Meeting Tonight to Organize In Favor of Affordability and Against Secrecy
A rendering of the 78-floor building (shown at right) planned for Five World Trade Center, which local activists and elected officials want reconceived to include more affordability than the 25 percent of units currently planned.
The grassroots campaign pushing for greater affordability at the super-tall residential tower planned for the Five World Trade Center site will hold an organizing meeting tonight at the T.J. Byrnes restaurant within the Southbridge Towers complex, at 77 Fulton Street, starting at 6:00 pm.
The focus of their effort is the proposal, approved in February by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), to erect a 900-foot-plus tower at Five World Trade Center, the publicly owned vacant lot that occupies the three-quarter-acre block bounded by Greenwich, Albany, and Washington Streets, and Liberty Park. This plan calls for a 78-floor building, including 69 floors of rental units, comprising 1.2 million square feet of residential space. Of the 1,325 apartments planned for the structure, 25 percent (or approximately 330 units) will be permanently affordable homes, set aside for households earning less than 50 percent of the area median income (AMI), or below $51,200 for a family of three.
Above: Vittoria Fariello: “The goals of our Coalition are to make sure that tower built at Site Five of the World Trade will be a fully affordable building, with a preference given to September 11 survivors, first responders, and their families.” Below: State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou: “This is public land funded with public dollars, and the community should have a say in how it is used. This is a once-in-never-again opportunity for all of New York and we shouldn’t miss it.”
The Coalition for a 100 Percent Affordable Five World Trade Center formed in response to this plan. “The goals of our Coalition are to make sure that tower built at Site Five of the World Trade will be a fully affordable building, with a preference given to September 11 survivors, first responders, and their families,” explained Vittoria Fariello, an elected District Leader for Lower Manhattan, who is also one of the drivers of the group meeting tonight.
“We’re also demanding greater transparency from our government agencies, specifically, the LMDC, its parent entity, the Empire State Development Corporation, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — all of which have a vested interest in Five World Trade Center,” she continued.
Since the Coalition formed, numerous elected officials and community organizations have rallied around its call for maximizing affordable housing at the last remaining development site within the World Trade Center. Congressman Jerry Nadler, along with State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, and City Council member-elect Christopher Marte have all demanded that the State agencies involved in the development either increase the number of affordable units, or else explain why this is not possible. The Downtown Independent Democrats, an influential Lower Manhattan political organization, has also enacted a resolution supporting the proposal for 100 percent affordability at the site.
State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou observed, “being able to finally have this level of affordability in Lower Manhattan is an incredible opportunity that our community, our City, and our State have asked for and needed for so long.”
She said of the Coalition, “I am grateful and appreciative that we are getting such robust support for this idea. I am hoping that we get the transparency we need from LMDC and the developers and our agencies to make the best decisions for our State. This is public land funded with public dollars, and the community should have a say in how it is used. This is a once-in-never-again opportunity for all of New York and we shouldn’t miss it.”
State Senator Brian Kavanagh: “The Port Authority is getting a cash payment out of this deal. We asked them how much that payment was going to be, and the answer was, ‘we can’t tell you that.’”
At a September 28 meeting of the Coalition, Senator Kavanagh noted, “part of the concept here is that the Port Authority needs to be made whole for giving up valuable land around the creation of the Memorial.” This was a reference to that agency’s agreement, more than a decade ago, to set aside part of the World Trade Center complex (which it controls) for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, without being compensated for the value of that space. “The Port Authority is getting a cash payment out of this deal,” he continued. “We asked them how much that payment was going to be, and the answer was, ‘we can’t tell you that.’”
“We have conveyed very clearly that we think quite a bit more affordability is necessary,” Senator Kavanagh explained. Referring to the Port Authority and LMDC, he noted, “it is fair to say that the notion of turning more of this 1325-unit building affordable is something that they are resistant to.”
“We also challenged them about being more transparent about the numbers—what public resources are going into this project and what cash is being taken out of this project,” he recounted, while reflecting that, “‘debatable’ is a polite word for how much a public agency needs to be compensated.”
Justine Cuccia, another member of the Coalition said at the September 28 meeting, “not only do we need more affordable units, but we need some of these set aside of September 11 survivors and first responders, and their families. We came back to this community because our government told us it was safe. And our government was lying.”
She added, “a Community Advisory Committee has been set up, but the public are not invited, and these agencies are not listening to us at all, which is infuriating. We keep hearing that we have to work within the system, but the system is broken. We need to stop turning Lower Manhattan into a ghetto for the rich.”
Richard Corman, another leader of the Coalition (who also serves as president of Downtown Independent Democrats, said, “our group has been in front of the agencies deciding this. We have been answered, at best, with generalities. And at worst, we are being stonewalled. These agencies have a long history of acting behind closed doors, without community input or interest.”
Mariama James, also a leader of the Coalition, observed, “this ‘let them eat cake’ mentality ignores our community’s need for affordable housing.”
Todd Fine, president of the local preservation organization, Washington Street Advocacy Group, said, “if a completely affordable building were erected here, at this time of massive need, it would send a powerful message to the City, the country, and the world. This action represents a betrayal of the core principles proposed at the start of the post-September 11 reconstruction. Initially, September 11 was described universally as ‘an attack on all New Yorkers,’ and in the dozens of public listening sessions in 2002 and 2003, New Yorkers frequently urged that if the World Trade Center reconstruction include housing, that it should be affordable, low-income housing. Promises made by agencies regarding public land were not kept.”
“Any intention to change the World Trade Center general project plan to allow for luxury development needs much more public scrutiny and involvement,” he continued. “The full transformation of the World Trade Center into the Hudson Yards-model could be a disaster.”
For more information about tonight’s event, and about the campaign for greater affordability at Five World Trade Center, please browse: AffordableTower5.com.
Statue of Limitations
Local Leaders Want ‘Fearless Girl’ to Go Through Channels Before Becoming Permanent
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A resolution enacted at October 26 monthly meeting of Community Board 1 (CB1) notes that the sculpture, “was originally placed at a nearby public site without authority in 2017.” To read more…
Six Figures for Every 12 Inches
City Announces $110 Million for Resiliency in Seaport
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Greenmarkets are open
Greenwich Street & Chambers Street
Every Wednesday & Saturday, 8am-3pm
Food Scrap Collection: Saturdays, 8am-1pm
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Broadway & Whitehall Street
Every Tuesday & Thursday, 8am-5pm
Food Scrap Collection: Tuesdays only, 8am-11am
Greenmarket at Oculus Plaza
Church & Fulton Streets
Samascott Orchard Orchard fruit, strawberries from Columbia County, New York
Francesa’s Bakery Breads and baked goods from Middlesex County, New Jersey
Meredith’s Bakery Baked goods from Ulster County, New York
Riverine Ranch Water Buffalo meat and cheeses from Warren County, New Jersey
1857 Spirits Handcrafted potato vodka from Schoharie County, New York
SNAP/EBT/P-EBT, Debit/Credit, and Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks accepted
Burnout is real, especially after the many months of monotony we’ve endured in the past year. But for many of us, creativity and innovation are critical to our professional success. How do we encourage the constant generation of new ideas, even when our brains need rest? Innovation is part of a process that can be consciously detonated in a structured way, and Edwin Garcia of RedBox Innovation will tell us how to do just that. Free.
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 are expected to 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. Participants must maintain six feet of physical distance between households. All programs will be held in accordance with New York State reopening guidance. Free.
New York is called “the Empire State,” and so is its most famous skyscraper.
Join us for a hybrid program, which kids can attend either in person at The Skyscraper Museum or virtually on Zoom. First, we’ll have a reading of the book by Lisa Bullard The Empire State Building, then compare the 1931 skyscraper to 21st century supertalls in our current exhibition. Then, switching from listening and looking, kids will design a colorful light show for the skyscraper’s spire. All ages. RSVP required. Free
In this lecture, Nina Sankovitch will present the intimate connections between leading families of the American Revolution—the Hancock, Quincy, and Adams families—and explore the role played by such figures as John Hancock, John Adams and Abigail Smith (Adams), Josiah Quincy Junior and Dorothy Quincy (Hancock) in sparking the flames of dissent and rebellion that would lead to the Declaration of Independence in 1776. By focusing in on Braintree, Massachusetts and these three prominent families of the village, Sankovitch will demonstrate how the desire for independence cut across class lines, binding people together as they pursued commonly held goals of opportunity, liberty, and stability. This lecture will take place via Zoom. Free
Then Until Now offers a look at a forty-year choreographic span, with past and present juxtaposed in the bodies of three “mature” dancers.
About the artists: Angel, Barsness, and Clements resurrect solos from the 1980s and make new dances, too. A surprise comic trio is the finale. Vicki Angel, Eric Barsness, and Carol Clements share a background in the 1980s downtown Manhattan dance scene, at the juncture of avant-garde, postmodern dance and the theatrical experimentation of performance art. $15-$20
The National Museum of the American Indian’s Native Cinema Showcase is an annual celebration of the best in Native film. This year’s showcase focuses on Native people boldly asserting themselves through language, healing, building community, and a continued relationship with the land. Activism lies at the heart of all these stories. Check website for individual listings Free
Originally from the Chicago comedy scene, Megan has been called “an oasis of invigorating silliness in feeds dominated by wearying tragedy” by the New York Timesand “a soothing comedy balm for a scathing grease fire of a year” by Harper’s Bazaar.$37.50
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‘A Victory for Every Community in Lower Manhattan’
City Council Candidate Christopher Marte Wins Race to Succeed Margaret Chin
Christopher Marte won by a wide margin the race to succeed Margaret Chin and represent Lower Manhattan in the City Council, according to preliminary results posted online by the City’s Board of Elections.
As of a few minutes after midnight, with 98.5 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Marte had garnered 15,055 votes out of 21,083 ballots cast, or approximately 71 percent of the total. He was trailed by Independent candidate Maud Maron, with 3,041 votes (or 14 percent), and Republican contender Jacqueline Toboroff, with 2,945 votes, or 13 percent.
Kavanagh Pushes for Ban on Natural Gas in New Buildings
State Senator Brian Kavanagh led a Monday rally of environmentalists at City Hall Park on Monday to urge passage of the All-Electric Building Act, a proposed law that he is sponsoring in the upper house of the State legislature. This measure would prohibit the issuance of permits for the construction of new gas-powered buildings starting in 2023, along with conversions of existing buildings starting next year, except in cases where builders or owners can demonstrate that “there are truly no feasible alternatives.”
Alliance of Elected Officials Seeks to Ground Helicopters
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has brought together a coalition of City, State, and Federal elected officials from New York and New Jersey to fight the rampant proliferation of tourist helicopter flights over the greater metropolitan area. To read more…
What’s Up, Dock?
Planning Moves Ahead for Elevating Battery Waterfront
With the ongoing design process for the Battery Wharf resiliency project now 50 percent complete (and construction slated to begin in late 2022), Community Board 1 (CB1) is weighing in with concerns and ideas about how to refine the vision for raising the level of the waterfront esplanade in the Battery to protect the historic park against future sea-level rise and extreme-weather events.
Alliance Aims to Encourage Storefront Startups in Lower Manhattan
The Downtown Alliance is offering a package of free incentives and support services, valued at $10,000, to help new retailers and restaurants seeking to open in Lower Manhattan. The Jump Start program is designed to give small businesses a better chance at success in both the physical and online marketplace, by offering up to 20 eligible applicants a customized strategic launch plan, along with four interactive consultation sessions. Services will include advice on everything from driving foot traffic to creating a successful e-commerce platform.
This is a photo by Robert Frank (1924-2019) from his 1958 book, The Americans.
1620 – Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower sight land at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
1851 – Kentucky marshals abduct abolitionist minister Calvin Fairbank from Jeffersonville, Indiana, and take him to Kentucky to stand trial for helping a slave escape.
1857 – The Atlantic is founded in Boston, Massachusetts.
1867 – Tokugawa shogunate hands power back to the Emperor of Japan, starting the Meiji Restoration.
1872 – The Great Boston Fire of 1872 was Boston’s largest urban fire, and still ranks as one of the most costly fire-related property losses in American history. The conflagration began around 7:20 p.m. in the basement of a commercial warehouse at 83-87 Summer Street. The fire was finally contained 12 hours later, after it had consumed about 65 acres of Boston’s downtown, 776 buildings and much of the financial district. Miraculously, only thirteen people died in the inferno
1906 – Theodore Roosevelt is the first sitting President of the United States to make an official trip outside the country. He did so to inspect progress on the Panama Canal.
1907 – The Cullinan Diamond is presented to King Edward VII on his birthday.The Cullinan Diamond was a large gem-quality diamond weighing 3,106.75 carats (621.35 g) discovered at the Premier No. 2 mine in Cullinan, modern-day South Africa. It was named after the chairman of the mine, Thomas Cullinan. It was presented to King Edward VII of the United Kingdom for his 66th birthday and cut into several polished gems, the largest of which is named Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa, and at 530.4 carats (106.08 g) it is the largest clear cut diamond in the world.
1918 – Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany abdicates after the German Revolution, and Germany is proclaimed a Republic.
1921 – The Italian National Fascist Party comes into existence.
1938 – The Nazi German diplomat Ernst vom Rath dies from gunshot wounds by Herschel Grynszpan, an act which the Nazis used as an excuse to instigate the 1938 national pogrom, also known as Kristallnacht.
1960 – Robert McNamara is named president of Ford Motor Company, the first non-Ford to serve in that post. A month later, he resigned to join the administration of newly elected John F. Kennedy.
1967 – Apollo program: NASA launches the unmanned Apollo 4 test spacecraft atop the first Saturn V rocket from Cape Kennedy, Florida.
1967 – The first issue of Rolling Stone magazine is published.
1979 – Nuclear false alarm: The NORAD computers and the Alternate National Military Command Center in Fort Ritchie, Maryland detected purported massive Soviet nuclear strike. After reviewing the raw data from satellites and checking the early-warning radars, the alert is cancelled.
1985 – Garry Kasparov, 22, of the Soviet Union becomes the youngest World Chess Champion by beating fellow Soviet Anatoly Karpov.
1989 – Fall of the Berlin Wall. East Germany opens checkpoints in the Berlin Wall, allowing its citizens to travel to West Berlin.
1994 – The chemical element darmstadtium is discovered.
2005 – Suicide bombers attacked three hotels in Amman, Jordan, killing at least 60 people.
Aftermath of the Great Boston Fire of 1872 Washington & Bromfield Streets
1731 – Benjamin Banneker, American farmer, surveyor, and author (d. 1806)
1853 – Stanford White was an American architect and partner in the architectural firm McKim, Mead & White. As part of the firm McKim, Mead & White, he was responsible for many of New York City’s loveliest structures during the Gilded Age, including social clubs, ritzy residences, and the Washington Square Arch. But his personal life was filled with scandal—particularly his relationships with women, including 16-year-old Evelyn Nesbitt, which led to his murder atop Madison Square Garden on June 25, 1906.
1915 – André François, Romanian-French, painter, and sculptor (d. 2005)
1915 – Sargent Shriver, American lieutenant, lawyer, and politician, 21st United States Ambassador to France (d. 2011)
1918 – Spiro Agnew, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 39th Vice President of the United States (d. 1996)
1924 – Robert Frank, Swiss-American photographer and director. His most notable work, the 1958 book titled The Americans, earned Frank comparisons to a modern-day de Tocqueville for his fresh and nuanced outsider’s view of American society. He died in 2019.
1928 – Anne Sexton, American poet and academic (d. 1974)
1936 – Mary Travers, American singer-songwriter was an American singer-songwriter and member of Peter, Paul and Mary, along with Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey. Peter, Paul and Mary was one of the most successful folk-singing groups of the 1960s. She died in 2009.
959 – Constantine VII, Byzantine emperor (b. 905)
1911 – Howard Pyle, American author and illustrator (b. 1853)
1924 – Henry Cabot Lodge, American historian and politician (b. 1850)
1940 – Neville Chamberlain, businessman and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1869)
1953 – Dylan Thomas Welsh poet and author (b. 1914)
1970 – Charles de Gaulle general and politician, 18th President of France (b. 1890)
1988 – John N. Mitchell, lieutenant, lawyer, and politician, 67th United States Attorney General (b. 1913)
2003 – Art Carney, American actor and comedian (b. 1918)