Lower Manhattan’s Local News
Aggregation and Promulgation
Council Member and Borough President Push for Transparency in Development
Community Board 1 (CB1) has endorsed a proposed new law — sponsored by a City Council member representing the Upper East Side and supported by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer — that would require City government to notify local officials whenever development rights are transferred between building lots. Such transfers are often used by developers to maximize the zoning potential for the site of a planned skyscraper.
The bill, sponsored by City Council member Ben Kallos, would mandate that the City’s Department of Finance provide notice of such transfers (to local community boards, as well as City Council members and the Borough President) five days after that agency receives documentation related to them.
In Lower Manhattan, the transfers of air rights most recently raised alarm earlier this year, when renderings surfaced illustrating a potential development plan for 80 South Street (along the FDR Drive, between Fletcher and John Streets). These drawings showed a residential tower more than 120 stories tall. Such a building would have a roof height more than 100 feet taller than that of One World Trade Center, although the structure would not match the height of the latter building’s ornamental spire.
The 8,128-square-feet site at 80 South Street was purchased in 2016 by China Oceanwide Holdings, a Hong Kong-based developer that spent nearly $400 million to acquire adjoining lots in the Seaport District, along with hundreds of thousands of square feet of air rights. (The company received demolition permits for two structures at the site the following year.)
In 18 months preceding the site’s purchase by China Oceanwide, a series of transfers of unused air rights from adjacent properties grew 80 South Street’s development potential from 820,000 square feet to more than one million square feet. Given the size of the lot, erecting a structure that will enclose one million-plus square feet necessarily implies a tower more than 1,400 feet tall. Moreover, such a building could theoretically become even larger, if the developer agrees to include community benefits, such as a new school, or some affordable housing.
Because the possibility of creating many hundreds of new households within a single site raises serious questions about infrastructure and quality of life (especially in already-crowded communities like Lower Manhattan), local leaders have increasingly prioritized timely notification about transfers of air rights that make such developments possible.
The bill now under consideration by the City Council would not prohibit such transfers, or even restrict them. But it would bring a new level of transparency to the process, and provide community leaders with more time to organize against a proposed development about which they have reservations.
As CB1 notes in a resolution enacted at its October 22 meeting, “developers may purchase or transfer development rights, or merge zoning lots for projects, in order to maximize the size of a building.” The same measure notes Council member Kallos’s intent to, “give New Yorkers more time to prepare when a developer is cobbling together air rights or zoning lots to build towering buildings.”
The proposed law, if enacted, would not create new disclosure requirements, but instead compel active disclosure of information that is already public, albeit often buried in obscure City records and online databases, and thus often overlooked until the development process has proceeded to a point at which it is difficult to halt or modify.
Gotham Girls Winter Futsal League & Formativo Training
Gotham Girls F.C. – the only NYC all-girls soccer club
is running our Winter Futsal League for girls ages 7 to 16.
(Our foundational development soccer – Formativo – is available for girls ages 7-10). Our dedicated coaches ref the fun, active 50-minute 4v4 indoor futsal games, and provide coaching to develop girls foot skills and knowledge.
Dates are December 7/8 – March 21/22.
Games are on Saturdays or Sundays (depending on age)
at PS276 and PS234 gyms.
Cost is $210 for 12 games.
To register for Winter Futsal or Formativo, please go to http://gothamgirls.org.
Preservation, Renovation, Elevation,
and a Donation
Seaport Structure Reborn as Flood-Proof Food Emporia as Owner Celebrates with Support for Local Charity
The South Street Seaport’s historic Tin Building reached a milestone on Wednesday, when the last and highest structural beam was placed (after being ceremonially signed by dozens of well-wishers) within a reconstructed edifice, following an unprecedented, years-long effort to preserve it.
photos courtesy HHC
For more information, contact Scott Baker at email@example.com
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades ~ Respectable Employment ~ Lost & Found
LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR AVAILABLE
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CERTIFIED HOME HEALTH AIDE SEEKING
Full-Time Live-In Elder Care
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ELDER CARE NURSE AIDE
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Work with well-reviewed author of five E-books, developing and implementing outreach strategies. Includes writing, placement, research, new outlets and on-line advertising. Savvy social media skills a must. Downtown location.
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Available for PT/FT elder care. Experienced. References Angella
DITCH THE DIETS & LOSE WEIGHT FOR GOOD
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EXPERIENCED ELDER CARE
Able to prepare nutritious meals and light housekeeping
Excellent references 12yrs experienced 347-898-5804
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NOTARY PUBLIC IN BPC
$2 per notarized signature Text Paula at 917-836-8802
IT AND SECURITY SUPPORT
Experienced IT technician. Expertise in 1-on-1 tutoring for all ages.Computer upgrading & troubleshooting. Knowledgeable in all software programs.
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OLD WATCHES SOUGHT, PREFER NON-WORKING
Mechanical pocket and wristwatches sought and sometimes repaired
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November 18, 2019
What Happens When We Die? Insights from Resuscitation Science
New York Academy of Sciences
In a series of plenary presentations, speakers will review recent and emerging research related to restoring function to the brain after death, consciousness after cardiac arrest, cardiac arrest survival, and neuroprotection strategies, and more, to chart a course for new directions in the study of resuscitation and consciousness. $5-$95 7 World Trade Center.
CB1’s Environmental Protection Committee
Manhattan Borough President’s Office 1 Centre Street, 19th Floor – South
UPCOMING COMMUNITY BOARD MEETINGS
Waterfront, Parks & Cultural Committee
Quality of Life & Service Delivery Committee
CB 1 Monthly Meeting
EYES TO THE SKY
November 12 – 24, 2019
Transit of Mercury yesterday, Venus and Jupiter meet on the 24th
Mercury, the smallest planet in our solar system – slightly larger than Earth’s moon – and closest to the Sun, was observed – through telescopes – crossing the Sun yesterday, November 11. Even if you observed the little planet transiting the Sun in real time, it is worth watching NASA’s phenomenal two minute time-lapse film that shows close-ups of the Sun during Mercury’s May 9, 2016 transit. Click here to view. The next Transit of Mercury visible in its entirety from our location will be in 2049.
Cruise Ships in New York Harbor
Arrivals & Departures
Wednesday, November 20
Inbound 6:15 am; outbound 4:30 pm
repositioning to Miami, FL
Friday, November 22
Inbound 9:15 am; outbound 4:30 pm
Saturday, November 23
Anthem of the Seas
Inbound 5:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 3:00 pm
Port Canaveral, FL/Bahamas
Sunday, November 24
Inbound 6:15 am; outbound 3:30 pm
Port Canaveral, FL/Bahamas
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, New Jersey, 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.
Today in History
326 – Old St. Peter’s Basilica is consecrated. Stood 4th – 16th century. Replaced by current St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
1307 – William Tell shoots apple off his son’s head
1755 – Worst quake in Mass Bay area strikes Boston; no deaths report
1776 – Hessians capture Ft Lee, NewJersey
1820 – Antarctica discovered by US Navy Capt Nathaniel B Palmer
1865 – Mark Twain publishes “Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”
1871 – American suffragette Susan B Anthony arrested after voting on the 5th November in Rochester NY
1909 – US invades Nicaragua, later overthrows Pres Zelaya
1928 The first successful sound-synchronized animated cartoon, Walt Disney’s “Steamboat Willie” starring Mickey Mouse, premiered in New York.
1929 – Large earthquake in Atlantic breaks transatlantic cable in 28 places
1940 – George Matesky, New York City’s Mad Bomber places his first bomb at a Manhattan office building used by Consolidated Edison.
1943 – 444 British bombers attack Berlin
1955 – Bell X-2 rocket plane taken up for first powered flight
1961 – JFK sends 18,000 military advisors to South Vietnam
1963 – Bell Telephone introduces push button telephone
1964 – J. Edgar Hoover describes Martin Luther King as “most notorious liar”
1978 – In Jonestown Guyana 918 members of Peoples Temple are murdered/commit suicide under leadership of cult leader Jim Jones
1987 The congressional Iran-Contra committees issued their final report, saying President Ronald Reagan bore “ultimate responsibility” for wrongdoing by his aides.
1993 – North-Siberia record cold for November (-55°C)
1997 – FBI says no evidence of foul play in 1996 TWA 800 crash
1997 – Willem de Kooning painting “Two Standing Women” sold for $4,182,500
2012 – Lewis Hamilton wins the 2012 US Formula One Grand Prix
1571 – Hippolytus Guarinonius, Italian physician and polymath (d. 1654)
1736 – Carl Friedrich Christian Fasch, German harpsichord player and composer (d. 1800)
1787 – Louis Daguerre, French physicist and photographer, developed the daguerreotype (d. 1851)
1901 – George Gallup, American statistician and academic (d. 1984)
1908 – Imogene Coca, American actress, comedian, and singer (d. 2001)
1939 – Margaret Atwood, Canadian novelist, poet, and critic
1170 – Albert the Bear, margrave of Brandenburg (b. c. 1100)
1247 – Robin Hood, heroic outlaw in English folklore (b. 1160)
1797 – Jacques-Alexandre Laffon de Ladebat, French shipbuilder and merchant (b. 1719)
1922 – Marcel Proust, French author and critic (b. 1871)
1962 – Niels Bohr, Danish footballer, physicist, and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1885)
1969 – Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., American businessman and diplomat, 44th United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom (b. 1888)
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Shoot
Chin Pushes Legislation to Rein in Production Permits
City Council member Margaret Chin is co-sponsoring a package of bills to clamp down on rampant film and television production in Lower Manhattan.
Although the new laws, if enacted, will have City-wide effect, their impact would be especially significant in the square mile below Chambers Street, where dozens of movies and TV shows commandeer local streets (sometimes for days at a time) each year.
Things That Make You Go ‘Hmm…’
Lawsuit Over Similarity Between One World Trade and Architecture Student’s Design Moves Ahead
One thing is reasonably certain: In 1999, Jeehoon Park, then a student at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture, created a design for a very tall building with a large square base tapering to a smaller square top. In Mr. Park’s vision, the square formed by the roof was rotated 45 degrees relative to the one at the ground level, so that the center-points on each side of the quadrilateral below corresponded to the corners of the one above, and vice versa. And instead of four vertical walls, the structure’s facade consisted of eight elongated triangles.
That structure was never built. Or was it?
What’s In Store?
Amid a Booming Economy, Lower Manhattan Retail Space Languishes
A new report from City Comptroller Scott Stringer finds that in one Lower Manhattan zip code — 10013, which covers parts of western Tribeca SoHo, and the Canal Street corridor in Chinatown — there are 319 empty retail spaces, comprising almost 300,000 square feet of unused property. To read more…
Death Came Calling at the Corner of Wall and Broad Streets, in Lower Manhattan’s First Major Terrorist Attack
As the noon hour approached on a fall Thursday morning in 1920, a horse-drawn wagon slowly made its way west down Wall Street toward “the Corner,” the high-powered intersection of Wall and Broad. Its driver came to a gentle stop in front of the Assay Office, where stockpiles of gold and silver were stored and tested for purity. But theft was not his motive.
Cass Gilbert and the Evolution of the New York Skyscraper
by John Simko
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