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Old November 18th, 2007, 11:33 PM   #61
TalB
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/11182007...ring_76866.htm
DOWNTOWN DITHERING

November 18, 2007 -- Do Gov. Spitzer and Mayor Bloomberg want to rebuild Ground Zero?

If so, they must move swiftly to remove the dangerous monstrosity that may become the chief obstacle to rebuilding there - that is, the Deutsche Bank building.

Given the bureaucratic inertia that seems to have swallowed up that 9/11-scarred site, you'd think neither Spitzer nor Bloomberg cares much about its future.

Or about the long-term future of Downtown itself, which is counting on a rebirth at Ground Zero that can take place only after the Deutsche Bank building is gone.

Indeed, three months after a fatal fire at the building halted its demolition, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., a state- and city-controlled entity that owns the property, remains at full stop.

The LMDC is still trying to figure out whether contaminants in the building should be cleaned completely before demolition resumes - or whether both jobs can go ahead simultaneously, as they did before the fire.

Officials also need to settle on contractors for the job. (A key subcontractor, the John Galt Corp., was fired after the blaze.) What are they waiting for?

Meanwhile, preliminary work - bolstering fire safety on the building and repairing some structural damage caused by the fire - is still being completed.

Yet just last month, officials promised that demolition work would have started by now: “We hope the deconstruction will resume at the beginning of November," vowed LMDC Chairman Avi Schick.

Maybe someone should have asked: November of what year?

Now, officials are saying that - assuming the stars line up - work might start next month.

Sure, delay is a hallmark of any operation involving government paper-clip twisters. And federal environmental regulators have doubtless done everything in their power to slow down the demolition.

But this job is different.

For one thing, every day that the building remains standing is another day that it remains a threat to the community.

Remember, the fire wasn't the only calamity at 130 Liberty. A few months before, a 15-foot pipe fell from the building and smashed through the roof of a nearby firehouse, injuring two firefighters. And only days after the blaze, a pallet jack fell, injuring two more of The Bravest.

Beyond that, there's the question of the future of Ground Zero itself.

As The Post's Steve Cuozzo has pointed out, construction work there is inextricably linked to the demolition of the bank tower.

If the structure doesn't get cleared away soon, it may hold up completion of the towers at Ground Zero.

Enough is enough.

Ground Zero should have been finished long ago - and the Deutsche Bank building should be just a bad memory by now.

Spitzer and Bloomberg are letting New Yorkers down by not assuring the building's immediate removal.

How 'bout it, Mike? Eliot?
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Old November 19th, 2007, 04:43 PM   #62
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I do not like this skyscraper because
1. I wanted the building as a hotel
2. There is no 6 WTC in the new development
3. A tower with a cantilevered section like that is much better suited to a hotel than an office building (with a pool on top of the section)
4. I hope this tower gets cancelled.
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Old November 19th, 2007, 11:07 PM   #63
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2. is a very good reason
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Old November 19th, 2007, 11:56 PM   #64
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I don't like it. It's not ugly, it just looks goofy.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 12:34 AM   #65
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true!
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Old November 21st, 2007, 04:47 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim856796 View Post
I do not like this skyscraper because
1. I wanted the building as a hotel
2. There is no 6 WTC in the new development
3. A tower with a cantilevered section like that is much better suited to a hotel than an office building (with a pool on top of the section)

Completely agree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim856796 View Post
4. I hope this tower gets cancelled.
Ok. Maybe not that far...
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Old November 21st, 2007, 06:04 PM   #67
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The slanted roof looks good..

I hope they can change the cantilevered section, but if they don't, I think it will look better than the render- if it has the right cladding.
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 06:44 AM   #68
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KPF is designing the building guys... the are not finished as of yet. The render now is just a placeholder for the massing and height of the tower.
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 11:28 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim856796 View Post
I do not like this skyscraper because
1. I wanted the building as a hotel
2. There is no 6 WTC in the new development
3. A tower with a cantilevered section like that is much better suited to a hotel than an office building (with a pool on top of the section)
4. I hope this tower gets cancelled.
Well too bad for you. This building will be built whether you like it or not.
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 12:03 PM   #70
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Yeah, Jimmy ain't the king of development.

Wanted a hotel... pfft.
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 03:51 PM   #71
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Quote:
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Well too bad for you. This building will be built whether you like it or not.
"Yeah Jimmy!! And if you still don't like it when it's built, well... hu! You can go to your momy and cry! Ah!"


Please Brendan, grab a plush and chill out...

A hotel would indeed have been convenient to admire a breathtaking view in the morning(s) of one's NY trip.
I wanted a hotel too damn it...
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 11:10 PM   #72
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Quote:
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4. I hope this tower gets cancelled.
I am hoping for the same thing along with the rest of that so-called official plan over at the WTC site.
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Old December 14th, 2007, 01:39 AM   #73
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/12132007...ife_859231.htm
DEUTSCHE BANK STILL IN STRIFE

By CHUCK BENNETT

December 13, 2007 -- Nearly five months after the inferno at the former Deutsche Bank building killed two firefighters, the FDNY's safety recommendations haven't been followed and work cannot resume, officials said yesterday.

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said the FDNY has not "signed off" on the project - a major obstacle in finally demolishing the ugly reminder of 9/11.

"We are not going to get into too much of this, but I can say concerns are being addressed," Scoppetta said after a City Council hearing yesterday on the FDNY's new building-inspection program.

After the Aug. 18 blaze at 130 Liberty St. it emerged that the FDNY failed to conduct regular inspections of the building. As a result, the department increased its weekly inspections citywide and also stationed a battalion chief at the former bank building full-time.

Avi Schick, the embattled chief of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., said in October that work to remove the remaining 27 floors of the abandoned building would resume last month. Schick has yet to publicly set a new date.

Sources say wrangling between the LMDC, the state agency in charge of the project, and its contractor, Bovis Lend Lease, is causing delays.

The LMDC declined to comment.
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Old December 14th, 2007, 02:19 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rizzato View Post
The slanted roof looks good..

I hope they can change the cantilevered section, but if they don't, I think it will look better than the render- if it has the right cladding.
Yeah, as it is it looks ridiculous.
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Old December 15th, 2007, 08:45 PM   #75
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I don't think that's so good looking. That "flashlight" (=lump) doesn't fit too well. I have to admit, that without it, that tower would look quite boring. First I was "wow-ing" the tower, cuz I thought it was the one one the left
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Old December 17th, 2007, 04:48 AM   #76
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W00t! I will be moving in as soon as its built- this is where I will be based Apparently 2012 - no further details as yet . I doubt it though. Have they even started construction down there yet?
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Old December 19th, 2007, 02:00 PM   #77
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Old December 21st, 2007, 12:38 AM   #78
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/12202007...ady_241385.htm
TEAR IT DOWN, ALREADY

December 20, 2007 -- Yet another round of delays at Ground Zero may be leading New Yorkers to wonder: Is the site headed for the same paralysis that held up rebuilding under then-Gov. George Pataki? Is anyone down there in charge?

Yesterday brought word that the World Trade Center memorial, which state officials promised would be open for 9/11's eighth anniversary, now likely won't be done until 2010. And the memorial's museum and visitors' center won't open until 2011 - a full decade after 9/11.

Other work is progressing, but even that may come to a halt if work doesn't soon resume on removing the contaminated Deutsche Bank building, which was irreparably damaged in the terror attack.

As we've said repeatedly, that building should've come down years ago.

Instead, it has stood as a monument to bureaucratic inertia. Even as a pipe fell from one of its upper floors, crashing through a firehouse below. And a blaze killed two firefighters in August. And a pallet-jack toppled down days later, injuring two more firefighters.

The state-controlled Lower Manhattan Development Corp. owns the property; after the August fire halted the building's deconstruction, LMDC head Avi Schick said work would re-start in November.

Never happened.

Now LMDC officials can't even say when demolition might begin. Nor even when they'll hire a new subcontractor for the job.

How pathetic.

We've seen this before, of course: Gov. Pataki vowed back in 2004 to have the Deutsche Bank building down by the following year. But the whole Ground Zero rebuilding was plagued by incompetence and a lack of leadership back then - nothing moved forward.

Now, with other parts of the project finally under way, a protracted delay at the Deutsche Bank building could be fatal, given that other work on Ground Zero buildings is closely linked to demolition of that tower.

Who's to blame for the new mess?

That's not entirely clear, given all the finger-pointing. But the LMDC, which - again - owns the Deutsche Bank tower, is mostly run by the state. Which means Gov. Spitzer needs to get on the ball.

Mayor Bloomberg also has a role to play, given that the fate of the building will greatly affect the city of which he is in charge.

Much is at stake in that building's removal. Officials should act like they understand that - and get that building down pronto.
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Old December 28th, 2007, 11:09 PM   #79
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http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_24...iolations.html
Volume 20, Number 33 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | Dec. 28, 2007 - Jan. 3, 2008

Deutsche violations and questions keep mounting

By Josh Rogers


“I feel like I have a new life. I feel safe,” she said.

Downtown Express photo by Jefferson Siegel

The city recently issued two violations for materials falling off a crane at the former Deutsche bank building.


Two thousand and seven began with the hope of seeing long-delayed demolition work activity at the former Deutsche Bank building soon. The year ends with the same hope along with heightened concern about the safety of the project after the deaths of two firefighters battling a blaze in the damaged tower on Aug. 18.

Since the fire, the 130 Liberty St. building across from the World Trade Center site has been resealed to prevent contamination from potentially hazardous chemicals. Work continues on a fire stairway and other safety protections. But subcontractors to replace John Galt Corp. have not been picked, and the promise by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. to resume the environmental abatement and demolition work in November has come and gone without explanation as to why it was missed.

Bob Harvey, who runs the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center, a subsidiary of the L.M.D.C., told Community Board 1 two weeks ago that “it is too early at this point” to tell whether demolition of Deutsche would be finished by Sept. 2008, the date when JPMorgan Chase is supposed to get control of the site to build new headquarters.

The city Buildings Dept. issued three more violations at Deutsche on Dec. 17 — two for materials that fell from a crane. The agency has not yet put out any details about the violations and a spokesperson refused to say what materials fell, how far they fell or even who was cited for the violations. The third violation was for violating the partial stop work order on the building. The Buildings Dept. did not comment on that one either.

“This is an extremely toxic building, there were elaborate protocols set up because of pressure from the community and what we see repeatedly is a desire to relax the protocols, relax the protections,” said Rob Spencer, who keeps close track of the project’s violations.

Spencer, a spokesperson for the Organization of Staff Analysts, a municipal union with many members working near the W.T.C., pointed out that it’s important to know more about the mishaps since one of the cranes is suspended much higher than the building, which now stands at 26 stories.

“You don’t know if they mean ‘a’ crane or ‘the’ crane. Is it the main crane or a little one?

“Given the history, I hope L.M.D.C. does not see this as an annoyance but as a warning to fix the situation.”

Development corporation officials declined to comment for this article.

In the past, L.M.D.C. officials have said the violations are an indication that the system is working — that transgressions are being caught.

Councilmember Alan Gerson said that’s true, but the continued violations really are “good news, bad news,” because it would be better if there was nothing anyone had to catch.

Gerson postponed a City Council hearing in the fall on Deutsche’s future plans after the L.M.D.C. and city officials promised to testify before the demolition work resumed. Gerson said the hearing could be Jan. 10, although he has not received final confirmation yet. He said if it occurs then, it will still likely be some time before the demolition work resumes since no contractor has been picked.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who has organized several meetings with community leaders, local residents and L.M.D.C. officials since the fire, is working on setting up another meeting on Jan. 11 to discuss the project.

Gerson thinks the public should have a few weeks to review the new subcontractor and dismantling plan once they are revealed.

“It has to be transparent, it has to be open and there has to be an opportunity to take feedback — and I expect there will be — they have said there will be,” Gerson said of the public process.

Andy Jurinko, who lives right next to the building, said residents continue to be left in the dark. “It’s always cloaked in secrecy,” he said. “They can tell you one thing and you don’t know if it’s true — hell, firemen didn’t know what they were walking into.”

Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of C.B. 1’s World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee, said even if officials are still weighing options, there still should be some updates. She said she has not heard anything concrete for about two months.

“People want to be informed with what’s going on whether it’s cranes moving or work developing the deconstruction plan,” she said.

Before the fire, the building’s standpipe was broken and had not been inspected for a decade, so firefighters had to carry up water sources. Violations were issued for letting blow torch sparks land too close to combustible materials. The fire was started by a cigarette, even though there was a no smoking rule in the building.

Hughes said she is not ready to accept assertions that violations are hard to completely eradicate. She remembers working as a construction safety engineer, on male-dominated, multi-million dollar projects with large cranes, oil and other hazardous conditions when she was only 22.

“You have to tell people not to smoke, ‘you have to wear your hard hats,’ you have to enforce the rules,” Hughes said. “It’s not impossible [to have no violations]. You have to try and make it as safe as possible.”

She said she learned little tricks like going over safety rules right before handing out pay checks to make sure people stayed and listened.

She said there was never an accident and she does not recall any of the few projects she worked on ever receiving a fine or a violation. But Hughes was careful not to say the lessons she learned years ago could be applied to Lower Manhattan, since she never worked on projects in New York and she acknowledged that the Deutsche project has its own unique considerations.

Jurinko had his own wish as to how things should proceed.

“I’d like to see a magic wand waved,” he said. “And see the building come down and the JPMorgan tower go up.”

With reporting by Julie Shapiro
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Old January 13th, 2008, 04:33 AM   #80
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/01102008...aud_454804.htm
DA EYES DEUTSCHE MONEY 'FRAUD'

By MURRAY WEISS - Criminal Justice Editor

January 10, 2008 -- Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars earmarked for the demolition of the Deutsche Bank building may have been ripped off, The Post has learned.

The revelation deepens the scandal surrounding the cursed building, where firefighters Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino wre killed in a blaze last summer.

The money trail emerging from a mountain of more than 1 million pages of subpoenaed financial records and documents - has already led to a questionable pattern of corporate and bank transfers involving hundreds of thousands of dollars, law-enforcement sources said.

Some of the funds have passed into companies that prosecutors and city investigators suspect are "shell" businesses created on paper to mask the ultimate destinations of the money.

The disclosure raises the possibility that cash may have been diverted and used for a number of illicit reasons including:

* Lining the pockets of company officials or employees whose existence was unknown to city and state officials.

* Kicking back money to people involved in the contracting process.

* Making payments under the table so recipients could avoid taxes.

"Hundreds of thousands of dollars has been seen so far going south," one source said. "The question is, where was it going and where did it end up?"

The probe, conducted by the Manhattan DA and the city, has prompted a grand jury - which had been gathering once a week to investigate the fire - to now meet twice a week to hear the mounting evidence.

The DA's presentation is expected to take months to complete, the sources said.

In addition, prosecutors and investigators are getting a clearer picture on possibly bringing manslaughter charges against people responsible for ensuring safety at the 26-story demolition site at 130 Liberty St.

They include monitors who should have discovered that a potentially lifesaving standpipe hanging loosely from the basement's ceiling had been removed by workers before the fatal Aug. 18 blaze.

The pipe's destruction left the structure without water, which led to the deaths of Beddia, 53 and Graffagnino, 33, on the upper floors of the doomed building.

Although the FDNY did not conduct its own inspections of the building in the months before the blaze, no fire official is expected to face sanctions.

The sources declined to identity the companies or individuals the panel is probing.

The construction site's manager, Bovis Lend Lease Corp., which was contracted by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. to oversee the entire $150 million project, retained the John Galt Company to demolish the building and remove hazardous materials from it.

The LMDC, which purchased the land and the building for $90 million, was under pressure to get the demolition moving because the building was slated to be replaced with a new structure and remained a bitter eyesore next to Ground Zero.

"They were in a bind and wanted it done," one of the sources said.

"They did not ask too many questions, and that may be why there was room for f- - -ing around."

As it turned out, Galt was little more than a corporate entity utilizing officials from two other companies working on the site: Regional Scaffolding and Hoisting Co., and Safeway Environmental Corp., which had its own questionable histories and little experience.

One of Safeway's officials, Harold Greenberg, was identified as a Gambino crime associate who had twice gone to federal prison for industry-related crimes - once for trying to bribe a federal inspector, and another time for a bid-rigging scheme.

A Galt official hung up when reached by The Post, and Safeway officials declined comment.

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