Nov 4, 2016
A spokesman for the company funding the center called the lawsuit is an insult to those who suffered from the terrorist attack. (James Keivom/New York Daily News)
A luxury condominium in Lower Manhattan wants the 9/11 Tribute Center to move its entrance to a side street farther away from building residents.
The Greenwich Club Residences condo board says in papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court that the owner of its ground floor commercial unit, Thor Equities, and the September 11th Widows and Victims' Family Association failed to abide by the condo's rules when they planned the center, which will occupy three floors of the building.
The plans call for the museum entrance to be a few steps from the residential entrance to the 37 story building — and the condo owners fear the entrance will confuse museum visitors, causing them to use the door to their plush lobby instead of the museum's door.
They also say tour buses will create a "substantial increase in foot traffic and congestion in front" of the building as groups of tourists cluster on the sidewalk so they want the entrance moved from Greenwich Street to Rector Street around the corner.
Thor lawyer for Joseph Matalon said Rector Street is "so narrow that you have to walk down it sideways" and putting the museum entrance there will "inconvenience everyone."
A spokesman for Thor said the lawsuit is "an insult to the victims of the September 11 attacks and their families."
The September 11th Widows and Victims' Families Association started the 9/11 Tribute Center in temporary space on Liberty Street while the National September 11 Memorial and Museum was being built.
After Thor Equities converted 88 Greenwich Street, an Art Deco land marked building, to luxury condominiums, it offered the family museum 35,000 square feet of cellar, street level and second floor space at a steeply discounted price so that it could have a more permanent home.
The new family museum —which expects as many as one million visitors a year — is scheduled to open in the spring.
In their papers, the Greenwich Club board said that moving the entrance around the corner would only cost the museum an additional $20,000 and argued that the museum could afford the expense because it is getting public and private grant money as well as financial help in the rehab from Thor.
The board is asking the court to block the museum from opening with a Greenwich Street entrance.
The building's lawyers will ask a judge Monday for a temporary restraining order.