Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics


Rebuilding NYC November 2001

Dems Get Picky Over WTC Redevelopment Picks
New York Post - November 30, 2001
Governor Pataki and Mayor Giuliani officially unveiled an 11-member city-state redevelopment corporation, promptly criticized by some elected officials as "political." At a press conference with most of the panel members, along with Giuliani and Mayor-elect Mike Bloomberg, Pataki said the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp. will have the rebuilding process well under way in "a matter of just a few years." The redevelopment panel's appointees - four by the mayor, and seven by the governor - still have to pick a salaried executive director, who apparently will hold much of the commission's power.

Committee Leader Says Victims' Memorial Will Be Main Priority
New York Times - November 30, 2001
John Whitehead, the newly appointed chairman of a commission charged with rebuilding Lower Manhattan, said yesterday that establishing a memorial to the victims of the World Trade Center attacks would be among the first priorities for the panel. As for everything else: "We want it to be done right and we want it to be done well," Mr. Whitehead said of the redevelopment effort. "How quickly it's done is not the primary concern."

House Panel Boss Backs $6B in City Aid
New York Daily News - November 30, 2001
Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, has endorsed a $6.1 billion stimulus plan for lower Manhattan drafted with Governor Pataki, boosting chances that some Sept. 11 tax relief will be enacted for the city this year.

New Apts. at Ground Zero?
New York Daily News - November 30, 2001
When the World Trade Center site is eventually redeveloped, apartment buildings - and not exclusively office towers - could be part of the answer, Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg said yesterday. Bloomberg noted there's a dearth of affordable housing and a glut of office space in the city. "The first step," he said, "is to say, 'What does this city need?'"

Ex-Banker Will Lead Rebuilding Effort
New York Daily News - November 29, 2001
Governor Pataki will announce members of the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp. at a news conference today. John Whitehead, a 79-year-old former investment banker and deputy secretary of state with strong ties to the Republican Party, is expected to be named to head the 11-member panel. Sources said that New York Stock Exchange chairman Richard Grasso, former National Association of Securities Dealers chairman Frank Zarb, labor leader Ed Malloy and real estate developer Roland Betts are also likely to be appointed.

NYSEĂ•s Chairman Unplugs His Plans For a New Exchange
New York Observer - December 3, 2001
Richard Grasso, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, has essentially abandoned his idea of constructing a 900-foot skyscraper over the new stock exchange to help defray the costs of the project. Instead, Grasso is reportedly considering abandoning the location at 33 Wall Street in favor of the World Trade Center site. This would be a major setback for the Giuliani administration which has committed the city to buying property at 33 Wall. A $950 million bond deal to finance the project has been postponed indefinitely.

Cleaning Up at Ground Zero
Village Voice - November 28, 2001
Mayor Giuliani is moving to award the city's biggest-ever emergency contract to one of America's most politically connected corporations. With barely a word of explanation and brushing aside four local firms that have been doing the cleanup since immediately after the attacks, Giuliani has moved to appoint the giant San Francisco-based Bechtel Group, Inc. to take over the lucrative job of cleaning up the World Trade Center site. Since the federal cleanup funds are being allocated by a Republican administration, Washington insiders see the award as a favor to a firm long close to the GOP. But whatever the rationale, Bechtel is a dream ally for someone like Giuliani with potential national political aspirations. The privately held contracting colossus was the fifth largest political contributor during last year's presidential race and poured an additional $449,000 in soft money into political coffers, two-thirds of it to Republicans.

New York Daily News - November 27, 2001
Nearly three months after the World Trade Center attacks left it a virtual island, Battery Park City may be reconnected to the rest of Manhattan by a proposed pedestrian bridge over West St. Meanwhile, the cost of insuring Battery Park City could jump as much as 300 percent next year - with no coverage for future terrorist attacks, the development's insurance broker warned yesterday.

As Sept. 11 Widows Unite, Grief Finds Political Voice
New York Times - November 25, 2001
Relatives of the victims of September 11 have formed a potent political force that no city official wishes to offend. The group, known as the widows because many had husbands who were firefighters who were killed, reversed a cutback in the number of firefighters at the Trade Center site, got criminal charges dropped against all but one of the 18 off-duty firefighters who recently scuffled with police officers at Ground Zero and pressured the Giuliani administration to order that rescuers searching for bodies take no Thanksgiving Day break.

Developer Briefs Bloomberg on Plans to Rebuild Towers
New York Times - November 21, 2001
Larry A. Silverstein, the developer who holds the lease on the World Trade Center, met with Mayor-elect Michael R. Bloomberg yesterday and said afterward that he would go ahead with plans to rebuild at the site, probably with new towers reaching about half as high as the ones destroyed on Sept. 11. He also said groundbreaking at 7 World Trade Center would begin in 2002.Mr. Silverstein, who is developing plans for a memorial to those who died in the attack, said he expected the buildings to attract businesses because they would be "first class" and affordable. The new towers should be up in five or six years, he said.After the briefing, Mr. Bloomberg emphasized that the rebuilding would be privately financed, and he spoke of the need to consider the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan in connection with development and transit needs in the rest of the city.Just how much private money the developer would have at his disposal is still an open question.

The Power of Partnership
New York Magazine - November 29, 2001
The New York City Partnership, a group of civic-minded business leaders has put together a study the size of two phone books that recommends ways to support Wall Street right now, in its time of need, while building a more nimble and diverse economy for the future. The Partnership is lobbying to ensure Congress signs over the $20 billion George Bush promised New York in the wake of the attack, plus a $5 billion package of tax breaks for lower Manhattan. recommendations -- a swift rebuilding of downtown's infrastructure, incentives for corporate retention, bailouts for small businesses, a life raft for retail during the holiday season.

Billions at Risk as New York Makes Missteps
New York Times - November 20, 2001
New York has fallen far down Washington's list of priorities since September 11 and as a result could lose billions of dollars in aid. Some of the reasons for this are beyond New York's control, but members of Congress from both parties says New York officials bear part of the blame. Federal, state and city officials from New York have seemed to have different agendas, and it has been difficult to determine who really speaks for the city. As a result, many observers are skeptical that New York will ever get all of the $20 billion it was promised by President Bush after the attacks.

Since Sept. 11, Vacant Offices and Lost Vigor
New York Times - November 19, 2001
A lack of demand for downtown office space, despite the destruction of the World Trade Center complex, is spurring debate about what can be done to make the area more attractive to tourists and residential and commercial tenants. Some experts believe transportation is key, while others are focusing on culture, arts, restaurants and retailing.

History Is Impatient to Embrace Sept. 11
New York Times - November 18, 2001
Museums and other institutions are considering how to collect and preserve the countless artifacts and images that documented the events of September 11. Some museums and galleries are already presenting exhibitions about the tragedy. For example, "New York September 11 by Magnum Photographers," which will open Tuesday at the New-York Historical Society, is the first of at least six exhibitions on the events of that day planned by the society. But not everyone believes that an immediate response is necessarily best. The Museum of the City of New York, for example, is not planning an exhibition directly connected to September 11 until it moves from its current Fifth Avenue location to the Tweed Courthouse near City Hall in 2004.

New York Times Magazine (11/11/01)
Issue About the Next New York

1. The Return of New York
Out of the haze of grief, we can see more clearly than ever what ourcity is and what it could become.

2. Manifestoes for the Next New York
John Tierney on Traffic
Michael Lewis on the Financial District
Frank Rich on Times Square
Michael Sorkin on the Boroughs
Amy M. Spindler on Style
Alex Marshall on Mass Transit
Sara Mosle on Labor
Felix Rohatyn on the Economy
Daniel Okrent on Development

3. What To Build
Moderated by TERENCE RILEY
Two architects, an urban planner, a structural engineer and a landscape designer consider the future of ground zero.

City Journal (Autumn 2001)
1. How To Rebuild New York
by Steven Malanga

2. What Should Rise From The Ashes
by Franck Lohsen McCrery and Alexander Stoddart

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