Governor George E. Pataki today once again affirmed his unwavering commitment to the revitalization of Lower Manhattan by recommitting to the aggressive timeline he set forth last year, announcing a new set of priority projects to improve the quality-of-life for downtown residents, visitors, and workers. The Governor also unveiled a multi-faceted branding campaign to market Lower Manhattan as a destination, and a new program to assist downtown businesses.
Speaking at an Association for a Better New York luncheon at the Ritz Carlton in Battery Park City, Governor Pataki today called on the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) to fund new green spaces, initiate a study for the "Downtown Y"-a world-class community and cultural center to be operated by the 92nd Street Y in Lower Manhattan, and assist the widely successful River to River Festival.
"The quality-of-life projects launched last April and October have already shown real and tangible results, and today I am pleased to unleash a third wave of short term initiatives, expanding on our successes and creating a new set of priority projects to further enhance the experience of living, working, and visiting in Lower Manhattan," Governor Pataki said.
The Governor unveiled several, new quality-of-life initiatives that will complete and build on the vision for Lower Manhattan. They include:
Creation of More Open Space:
Today, the Governor called on the LMDC to fund three new open space initiatives, Louise Nevelson Plaza, a study for Pace University's "green roof", and Hudson River Park's Pier 40. The damaged and collapsing Plaza, located at the corner of William Street and Maiden Lane, will be transformed into a tree filled open space with an outdoor café.
The LMDC will fund a study for Pace University's Spruce Street building top, which will be converted into a 30,000 square foot "green roof", complete with a public park and a research site for native plants, air quality, and storm water capture. And Hudson River Park's Pier 40 project will turn a parking lot into a new recreational field of more than 3 acres. The field will be large enough to accommodate two games of baseball simultaneously and help make Hudson River Park a premier sports venue for youth leagues, high school sports, and adult recreation.
Continued Improvements to the Stock Exchange Area
Last April, Governor Pataki called on the LMDC to work with the City and the New York Police Department to develop a new security plan to protect the New York Stock Exchange without sacrificing quality of life. In November, the Governor and Mayor unveiled a new vision for the area surrounding the New York Stock Exchange, which included security measures that blend into the streetscape, planters that bring life to the financial district and more fitting and open gateways to this historic district.
Today, the Governor called on the LMDC, working with the City, the private sector and the New York Stock Exchange, to fund and begin a second phase of work-extending and completing the streetscape program by 2005.
Support of Cultural Amenities
Cultural institutions and programming play a key role in the revitalization of Lower Manhattan, infusing the downtown area with vitality and serving as another great draw for the neighboring restaurants and shops.
The Governor called on the LMDC to once again fund the River to River festival, a summer-fest full of live music and dance that will span from the South Street Seaport to Battery Park. The LMDC will also initiate a feasibility and planning study for the "Downtown Y" - a world-class community center to be operated by the 92nd Street Y in Lower Manhattan. Year round festivals and new cultural amenities will bring downtown one step closer to achieving our goal of turning Lower Manhattan into a true 24-hour mixed-use community.
Attracting Visitors to the Area
In an effort to inform the world about Lower Manhattan and everything the downtown area has to offer, the Governor announced the development of a major multi-million dollar advertising campaign. This campaign will brand Lower Manhattan as a destination for visitors from far and wide, as well as the metropolitan area. The campaign will focus on attracting the much needed foot traffic to sustain the retail and restaurant community.
The Governor has asked the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and Empire State Development Corporation to develop, oversee, and fund the multi-faceted campaign in coordination with the Downtown Alliance and Wall Street Rising. The campaign will work in tandem with other marketing initiatives downtown including the Chinatown tourism and marketing initiative jointly funded by the LMDC and the September 11th Fund. The campaign will officially launch next Monday, May 10.
To complement the branding campaign and make downtown more hospitable during the construction, the LMDC will fund a wayfinding program for visitors and New Yorkers alike. Signs will point the way to transportation hubs, cultural institutions and areas such as Chinatown and the Lower East Side. The signage will be flexible and when routes change due to construction so will the signs.
Assistance for Downtown's Businesses
The Governor announced that a wireless data network system will be created to enable downtown businesses to broadcast their data through secure channels to satellite locations. This system will help provide a redundant data storage system for the financial firms and other Lower Manhattan businesses. The Empire State Development Corporation is committing $10 million for this purpose.
An updated timeline of projects involved in the rebuilding and revitalization of Lower Manhattan is available on the LMDC's website www.renewnyc.com.