Daily News from New York, New York on October 1, 2003 · 46
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Daily News from New York, New York · 46

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 1, 2003
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Fo) DOW JONES NASDAQ S&P 500 -10.61 995.97 0) -105.18 - 37.62 9,275.06 1,786.94 From lions to lemurs They say it's all happening at the zoo. And they're right. The Bronx Zoo is rebuilding its famous old Lion House as a new exhibit called Madagascar! THE REAL THING ItH be a new home for lemurs and hissing cockroaches from the island off the coast of Africa. "This is a project that's been 30 years in the making," said John Calvelli, spokesman for the Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates the zoo. "We're fulfilling a lot of dreams here." The city Preservation Commission unani mously approved the project yesterday. That's crucial, because the Lion House is a landmarked building, which means no changes. Still, the city has promised $25 million to renovate the neo-Classical brick property, which is easily identifiable because of lion statues at its entrances, and lion friezes and jungle-cat gargoyles that serve as decoration. The building will be restored to pristine condition," commission chairman Bob Tlemey said. The conservation society is starting an $8 million fund-raising campaign to build the exhibit, which will boast the only spiny desert forest in the country. The society knows the terrain on Madagascar well it runs the national parks there. "This will make you aware of the impor tance of habitats," said Sylvia Smith of Fox& Fowle, the project's architects. Construction is expected to get under way next year, in hopes of a spring 2006 opening. This is good news for architecture lovers as well as zoo fans. The Lion House is a significant building in the city's history the handiwork of Heins & La-Farge, architects who loomed large here in the early 20th century. They designed subway stations, and did the original work on the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. LUCIAN M. READ Landmarks Preservation gives okay to turn Lion House into Madagascar! exhibit AYES HAVE IT Chalk one up for developer Douglas Durst and Bank of America. As expected, the city Industrial Development Agency decided yesterday that they can have $650 million in Liberty Bonds to build 1 Bryant Park though the 850-foot skyscraper will be on 42nd Street, far from disaster-stricken downtown, for which Liberty Bonds were primarily created. One IDA board member, Derek Park, recused himself. The rest of the 15-member panel voted unanimously to issue the tax-exempt bonds. Prior to the vote, IDA Chairman Andrew Alper said Bank of America's rent will be $60 per square foot. But if the bank went downtown, to the 1 million-square-foot space at 3 World Financial Center Lehman Brothers vacated after Sept. 11, the rent would be around $30 per square foot. Go figure. RETAILER EXPANDS P. C. Richard & Son is picky about where it puts its stores. The consumer electronics and appliances chain has 46 stores in metro New York, but just two in Manhattan. Now it has signed a 15-year, 35,000-square-foot lease for its third Manhattan location at the Belnord apartment building on Broadway and W. 86th Street. Most of the space is in the basement, originally used to store the horses and carriages of apartment dwellers at the century-old building. To accommodate the retailer, landlord Gary Bamett dug up the building's garden so he could raise the basement ceiling, said Albert Bialek, the broker who put the deal together. When the work is done, the garden will be reconstructed and newly landscaped. Lcroghaneditnydcdfynews.com Gift to Mmi pinei By DANIEL DUNAIEF DAIUf NEWS BUSINESS WRITER Mutual fund manager Alliance Capital suspended two employees after discovering conflicts of interest in trading activities. Alliance said a portfolio manager of the Alliance Bernstein Technology Fund and an exec involved in selling the firm's hedge funds were both engaged in market timing. A spokesman for Alliance declined to name the suspended employees, but since 1992, the manager of the technology fund has been Gerald Malone. The Securities and Exchange Commission and Spitzer have been probing mutual fund firms to uncover the extent of late trading and market timing, trading techniques that some studies suggest have cost average investors billions. Alliance said it has been cooperating fully with the investigations. The firm said its board authorized a special com mittee to direct and oversee its own review. Meanwhile, SEC chairman Bill Donaldson pledged to monitor mutual fund trading closely. "We will aggressively pursue those who have injured investors as a result of illegal late-trading andor market-timing activity and, where possible to seek recompense for these investors," Donaldson told the Senate banking committee yesterday. The probes of mutual funds gathered momentum several weeks ago, after Spitzer alleged some mutual fund companies helped a hedge fund called Canary Capital Partners design illegal trading schemes. Separately, the SEC said it sanctioned the Chicago Stock Exchange for failing to detect several violations by its members. "This case demonstrates that the commission is and will continue to be vigilant and aggressive in ensuring that self-regulatory organizations fulfill their regulatory obligations," said Stephen Cutler, the SEC's director of enforcement. ' i wu i v '' I I BLOOMBERG NEWS Bill Donaldson tells Senate SEC will closely monitor mutual fund trading. Gore close to cable buy Call him Al Gore, media baron. The former vice president is close to striking a $70 million deal to acquire Newsworld International, a tiny cable network owned by French media giant Vivendi Universal, media sources said. Gore and his backers want to turn the digital channel into a liberal-leaning network. His partners include ex-Democratic fund-raiser Joel Hyatt and media investment banker Steve Rattner, who's said to be lining up financing. Carried in just 20 million homes, NWI airs newscasts from around the world, including reports from the Canadian Broadcasting Co. The net is part of Vivendi Universal Entertainment, the show biz empire that's about to be acquired by NBC. Reps for Vivendi and Gore declined to comment. Phyllis Furman

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