Planes Trains & Automobiles
Last night at the Forum for Urban Design’s Next New York dinner, there were many good ideas for improving the city’s transit infrastructure, collected in a booklet given out to attendees. Peter Derrick wants to integrate and beef up New York’s regional railroads, Bob Yaro’s advocated yet again for the TriboroRX radial outer borough rail line and Ben Fried’s suggested a more robust bus rapid transit network.
But not everybody’s ideas for transit struck us as so enlightened. Bloomberg (first the mayor, and now the corporation) executive Dan Doctoroff and Brookfield’s John Zuccotti sat on stage and chatted, and we could scarcely believe our ears when they started talking about the Second Avenue subway: they hate it.
John E. Zuccotti may have a park of his own downtown, made famous by the Occupy Wall Street protests that centered around the privately-owned public space, but when he and his wife Susan decided to pick up an apartment in Manhattan, they chose a more classical park to look out onto: Central Park.
The real estate titan (you don’t get a park in Lower Manhattan named after you for nothing—he’s the chairman of Brookfield Properties American division and was a partner at Olympia & York, the chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York and has served on the Planning Commission; for a brief period in the the ’70s, he was even an establishment favorite for mayor) picked up a two-bedroom on the sixth floor for nearly $2.6 million—a number that, on Fifth Avenue, suggests a striking degree of modesty.
One of the big debates that has been raging around the rezoning of Midtown East is how it might impact development already underway around the city, much of it funded in part by the public sector, and thus taxpayers. Should these projects fail, Joe Public could lose out on his investment.
The World Trade Center and Hudson Yards have been two focal points, but Manhattan West, which broke ground yesterday, ought to be considered, too. While the project’s backers bragged at the groundbreaking about building without public subsidy, they are still competing for the same anchor tenants as their rivals further east. Furthermore, the $2 billion the city contributed to the construction of the 7 train nearby is to be paid back through property taxes on the new projects. No new development, no bond proceeds, big trouble for the city.
Still, Mayor Bloomberg is standing by the decision to fast-track the Midtown rezoning and ensure it gets completed this year.
What kind of titles are bestowed upon you when you’re the Chairman and CEO of giant developer Related Companies? (They did the Time Warner Center, in case you weren’t keeping score.)
For the answer, ask Mr. Stephen Ross–or read the third-to-last paragraph of a long Read More
The city’s fathers of yore relived some of the good old days this morning when a remade plaza at Liberty Street and Broadway was christened Zuccotti Park, after John Zuccotti, the 68-year-old co-chairman of Brookfield Properties, which owns the plaza and several other properties nearby, including the World Financial Center.
Look, there’s Ed Read More
An innocuous-looking government report sits on a shelf in
John Zuccotti’s office on the sixth floor of One Liberty Plaza. Published in
1981, The Future of the World Trade
Center represents the findings of a blue-ribbon panel chaired by Mr.
Zuccotti, a former deputy mayor who was then settling into life as a
high-powered private Read More