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NYC4Life Dec 13, 2010 6:10 PM

Besides the WTC site itself, the final visible scar from 9/11 is at long last gone.

NOPA Dec 13, 2010 6:17 PM

Jesus, its about time! It took like almost a decade to get rid of that buildy (and probably another before its replacement is completed). It should open up some nice views of the WTC though.

NYguy Dec 14, 2010 3:34 PM

Oh, enough positive news. Let's get back to some good, old fashioned WTC fighting...;)

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/busines...cP1LxzfDM98xEM

Holy war pits Greeks vs. PA

By STEVE CUOZZO
December 14, 2010

Quote:

The Greek Archdiocese of New York, which plans to file a lawsuit to force the Port Authority to honor a disputed agreement to build it a new church across the street from the World Trade Center site, might need a prayer before the case even goes to court.

The proposed church building would rise at 130 Liberty St., site of the former Deutsche Bank tower, to replace St. Nicholas Church at 155 Cedar St. nearby, which was destroyed on 9/11.

But steel the PA has already ordered for the Vehicle Screening Center to be built beneath 130 Liberty St. can't support the church structure which the archdiocese wants to erect above it, engineering sources said.


Not only the amount of steel which the PA ordered over a year ago, but also the way it's being fabricated to house the underground "helix," is inadequate to hold up the church, which would be larger than the original and was to include public meditation space and other facilities.

In fact, according to our sources, the way the VSC has been designed beneath 130 Liberty St. now makes it impossible to construct the church, which the archdiocese hopes to compel the PA to help it build and partly fund.

Since a breakdown of talks between the agency and the archdiocese last year, the PA has endorsed building a replacement church at the 155 Cedar St. location.


The VSC will serve as a security-clearance facility for trucks making deliveries and providing services to all buildings at the WTC site. Construction of it will begin once the Deutsche wreck is dismantled.

Asked to comment on our sources' claims, PA spokesman John Kelly said, "Designs are complete and contracts have been awarded [for the VSC] that assume a church structure on the original site, 155 Cedar St."

Mark Cunha, a lawyer for the archdiocese at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, was not moved. "It sounds like baloney," Cunha said. "They didn't order enough steel, order more steel. Anybody in litigation can say they can't do something."

However, an engineering source who is affiliated neither with the PA nor the archdiocese told us, "It's over. To redesign the VSC and re-order steel would add tens of millions of dollars to costs and set everything at Ground Zero back by two more years, and Larry Silverstein would have new grounds to blame the [PA] for not completing infrastructure on time."

The PA and the archdiocese have had a bitter war of words since last winter, when the church blamed the PA for reneging on a "binding" 2008 agreement to build a new facility at 130 Liberty St. Last week, the archdiocese filed notice of its intent to sue, alleging "fraudulent conduct" by the agency and accusing it of illegally appropriating its land at 155 Cedar St.

The PA, while unwilling to comment on pending litigation, previously has blamed the church for making "escalating demands" on top of terms already agreed to which the PA said led to the breakdown in talks last year.

NYguy Dec 15, 2010 3:35 PM

in.formed

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5284/...e9ab46c3_b.jpg

NYguy Dec 15, 2010 5:09 PM

http://www.observer.com/2010/real-es...ut-ground-zero

Clever Bureaucrats Engineer Church Out of Ground Zero

http://www.observer.com/files/full/W...ity_Center.jpg

The church would be located in the northeast corner of the VSC Phase 1 block.


By Matt Chaban
December 15, 2010

Quote:

It may be the most despicably brilliant feat of engineering since the Panama Canal.

Last week, the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church announced a suit against the Port Authority over the agency's refusal to rebuild the chapel in its original location at 130 Liberty Street. But it could be too late, as agency and its contractors at Ground Zero appear to have designed the church right off the site.

The chapel was destroyed on 9/11, and the Port Authority would rather it was rebuilt on a neighboring lot, at 155 Cedar Street.

If the Greek Archdiocese of New York had its way, the new St. Nicholas would be located atop the vehicle screening center. This massive security complex will inspect all deliveries to the World Trade Center before allowing them into a spaghetti of tunnels underneath the 16-acre site. It is meant to keep the ballet of daily deliveries and visitors — there is ample tour bus parking — from interfering with the goings on above as well as providing the best security possible to those buildings by segregating all incoming vehicles before they enter the site.


The screening center is primarily located below ground, and will look from the sidewalk like just another plot of land. Really, it is the roof of a massive building, and in order to build St. Nicholas on top, the center's structure would have to be supportive enough.

According to the Post's Steve Cuozzo, the Port Authority has already designed and bought construction material for much of the project, and in its current form, the screening center would be structurally incapable of supporting the church, or any other building for that matter.

Not only the amount of steel which the PA ordered over a year ago, but also the way it's being fabricated to house the underground "helix," is inadequate to hold up the church, which would be larger than the original and was to include public meditation space and other facilities.

In fact, according to our sources, the way the VSC has been designed beneath 130 Liberty St. now makes it impossible to construct the church, which the archdiocese hopes to compel the PA to help it build and partly fund.


An attorney for the Greek Archdiocese of New York insists this is a bunch of "baloney," telling Cuozzo, "They didn't order enough steel, order more steel. Anybody in litigation can say they can't do something." Yet an engineer points out that this would not only cost millions of dollars but also delays, which could aggrivate the site's real power broker, Larry Silverstein.

Maybe, just maybe, the Port Authority can save itself the headache and give some of those millions to the church instead, so they can build something a little grander next door.

Dac150 Dec 16, 2010 1:12 AM

The complexity and size of the underground portion of the site is mind boggling.

NYguy Dec 16, 2010 1:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dac150 (Post 5094671)
The complexity and size of the underground portion of the site is mind boggling.

Yeah, it's an entire city of its own.

NYguy Dec 28, 2010 2:27 PM

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion...nkomLDC6JCzNRP

St. Nick's vs. the PA

http://www.nypost.com/rw/nypost/2010...2--300x300.jpg


By STEVE CUOZZO
December 26, 2010


Quote:

The ugly dispute between the Port Authority and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese over rebuilding St. Nicholas' Church, destroyed on 9/11, threatens to throw progress at the entire World Trade Center site into chaos -- and the church has mainly itself to blame.

The archdiocese insists on having a new church at 130 Liberty St., where the old Deutsche Bank building is being demolished. The PA wants it at the original church site -- 155 Cedar St., 100 yards to the southwest. The church now plans a suit to force the PA to build at 130 Liberty and accuses the PA of "fraud" in breaking a "binding" agreement for the location.

In fact, no signed agreement was ever reached -- mainly because of the archdiocese's ever-escalating demands.

But a court ruling against the PA could force it to redesign an underground Vehicle Screening Center planned beneath 130 Liberty St. That's because steel the PA has ordered for the VSC couldn't support the church above it -- a structure three times larger than the original.

Re-tooling the VSC would push back by at least another year the already delayed openings of the first two office towers (now set for 2013) and possibly of the Memorial Museum (2011). Why? The VSC will be the security checkpoint for vehicles making deliveries to anywhere on the WTC site. Trucks -- and possibly cars and buses -- couldn't enter without it.

Moreover, the VSC will link to all of the site's notoriously interlocked infrastructure elements. Altering the current design of the steel "cage" would calamitously impact underground work now in progress by the PA and developer Larry Silverstein.

No one wants to deny St. Nicholas' parishioners a new place to worship, but it ought to have been at 155 Cedar St. But then-Gov. George Pataki instead foolishly persuaded the PA and the archdiocese to put it on Liberty Street, inside a new public park nearer to the WTC site.

The new St. Nicholas would also be bigger. The old, tiny church served fewer than 100 families. Its proposed replacement embraced the gigantism Pataki endorsed for other WTC-area features unrelated to the task of replenishing 14 million square feet of office space -- peripherals such as the new PATH terminal and the MTA's Fulton St. Transit Center.

The grandiose church planned at 130 Liberty St. was described by The New York Times in July 2008 as a "domed marble complex" six times larger than the original. The PA was able to have it reduced from a proposed footprint of 6,800 square feet to a "mere" 4,000 square feet, compared with the original's 1,200.

The PA and the church would have traded rights to the sites. The two sides spent four years trying and failing to nail down terms of the land swap and how much money the PA would put into church construction.

For all its infamously sluggish bureaucracy, the PA bent over backward to satisfy the archdiocese. So did JP Morgan Chase, which in 2007 wanted to build an office tower on Liberty Street. To accommodate the church, it devised a "beer-belly" tower, with trading floors cantilevered over the 130 Liberty site.


The archdiocese didn't complain about that plan, which was later dropped. But it did object to any future cantilever in March 2009, when it also upped the ante on other issues that the PA thought had been resolved. Among them, it wanted:

* The church to stand 20 feet taller than the Memorial Museum Pavilion -- a request the PA had previously rejected.

* Unconditional, all-at-once access to $20 million the PA had pledged for construction, rather than on a staged basis subject to completing the land-swap and awarding of job contracts.

* The right to review the VSC plans and to have "approval" over any future changes to the facility -- absurd, given that security is the business of the PA and the NYPD.

* Incredibly, rights to use the surrounding park for its own events and a say in how the park might be otherwise used.


The archdiocese now claims it was merely asking to protect its interests. Given the PA's prior record of delay, that sounds reasonable. But sources not affiliated with the PA said that once the sides began trying to draw up an actual contract in 2008, the archdiocese was "incredibly aggressive" and repeatedly added new conditions.

That left PA executive director Christopher Ward, who had to sort out loose ends left by his predecessors, in a pickle. By 2009, he had to order steel for the VSC to break the rebuilding paralysis, as well as to protect the PA from further liability for not finishing the infrastructure. (It's had to pay Silverstein huge sums for missing deadlines.)

But no final agreement was in sight. Enough steel to support the church if a deal was ever struck would have cost the PA $20 million on top of the $20 million it had already committed -- a risk it couldn't afford. So Ward decided he had no choice but to get the ball rolling on the VSC immediately.

Now, the church, having overplayed its hand, has flashed the lawsuit threat as its supposed trump card. It's probably out of luck getting 130 Liberty St. back -- but no court outcome is certain. For the sake of seeing a new World Trade Center, let's pray that reason prevails.

SkyscrapersOfNewYork Dec 28, 2010 2:59 PM

screw the church! build a tower!

patriotizzy Dec 28, 2010 5:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SkyscrapersOfNewYork (Post 5106947)
screw the church! build a tower!

lol, I vote the same! Build it somewhere else, we want our WTC finished ASAP.

RockMont Dec 28, 2010 5:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by patriotizzy (Post 5107082)
lol, I vote the same! Build it somewhere else, we want our WTC finished ASAP.



I agree! And that goes for that mosque too.

Aleks Dec 28, 2010 8:06 PM

uhhh, there's no mosque being built at the wtc... but i think the church is fine. if there was a small chapel there before, why not a new one?

but please get someone else to design it. that looks terrible! something a little simpler, very abstract that connects somehow with caltravas terminal.

NYguy Dec 28, 2010 8:43 PM

^ I agree that the church should be built. However, it should be built at the original location, as the Port Authority wants, and not at at the Tower 5 site, which is what the church wants. There is nothing wrong or disrespectful about rebuilding the church where it originally stood. On the other hand, trying to put the church on the Tower 5 site would cause unneccessary problems.

Dac150 Dec 28, 2010 8:47 PM

It sounds to me like the church is trying to capitalize on the situation so they can expand the building. There’s no way they should be permitted to build anywhere else but the site where the original church stood. The 130 Liberty ‘plot’ needs to be designated for substantial development, and nothing else.

NYguy Dec 28, 2010 9:08 PM

http://tribecatrib.com/news/2010/dec...ebuilding.html

Greek Church to Sue Port Authority Over Land for Rebuilding

http://tribecatrib.com/images/storie...rch-bldg-w.jpg

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church once stood a block south of the World Trade Center on Cedar Street.

Share By Matt Dunning
UPDATED Dec. 28

Quote:

Leaders of the tiny St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, once seated at the foot of the World Trade Center and destroyed on Sept. 11, are hoping the threat of a lawsuit will force the Port Authority to honor a deal it struck in 2008 to rebuild the church.

Earlier this month, St. Nicholas parish leaders and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America notified Port Authority attorneys that they would sue the agency if it does not resume negotiations for funding a rebuilt church on or near the church’s original site on Cedar Street. The two sides have had little contact in more than a year.

The Port Authority has 60 days to settle the matter before it is referred to a State Supreme Court judge.

“The bottom line is that we need to protect our legal rights,” said Parish Council president John Couloucoundis. “We really don’t have a choice in the matter. We had to move forward after trying ad nauseam to bring them back to the table.”

The church came close to finalizing a deal with the Port Authority in July 2008. But after nine months of haggling over details, the Authority abruptly broke off negotiations, saying it had to start excavating the site for its underground Vehicle Security Center—currently under construction beneath the land where the church once stood—or risk falling further behind in developing the site. There has been virtually no discussion between the two sides ever since.

“They’re trespassing, it’s that simple,” Couloucoundis said.

Port Authority spokesman John Kelly said the agency would not comment on the details of the church’s complaint, but said the agency hopes to “sit down with representatives of the Orthodox Church to develop a solution that works in their interest” and doesn’t hold up construction at the site.

“We believe all parts of this complex project will reach positive resolution including the return of the church to its original home,” Kelly said.

After years of negotiations, the Port Authority offered the church a plot of land at the corner of Liberty and Greenwich Streets and up to $60 million to build a new church in July 2008. In exchange, the agency would absorb the congregation’s original plot at 155 Cedar Street, which it needs for an above-ground entry into the Vehicle Security Center. The church agreed in principal to the deal. But in the ensuing nine months, that agreement began to unravel.

In an email to the Trib, Kelly said it was the church representatives who caused the negotiations to break down.

“We worked hard to come to what we thought was a very generous agreement with Church representatives,” Kelly wrote. “Unfortunately, after nine months of negotiations in which the demands of the Orthodox Church continued to increase over and above what we originally agreed to in 2008, we had to make a practical decision to move on or risk further delaying the World Trade Center project.”


Rail>Auto Dec 28, 2010 9:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SkyscrapersOfNewYork (Post 5106947)
screw the church! build a tower!

If there is room, I say rebuild the Twins. A win-win for everyone.

Dac150 Dec 28, 2010 9:12 PM

Unbelievable, yet believable at the same time. The space that church occupied as shown above is exactly what should be granted this go around.

HyperPower Dec 28, 2010 9:28 PM

The Vehicle Security Center is being built on the land where the Church once stood, so maybe they can squeeze them in someplace else. However, down here in Lower Manhattan a good attorney will get you further along in the rebuilding process than praying up to the heavens (sadly). :irked:

NYguy Dec 29, 2010 3:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dac150 (Post 5107287)
The space that church occupied as shown above is exactly what should be granted this go around.

In this time, when everyone else demands more for nothing, I guess it shouldn't be a total surprise, even if it is a church. Seeing all of the WTC redevelopment plans, they just got greedy and forgot what they were trying to accomplish, which was simply to get the church rebuilt.

Quote:

PA spokesman John Kelly said, "Designs are complete and contracts have been awarded [for the VSC] that assume a church structure on the original site, 155 Cedar St."
That's one decision the PA got right. At some point, things have to move forward, you can't endlessly negotiate, especially when the demands seem absurd.

Quote:

The archdiocese...upped the ante on other issues that the PA thought had been resolved. Among them, it wanted:

* The church to stand 20 feet taller than the Memorial Museum Pavilion -- a request the PA had previously rejected.

* Unconditional, all-at-once access to $20 million the PA had pledged for construction, rather than on a staged basis subject to completing the land-swap and awarding of job contracts.

* The right to review the VSC plans and to have "approval" over any future changes to the facility -- absurd, given that security is the business of the PA and the NYPD.

* Incredibly, rights to use the surrounding park for its own events and a say in how the park might be otherwise used.


Roadcruiser1 Dec 29, 2010 5:21 PM

It is just me or is the Church just tooting their own horn there. They are even lucky to get a church. If I were them I would just sit there, and be happy, but no people have to put a big deal over the height of the building, the looks, how the land is to be used, and money. Sounds more like capitalism at it's worse. I hope the judge of this case goes in favor of the Port Authority. They shouldn't even be getter a bigger church in fact it should be the same amount of square feet as the original church 1,200 square feet. I can't even believe it's going to be 4,000 square feet, and to even formally consider the church to be 6,800 square feet. Nope it doesn't even seem like they deserve it.


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