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$800 Million to go to Lower Manhattan Improvements

Amid increased scrutiny over the pace of development in Lower Manhattan, New York Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg on Wednesday announced plans for over $800 million in new investment in the area. Much of the funding appears to be geared toward cultural and residential improvements, likely aimed at attracting people to Lower Manhattan, which has become a popular place to live in recent years. At the announcement the governor also announced plans to give $300 million toward the World Trade Center Memorial.


The funds constitute the remainder of federal money given to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which oversees progress downtown. Totals include $100 million in neighborhood amenities like schools, cultural facilities, parks, and playgrounds. $300 more is earmarked to fund the revitalization of Fulton Street, both east and west waterfronts, and the Greenwich Street south area. $32 million has been promised toward improved Chinatown access, and about $50 million has been dedicated toward revitalizing over 3,000 units of affordable housing. Finally, well over $300 million has been pledged toward the World Trade Center Memorial, which it is estimated will cost over $500 million. This pledge marks an important funding milestone for the Memorial, whose funding has been slow to come thus far. Members of the Memorial Foundation, tasked with raising the remainder of the money, include former LMDC president Kevin Rampe, David Rockefeller, and Robert De Niro.

While the LMDC has now spent its federal funding, spokesperson Joanna Rose notes that the organization will remain very busy ensuring proper allocation, and that the various projects in Lower Manhattan, particularly those at the World Trade Center site, will move forward to completion.

Sam Lubell