May 27, 2005
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.