Tag Archives: Con edison

Tribute in Light in Battery Park

Tribute in Light Returns This Year and Next

Tribute in Light in Battery Park
Tribute in Light atop the Battery Garage on Morris Street.

The downtown skyline will soon be illuminated with the somber Tribute in Lights. Two giant beams of light cutting through the realization that we are upon the 9th anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center.

The Tribute in Light first came on six months after the attacks in 2002, and have been primarily funded by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) who have provided the financial support of the iconic tribute.

Contrary to popular belief, the Tribute in Lights is not beaming at the World Trade Center site but are located six blocks south of Ground Zero, set atop the Battery Garage on Morris Street. During the first two years of the tribute, the lights were located on West Street where the Goldman Sachs building now stands.

The tribute is comprised of 88 4-foot tall searchlights set in 50 x 50 foot identical squares.

Although primarily subsidized by the LMDC, the project is also in conjunction with Con Edison. It is speculated that after the LMDC re-allocated funding earmarked for Con Edison, meant to subsidize Con Edison’s costs at the World Trade Center Site may play a role in compromising the future of the Tribute. As of today, it is if the Tribute will exist beyond the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attack in 2011.

This year, as the past few years, the tribute will begin at dusk on September 11th and end on dawn of September 12.

Ground Zero Mosque

Another Hurdle for Park51 Mosque: Con Edison

Ground Zero Mosque
The planned location of the Ground Zero Mosque.

After clearing a vote against landmark status for 45-47 Park Place, another hurdle has emerged concerning the development of what has been dubbed “The Ground Zero Mosque” or the Park51 Mosque.

The mosque which is slated to be located at 45-51 Park Place, built on two parcels of land, is only half owned by the developers spearheading the project according to the NY Post which first broke the report over the weekend. The building at 45-47 Park Place, which had been undergoing landmark status hearings is owned by Soho Properties, the developers of Park51 — whilst the building at 49-51 Park Place is not. Park51 is named after the address 51 Park Place, the address in scrutiny.

More surprisingly, the owner of the other parcel of land is actually Con Edison. This information took even Community Board 1 proponents by surprise who had not heard of this revelation through its own hearings.

According to the article, “Sharif El-Gamal, the head of Soho Properties, first came forward in 2006 seeking to buy the empty building at 45-47 Park Place, said Melvin Pomerantz, whose family owned the property.

Pomerantz said El-Gamal eventually raised $4.8 million cash for 45-47 Park Place. El- Gamal paid an extra $700,000 to take over the lease with Con Ed for the building next door. The lease expires in 2071.”

The discrepancy emerged because the two buildings were connected years ago, as it housed a former Burlington Coat Factory and was generally assumed ownership for that entire parcel was under one ownership, without the Community Board #1’s knowledge that Soho Properties would be developing half of the site under paying a $33K a month lease to Con Ed.

Con Ed is appraising the property for a potential sale, “The utility is now doing an appraisal to determine the property value, and it would be up to El-Gamal to decide whether to accept the price, the utility said. The price is estimated at $10 million to $20 million.

“We are following our legal obligations under the lease. We will not allow other considerations to enter into this transaction,” Con Ed said.

The sale proposal will go to the Public Service Commission, where it could possibly face a vote by a five-member board controlled by Gov. Paterson,” according to the same article.

Do you think that this will be a significant hurdle for the Park51 Mosque?

LMDC Con Edison Utility Fight

Con Edison & LMDC in September 11 Funding Struggle

LMDC Con Edison Utility Fight
LMDC and Con Ed struggle for September 11th Funds

In a vote yesterday, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) will allocate nearly $200 million dollars initially earmarked for a variety of utility costs around the World Trade Center site allocated instead for quality of life programs in the downtown area.

The variety of utility costs include those associated with the World Trade Center Memorial, transportation, cultural institutions, affordable housing and other programs.

Another vote will be scheduled to appropriate specific costs from the funding from this decision.

Con Edison is unhappy with the decision, as the utilities company was the sole recipient of the $200 million funding for the rebuilding of their infrastructure after September 11th.

Con Edison’s current costs of rebuilding amount to  $186 million, but has already received $161 million for those costs. Con Ed claims without the subsidies, the Public Service Commission can allow Con Edison to increase energy costs to its customers.

Julie Menin, chairwoman of Community Board 1 and an LMDC board member, “It’s the first step in what will result in a very large amount of funding going to the Lower Manhattan community, and that’s what Congress intended,” according to a report in Crain’s New York.

The vote is seen as a win for the community groups, but is not over yet as representatives from the Mayors office and LMDC have meet with Con Edison to hammer out utilities deals.

Besides the World Trade Center Memorial, reports have been unclear as to who these community interest groups are. One mentioned group would be the 3LD theater on Greenwich street, which has faced bankruptcy in recent years.

The LMDC is charged with allocating almost $800 million in September 11th funds before the corporation is formerly shut down.