Lower Manhattan’s Local News
Greater Goods and Lessor Evils
Gateway Affordability Rally Draws Large Crowd; Multiple Elected Officials Pledge Support
Hundreds of Gateway Plaza residents braved ominous weather to attend a tenants’ rally along the esplanade on Sunday evening, and hear a succession of elected officials pledge their support to the campaign for extended and expanded affordability protections at Battery Park City’s largest apartment complex. The event was organized and hosted by the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association(GPTA), which represents the 1,700-plus households in the community’s first residential development.
GPTA president Rosalie Joseph began by asking, “why are we here today? To fight for our homes, plain and simple! A year from now, the rent stabilization agreement of 2009 will expire.” This was a reference to the most recent in a series of accords between Gateway’s developer and landlord, the LeFrak Organization, and the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA), which owns the land on which the complex is located. These agreements have historically limited rent increases at Gateway to those approved by the City’s Rent Guidelines Board for rent-stabilized apartments elsewhere in the City.
“Together with you and our elected officials, the GPTA is demanding the preservation of rent stabilization for all of Gateway, no matter when you moved in,” Ms. Joseph continued. This was a reference to the fact that the 2009 affordability agreement protected only tenants living at Gateway on the date that accord went into affect. All of the earlier pacts had mandated limits on increases for all Gateway residents for the duration of each agreement, regardless of when they moved in. This difference has resulted, in the years since 2009, in more than half of all Gateway households receiving no rent protection whatever.
“For those of us who lived here before 2009, we are at risk of not being able to afford to live where we have built our lives and built our community,” Ms. Joseph observed. “So the GPTA is working with the Battery Park City Authority, and our elected officials to secure a renewal and expansion of rent stabilization. We want the agreement expanded to cover all Gateway residents. And we want the agreement extended to 2040.” Such a 20-year term would mark a crucial difference from the four previous Gateways rent accords, the shortest of which lasted four years, and the longest of which endured for 12.
GPTA vice president Robin Forstthen introduced U.S. Congressman Jerry Nadler, who began by saying, “the struggle here is really part of a struggle to keep affordability in Lower Manhattan.” Noting that two other nearby large developments, Independence Plaza and Southbridge Towers, have lost affordability protections in recent years, he added, “the only redoubt of affordability in Lower Manhattan, the only place where there are rent protections other than individual buildings where they have some stabilized apartments, is Gateway Plaza.”
“That must be maintained,” he stated emphatically. “We must insist on an agreement that is negotiated to extend through the entire lifetime of the ground lease, which is the year 2040.” This was a reference to the fact that LeFrak’s lease with the Battery Park City Authority theoretically could end in that year, although this agreement contains optional renewal periods extending through the year 2069.
“Secondly,” Mr. Nadler continued, “all apartments must have stabilization, and they must not be destabilized upon a turnover of tenancy.” This was a reference to the clause in the current affordability agreement that allows rent-stabilized apartments to revert to market rents once a tenant moves out. “Every time a turnover happens, that means one less affordable apartment,” he noted.
Mr. Nadler recalled that, “Battery Park City was a State project, and part of the understanding was that we could have middle-class, affordable housing. That was part of the deal. We didn’t mean for that to be temporary.”
“So it is essential that negotiations between Lefrak and the Battery Park City Authority and the State honor that commitment to affordability,” he insisted. “And that means permanent affordability, which means continuous rent stabilization, for every apartment.”
Next, Ms. Forst introduced City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who began by insisting that, “failure is not an option. This was the first residential development in Battery Park City, and it was always envisioned as a middle-class building, a place where you could come and raise families and build the surrounding community. That is what the people of Gateway have always represented.”
“And we know the real story,” he recalled. After the devastation of September 11, 2001, “there was a group of people who said, ‘this is our City. This is our Lower Manhattan. And we’re not going to surrender to terrorists, or developers.'”
“Look what you did,” Mr. Stringer exhorted the cheering crowd. “You rebuilt Lower Manhattan. You built the stores back and you built the schools. And you made sure that future generations of New Yorkers can enjoy this amazing community. And that is what this fight is all about. And I say to Lefrak very clearly, ‘look what’s happening in Albany. There is now a recognition that we do not build any more fake affordable housing. We build permanent affordable housing. That’s what this is about.”
“Permanency means you can claim your future,” he continued. “That you have an equity stake in communities. We will march with you. We will fight with you. We will negotiate with you. But this fight cannot be lost. We need permanency and we need it now.”
Ms. Forst then called to the stage Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who said to the audience, “You are our heroes. There are many things happening in the world. But nothing is more important than affordable housing at Gateway. We need to preserve the existing rent stabilization. But we need a new rent stabilization agreement that covers all Gateway Plaza tenants. All of them. And it has to be long term — 2040 and more. It’s not just about affordable rents, because rent stabilization also gives tenants the right to a lease renewal and to succession, and to SCRIE and to DRIE.” This was a reference to ancillary protections conferred by rent stabilization elsewhere in the City (but not currently at Gateway Plaza), such as the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption and the Disabled Rent Increase Exemption programs.
“These are all needed to make sure that we have long-term tenancy in Gateway — period!” Ms. Brewer insisted. She concluded by honoring BPCA president Benjamin Jones, saying, “he and the Authority are terrific partners.”
Ms. Forst then brought to the podium City Council member Margaret Chin, who noted that, “a lot of you were here in the beginning and helped to build Battery Park City. This would not be a beautiful neighborhood that everyone wants to come to, if it weren’t for the residents of Gateway. You helped build two public schools. You helped build the library. You saved the staircase.” (This was a reference to the successful, community-led campaign to prevent Brookfield Properties from demolishing the iconic steps in the Winter Garden.) “And we have to make sure that you get to stay. That’s why we’re fighting so hard for rent regulations to protect Gateway.”
“But we’re not fighting for just any kind of rent stabilization,” she continued. “It has to be the real one, which will help seniors and people with disabilities. Because right now, you don’t have that. So we have to got tell LeFrak, ‘enough with this. Get back to the negotiating table. You’ve made a lot of money. Get back to the table. And we want to encourage BPCA – we’re behind you. Make sure we get the protection that we need.”
“And let’s get real rent stabilization that covers all the buildings in Battery Park City,” Ms. Chin added. “So the fight continues. We will not give up and we will not let it expire next year.”
Menhir for the Men and Women Who Came Here
A Stele for Survivors Honors Those Who Came Back, and Those Who Chose to Settle Downtown After the Dust Settled
On Thursday morning, the World Trade Center complex unveiled a new monument: the Memorial Glade, which honors people whose health (or whose lives) were taken from them not on September 11, 2001, but in the years that followed, because they were exposed to toxins in the aftermath of the Twin Towers’ collapse.
To the Editor:
BPCA’s creation and promotion of affordable housing is explicitly contemplated by the Authority’s enabling legislation. And as we have regularly discussed with the community in public forums – BPCA Board Meetings, BPC Open Community Meetings, Community Board Meetings, and the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association’s annual meeting – we are committed to addressing affordability concerns in Battery Park City. Our goals continue to be:
In an effort to achieve these goals, we have engaged with renters, condominium owners, building owners, State and City stakeholders, and elected officials. Though the solution is not solely within our control, we’ll continue to work hard to do our part.
President & CEO
Battery Park City Authority
Let’s celebrate our graduates during the month of June.
Send us a picture and 100 words about your graduate or your own achievement.Pre-K through Ph.D
‘To Make the Wounded Whole…’
Chin Pushes to Renew Victim Compensation Fund
City Council member Margaret Chin is mobilizing local support for an effort at the federal level to restore funding and make permanent the Victim Compensation Fund, which offers financial awards to responders and survivors of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
This proposed federal measure would renew and make permanent the Victim Compensation Fund that was created by a 2011 law, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which was renewed in 2015.
To the Editor:
I watched the transfer of the bridge spans in person on Wednesday, but seeing your video was AWESOME!
Thanks for sharing that!
Maryanne P. Braverman
Monday June 3
Senior Group Exercise
Battery Park City Parks
Strengthen the body through instructor-led rhythmic movement and aerobics, balance and coordination exercises, as well as strength training. Join this fun and vigorous session for a great workout! 6 River Terrace.
Meet Me in the Kitchen: Hot Topics in Nutrition
Battery Park City Parks
It seems like every year brings a whole bunch of new nutrition trends and topics, from different “must follow” diets to “can’t live without” superfoods. In this 3- part series we will cover the Keto Diet, Intermittent Fasting and learn to decode Organic with the goal to clear up what we’re hearing about in the news today. Registration required. Asphalt Green, 212 North End Avenue.
Mend It Monday
Join Remade in Brooklyn and learn to mend, darn, patch and LOVE your clothes! Bring a project and our team of experts will help you get started or unstuck to bring your garment back to (a better!) life. Examples: resewing hems, patching holes, fixing snags, de-pilling, as well as creative reuse techniques like visible mending, refashioning, and more. 205 Front Street
Terrapins, Seahorses, and Horseshoe Crabs
– Oh My!
Come Meet the Fishes
The River Project celebrates its annual “Meet the Fishes,” welcoming you to the Wetlab to experience the wonders that lie beneath the murky waters of the Hudson River.
Come visit this unique flow-through river water aquarium and meet the many species that live in the harbor at this free event for the whole family on Tuesday, June 4, from 4 to 7PM at Pier 40, West Street and Houston Street.
In addition to the blackfish, crabs, oysters and other critters, there will be local diamondback terrapin turtles, courtesy of The Turtle Conservancy.
Big, the famed giant oyster, will also make a rare appearance!
There will be delicious finger food and beverages from our local sponsors and thrilling raffle prizes from our sponsors.
Come check out plankton at a microscope station, see a real, living, growing oyster reef and play with some tiny invertebrates in the touch tank.
The River Project is a marine science field station founded in 1986 at Pier 26 in Tribeca and works to protect and restore the ecosystem of the Hudson River estuary and New York Harbor through scientific research, hands-on environmental education, urban habitat improvement and innovative waterfront programs.
For more information, contact Cathy Drew at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can Prized Community Facility Experience a Re-Berth?
A panel of elected officials and representatives from the Hudson River Park Trust(HRPT) will host a public forum this evening (Tuesday, May 28) to discuss proposed legislation that would enable commercial development at Pier 40, the massive former cruise ship terminal on the Hudson River waterfront, adjacent to Houston Street, which covers 14 acres and now houses athletic and recreational facilities.
Among the elected officials expected to attend tonight are U.S. Congressman Jerry Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, State Assembly member Deborah Glick, and State Senators Brian Kavanagh and Brad Hoylman.To read more…
Cruise Ships in the Harbor
Arrivals and Departures
Thursday, June 6
Anthem of the Seas
Inbound 6:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 4:00 pm;
Inbound 7:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 4:00 pm;
Friday, June 7
Queen Mary 2
Inbound 6:00 am; (Brooklyn); outbound 5:00 pm;
Transatlantic (Southampton, UK/Hamburg, Germany)
Saturday, June 8
Adventure of the Seas
Inbound 6:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 3:00 pm;
Bar Harbor, ME/Canadian Maritimes
Inbound 7:15 am; outbound 4:30 pm; Canadian Maritimes/Maine/Rhode Island
Sunday, June 9
Inbound 6:15 am; outbound 4:30 pm; Bermuda
Many ships pass Lower Manhattan on their way to and from the Midtown Passenger Ship Terminal. Others may be seen on their way to or from piers in Brooklyn and Bayonne. Stated times, when appropriate, are for passing the Colgate clock in Jersey City, NJ, and are based on sighting histories, published schedules and intuition. They are also subject to tides, fog, winds, freak waves, hurricanes and the whims of upper management.
EYES TO THE SKY
May 28 – June 9, 2019
The Spring Triangle – an asterism
While writing my recent column about bright stars in the south at nightfall, I was reminded of patterns those stars shape in addition to the position each has in an official constellation.
Arcturus is the brightest star in the constellation Bootes the Herdsman and Spica is brightest in Virgo the Virgin. Denebola marks the tail of Leo the Lion and Regulus the Lion’s heart. Draw imaginary lines to connect Arcturus to Spica and Denebola and we have a Spring Triangle, an asterism. Replace Denebola with Regulus for a larger Spring Triangle.
Asterisms are easily distinguishable patterns often composed of stars from more than one constellation. In the case of the Big Dipper – overhead to the south — the asterism is an outstanding part of one official constellation, Ursa major, the Great Bear.
Judy Isacoff naturesturn.org
On the Waterfront
Governors Island Trust Considers a Plan to Activate the Island’s Perimeter
Visions for the future of Governors Island are beginning to come into focus, as various constituencies emphasize their priorities.
Earlier this month, theWaterfront Alliance unveiled its Maritime Activation Plan for the highly regarded island, which focuses on strategies for capitalizing on the unique waterfront assets located along the island’s 2.2-mile perimeter, while offering practical recommendations for meeting the challenges of being situated in the middle of New York Harbor.
Today in History
193 – The Roman emperor Didius Julianus is assassinated.
1495 – A monk, John Cor, records the first known batch of Scotch whisky.
1533 – Anne Boleyn is crowned Queen of England.
1660 – Mary Dyer is hanged for defying a law banning Quakers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1779 – Benedict Arnold, a general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, is court-martialed for malfeasance.
1796 – Tennessee is admitted as the 16th state of the United States.
1855 – The American adventurer William Walker conquers Nicaragua.
1879 – Napoléon Eugène, the last dynastic Bonaparte, is killed in the Anglo-Zulu War.
1890 – The United States Census Bureau begins using Herman Hollerith’s tabulating machine to count census returns.
1958 – Charles de Gaulle comes out of retirement to lead France by decree for six months.
1962 – Adolf Eichmann is hanged in Israel.
1967 – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is released.
1974 – The Heimlich maneuver for rescuing choking victims is published in the journal Emergency Medicine.
1990 – George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev sign a treaty to end chemical weapon production.
2001 – Nepalese royal massacre: Crown Prince Dipendra of Nepal shoots and kills several members of his family including his father and mother, King Birendra of Nepal and Queen Aiswarya.
2003 – The People’s Republic of China begins filling the reservoir behind the Three Gorges Dam.
A large dam across the Yangtze River was envisioned as early as 1919 and after decades of debate, the idea of the dam reemerged in the 1980s. The National People’s Congress approved the dam in 1992 and construction began in 1994. Made of concrete and steel, the dam is 7,661 ft long, (imagine seven World Trade Centers lying down side by side, and is about as tall as a 60 story building.) The project used enough steel to build 63 Eiffel Towers. Annual electricity generation in 2015 was 87 TWh, which is 20 times more than the Hoover Dam
2009 – General Motors files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It is the fourth largest United States bankruptcy in history.
1455 – Anne of Savoy (d. 1480)
1633 – Geminiano Montanari, Italian astronomer and academic (d. 1687)
1637 – Jacques Marquette, French missionary and explorer (d. 1675)
1843 – Henry Faulds, Scottish physician and missionary, developed fingerprinting (d. 1930)
1907 – Frank Whittle, English soldier and engineer, developed the jet engine (d. 1996)
1924 – William Sloane Coffin, American minister and activist (d. 2006)
1926 – Andy Griffith, actor, singer, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2012)
1926 – Marilyn Monroe, American model and actress (d. 1962)
1935 – Norman Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank, English architect, founded Foster and Partners
1947 – Jonathan Pryce, Welsh actor and singer
1953 – David Berkowitz, American serial killer
195 BC – Emperor Gaozu of Han (b. 256 BC)
1868 – James Buchanan,15th President of the United States (b. 1791)
1872 – James Gordon Bennett, Sr., American publisher, founded The New York Herald (b. 1795)
1927 – Lizzie Borden, American accused murderer (b. 1860)
1989 – Aurelio Lampredi, Italian engineer, designed the Ferrari Lampredi engine (b. 1917)
2000 – Tito Puente, American drummer, composer, and producer (b. 1923)
Edited from various internet sources
Local Elected Officials Say ‘Avast’ to Water-Borne Ads, But Company Claims City Is Out of Its Depth
The advertising barges that have become a pet bête noire for Lower Manhattan residents were the focus of a discussion at the April 23 meeting of Community Board 1 , where Paul Goldstein, who chairs that panel’s Waterfront, Parks, & Cultural Committee, offered an update, saying, “those floating billboards that you’ve seen on both the east and west sides — the good news is that the City is cracking down on them. Both the Mayor and the Council say they find it unacceptable. So they are imposing fines and enacting laws to restrict it.” To read more…
Anthem of the Seas Spins About
Shelter from the Storm
City Plans Temporary Flood Protection Measures for Downtown
The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio is formulating short-term strategies to protect the South Street Seaport and the Financial District from sea-level rise and future extreme-weather events.
This Sand Is Your Sand, This Sand Is Our Sand…
Although Not Yet a Shore Thing, Proposal for Brooklyn Bridge Beach Takes a Step Forward
After multiple rounds of funding since 2013, the proposed Brooklyn Bridge Beach — a project supported by elected officials, community leaders, and the public — may be inching closer to reality.
The plan, backed by all of these constituencies, aims to create a crescent-shaped wedge of sand along the East River waterfront, just north of the South Street Seaport, where park-goers could wade knee deep in tide. If built, it would become the sole access point at which Lower Manhattan residents could step into the water that surrounds them, rather than merely looking at it.
Poets House Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Journey with us across the Brooklyn Bridge, from Manhattan to Brooklyn, to celebrate Poets House and the poetry of New York City with readings by poets Robert Pinsky, Rosamond King, Gregory Pardlo, Jenny Xie, and Anne Waldman, whom we will present with our Elizabeth Kray Award for service to poetry. This year marks Poets House’s 10th anniversary at 10 River Terrace-as well as Walt Whitman’s bicentennial.
Recognition of Whitman’s 200th birthday will lend special significance to the evening as we gather to hear a reading of Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.”
Afterward, we’ll continue with more readings, accompanied by wine, dinner, and dessert, inside a beautiful historic foundry in DUMBO. All proceeds benefit Poets House’s library, public programs, and class trips for children and teens.
Monday June 10
6:00pm: Walk begins in Manhattan, near One Centre Street
8:00pm: Seated dinner at 26 Bridge Street in DUMBO
For more information: poetshouse.org/poetrywalk2019
Questions? please contact Phoebe at 212-431-7920 ext. 2819or email@example.com.
Hudson River Park Trust Seeks Development on Pier 40
The Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT), in collaboration with local elected officials, is seeking to revise its enabling legislation to allow for commercial development at Pier 40.
“The major issue is that there need to be changes to the legislation that created the Hudson River Park, because Pier 40 is sinking,” explained Anthony Notaro, chair of Community Board 1 (CB1) at an April 26 meeting.
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades Respectable Employment
Lost and Found 212-912-1106
PART TIME SALES POSITION
High commission. B to B sales
We sell donor signage to non-profits,
extremely nice clientele.
Our office is located in FIDI.
Call me at 646-729-7142. Barry Silverberg, Principal
Experienced Elder Care (12 years)
Able to prepare nutritious meals and light housekeeping
Excellent references 347 898 5804 Hope
NOTARY PUBLIC IN BPC
$2 per notarized signature
Text Paula at 917-836-8802
Dishes, windows, floors, laundry, bathrooms.
You name it – I will clean it.
Call Elle at 929-600-4520
IT AND SECURITY SUPPORT
Experienced IT technician. Expertise in 1-on-1 tutoring for all ages.Computer upgrading & troubleshooting.
Knowledgeable in all software programs. James Kierstead firstname.lastname@example.org 347-933-1362. Refs available
Experienced with BPC residents. Available nights, days, and weekends. Will cook, clean and administer medicine on time. Speaks French and English. Can start immediately. Please call or text 929-600-4520.
OLD WATCHES SOUGHT
Mechanical pocket and wristwatches sought and
If you would like to place a listing, please contact email@example.com
Cass Gilbert and the Evolution of the New York Skyscraper
by John Simko
Not So Alone
in Trinity Churchyard
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