The PATH to rebuilding / Progress Report
Governors Downtown Manager
Downtown progress is real and steady
By John P. Cahill
I am happy to take this opportunity to update you on the status of our ambitious goals for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site. After an extensive public planning process, Governor George Pataki laid an aggressive timeline in April of 2003 and he told you then, what I will tell you now, that rebuilding Lower Manhattan cannot be an elusive promise reserved for another generation or for a distant tomorrow. It is our honor, our obligation to deliver on this promise. Our place in time demands that we be bold and daring and swift.
In four short years, we have restored Downtown and created a plan to realize our vision for a renewed Lower Manhattan. Whether it is the newly designed Freedom Tower, creating a fitting memorial to honor our lost heroes, or ensuring that Goldman Sachs remains in Lower Manhattan, no task is too daunting, no task can be ignored, all tasks have been met head-on and we are moving forward and continue to meet all our major milestones.
In the next few months, nearly $10 billion of construction over a dozen high-impact projects that will transform Lower Manhattan will be underway. Our commitment is clear; these projects are to be completed in the shortest possible time period, while maintaining the quality of life of workers, residents, businesses and visitors, and the Construction Command Center will ensure that we meet that goal.
This summer, we, along with our partner, Mayor Bloomberg, commenced construction on two grand transportation hubs, creating a 21st century transportation network which will be critical to the future success of Lower Manhattan as a premier central business district. By 2009, we will have two world-class stations that will rival any in existence. The hubs will serve the permanent PATH station, nearly a dozen subway lines and provide links across Lower Manhattan from the Hudson ferries to the Fulton subways and within the next decade, to Long Island and the world.
We were also pleased that one of Lower Manhattans legendary firms, Goldman Sachs, has committed to build its world headquarters across the street from the World Trade Center Site and serve as a critical anchor to our revitalization efforts. Goldmans $2.4 billion investment will offer a total economic benefit to the city and state expected to exceed $33 billion. Unquestionably, having Goldman Sachs world headquarters in Lower Manhattan is a great victory for all of New York.
In a matter of months, we will begin work on one of the tallest towers in the world, the Freedom Tower. There is no greater symbol of New Yorks resilience against terror or Americas commitment to freedom than the inspirational new Freedom Tower. Along with this creation, is the creation of a world-class security plan for the World Trade Center site that will be fully integrated into the N.Y.P.D.s plan for all of Lower Manhattan.
We are also attracting new retail tenants to serve the fastest- growing residential market in New York City and further transform Lower Manhattan into a vibrant 24/7 community. The first phase, nearly 200,000 sq feet of retail space in and around the Calatrava Station, will be built expeditiously by the Port Authority and we have also asked the Port Authority to rapidly advance retail development along Church St. to help restore vibrancy to our community.
Most importantly, we are committed to ensuring that nothing stands in the way of constructing a fitting memorial to honor the heroes we lost that fateful day. The memorial is on schedule. There is no task more important than this one. Descending from the tree-lined memorial plaza will be the memorial, which will allow future generations to see first hand where the towers stood and recount all 2,979 names of our lost heroes no one will be forgotten. Construction on the memorial and the memorial museum will begin early next year, and will conclude by September 11, 2009, as the original timeline dictated.
Each day our progress continues, each day, business people of all kinds locate shops and stores Downtown. Our goal is a bold new World Trade Center with a grand, fitting memorial at its heart, while restoring our commercial and retail core and creating vibrant, life-affirming cultural facilities.
We certainly have invested in Lower Manhattan and it is the best investment our state and city have ever made. Our vision is clear. The foundation has been laid, the funding has been secured, and we have the will and the momentum to see this
through. Step by step, were fulfilling our vision of a better and brighter Lower Manhattan for the 21st century.
When all our work is done, the history of Lower Manhattan will have been written not by the terrorists who attacked our city, but by the millions of New Yorkers who worked to rebuild it.
John P. Cahill, chief of staff to Governor George Pataki, oversees Lower Manhattan rebuilding projects.
Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert