More construction uproars are happening in Battery Park City. A West Street underpass will be erected between the World Financial Center, which is owned by Brookfield Properties, and the new World Trade Complex, while the Vesey Street bridge will be torn down.
However, even more distressing is that the Grand Staircase at the Winter Garden inside the World Financial Center is also being removed. The staircase, which was erected after September 11th, allows employees and tourists to move between levels of the World Financial Center and doubles as seating for free events that take place at the Winter Garden. The owners of the WFC want to tear them down and replace them with escalators to increase the efficiency of foot traffic.
Brookfield Properties are set to release their plans for updating the World Financial Center tomorrow, according to the Wall Street Journal.
We’d heard rumblings of these changes, including the plannedÂ removal of the Winter Garden Stairs. In a Batteryparkcity.com poll, an overwhelming 90% of you were in favor of saving the stairs, a sentiment shared by 32BJ SEIU, a local union whose members work at the World Financial Center. City Planning Commission chairwoman Amanda Burden and Battery Park City community board members also question the removal of the stairs, an unintended icon of our post-9/11 reality.
Brookfield maintains that the stairs need to be removed to allow for an expansive street level entrance that will connect with new PATH and subway stations at the World Trade Center.
Stairs or no, expect to see more retail offerings in the World Financial Center. Citing the population increase in Battery Park City, Brookfield would like to offer more to residents who frequent the property on nights and weekends.
Construction could begin as soon as the end of this year, with completion scheduled for 2013.
We’ve all seen the images of what the Freedom Tower and World Trade Center Memorial pool will look like from images strewn against the chain link fences at Ground Zero. However, Myfoxny.com has a video from Brookfield Properties, the owners of the World Financial Center, depicting time lapse change in our neighborhood.
The video itself is stunning and could also help us residents to imagine the metamorphosis of our neighborhood once construction is finished in 2012-2013.
What is strikingly poignant is the real visual loss of commercial real estate space in our area. How do you feel about the architecture of the site? Do you think the loss of business real estate will help or hurt our community?
It may be summer but things in the Winter Garden just got a little chilly.
According to recent reports, the Battery Park City Authority is seeking $4-$7 Million dollars from Brookfield Properties, owners of The World Financial Center.
The dispute is related to rent income received by Brookfield from one of their formerÂ and largest tenants Lehman Brothers, who decided to vacate and break their lease from One World Financial center after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Although Brookfield Properties is the rightful landlord to any and all rent income within the 8 million-square-foot World Financial Center, a portion of all rents are to cover the land lease which is owned by the Battery Park City Authority.
The authority claims that although Brookfield received a lump sum from the broken lease, they did not report their earnings and instead spread out the money over the life of the original lease — spanning several financial statements.
The net effect of this move was an overall decrease in monies owed to the authority.
According to a quote from Sandy Altman, the Authority’s general counsel, “It was a bigÂ blow.”
As of now, the case between both Brookfield Properties and the Battery Park City Authority is currently awaiting the decision of a arbitration panel.
We’ll provide more information when it becomes available.
After shutting operations down for a week or so, it turns out the shop is back in working order and might make it’s 4th birthday after all. According to an employee in the shop — the owners had a dispute regarding renewing their lease forcing the store to close.
The employee also described the negotiations as “just like a marriage — when there is trouble you gotta work things out.”
It’s nice to know that the neighborhood’s best ice cream shop is back in business for the summertime.