Downtown Local

Hub unveiling

Of the commuter airport options, the governor, during his “state of the state” speech Wednesday in Albany, also said that “in April, we will announce the selected option, along with a concrete plan to fund it and to build it.”

Madelyn Wils, who has been working on Downtown transportation plans as a director of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. said the four options are variations of two basic ways to build the link – using existing subway tunnels as first suggested by Brookfield Properties, or the more expensive construction of a new tunnel, for which Mayor Bloomberg has indicated support.

The Port Authority, under a deal reached last year with the city, committed to pay $500 million to build the airport link if the project moves forward, but perhaps as much as $4 billion more would be needed if the new tunnel plan is selected.

The link would be near Calatrava’s $2 billion W.T.C. center. Wils, who has seen an early version of the design, said Downtowners will be impressed. The glass and steel hub will allow for natural light to go down to platforms 60 feet below street level. Calatrava, in a prepared statement, said he hoped the center would “one day be considered an important contribution to New York City’s rich architectural history, joining such icons as Grand Central Terminal and Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy Airport.

Free cooking class

Chefs at the Millenium Hilton Hotel’s restaurant will be teaching a free class on how to cook in small kitchen spaces on Jan. 21 at 6 p.m.

Joseph Verde, executive chef at Church & Dey, and Albert Vega, the restaurant’s chef de cuisine, will teach 15 people how to braise, poach, sauté and julienne, and how to match entrees to wines. Students will learn how to make braised lamb shanks and will get to taste and drink samples as well. Verde, who developed the restaurant’s wine list, has received food and wine “excellence” awards from Wine Spectator magazine and the American Culinary Institute.

Pat Smith, the hotel’s spokesperson, said he alerted a limited number of publications about the class in order to avoid an overwhelming demand. If there is a strong interest, Church & Dey, 55 Church St., is likely to offer more free classes and develop a waiting list for those who call too late for the first one, Smith said. To reserve a space, call 212-312-2000.

Choir men auditions

The Down Town Glee Club, founded in Lower Manhattan in 1927, will begin holding open auditions on Jan. 20 for its spring concert scheduled for May 7. The auditions for the all-male group will be held on Tuesday nights until Feb. 10 on the second floor of 74 Trinity Pl. from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. For more information, call 516- 248- 7549 or visit www.downtowngleeclub.org.

Libeskind talk

Daniel Libeskind, World Trade Center site plan architect, will speak to Lower Manhattan residents at the Downtown Information Center, 25 Broad St., on Jan. 14 at 6:30 p.m. The evening is sponsored by Wall Street Rising, whose leader, Julie Menin, is on the W.T.C. memorial jury. To R.S.V.P. for the free event, e-mail [email protected] or call 212-425-INFO.

C.B. 1 meetings

The upcoming week’s schedule of Community Board 1 committee meetings is below. Unless otherwise noted, meetings will take place in room 709 of 49-51 Chambers St.

On Monday, Jan. 12, the Financial District committee will meet at 6:00 p.m. to discuss the new design of Liberty Plaza.

On Tuesday, Jan. 13, the Seaport/ Civic Center committee will meet at 5:30 p.m.to discuss the co-naming of 37 Park Row after Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a BSA application for a residential conversion at 5 Beekman St., and a liquor license application for the Fulton Fire House at 140 Fulton St.

On Wed., Jan. 14, the executive committee will meet at 5:30. The agenda is to be determined.

On Thurs., Jan. 15, the landmarks committee will meet at 6:00 p.m. to discuss new rules relating to the installation of public pay telephones in areas under Landmarks Preservation Commission jurisdiction, the relocation of the statue of Mayor DePeyster from Hanover Square to the northeast corner of City Hall Park. The balance of the agenda is to be determined.

Jobs come and go

Downtown will gain a litigious neighbor next summer, when Midtown-based law firm Morgan & Finnegan moves to 3 World Financial Center. The move, reported by Crain Communications, will take place no later than late August. The firm plans to relocate from its long-time headquarters at 345 Park Ave. to the 20th and 21st floors of 3 World Financial Center.

The firm will receive a $1.5 million grant from the federally funded Job Creation and Retention Program, which is administered by the Empire State Development Corp. and the city’s Economic Development Corp. Asking rents in 3 W.F.C. are between $30 and $40 per square foot.

John Sweeney, a partner in Morgan & Finnegan, told Crain’s that the firm chose 3 W.F.C. because its large floor size would make it easier for attorneys to work within walking distance of one another. A 200-employee firm, Morgan specializes in intellectual property.

In related news, Wachovia Corp. is moving more than 1,000 back-office jobs this year from its space at 199 Water St. and 1 New York Plaza to Richmond, Va., Crain’s reported. Wachovia Securities, the firm formed when Wachovia merged with Prudential Securities, will be headquartered in Richmond. The space that Wachovia is vacating formerly belonged to Prudential.

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