of apartments being offered at 111 Varick includes studios (eight units), one bedrooms (15 units), and two bedrooms (seven units). Applicants with household incomes between $48,343 and $167,570 (depending on the size of apartment desired, and number of people in the unit) will be considered.
Rents for these affordable units range from $1,224 for a studio for one person earning between $48,343 and $58,520 per year, to $3,219 for a two-bedroom for two to five people, earning a total of between $110,366 and $167,570. For comparison, the market-rate units at 111 Varick start at $4,000 for studios.
A further benefit of the affordable units at 111 Varick is that rent increases will be limited to those permitted by the City’s Rent Guidelines Board on stabilized apartments, for decades to come.
Affordable housing advocates in Lower Manhattan will also be interested to note that the affordability program at 111 Varick sets aside units based not only on income, but also with an eye to criteria that Downtown leaders have lobbied for in recent years, such as a preference for applicants residing within the local Community Board boundaries (for whom half of the affordable units are reserved), as well as quotas for New York City employees, and disabled applicants.
An Ill Wind Blows
World Trade Center Health Program Faces Funding Shortfall
The World Trade Center Health Program, which provides medical treatment to people affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, is facing an impending budget shortfall that, if left unaddressed, could cause it to scale back services starting in 2025. Activists, local leaders, and elected officials are working to head off this possibility with new legislation.
More than 58,000 people are currently grappling with health problems arising from exposure to environmental toxins on September 11, 2001, and its aftermath. More have died from these illnesses in the years since 2001 than perished on the day of the attacks. There are now 21,000 people suffering from cancers related to September 11.
Nadler Presses City Hall to Release Documents from 2001 about Awareness of Ground Zero Health Risks
United States Congressman Jerry Nadler is calling upon the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio to make public previously unreleased City documents, which may shed light on what Rudolph Giuliani, who was Mayor at the time of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, knew about environmental health risks in weeks and months following of the destruction of the World Trade Center.
In a September 20 letter to City Hall, Mr. Nadler and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney write that, “we have yet to see a full accounting of what then-Mayor Giuliani and his administration knew at the time.” They argue that such an accounting would, “help provide injured and ill 9/11 responders, survivors, and their families a better understanding of what the City knew at the time about the likely scope of the health crisis and when they knew it.” To read more…
EYES TO THE SKY
October 4 – 17, 2021
Protect Earth’s night, essential to life on Earth
FOOD FLIGHT — Nocturnal pollinators like this moth in the Eupithecia family were long thought to have little food crop value. But a three-year study on apple trees at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Experiment Station shows nocturnal pollinators do just as much pollinating as non-native honeybees during daylight hours. Apples were chosen because they are one of the top three food crops in the United States. Photo courtesy of Dr. Stephen Robertson, all rights reserved.
“For millions of years, there has been a night shift at work pollinating flowering plants and fruit trees.
“If you look at the diversity and the sheer numbers of moths out there, the other pollinators pale in comparison. So, you’re talking about a massive group of animals that probably contribute not just to fruit crops or crops in general … but to pollination overall, they may just be the most important pollinators as a group… The unsung heroes of pollination.”
Excerpts from Into the Night: Shedding Light on Nocturnal Pollinators
Darkness at night is under siege by an excess of poorly conceived and carelessly deployed artificial light, resulting in a sky polluted with a veil of wasted light and our neighborhoods with no oasis of darkness. Light pollution threatens pollination of our food crops and wild landscapes, bird migration, night vision, human health and our view of the universe.
Doing away with darkness has long been a societal mission and has become a destructive habit. According to the International Dark Sky Association, “Light pollution is increasing at 2x rate of population growth and 83% of the global population lives under a light-polluted sky.”
Municipalities need to enact environmentally friendly artificial light policy; businesses need to turn off wasteful lights at night; individuals need to close the shades of their homes in the evening, especially during bird migration season. Everyone contributes to the problem and, more importantly, we are all part of the solution.
New York is on the Atlantic Flyway, an avian highway in the sky. Millions of birds pass over New York City during spring and fall migration, and as many as 100,000 collide with buildings and die, each season.
Over the next few nights, Cornell Lab of Ornithology is predicting heavy migration through New York City and is calling for businesses, homeowners and apartment dwellers to turn off lights at night or close shades to try to reduce bird deaths. At least one local major property owner—Brookfield Properties—has asked its tenants to turn off their lights at night during this time.
Fall migration will last through October. During the day, birds see sky reflected in windows and crash into them. At night, birds are attracted to bright lights shining from buildings. Check real-time bird migration forecast maps for the latest updates at https://birdcast.info.
If you find an injured bird, bring it to the Wild Bird Fund at 565 Columbus Avenue (88th Street). Try to approach it from behind, gently cup your hands around it, and put it in a paper bag for the trip uptown. Log injured or dead birds you find at https://dbird.org, a national, crowd-sourced data collection project launched by NYC Audubon. Locally, you can contribute observations specific to Battery Park City at https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/battery-park-city-wildlife, and join hundreds of neighbors who have made thousands of observations about the flora and fauna in this neighborhood.
Due to habitat loss and pollution, there are many, many fewer birds in the sky. “We have lost three billion birds in the last 50 years,” said Jerome Ford from U.S. Fish and Wildlife two days ago. He was announcing that the Biden administration is reinstating laws (rolled back under Trump) that hold companies prosecutable for bird deaths.
With its amazing gardens and views of the Hudson River and New York Bay, Wagner Park is the perfect setting to practice your art. Participants should bring their own drawing and painting supplies, including drawing boards and containers of water if they are planning to paint. BPCA will supply drawing paper and watercolor paper only. Masks required. Free.
Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who found himself at the center of a firestorm for his decision to report the infamous phone call that led to President Donald Trump’s impeachment, will tell his personal story in this Museum program moderated by CNN Senior Global Affairs Analyst Bianna Golodryga.
Vindman was born to Jewish parents in Soviet Ukraine and grew up in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach neighborhood. In his new memoir Here, Right Matters: An American Story, Vindman offers a stirring account of his childhood as an immigrant, his career in national service, and the decisions leading up to, and fallout surrounding, his involvement in President Trump’s impeachment. Join the Museum for a conversation with Vindman and Golodryga about Here, Right Matters and the ways Vindman’s background has informed his life of service. $10
Even before the pandemic gripped the world, we were a nation suffering from unprecedented levels of stress and burnout. Now, nearly a year into our reworked lives — with remote work, childcare duties and nearly every other aspect of our daily routine completely upended — the stress of trying to balance our professional and personal lives is at an all-time high. But according to psychologist Joe Sanok, there is another way. In his new book, Thursday is the New Friday: How to Work Fewer Hours, Make More Money and Spend Time Doing What You Want, he argues that the traditional five-day workweek, with its deep, historical roots and strong reinforcement from the bygone industrial era, is no longer serving us well. Free.
Join Podge Thomas of Small Business Co-Pilot for a workshop on how to create a stand-out resume. Podge will focus on how to simplify your work experience, communicating HOW you work, and creating a layout that feels spacious and inviting, without compromising your career highlights. Free.
WALLENBERG, an epic new musical with book and lyrics by the 2006 Kleban Award-winning team of Laurence Holzman and Felicia Needleman and music by Benjamin Rosenbluth, brings the incredible true story of Raoul Wallenberg, one of the greatest unsung heroes of the 20th century, vividly to life. In July 1944, the 32-year-old Wallenberg, a businessman from Stockholm, left the safety of neutral Sweden on an American-sponsored mission to Nazi-occupied Hungary. Between face-offs with the notorious Adolf Eichmann and secret dealings with the wife of one of Hungary’s most prominent fascist leaders, Wallenberg saved over 100,000 lives—more than were rescued by any other individual during the Holocaust. Join the Museum for an evening with the creators and actors behind WALLENBERG, who will explore the Wallenberg story and perform a set of exhilarating and richly melodic songs from the musical’s score. $20.
The tall ship Wavertree, the schooner Pioneer, and the tug W.O. Decker are open to the public. Explore Wavertree while she is docked; cruise New York Harbor on W.O. Decker and Pioneer. Wavertree visits are free; Pioneer and Decker prices vary. Check website for times, prices and other details.
The Museum’s director, Carol Willis, will offer a gallery tour of SUPERTALL 2021 that surveys 58 supertalls worldwide and highlights a dozen recently completed towers that represent some of the most stunning new forms and innovative approaches to structural engineering around the world today. Please book a timed ticket at 3pm on Eventbrite. Free.
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found
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HOUSEKEEPING/ NANNY/ BABYSITTER
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SEEKING LIVE-IN ELDER CARE
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Three indicators paint an equivocal portrait of the economic outlook for Lower Manhattan. The most upbeat of these is the so-called Pret Index, a metric created by Bloomberg News, which tracks the sales of lattes at various outposts of Pret A Manger, a chain of sandwich shops that largely serves office workers in urban business districts.
Data released by Bloomberg on Tuesday indicates that, among Pret A Manger locations in the Financial District and Tribeca, sales of cappuccino drinks, “set a new pandemic high last week,” recovering to 45 percent of sales levels from January, 2020—just before the advent of COVID-19.
Governors Island to Remain Open Throughout the Year
Since Governors Island opened to the public in 2005, the 172-acre greensward off Lower Manhattan has become Downtown’s equivalent of Central Park—with one crucial difference. The latter is open 365 days per year, while the quarter-square mile of hills and towering old-growth trees that was called Nutten Island by British settlers in the Colonial Era has, for more than a decade, been accessible to the public only in warm-weather months.
That all changed on Tuesday, when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that, effective immediately, Governors Island will remain open 12 months per year. The extended season will begin November 1, the day after the facility was slated to close for the year at the end of October.
More Survivors than Responders Now are Submitting Claims
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has released its annual report for 2020, which documents some significant developments.
Over the course of its ten years of operation thus far, the VCF has awarded $7.76 billion to more than 34,400 individuals who have suffered death or personal injury as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath. The vast majority of these injuries take the form of illness caused by exposure to toxic materials that were released by the destruction of the World Trade Center.