Downtown local

Volume 16 • Issue 25 |November 18 – 24, 2003


Downtown Local

Mitchell to collect on Deutsche

When Gov. George Pataki announced that former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell would mediate the long-running dispute over the fate of the Deutsche Building near ground zero, he issued a statement saying Mitchell had “graciously accepted the role of mediator,” but the governor didn’t say that Mitchell’s firm would be getting $150,000 for the two-month job.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. last week voted Mitchell’s law firm, Piper Rudnick, $150,000 to settle the dispute between Deutsche and one of its insurers, Allianz, by Dec. 31.

Acquiring the Liberty St. building, which was badly damaged on 9/11, is key to the proposed changes to the World Trade Center site plan by architect Daniel Libeskind. The acquisition allows for creating a two-acre plaza on the site and moving over 1,000,000 square feet of office space off of Church St.

John Whitehead, chairperson of the L.M.D.C. said “we are very fortunate to have George Mitchell” who has mediated disputes in Northern Ireland and the Middle East. By way of comparison, Deutsche “should be an easy task,” Whitehead said.

Joanna Rose, an L.M.D.C. spokesperson, said $150,000 is the L.M.D.C. spending cap on law firm contracts, and is a 50 discount on Piper’s usual rates.

Laura Perry, a Piper spokesperson, said the firm does not discuss its rates. She said Mitchell took on Northern Ireland and the Middle East prior to joining Piper and she did not know if he was paid for his mediation work in those disputes. She said Mitchell was out of the country and could not be reached for comment.

Isle talk

The National Park Service will hold back-to-back public meetings on Thurs., Nov. 30 at the U.S. Custom House, one Bowling Green, on the future of the Governors Island.

Suggestions from the meetings will help to develop scenarios for how best to preserve the historic structures of the Governors Island Historic Monument and to share the history of the island with visitors. The first meeting in the Custom House will be from 2-4 p.m. in the auditorium and the second will be from 6-8 p.m.

Police meet

The next meeting of the First Precinct Community Council will be at 7 p.m. Tues. Nov. 25 in the Battery Park City Community Room, 21 West Thames St. behind Gristedes between South End Ave. and the esplanade.

Déjà vu dinner deals

After a huge response to this year’s Downtown For Dinner 2003 prix fixe program, a majority of restaurants have agreed to extend their participation through the end of the month, if not longer. This program, organized by the Downtown Alliance, offers three-course prix fixe dinners for $20.03, excluding beverages, tax and gratuities. Some participating restaurants include Caracello Ristorante, Giovanni’s Atrium, and Quartino. For a complete list, visit the Alliance’s Web site at ww.downtownNY.com.

C.B. 1 meeting

This week’s schedule of Community Board 1 meetings is as follows:

On Tues., Nov. 18, C.B. 1 will hold its full-board meeting at 6 p.m. at the Museum of Jewish Heritage at 36 Battery Place in Battery Park City.

On Tues., Nov. 25, the Youth and Education Committee will meet at 6:00 p.m. in room 709 of 49-51 Chambers St. to discuss youth bureau funding, a proposed elementary/ intermediate school at the N.Y.U. Downtown Hospital parking lot site, the spring youth fair, and to meet with Region 9 Superintendent Peter Heaney (tentative).

On Thurs., Nov. 20, the World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee will meet in Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s office, 250 Broadway, 19th floor, at 6:00 p.m., to discuss the eight final designs for the World Trade Center memorial.

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