Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics


Rebuilding NYC August 2003

The 9/11 Memorial: There's Nothing So Closed as an Open Competition - Aug 31, 2003
Ever since the effort to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial made a star of a 21-year-old architecture student named Maya Lin, the open competition -- one that invites all comers to submit proposals -- has been the gold standard in selecting a design for a public memorial. So when officials overseeing the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan began to consider how to erect a homage to the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, there was little question how they would structure the contest. Now, however, as the jury that will pick the winning design for the World Trade Center memorial trudges through 5,200 entries -- three times the number submitted for the Vietnam memorial in 1981 -- it might seem that the purpose of the exercise has been turned on its head. For while an open, anonymous competition is intended to make sure that every entry receives a fair viewing, the flood of proposals ensures that hundreds or even thousands of entries are likely to get no more than a moment's glance from jurors. On the other end of the spectrum, many of the world's most esteemed artists and architects avoid such competitions altogether, given the cost of their time and the extremely long odds against winning. (New York Times)

Honoring the Dead in the City That Never Weeps - Aug 31, 2003
From the very start of serious planning, it was clear that the Sept. 11 memorial at ground zero would face a host of obvious and largely unprecedented challenges. As the design effort has proceeded, however, a less obvious challenge has begun to make itself felt. It arises from the fact that the commemorative ground sits right in the heart of Lower Manhattan, amid the busy streets and soaring towers of the downtown business district. It is the challenge of creating a memorial in a city that, for most of its history, has abhorred the very idea of memorials. (New York Times)

The Downtown Culture Derby Begins - Aug 31, 2003
In two years of roiling debates over the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site, one of the most durable assumptions has been that space should be set aside for those varied pursuits collectively known as "culture." We are still far from knowing which museums or symphonies or purveyors of public art will find a home there, but early indications suggest that the 670,000 square feet allotted for the arts may be a new front in the battle over ground zero's future. (New York Times)

Concern Growing as Families Bypass 9/11 Victims' Fund - Aug 31, 2003
Federal and local officials are growing increasingly concerned that nearly 60 percent of families who lost relatives in the September 2001 terror attacks have not filed claims with the victim compensation fund established by Congress. The most recent statistics show that 3,016 people died in the attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and aboard an airliner that crashed in Pennsylvania. But as of Friday, with the Dec. 22 deadline for applications less than four months away, only 1,240 death claims had been filed with the fund. And while no one knows exactly how many people were injured in the attacks, so far only 1,035 of them have sought compensation from the fund, which has no cap. (New York Times)

Call for Rebuilt Twin Towers Continues - Aug 31, 2003
In close solidarity with one another, and in opposition to the city's political establishment, business leaders, academics and civic groups, and just about everyone else whose opinion matters, the World Trade Center Restoration Movement demands that the World Trade Center towers be rebuilt. Not replaced by something new and supposedly better. Rebuilt, hewing as closely as possible to the design of the buildings that were lost on Sept. 11. The members of the group may not be the only ones who dare to mention rebuilding the towers, but they are by far the most visible and the least afraid of humiliation. (New York Times)

Fire Experts Find That Burning Office Materials Brought Down Towers - Aug 31, 2003
The fiery hell that raged inside the World Trade Center on 9/11 has been recreated in a test that highlights how today's office space can be dangerously flammable. Using a cubicle based on the offices of insurance firm Marsh & McLennan - a north tower tenant that lost 295 employees - federal fire experts conclude it was more likely the heat of burning office materials brought down the tower, rather than jet-fuel-fed flames. (New York Post)

Reactions to Port Authority Transcripts - Aug 30, 2003
Anger at terrorists - and sadness for their victims - marked the mood at Ground Zero yesterday as visitors talked about newly released transcripts of World Trade Center occupants' last desperate calls for help. (New York Post)

Development Corporation to Post 9/11 Transcripts Online - Aug 30, 2003
The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. plans to post on the Web all of the Port Authority 9/11 transcripts for victims' families - many of whom want to know if their loved ones were captured on tape pleading for help (New York Post)

The 9/11 Memorial: Finding Comfort in the Safety of Names - Aug 31, 2003
The competition guidelines for the memorial at ground zero require that the design "recognize each individual who was a victim" on Sept. 11, 2001, and on Feb. 26, 1993, when the World Trade Center was first attacked. It's a safe bet that many of the 5,200 submissions interpret that as some kind of list of names. By aesthetic and social consensus, names are today a kind of reflexive memorial impulse, lists of names having come almost automatically to connote "memorial," just as minimalism has come to be the presumptive sculptural style for memorial design, the monumental blank slate onto which the names can be inscribed. (New York Times)

David Childs: The Invisible Architect - Aug 31, 2003
David M. Childs, who in conversation gives the impression of a gentlemanly, corporate architect, is remaking the face of New York. He is designing the key building at ground zero, the so-called Freedom Tower. But as a partner and the lead designer at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, one of the country's largest architectural concerns, Mr. Childs is also responsible for three more of the city's high-profile projects. (New York Times)

Fresh Glimpse in 9/11 Files of the Struggles for Survival - Aug 29, 2003
Nothing will alter the basic fabric of Sept. 11, when nearly 3,000 people were killed in Lower Manhattan, but yesterday afternoon, rich, bittersweet and harrowing new details surfaced. The Port Authority released about 2,000 pages of documents, most of them transcribed radio transmissions, from dozens of people in and around the trade center. The New York Times formally requested copies of the records on March 29, 2002, one year and five months ago today, and eventually sued the Port Authority for their release. (New York Times)

In Transcript: Victims' Families Sought News, Comfort - Aug 29, 2003
Smoke and confusion are read in the Port Authority transcripts released Thursday, with communication lines alive with reports of basement explosions and rocket attacks that didn't happen. Calls poured in from those with some connection to Port Authority personnel, telephoning about loved ones or acquaintances. But also emerging from the swarm of type are words of calm and the steady performance of duty ‹ at times from those who later were killed. (Newsday)

In Transcripts: Some Gave Advice to 'Stay Put' - Aug 29, 2003
Two thousand painful pages of emergency calls and radio transmissions made after the first of two hijacked jets exploded into the twin towers reveal that the Port Authority told some people to stay put. The authority, which lost 37 police officers and 47 civilian employees in the attacks, has defended its evacuation procedures, saying they were instrumental in saving as many as 25,000 lives. (New York Daily News)

Victims' Families Bitter Over Port Authority's Timing - Aug 29, 2003
Families of many victims lost on Sept. 11, 2001, lashed out at the Port Authority yesterday for releasing transcripts of their loved ones' last moments. And while some hoped they might be used to help prevent future disasters, few found comfort or answers. (New York Daily News)

Transcript: Bravery Filters Through Cops' Garbled Words - Aug 29, 2003
Even through all the police code and notations of "glitch" and "inaudible," the transcripts of Port Authority police officers communicating with each other -- calmy and routinely in many instances -- jump off the page in heartbreaking pathos. (Newsday)

36 Victims Identified In Transcripts - Aug 28, 2003
At least 36 victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack were identified in Port Authority tapes of emergency calls and radio transmissions made that morning, as shown in transcripts that will be released today under court order. (Newsday)

EPA Assured Public Before Actual Testing - Aug 28, 2003
In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center, testing to monitor levels of debris dust didn't begin for 10 days - and analysis of the findings didn't become available until October. Months later EPA scientists would conclude that the dust caused lung disease in test animals - ailments that mimicked those reported in people who lived and worked near Ground Zero. (Newsday)

Governor Wants To Know How Dangerous 9/11 Air Really Was - Aug 28, 2003
Six days after a federal report said the White House misled New Yorkers about the air around Ground Zero after Sept. 11, Gov. Pataki said yesterday he wants to know how dangerous it really was. But Pataki stopped short of criticizing President Bush, his fellow Republican, and didn't support a call from Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan) to reclean area buildings. (New York Daily News)

Safir To Investigate How 7 WTC Plans Ended Up in Trash Can - Aug 28, 2003
Developer Larry Silverstein has tapped former top cop Howard Safir to find out how plans for the new 7 World Trade Center ended up in a Bronx garbage pile. Silverstein hired Safir, police commissioner under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, after the Daily News reported yesterday that the owner of a Riverdale Ave. bagel shop made the shocking discovery two weeks ago. (New York Daily News)

Bank Tower Joining in WTC Redevelopment - Aug 28, 2003
The World Trade Center redevelopment site will be expanded south to include a heavily damaged, still-vacant skyscraper, which will be razed and replaced with a new office tower, top rebuilding officials said. Redevelopment officials said they expect to acquire the 40-story Deutsche Bank building, across the street from the trade center, and replace it with a new 1.6-million-square-foot office building. (Associated Press)

92nd St. Y Considers a Ground Zero Site - Aug 27, 2003
The 92nd Street Y, whose concerts, camps, classes and health club have made it a mainstay of the Upper East Side, is developing detailed plans for a possible downtown branch at ground zero. The Y is talking with several other organizations, including the New York City Opera, the Joyce Theater, the Tribeca Film Festival and Hunter College about sharing space in the performing arts center designated for the World Trade Center site or in other locations nearby. (New York Times)

Clinton and Nadler Seek Inquiry Into E.P.A. Response to Sept. 11 - Aug 27, 2003
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Representative Jerrold L. Nadler called yesterday for a Congressional inquiry into the Environmental Protection Agency's response to the World Trade Center attack, saying that the agency and the White House had not told the truth about potential health hazards. (New York Times)

Study Finds Rise in Benefits for the Unemployed of 9/11 - Aug 27, 2003
In one way at least, the thousands of New York City workers left jobless after 9/11 were luckier than those unemployed earlier or later - because they were far more likely to collect benefits from New York State's unemployment insurance program. That is the unexpected finding of a report to be released this week by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. (New York Times)

Plans For 7 WTC Found in Trash - Aug 27, 2003
A Bronx bagel store owner made a stunning discovery in the trash outside his shop: blueprints for the electrical and mechanical systems of the first building set to rise at Ground Zero, the Daily News has learned. Cops confiscated the 27 pages of documents detailing some of the innards of the planned replacement for 7 World Trade Center yesterday as the tower's developer and other officials expressed shock at the find. (New York Daily News)

Silverstein to Hire Architects for 4 Trade Center Buildings - Aug 27, 2003
World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein plans to select architects of "international stature" -- possibly by next month -- to design each of four proposed buildings at Ground Zero, said David Childs, chief architect for the site's 1,776-foot Freedom Tower. The decision may require changes to the designs of Daniel Libeskind, whose master plan was selected in February by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., Childs said. (

Tribute in Light May Rise From Ground Zero - Aug 27, 2003
The beams of light symbolizing the fallen twin towers may rise from Ground Zero, instead of a nearby lot, during next month's anniversary commemorations, sources said yesterday. (New York Daily News)

Relatives Uncomfortable About Releasing 9/11 Tapes - Aug 27, 2003
Relatives of World Trade Center victims reacted with discomfort yesterday to a judge's decision to release transcripts of 9/11 emergency radio transmissions and phone calls. A New Jersey judge ordered the Port Authority to release the material by 5 p.m. tomorrow as part of a lawsuit filed by The New York Times. (New York Post)

Insurers Say Bank's Suit Tries to Capitalize on 9/11 - Aug 26, 2003
This time it was the insurance companies' turn, and they did not hold back, declaring that Deutsche Bank was cynically seeking to exploit the Sept. 11 attack to tar their image and force insurers to pay more than $1 billion for the damage to the bank's former United States headquarters near ground zero. The increasingly bitter tenor of the dispute between Deutsche Bank and the insurers Allianz and AXA does not bode well for a speedy resolution to the conflict over exactly how badly damaged the bank building was when the World Trade Center towers collapsed. (New York Times)

Remains of As Many as 1,000 9/11 Victims May Not Be Identified - Aug 14, 2003
The remains of as many as 1,000 people lost in the World Trade Center attack might never be identified, says the top forensic biologist leading the city's monumental DNA project. The Medical Examiner's Office has identified slightly more than half of the 2,792 people killed in the attack - only about 100 of those in the last year as technicians struggle with DNA degraded and damaged by fire and the elements. (New York Post)

Downtowners Air Views at Neighborhood Workshop - Aug 14, 2003
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has about $1.3 billion left to spend, and last week Downtowners compiled a giant wish list for the money that included more jobs and fewer hassles from rebuilding construction. Those were among the suggestions raised on Thursday at the sixth and final brainstorming session sponsored by the L.M.D.C. for Lower Manhattan residents and workers. Last ThursdayÕs meeting was held for an invitation-only group of about 75 community members from Tribeca, Soho and Little Italy. (Downtown Express)

JudgeÕs Ruling Provides 'Road Map' for Park Row - Aug 14, 2003
Mayor Mike Bloomberg said last week that the city doesnÕt always strike the right balance between security and personal freedom and he indicated a willingness to look again at loosening the security protections near Police Headquarters and Park Row. Bloomberg answered a question on the issue Aug. 5, the day after State Supreme Court Judge Walter Tolub ruled that the Police Dept. must end the ÒoccupationÓ by police vehicles of James Madison Plaza by the end of the year and conduct an environmental study of the effects of closing Park Row to pedestrians, city buses and all non-emergency vehicles. (Downtown Express)

Downtown Moms Question W.T.C.Baby Study Findings - Aug 14, 2003
Despite research showing a possible link between trade center toxins and lower baby birth weight, several downtown mothers who participated in a recent study said last week that the preliminary results did not appear to describe them or their babies. Mount Sinai School of Medicine tracked 182 women who were pregnant and in the vicinity of the World Trade Center on Sept.11, 2001, or within three weeks thereafter. In results released last week, researchers found that women who were exposed to dust from the trade center collapse were twice as likely as a control group to have babies who were slightly small for their gestational age, or for the amount of time they spent in the womb. (Downtown Express)

Families Reschedule Protest: 9/11 Group Decides to Gather Sept. 10 - Aug 13, 2003
The Coalition of 9/11 Families won't protest construction on what it calls "sacred ground" at Ground Zero on the Sept. 11 anniversary, deciding to move its event to Sept. 10. The group wanted family members to gather at the World Trade Center site to demand a ban on any nonmemorial construction on or below the footprints of the destroyed Twin Towers, prompting other family members' demands that Sept. 11 be strictly about the lives lost in the attacks. (Newsday)

Doctors OK Plan for Children To Read Names At 9/11 Ceremony - Aug 13, 2003
Child psychologists say having kids read a roll call of the dead at the Sept. 11 anniversary ceremony should not be scarring - as long as parents don't pressure their children to participate. But there is no question that the reading of the 2,792 victims' names is not a good idea for all youngsters, said Dr. Robin Gurwitch, an expert on the impact of terrorism on children (New York Daily News)

State 9/11 Fund Has $7 Million to Give Away - Aug 13, 2003
A state fund for relatives of 9/11 victims has $7 million left to give away - and families have until the end of next month to step forward and claim their share. The World Trade Center Relief Fund, run by the state government, has already given away over $63 million in private donations to more than 2,500 families. But officials kept $7 million in reserve, hoping they could channel the aid to an estimated 400 families who have yet to come forward with a claim. (New York Post)

Families Want 9/11 to be Day of Giving - Aug 13, 2003
A group of Sept. 11 victims' families and a nonprofit organization want to turn the bleakness of the anniversary of terror into a yearly push for good works and kindness to others. Soon after the 2001 attacks, the group One Day's Pay began planning to ask communities to honor those who died by volunteering their energy or money for good causes. "It's a simple idea," said David Paine, a public relations executive who is president of One Day's Pay. "All we're saying to people is, observe Sept. 11 by doing something good for someone else." (New York Daily News)

A New Focus on Families This Sept. 11 - Aug 12, 2003
New York City will commemorate the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in a far more modest and self-contained way than last year, with the families of victims, rather than politicians, playing the central role. ew York City will commemorate the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in a far more modest and self-contained way than last year, with the families of victims, rather than politicians, playing the central role. Unlike last year, when the city staged multiple concerts throughout the five boroughs and bagpipers trudged into Manhattan at dawn, the commemoration this year will be confined to the World Trade Center site, and the main participants will be family members. The only commemoration off the site will be the return of the "Tribute in Light," the powerful and popular display of twin beams of light near the site. (New York Times)

'Tribute in Light' Will Return - But Only on Sept. 11 - Aug 12, 2003
The "Tribute in Light," haunting twin blue beams that were once indelible markers of loss and resurrection at Ground Zero, will shine again on Sept. 11 and on every anniversary of the terror attacks. The beams, projected with the power of 2 million light bulbs, will be a centerpiece of the second anniversary commemoration of the Sept. 11 attacks, according to details released yesterday. (Newsday)

Networks Holding To Schedule On 9/11 - Aug 12, 2003
Two years removed from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, broadcast networks will mark the anniversary with news stories but aren't planning to interrupt their regular schedules. It's in marked contrast to last year, when the broadcasters devoted much of their day to the anniversary either with news specials or, in NBC's case, a commemorative concert. (Associated Press)

Bank Sues to Force Insurers to Declare Tower 9/11 Loss - Aug 12, 2003
Deutsche Bank filed a lawsuit yesterday seeking to force two insurance companies to declare its office building across from the World Trade Center site a complete loss, in a dispute that threatens to complicate the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan. The bank-owned skyscraper, at 130 Liberty Street, at the south end of ground zero, stands on a parcel of land that developers, designers and public officials have for weeks assumed would be available for use in the redevelopment project. But the bank's decision to file suit signals renewed uncertainty over the fate of the building. (New York Times)

Fight to Raze Building May Delay WTC Plan - Aug 11, 2003
he battle over a shrouded office tower at the edge of Ground Zero will spill into court today as Deutsche Bank moves to sue two insurers blocking the building's demolition. The legal showdown threatens to stall rebuilding at Ground Zero. (New York Daily News)

Daniel Libeskind Wants to Ensure His Lofty Design Goes Up, and Down, According to Plan - Aug 11, 2003
Five months after he won the competition to design Ground Zero, as Daniel Libeskind and redevelopment officials attempt to reconcile his symbolism-laden design with a host of construction, financial and political realities, he admits that his plan still remains vulnerable within the complex but delicate process that is reshaping Ground Zero's tortured spaces. The cherubic-looking architect faces the site's developer, Larry Silverstein - he of deep pockets. And Libeskind faces the feds, the state, the city - which of course means tricky politics. Not to mention the armies of engineers, architects, urban planners, environmentalists, downtown residents, families of the dead, even the memory of the dead. (Washington Post)

WTC Health Problems Persist - Aug 11, 2003
Thousands of New Yorkers say they still suffer from the World Trade Center attacks - and they are reaching out to help hot lines in numbers greater than last year, The Post has learned. Callers are seeking assistance for health complaints - ranging from respiratory ailments and pneumonia to acid reflux - that many link to the toxic plume created when the Twin Towers fell, as well as for post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. (New York Post)

Feds Launch Long-term WTC Health Studies - Aug 10, 2003
Long-term studies to monitor the health effects of the World Trade Center attacks on New Yorkers are getting under way. A 20-year study conducted by the city Department of Health and the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry will begin in September or soon after to identify patterns of physical and psychological illness attributable to 9/11. (New York Post)

George Tamaro's Sunken Wall Held Back the Waters at Ground Zero - Aug 11, 2003
Deep in the pit that is Ground Zero, George Tamaro climbs atop a concrete knoll. He's trying to get a closer look at an engineering wonder -- the giant concrete slurry wall his team built some 30 years ago. He made his professional name with this wall. In fact, you could call it Tamaro's wall, except that the 66-year-old structural engineer with the squat frame and wide smile is a practical man, not given to pretense. He cringes at the very suggestion that he could claim this wall as a personal masterpiece. (Washington Post)

Jones Beach 9/11 Memorial Dedicated - Aug 10, 2003
Approximately 150 relatives, friends and dignitaries gathered Friday at the entrance to Field 4 at Jones Beach to unveil and dedicate a 5-foot-high memorial honoring the seven 9/11 victims who either worked at Jones Beach or Robert Moses State Park or was a relative of someone who did. (Newsday)

WTC Families Angry At Giuliani's Call for Special Recognition for Rescue Workers - Aug 9, 2003
Relatives of civilians killed in the terror attacks yesterday were pained and dismayed by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani's call for a Ground Zero memorial with special recognition for rescue workers. (New York Daily News)

Silverstein Negotiating Lease on Trade Center Mall - Aug 8, 2003
Ground Zero developer Larry Silverstein wants control over the whole rebuilt site - including the mall. Silverstein, who holds a 99-year lease on the World Trade Center site's once-and-future office towers, has begun negotiations with Westfield America to buy out the rights to operate the retail portion of the planned complex, sources said yesterday. Officials at Westfield, which ran the below-street-level concourse before the Sept. 11 attacks, don't like the plan for rebuilding the shopping mall - with hundreds of square feet of space stacked above ground. Although the company has denied wanting a lease buyout, sources said Westfield has approached several potential buyers - including City Hall. (New York Daily News)

Queens Man Guilty in WTC Scam - Aug 8, 2003
A 54-year-old Richmond Hill man concocted a sob story about a son who died in the World Trade Center so that he could collect some $160,000 in relief funds, a Manhattan jury found Thursday. After a three-week trial, and two days of deliberations, the jury in state Supreme Court convicted Cyril Kendall of grand larceny for scamming the Red Cross, Safe Horizons and other charities out of monies meant for victims of the terrorist attacks their families. (Newsday)

Giuliani: Special Memorial Recognition for Rescue Workers - Aug 8, 2003
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani declared yesterday that the hundreds of rescue workers in the terror attacks should get special recognition at the Ground Zero memorial. Giuliani addressed the controversial issue after meeting with the panel responsible with shaping the tribute to those who were killed on Sept. 11, 2001. (New York Daily News)

U.S. Frees $54 Million in 9/11 Business Aid - Aug 7, 2003
Federal officials approved more than $54 million in aid yesterday that more than 2,200 small-business owners in Lower Manhattan had been waiting for - often anxiously and angrily - after a 9/11 recovery program ran out of money. The funds, made available by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, will allow the state to finally send out checks to the businesses, which had qualified for the aid after applying for it in the weeks before the deadline on Dec. 31. (New York Times)

Financial Battles May Slow Rebuilding Schedule - Aug 7, 2003
Gov. Pataki's push to lay the cornerstone for Ground Zero rebuilding by next August may be a bust because of a nasty money fight, the Daily News has learned. A financial battle between the Port Authority, developer Larry Silverstein and his mortgage company is jeopardizing the schedule - which would see construction of the world's tallest tower begin around the 2004 GOP National Convention. (New York Daily News)

Chinatown Anger Boils Up at L.M.D.C. Meeting - Aug 7, 2003
Last Thursday night, there were two separate protests in Chinatown on neighborhood issues related to the aftermath of 9/11 Ă‘ and at a neighborhood workshop organized by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, frustration and anger were the dominant emotions. (Downtown Express)

ÔOccupationÕ Near Park Row Must End, Judge Rules - Aug 7, 2003
A state judge ruled Monday that the police have illegally acted like an ÒoccupationÓ force by taking over a public plaza in Chinatown and ordered the police to vacate the plaza by the end of the year. In addition, the city has been ordered to complete an environmental study of the effects of the police closure of Park Row by the end of the year. (Downtown Express)

Fireboat That Pumped Water to Firefighters on 9/11 Is Now in Need - Aug 7, 2003
The fireboat that pumped water to firefighters during and after Sept. 11 and became the focus of a children's book, in now itself in need of help. The John J. Harvey Fireboat, is said to need about $700,000 in repairs. (New York Times)

Smoke and Dust at World Trade Center Is Linked to Smaller Babies - Aug 6, 2003
Scientists say they have measured a slight but significant rise in the percentage of small babies born to women who were around the World Trade Center during or after the terror attack compared with babies of a large sample of pregnant women who were elsewhere at the time. The researchers, from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, proposed that air pollution from the pulverized, smoldering wreckage was the most likely cause of the difference. (New York Times)

City Leaves Key Tribeca Project Unprotected Against Speculators - Aug 6, 2003
In late July, officials held a press conference at Thomas Paine Park, near Ground Zero, to announce a $50 million federally funded program to build 300 units of downtown affordable housing for working families. As welcome as the new construction is, the announcement struck many of lower Manhattan's current moderate-income residents as a prickly paradox. A day later, a couple hundred tenants, mostly from Independence Plaza North, the 1,329-unit, city-supervised-and-subsidized, three-tower project on Ground Zero's border, rallied on the steps of City Hall to support a bill just introduced by Council Speaker Gifford Miller. The project's 3,500 residents were notified in June that new owner Laurence Gluck - just 24 hours after he completed his $100 million purchase of the complex - had filed papers to withdraw the project from the Mitchell- Lama program, a move that would free him to charge sizzling market rents. That could potentially cost downtown a thousand more affordable units than what the ballyhooed announcement promises, making Tribeca the latest example of the ongoing loss of tens of thousands of affordable apartments citywide, caused by conversions like Gluck's. (Village Voice)

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