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Thread: Fulton Center

  1. #151


    Why doesn't this have a skyscraper on top? Why doesn't the MTA start acting like a developer?

  2. #152


    That question was asked at one of the CB presentation meetings. The short answer is that the complexity of the subway lines, and the necessity to keep the stations in operation would have added years and cost to the project if a new skyscraper foundation was added at the same time.

  3. #153



    Shops moving to make room for train project

    Shops and offices in the Corbin Building, left, will soon have to leave for construction of the Fulton Transit Center.

    By Ronda Kaysen

    It’s never easy owning a small business in Manhattan. Rent is high, competition is fierce and customers are fickle. But some shop owners near the Fulton subway station face a new obstacle: eminent domain.

    The Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to seize five properties near Fulton St. and Broadway under the powers of eminent domain in order to build a new $785 million Fulton Street Transit Center that will combine the confusing Broadway/Nassau/Fulton stations in to one and connect it to the Calatrava-designed PATH station at the W.T.C. In total, 114 commercial tenants will be displaced, including the tenants in the historic Corbin Building, which will be preserved. The first tenants, those west of Broadway, will likely be out by the end of the year. The remaining tenants should be gone by the following August, making way for the new hub, which will be completed in 2008.

    Moving “is very risky,” said Mirza Mamur, standing behind the counter of his print and frame store, Glamour Art Gallery at 189 Broadway, a wall of picture frames behind him. “Everywhere you go you see stores going out of business and that worries me.” All six businesses in the two-story structure on the corner of Dey St. will move by the end of the year.

    While property owners are entitled to receive fair market value for their properties, shopkeepers will only be reimbursed for moving costs up to $25,000. The M.T.A. will not compensate shopkeepers for the higher rents they might pay elsewhere and the time spent luring a new clientele to their business.

    “We have a large team of people working with the tenants,” William Wheeler, director of project development for the M.T.A. told Community Board 1 in July. “I would characterize” — the tenant’s experience with eminent domain proceedings — “as a learning process. They’re getting used to what the benefits really are.”

    Mamur has yet to notice any benefits. He opened his store, a narrow shop covered from floor to ceiling with framed prints, four years ago and worries he might not find such a well-traveled location with affordable rent elsewhere. Glamour Art Gallery is located a block away from the W.T.C. site and opened four months after Sept. 11. “We were targeting the future, for when they rebuild the World Trade Center site,” he said. He has revised his expectations: he now hopes to be able to stay through the holidays.

    For some business owners, the cost of moving far outweighs anything the M.T.A. has offered. Mohamed Elfeky, owner of Manhattan Muffin in the Corbin building on John St. estimates it will cost as much as $800,000 to move his bakery. “It’s going to be hard,” said Elfeky. “We’re like a small factory here.” His bakery is located on two levels with ovens and mixers and other baking machinery. Elfeky has built a solid customer base over the 13 years his business has been in the Corbin and worries he will vanish with the store. “I’m going to be like a brand new store somewhere else,” he said.

    James Logan, head librarian for the Christian Science Reading Room in the Corbin building worries his business will not be adequately compensated either. Although the price of moving — which will be covered — is modest, the cost of remodeling a new space is anything but. The reading room, which has been Downtown since 1911, moved into its John St. location in 2003 after it left 5 W.T.C. in 1999. It is freshly renovated with blond wood floors, new bookshelves, a computer room and plush furnishings. Logan declined to say how much the renovation cost, but said it was “substantial.”

    “It’s obvious that the retail tenants are not well cared for” in the eminent domain proceedings, he said.

    Eminent domain can only be evoked in the service of “public use,” according to the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. A June Supreme Court ruling against Connecticut property owners, however, further strengthened eminent domain laws. The Fulton Transit Hub is a clear case of eminent domain, leaving business owners little recourse to fight the transit authority.

    “The writing’s been on the wall, what am I going to do?” said Geoff Feder, owner of Cookie Island at 189 Broadway. “Of course you’re upset, it’s a drag, it’s a total drag. It’d be a drag if I had to move my doghouse across the street.”

    Aside from the “drag” of moving, finding a new location in the neighborhood at all might prove to be impossible for many of these shopkeepers as they suddenly flood a market already short on retail space because of a spate of residential conversions in recent years.

    “There’s no space Downtown,” said David Rakhminov, owner of Alex Tailor Shop, as he bent over a sewing machine working on a leather coat in the tiny street level John St. shop. It moved to the Corbin building six months ago, after its previous location converted to residential condos.

    “What says that the next building I move into the owner isn’t going to say that he wants out of renting to small businesses?” said Cynthia Callsen, a psychologist with a private practice in the Corbin building. “There’s no security going forward for small businesses.”

    Most of the business owners Downtown Express spoke to for this story were resigned to their fate, however, agreeing the transit hub is a necessary part of the neighborhood’s redevelopment. Many have an existential view of their unfortunate role in the story of the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan. “Take a map of New York and start a business somewhere and then take a dart and throw it at the map,” said Feder. “Well you just hit us.”

  4. #154


    Not to spread my reputation as the crapmeister, but I am elated that this mierda is being torn down. Hopefully, the crap of the west side of B'Way between Liberty Tower and 195 B'Way will be demolished next, along with that little shi...tty building with the Easy Spirit shown in the photo above.

  5. #155


    I agree. The Corbin Building is so elegant, it is best that we blot it out. Othewise, looking around among all the glass boxes that fill our city, we might grow hopelessly depressed, having to look at this reminder of New York as it once was.

  6. #156


    Is there even anything of any significance there? I use that entrance in the photo all the time (right behind the easy spirit store) and have not even entered any of these places. The only things I find remotely interesting in the area is the sushi place across the street and one watch dealer a block down.

  7. #157
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    The Corbin Building is the only one that will remain -- but in a much better state.

  8. #158


    Tribeca Trib

    Business Owners, Forced Out For Transit Center, Protest

    by Barry Owens

    A group of small business owners being forced out to make way for the new Fulton Street Transit Center took to the steps of City Hall on Nov. 3 in protest.

    “We’re not going out quietly,” said Katherine Hill, a graphic designer, and member of a newly formed group called the Ground Zero Small Business Association. The group is comprised of 140 business owners with offices and retail space in the buildings between Fulton and John Streets on Broadway that are soon to be demolished.

    The 115-year-old Corbin Building, at the corner of Broadway and John, will be preserved and incorporated into the transit center, but current tenants will be sent packing as the offices are to be taken over by the MTA. The MTA also plans to acquire 189 Broadway across the street to construct an entry pavilion to a new underground concourse connecting the transit hub to the World Trade Center site.

    “We’re not trying to stop the transit project,” said Arthur Castle, a statistician with an office at 198 Broadway, who sees the transit center as a needed improvement for the neighborhood. “But don’t hurt us.”

    The MTA is offering relocation assistance, but the business owners claim the amount of financial compensation is not enough. Nor does the compensation guarantee that the businesses will find new homes Downtown, where small, affordable office space is in short supply.

    “I’m 52 years old. I can not start over somewhere else,” said William Saad, a tailor at 198 Broadway. “If I go further than five blocks, I’m ruined, ruined, ruined.”

    Some of the tenants of the buildings moved in to take advantage of low rents after Sept. 11, but many have operated there for years and struggled to keep the doors open following the attacks. Some took out loans they said they are still paying back.

    “We Survived 9/11 to Be Ruined By The MTA,” one protesting business owner’s sign read. “Gov. Pataki Told Us To Stay, MTA Forces To Go,” read another sign. “What Are We, Chopped Liver?” read another.

    An MTA spokesman, Tom Kelly, said the tenants should battle with the city for additional tax breaks and not with the agency that he said is working to assist the tenants in relocating.

    Kelly said that about a quarter of the tenants had signed agreements. He declined to reveal the amount of compensation offered to the business, but said it varies from shop to shop.

    “We have lived up to our commitment and worked with these people and done everything possible to assist them,” he said.

    Marlene Burke, a psychotherapist, has worked since August of 2004 to organize business owners in an effort to get information and assistance from public officials and Downtown business groups. She said the MTA’s efforts have not been enough.

    “I had a sense that we weren’t going to be helped,” said Burke. “The MTA wasn’t seeing us, or hearing us. They were just making nice-nice.”

    Castle said it was ironic that the businesses already in Lower Manhattan were in danger of losing their Downtown address, while others seemingly have to be coaxed with tax breaks to locate below Canal Street.

    “They don’t have to bribe us to stay here,” said Castle, pointing west, in the direction of the future headquarters of Goldman Sachs. “We just need a little bit of help.”

  9. #159


    Fulton Street Transit Center Dome

    The dome is a study for the dome of the Fulton Street subway in New York. As people cross the floor, their paths are traced on lights in the dome ceiling. Using programmable LEDs over a diffused glass plane, the trails take on their own dynamic, continuing long after the pathmaker has left.

    The same principle can be applied to a lobby or any public space.

    Dey Street Tunnel

    The Dey Street Tunnel is a pedestrian tunnel that connects Fulton Street with the World Trade Center subway stations. This project, with physical design by James Carpenter Design, investigated the interactive potential of LEDs in a space without natural light. The physical space animates as people walk through the tunnel at different rates, at different densities and from different directions.

    The LED lighting is integrated into only one wall of the tunnel through apertures in the polished stainless steel walls. The other walls, a combination of highly reflective and matt surfaces, create an illusion of multiple spaces and depths inside them.

    Click the links to see their interactive displays

  10. #160


    Very creative technlogies for this project. I like it.

  11. #161


    That sounds like it could cost a shitload of money which would better go toward making the rest of the stations remotely tolerable.

    I mean, seriously, if the MTA can't deal with huge paint chips falling from ceilings, how is it going to maintain this?

  12. #162


    This is probably a cost-saving project, now the tunnel won't be fully lit, it will only light a few steps ahead of you . Very much like the old 6 train .
    Killers and rapists are cheering this on.

    I guess it's encouraging that they want to do SOMETHING, not sure if this is it but it's better than nothing

  13. #163


    create an illusion of multiple spaces and depths inside them.
    The passageway has been narrowed to cut costs, and more money is spent to make the passageway appear wider.

    This is pure, undiluted MTA.

  14. #164
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Still, technology-wise, it's pretty darned cool

  15. #165


    Please note that the dome and tunnel were concepts and ideas only. The MTA went with another designer for the project, not JCDA.

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