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NEW YORK CITY-Just one week before the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. plans to debut its seven redesigned proposals for the World Trade Center site, Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed his vision for the future of Lower Manhattan. Spanning far beyond the 16 acres that encompassed the WTC, Bloomberg proposes creating a Downtown community that includes 10,000 new residential units and an $8.8-billion infrastructure connecting the area to John F. Kennedy International Airport.

In all, the Mayor’s plan would cost an estimated $10.6 billion, of which $5.9 billion would be funded by the federal government, he told those attending the Association for a Better New York breakfast meeting this morning. Another primary financial component of the proposed plan, he said, is the development of an incentive program to attract international corporate headquarters to the area. Bloomberg suggests the use of insurance proceeds to lower rents and the completion of new commercial construction with tax-free Liberty Bonds.

Under the World Trade Center Tax Incentive Zone, foreign companies relocating to Lower Manhattan “would be taxed as if they hadn’t relocated at all, fully protected from the increased federal taxes associated with moving the United States,” said Bloomberg.

He also hailed Goldman Sachs, during his speech, for the firm’s decision not to move its equity division out the city. Separately, Bloomberg has also said he will take strong measures to prevent Bear Stearns Cos. from relocating 1,500 employees from Brooklyn to New Jersey.

While Bloomberg shied away from outlining any specifications for office space development, he went into great detail regarding his ideas for residential projects. The creation of two new communities near Fulton Street and Greenwich Street are integral components of his plan, which comprise a total of 10,000 residential units

Coined Fulton Market Square, this proposed residential project would add a new retail market Downtown and would extend Fulton Street through the WTC site. Greenwich Square, located south of Liberty Street, would include the addition of a recreational park. Bloomberg suggests using public investments and Liberty Bonds to spur the housing development over the next 10 years.

Adding to the residential feel would be the rebirth of West Street, a primary component of the LMDC’s redevelopment plans. Bloomberg lent his support to the idea of transforming the highway into a tree-lined promenade.

The Mayor also stresses the need for improved transportation south of Canal Street. During his speech, he recommended creating “direct, one-seat airport access by extending the AirTrain system from JFK through a new tunnel to Lower Manhattan.” He suggests a similar PATH connection from Penn Station to Newark Liberty Airport. Increased ferry services and new bus parking facilities are also a part of his plans.

Finally, the Mayor proposes the overall beautification of Downtown through the development of new public spaces along the waterfront, the addition of more trees on major roads, the creation of new recreational parks and the transformation of Battery Park into a popular leisure destination.

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