December 12, 2002
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG OUTLINES VISION
FOR 21st CENTURY LOWER MANHATTAN
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today outlined his vision for Lower Manhattan
which included proposals for opening the waterfront to the public,
increasing affordable housing, and ensuring Lower Manhattan's future
as a leader in the global economy. The Mayor's vision calls for 21st
century transportation links to mass transit and commuter rails as
well as one-seat rides to the area's international airports; the creation
of two anchors for residential areas, Fulton Market Square and Greenwich
Square; a proposal to create a new tax incentive zone to spur the
relocation of foreign multinational corporations head-quarters to
the area; and initiatives to create new and improved public places/streetscapes
within a loop linking the neighborhood's residential areas, plazas,
and cultural institutions. The premise of the Mayor's plan is to make
visionary use of the City's resources in the transformation of Lower
Manhattan. The Mayor described his vision at the Association for a
Better New York breakfast at the Regent Wall Street in Lower Manhattan.
how magnificent the best design for the sixteen acres of the World
Trade Center site proves to be, it must be complemented by an equally
bold vision for all of Lower Manhattan - a new beginning - that meets
the needs of all of New York City and of the entire region,"
said Mayor Bloomberg. "The time has come to restore Lower Manhattan
to its rightful place as a center of innovation and make it a 'Downtown
for the 21st Century'."
The Mayor outlined
three types of investments the City must make including those that
connect Lower Manhattan to the world around it, those that build new
neighborhoods, and those that create appealing public spaces.
The Mayor stressed
that transportation enhancements are pivotal to the City's plans to
make downtown more accessible to residents, employees and visitors.
Initiatives embraced by the City include:
Direct, one-seat airport access by extending the AirTrain system
from JFK through a new tunnel to Lower Manhattan and by extending
the PATH train from Newark's Penn Station to Newark Liberty Airport.
The new tunnel between downtown and JFK would also connect the area
to any Long Island Railroad train at Jamaica Station.
- Increased investment
in ferry service to bring more people to Lower Manhattan with links
to other parts of the five boroughs, regional service to the suburbs,
connections to tourist destinations, and potentially to LaGuardia
- A new bus parking
facility to provide commuter and charter buses a place to park between
entering and leaving the City in order to reduce congestion on the
streets of Lower Manhattan.
- In addition to
the construction of the new PATH station at the site, a new transit
hub at Fulton and Broadway that would untangle the knot of fifteen
subway lines that converge downtown, and then connect to the PATH
competition to be a global center isn't just Midtown or even Chicago
or Los Angeles. Increasingly, it is London and Berlin and Hong Kong.
In this worldwide competition, easy access becomes more and more important.
We must invest in making downtown more accessible - both to the rest
of the world, and to residents of the metropolitan region," Mayor
The Mayor proposed
targeted investments to catalyze the creation of two exciting new
neighborhoods south of Chambers Street - one near Fulton Street, east
of Broadway and the other, south of Liberty Street, west of Broadway;
lay the groundwork for the private sector's construction of 10,000
new units of housing in Lower Manhattan; the transformation of West
Street into a tree-lined boulevard; and greater links to Lower Manhattan's
neighbors of Chinatown and the Lower East Side.
Market Square, located along Fulton Street, would serve as a public
market and transform the street into a great place to shop, eat
or enjoy cultural institutions. Re-establishing Fulton Street through
the World Trade Center site would make it a thoroughfare that stretches
from river to river.
- Greenwich Square,
located in the area south of Liberty, would be a new park built on
the deck over the mouth of the Battery Tunnel. Roughly comparable
in size to Gramercy Park, Greenwich Square would be one of the City's
- Public investments
and the use of Liberty Bonds would spur the creation of 10,000 new
apartments over the next ten years. To encourage additional housing,
the City proposes relaxing the existing density restrictions on residential
development in Lower Manhattan, and providing developers with a subsidy
to make 20% of the new units downtown affordable to people who could
not otherwise live in market-rate housing.
- To knit the area
south of Liberty to Battery Park City, West Street would be transformed
into a promenade lined with 700 trees, a Champs-Elysees or Commonwealth
Avenue for Lower Manhattan.
- To further encourage
families to move downtown, the Mayor stressed the importance of building
a new public library branch, additional schools and cultural institutions.
- To connect the
existing communities of Chinatown and the Lower East Side to Lower
Manhattan, an inter-agency task force including the Department of
City Planning, the Police Department, and the Department of Transportation
is developing innovative ways to better link these neighborhoods to
the rest of downtown.
number of people who live below Chambers Street has grown significantly,
other than Battery Park City, for most residents there are no real
supermarkets, not enough open space and not enough schools. With targeted
investments, we can catalyze the creation of two exciting new neighborhoods
south of Chambers Street - one near Fulton Street, east of Broadway
and the other, south of Liberty Street, west of Broadway," Mayor
would be linked together by a loop, marked by public spaces, running
from the Battery, up Water Street to the South Street Seaport, across
a revived Fulton Street to West Street and down a tree-lined West
Street back to the Battery. More than twenty cultural institutions
that already exist downtown today would line the 2.2-mile loop, creating
a critical mass to draw tourists from around the world.
- Battery Park
would be dramatically transformed into a destination in itself, a
Sheep's Meadow for Lower Manhattan.
- The plaza in
front of a renovated Battery Maritime Building - one of the City's
most beautiful and, unfortunately, most dilapidated buildings - would
- Along the East
River, a new public space or waterfront park, would stretch from the
Brooklyn Maritime Building to the South Street Seaport, with potential
for ballfields, housing and cultural institutions looking out into
New York Harbor.
- Water Street,
today a canyon between office towers, would become a beautiful tree-lined
- Fulton Street
would stretch back to the World Trade Center site and the Memorial,
where people would gather to remember those we lost and think about
is New York because it has majestic places open to the public that
convey the unique thrill of being here. The City could expand out
onto the river, creating something new on every one of these harbor-side
city blocks. New cultural institutions, surrounded by playgrounds,
ballfields, open grass, and apartments could look out across the harbor.
And anchoring the residential and commercial neighborhoods, and the
restored streets, would be a memorial that would put a physical shape
to our grief and to our hopes for the future, and give us somewhere
we can come together to share our thoughts and reflections on how
September 11th affected our lives," Mayor Bloomberg said.
WHERE THE WORLD DOES BUSINESS
The Mayor stated
unequivocally that Lower Manhattan's future as a hub of business and
commerce is bright and proposed an incentive program to get international
companies to locate to the area. The Mayor also proposed the use of
insurance proceeds to lower rents, and the completion of new commercial
construction with tax-free Liberty Bonds.
addition to the existing incentives to encourage companies to relocate
to the area, the City is proposing federal legislation to create
the "World Trade Center Tax Incentive Zone." Its goal
would be to attract foreign multinational corporations' headquarters
to Lower Manhattan by exempting the companies from new federal taxes.
- The Mayor announced
that Goldman Sachs has reversed its decision to move its equity division
out of the City, and will, instead, maintain the majority of that
division here. The Mayor hailed this as another example of the business
community's belief in the future of the Lower Manhattan and an indication
of the many commitments to come.
foreign corporations with a compelling incentive to locate in Lower
Manhattan, we strengthen the United States' status as the world's
business leader," continued Mayor Bloomberg. "This initiative
presents us with a singular opportunity to honor the victims of September
11th - many of whom worked for international companies and hailed
from ninety-two countries - by creating a uniquely global business
The Mayor estimated
the total cost of the plan at $10.6 billion. Most of those funds -
$8.8 billion - would go to infrastructure including the connection
to John F. Kennedy Airport. Of the funds received from the federal
government, $5.9 billion would be used for this plan. Proceeds from
the sale of real estate development rights over the transit hub, from
Greenwich Square, the East River Waterfront Park, and Fulton Market
Square, and taxes from construction at the World Trade Center site
itself can also be used to fund the investments.
these public investments will spark a chain of private market reactions
over the next ten years. The number of new jobs downtown will be twice
what it would have been, justifying the need for ten million square
feet of new commercial space throughout all of Lower Manhattan. New
companies, in a range of industries, will grow downtown - strengthening
the existing financial nerve center - while diversifying it,"
concluded the Mayor.
The Mayor's Office
would like to thank the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) for
hosting today's breakfast. ABNY has served for over 30 years as a
civic organization, working to bring business, political, labor, community
and non-profit leaders together to address problems facing the economic
and social well being of the City. Under the leadership of William
Rudin, son of ABNY founder Lewis Rudin, the organization continues
to carry out its mission by providing forums and programs that work
to make New York a better place to live, work, and visit.
Note: Ten slide
images from the Mayor's presentation can be accessed at www.nyc.gov/photowire.
The charts that
were seen in the video presentation can be found below:
of Funds (Infrastructure)
/ Jennifer Falk