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Rankings reflect comments made in the past 14 days
Rankings reflect comments made in the past 14 days

President of Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Steps Down

As concern mounts over the future of the World Trade Center, Kevin Rampe, President of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which coordinates rebuilding at the site, announced this Monday that he would be stepping down at the end of the month.

Rampe has been with the agency since 2002, and has been its president since 2003, presiding over the unveiling of the Freedom Tower’s design as well as the World Trade Center Memorial competition and selection. Prior to his job at the LMDC he had been the Chief Operating Officer of the New York State Insurance Department. He will now be working as head of local compliance and ethics for ACE, a Bermuda-based insurance company. No replacement has been named.

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Rampe says that his departure has nothing to do with recent problems at Ground Zero, which include security-related changes to the Freedom Tower (suggested by the New York Police Department) that could hold up its construction. Some have speculated that the entire WTC is in flux. According to the Associated Press, New York Senator Charles Schumer today told a Crain’s Business Breakfast that “we are losing steam,” and that a “culture of inertia has infected downtown redevelopment and our city in general.” He warned that additional delays could jeopardize future federal funding for the area.

“I told the governor months ago that it was time for me to leave,” says Rampe. “I loved this job, but it’s time to change directions and devote more time to my family.” Rampe feels recent concerns over the site are inflated, and says the Freedom Tower is the Trade Center’s only major obstacle. “Everything else is right on time,” he says. “Overall I’m surprised by how much progress we’ve made. There are always going to be hiccups with projects of this scale. Many people don’t have the level of understanding to realize that this is what happens.” Rampe adds that the design of Snøhetta’s Museum Center on the site will be unveiled in a few weeks.

Rampe will remain director of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, a fundraising campaign for the Memorial.

Sam Lubell

 

 

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