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NEW YORK CITY-The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and the Department of City Planning have embarked upon two far-reaching studies that could have a serious impact on the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan. A report on the Fulton Street corridor will examine the area’s post-Sept. 11 needs as a retail and arts/entertainment destination, and a residential study will examine the area south of Houston Street with an emphasis on affordable housing.

The Fulton Street study’s coverage area will extend from the South Street Seaport to the World Financial Center. The report will analyze the impact of the World Trade Center attacks on one of Downtown’s vital commercial strips and propose a revitalization strategy to strengthen and diversify retail outlets and arts/entertainment venues.

“Our vision for Lower Manhattan’s future includes places to shop and eat, open spaces for recreation, and cultural institutions to attract residents and visitors alike to the area,” says Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel Doctoroff. “This study of the Fulton Street corridor is an essential next step in our efforts to revitalize the business, retail, arts and entertainment communities, create new jobs and enhance the streetscape of downtown.”

A Request for Proposals has been issued by LMDC and City Planning seeking consultants to conduct the study. The chosen respondent will be charged with analyzing the area’s retail and arts/entertainment environment; conducting a demand study defining primary and secondary usage areas, consumer preferences and demographics; developing a revitalization strategy for the area that includes straight retail as well as cultural uses such as art galleries, jazz clubs, etc.; drawing up an implementation plan detailing projected costs, financing and any required regulatory changes; and outlining the overall economic impact of the plan.

The residential study will explore methods of enhancing and expanding the residential neighborhoods along the Fulton and John Street corridors and the blocks south of Liberty Street. “This study will enable us to consider the City’s housing demands to develop strategies to foster in Lower Manhattan a thriving and vital neighborhood which offers multiple housing opportunities and a vibrant street life both day and night,” says Amanda M. Burden, Director of the Department of City Planning.

The chosen consultant will conduct a market study of the area; identify opportunities for strengthening and diversifying the residential housing market, including affordable housing; recommend amenities and services; identify obstacles to site development and potential government actions to mitigate or eliminate barriers; analyze financing structures, incentive programs and optimum mix of housing types and affordability levels; perform an economic impact analysis of the final housing strategy; and perform additional studies of surrounding neighborhoods if requested, such as Chinatown, the Lower East Side, etc.

Responses to both RFPs are due by Oct. 14 and consultants will be selected by Oct. 28.

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