Elected Officials Want Prospective Buyer of Affordable Housing Complex to Share Info
Knickerbocker Village, in Two Bridges, has been a bastion of affordability for nearly a century.
A coalition of elected officials are cautioning the prospective buyer of a Lower Manhattan affordable housing complex not to get any ideas about making the development any less affordable.
Nestled in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge, Knickerbocker Village is a giant apartment complex in the Two Bridges neighborhood (bounded by Monroe, Market, Cherry, and Catherine Streets), which was built by a public-private partnership in the 1930s. Consisting of 12 buildings with a total of 1,590 apartments, it has been a bastion of affordability for nearly a century. As recently as 2019, a one-bedroom apartment rented there for $810 per month, and a three-bedroom units were priced at $1,250.
In 2019, the City struck a deal with Cherry Green Property Corporation, the owners of Knickerbocker Village, agreeing to reduce the complex’s property tax bill by $3 million per year (a decrease of almost 90 percent), in exchange for preserving affordability protections through 2069.
Shortly after that concession was locked in, Cherry Green began negotiating terms with L+M Development Partners, for the latter firm to buy Knickerbocker Village. L+M specializes in affordable housing development and management (along with market-rate projects), and has played a role in building several notable Lower Manhattan projects, such as 25 Park Row (opposite City Hall), Essex Crossing (the massive new planned community near the Williamsburg Bridge), and the Two Bridges redevelopment along the East River waterfront that will bring thousands of new apartments to an area once dominated by housing set aside for the poor and the elderly.
As news of the pending sale spread, tenant activists at Knickerbocker Village began organizing to oppose L+M’s takeover of the complex. Part of this campaign has consisted of enlisting support from Lower Manhattan elected officials.
In February, City Council member Christopher Marte, State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou, and State Senator Brian Kavanagh jointly wrote to L+M, noting that, “while there are many unanswered questions regarding rent increases and actual costs of maintenance and repair for the buildings, the tenants should have the opportunity to conduct an independent analysis of these costs and rent determinations.”
Mr. Marte, Ms. Niou, and Mr. Kavanagh also requested that L+M hold public meetings with tenants to answer questions, while additionally providing written documentation about operating costs, repair budgets, and projected rent increases. Finally, they pressed L+M to postpone a legally required “Budget Rent Determination hearing” about these issues until the tenants association has hired an accountant to analyze these documents.
The elected officials also noted that, “L+M has stated in many meetings that they want to ‘communicate and build trust’ with the residents. We believe that this is an opportunity for L+M to be transparent in its effort to engage tenants regarding the future of Knickerbocker Village.”
New in Business
ZAZA Restaurant & Diner
Greenwich Street has a long history in Lower Manhattan.
Laid out in 1761 as First Street, the lane was eventually lined with Federalist Mansions, until the rich moved further north. In the 1800s, it was the home of the first modern circus, called the New Amphitheatre. Around the turn of the 20th century, it was the home to Middle Eastern and European immigrants who created a strong community that included boarding houses, shops, a school, and a gymnasium.
All of that ended when the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel was built in 1950 and the lower blocks of Greenwich Street were cleared for the tunnel entrance. The construction of the World Trade Center towers during the 1960s and 70s lopped off blocks in the north, and the disaster of 9/11 wreaked more destruction.
Fast forward to 2022.
With the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site and post-pandemic tourists returning to Lower Manhattan, life is once again returning to Greenwich Street.
The 911 Tribute Museum, Trinity Church’s new community center, George’s Luncheonette, Tajin Restaurant, Dragon Tea, Suspenders, BaoBao Café, the Hide-Away Spa and Lounge along with a few boutique hotels all contribute to a new vibe on the street. And a couple of weeks ago, ZAZA opened.
An American-style diner run by two generations of the Fathelbab family, ZAZA is bright and comfortable, with white marble decor, a friendly staff, and a comprehensive menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The owners, Diana and Adam, and their dad, Bob have been in the restaurant business for more than four decades, involved with establishments in Manhattan, Staten Island, and Brooklyn. Bob was a maître d’hôtel at the Plaza Hotel’s Edwardian Room and Oak Room for more than 20 years.
In addition to ZAZA, the family has another establishment in Coney Island Brooklyn, The Parkview Diner. ZAZA is open 7 days a week from 7am to 10pm serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Delivery and takeout are available. Save room for one of their homemade mouthwatering desserts!
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed as a troop and cargo transport aircraft. Its top speed is 367 mph with a range of 2,361 miles. They weight 75,000 lbs and cost between $12 million and $30 million to manufacture.
City Health Data Covering Entire Pandemic Show 150-Plus Local COVID Deaths, Among More Than 20,000 Cases
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a total of 163 residents of Lower Manhattan have died from the disease, while more than 21,356 residents have been diagnosed according to an analysis of data from the City’s Department of Health. For the eight residential zip codes of Lower Manhattan, these metrics break down as follows: To read more…
Alliance Launches Program to Help Local Small Businesses Connect with Customers Online
The Downtown Alliance, as part of its broader effort to help Lower Manhattan’s business community recover from the COVID-19 crisis, has launched Get Social, a free program teaches local firms how best to use social media to bolster their bottom line. The Alliance will pair ten businesses with social media consultants, each of whom has demonstrated skills and strategic insight on building an audience across a variety of platforms. The program also provides each participating business with a $1,500 grant to spend on advertising and content creation. To read more…
Two Passionate Advocates for the Arts in Lower Manhattan to Be Fêted Friday
Dr. Lisa Ecklund-Flores
This Friday (April 8), the highly regarded Church Street School for Music & Art will honor two champions of the Lower Manhattan arts scene—the late Tom Goodkind and Dr. Lisa Ecklund-Flores—with a gala benefit at City Winery (25 11th Avenue, in the Hudson River Park, near 15th Street). To read more…
Floating an Idea
Port Authority Interprets Governor’s Order Littorally
Lower Manhattan residents could soon have a new option for accessing LaGuardia Airport, if planners at the Port Authority approve an option to launch ferry service between the Wall Street pier and the aerodrome in northern Queens.
The Port Authority has been compelled to take a fresh look at ways to access LaGuardia after Governor Kathy Hochul killed plans formulated by her predecessor, former Governor Andrew Cuomo, to build a new AirTrain. That proposal would have connected the airport to both the Long Island Rail Road and the subway’s 7 train—in both cases by moving passengers eastward for those transfers, when the vast majority of users would likely be headed to destinations west of the LaGuardia (such as Manhattan). This scheme was slated to cost several billion dollars.
What was the biggest obstacle to China’s modernization as the Qing Dynasty collapsed? The Chinese language, according to Yale University Professor Jing Tsu. Back then, literacy was reserved for the elite few, and the system of calligraphy was far too complicated for the technological revolution that was sweeping the world. Join Professor Tsu as she explores the century-long fight to make the Chinese language accessible to the modern world of global trade and digital technology. Free.
The events of 9/11 profoundly transformed how the United States engages with the rest of the world. Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton was at the forefront of that transformation, first as a senator from New York (2001-2009) and then as secretary of state (2009-2013) in the Obama administration. In this conversation with 9/11 Memorial & Museum’s Executive Vice President and Deputy Director for Museum Programs Clifford Chanin, Secretary Clinton reflects upon the attacks, the power and limitations of diplomacy in the ensuing two decades, and what the future might hold for American foreign policy. The program is at capacity and tickets are no longer available. For those unable to attend, the event will be broadcast live, with captioning, at 911memorial.org/watch.
Military histories often focus on battles campaigns, overlooking the soldiers who fought them. Who were the red-coated soldiers who formed the ranks of the British army in the 1770s? In this talk, Don N. Hagist will investigate where British soldiers were from, what they did before joining the army, what motivated them to enlist, how they were trained, how they lived in America on campaign and in garrison, and what became of them after the war. Free.
Wake in Fright (1971,Ted Kotcheff) tells the story of a British schoolteacher’s descent into personal demoralization at the hands of drunken, deranged derelicts while stranded in a small town in outback Australia. Registration required.
Audrey Schulman, author of Theory of Bastards, and Samantha Hunt, author of The Seas, will come together to discuss their new genre-bending works of literature as part of McNally Jackson and Europa Editions’ series of conversations on literature from around the globe, Here & Away.
zavé martohardjono and collaborators present TERRITORY: The Island Remembers, an examination of colonial history through a parable of an island, which, divided by a border, grapples with reconciliation. TERRITORY: The Island Remembers will premiere as a week-long multimedia installation that will take over Gibney’s Studio Y. From April 7-9, the installation will be activated with three nights of rituals, performance, and audience-interactive actions. Prior to activations, visitors are invited to the installation at no cost on April 5-9 from 12-3pm EDT. With guided instruction, installation visitors can give offerings to altars within the space to acknowledge the land and prepare it for evening activations. $15-$20.
On Saturdays and Sundays, visit the exhibitions and the ships of the South Street Seaport Museum for free. At 12 Fulton Street, see “South Street and the Rise of New York”” and “Millions: Migrants and Millionaires aboard the Great Liners, 1900-1914,”” and at Pier 16, explore the tall ship Wavertree and lightship Ambrose. Free,
Jeff Deutsch presents In Praise of Good Bookstores, in conversation with Sarah McNally
McNally Jackson 4 Fulton Street
Do we need bookstores in the twenty-first century? If so, what makes a good one? In this beautifully written book, Jeff Deutsch–the director of Chicago’s Seminary Co-op Bookstores, one of the finest bookstores in the world–pays loving tribute to one of our most important and endangered civic institutions. He considers how qualities like space, time, abundance, and community find expression in a good bookstore. Along the way, he also predicts—perhaps audaciously—a future in which the bookstore not only endures, but realizes its highest aspirations.
For the Birds
A Guide to our Feathered Friends in Lower Manhattan
Gail Karlsson is a local writer and photographer who recently began focusing on New York City birds. She has put together a photo book called A Birds’ Guide to The Battery and New York Harbor. Most of the text is written from the birds’ point of view.
In 2017, she began going on morning bird walks in The Battery led by Gabriel Willow, a naturalist working with New York City Audubon. “One day he told me that not very many birders went to The Battery, and it would be good to document what we saw there. I didn’t know much about the different birds, but I did have a new telephoto lens, and Gabriel helped me identify ones I didn’t recognize. I was amazed at how many different types of birds we found there.I decided to put them together in a book – which turned into a much bigger project than I imagined. But a really fun one.”
‘Downtown Birds’ is now on display in the ground-floor window gallery at the former Western Union building (60 Hudson) located on the northwest corner of West Broadway and Thomas now through May 1
The book A Birds’ Guide to The Battery and New York Harbor is available on Amazon.com.
Local Rates of Infection with BA.2 Version of COVID Among Highest in City
In a sharp reversal of previous trends, four Lower Manhattan neighborhoods are ranking among the top five anywhere in the City for rates of infection with the new BA.2 subvariant of the Omicron mutation of COVID-19.
In data released by the City’s Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday (covering the period from March 18 through March 24), southern Tribeca, two areas of the Financial District, and southern Battery Park City all placed among the five communities with the highest percentage positive test results for COVID infection. The four local zip codes with the highest level of positive test results were:
Census Analysis Indicates Downtown Has Become a Lot Younger, Quite a Bit More Crowded, and Slightly More Diverse
The population of Lower Manhattan has grown by almost 20,000 residents in the decade preceding the 2020 Census, according to an analysis co-authored by James Wilson-Schutter, a Community Planning Fellow affiliated with the Fund for the City of New York, who is consulting with Community Board 1 (CB1), and Diana Switaj, CB1’s Director of Planning and Land Use.
Elevator Outages Have FiDi High-Rise Tenants Out on a Ledge
Months of chronic elevator problems at a historic skyscraper in the Financial District have left tenants at 20 Exchange Place hiking dozens of flights to and from their apartments each day. At a Monday rally called by elected officials to show support for the plight of residents in the building, City Council member Christopher Marte said, “this is the worst-case scenario for any resident. The first incident was in late October, almost six months ago.” Since then, he said, “there has been neglect from Con Edison and the management office. This is unacceptable. Enough is enough. Let’s get this fixed.”
Three Downtown Preservation Projects Cited as Exemplars of Landmark Protection
Three of Lower Manhattan’s architectural masterpieces have been singled out for the prestigious Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award, conferred each year by the New York Landmarks Conservancy, a highly regarded non-profit organization (itself based in Lower Manhattan, on Whitehall Street) that seeks to protect New York’s architecturally significant buildings. To read more…
Folk dance group seeks empty space of 400+ sq feet for 2 hours of weekly evening dance practice.
Average attendance is 10 women. This is our hobby; can pay for use of the space.
Call 646 872-0863 or find us on Facebook. Ring O’Bells Morris.
HOUSEKEEPING/ NANNY/ BABYSITTER
Available for PT/FT. Wonderful person, who is a great worker.
Worked in BPC.
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets
Greenwich Street & Chambers Street
Every Wednesday & Saturday, 8am-3pm
Food Scrap Collection: Saturdays, 8am-1pm
Open Saturdays and Wednesdays year round
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Green Greenmarket at Bowling Green
Broadway & Whitehall St
Open Tuesday and Thursdays, year-round
Market Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Compost Program: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
The Bowling Green Greenmarket brings fresh offerings from local farms to Lower Manhattan’s historic Bowling Green plaza. Twice a week year-round stop by to load up on the season’s freshest fruit, crisp vegetables, beautiful plants, and freshly baked loaves of bread, quiches, and pot pies.
Fulton Street cobblestones between South and Front Sts. across from McNally Jackson Bookstore.
Locally grown produce from Rogowski Farm, Breezy Hill Orchard, and other farmers and small-batch specialty food products, sold directly by their producers. Producers vary from week to week.
SNAP/EBT/P-EBT, Debit/Credit, and Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks accepted at all farmers markets.
Today in History
Mahatma Gandi 1869-1948
On this day in 1930, at the end of the Salt March, Gandhi raised a lump of mud and salt and declared, “With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire.”
Britain’s Salt Act of 1882 prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt, a staple in their diet. Indian citizens were forced to buy the vital mineral from their British rulers, who, in addition to exercising a monopoly over the manufacture and sale of salt, also charged a heavy salt tax.The Salt March, which took place from March to April 1930 in India, was an act of civil disobedience led by Mahatma Gandhi to protest British rule in India. During the march, thousands of Indians followed Gandhi from his religious retreat near Ahmedabad to the Arabian Sea coast, a distance of some 240 miles. The march resulted in the arrest of nearly 60,000 people, including Gandhi himself. India was finally granted independence in 1947. (Wikipedia)
46 BC – Julius Caesar defeats Caecilius Metellus Scipio and Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Younger) in the battle of Thapsus.
1199 – King Richard I of England dies from an infection following the removal of an arrow from his shoulder.
1580 – One of the largest earthquakes recorded in the history of England, Flanders, or Northern France, takes place.
1712 – The New York Slave Revolt of 1712 begins near Broadway.
1808 – John Jacob Astor incorporates the American Fur Company, that would eventually make him America’s first millionaire.
1841 – President John Tyler is sworn in, two days after having become President upon William Henry Harrison’s death.
1895 – Oscar Wilde is arrested in the Cadogan Hotel, London, after losing a libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry.
1896 – In Athens, the opening of the first modern Olympic Games is celebrated, 1,500 years after the original games are banned by Roman emperor Theodosius I.
1909 – Robert Peary and Matthew Henson reach the North Pole.
1930 – At the end of the Salt March, Gandhi raises a lump of mud and salt and declares, “With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire.”
1965 – Launch of Early Bird, the first commercial communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit.
1998 – Nuclear weapons testing: Pakistan tests medium-range missiles capable of reaching India.
1483 – Raphael, Italian painter and architect (d. 1520)
1773 – James Mill, Scottish historian, economist, and philosopher (d. 1836)
1820 – Nadar, French photographer, journalist, and author (d. 1910)
1888 – Hans Richter, Swiss painter, illustrator, and director (d. 1976)
1903 – Harold Eugene Edgerton, American engineer and academic (d. 1990)
1928 – James Watson, biologist, geneticist, and zoologist, Nobel Prize laureate
1147 – Frederick II, duke of Swabia (b. 1090)
1520 – Raphael, Italian painter and architect (b. 1483)
1971 – Igor Stravinsky, Russian-American pianist, composer, conductor (b. 1882)
1992 – Isaac Asimov, American science fiction writer (b. 1920)
2015 – Ray Charles, American singer-songwriter and conductor (b. 1918)
2017 – Don Rickles, American actor and comedian (b. 1926)