NEW YORK CITY-Approximately $164 million of a $176-million plan to revitalize Lower Manhattan will go toward the deconstruction of the Deutsche Bank building that was heavily damaged during the World Trade Center terror attacks as well the construction of a memorial in the footprints of the twin towers. The rest of the funds will go toward community efforts such as the Tribeca Film Festival and administrative costs.

“The programs funded under this plan will help provide a permanent tribute to the families and friends we lost and will breathe new life into a vibrant Lower Manhattan,” says HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson.

Since the tragedy, HUD has announced more than $3.4 billion in direct assistance to New York to help local businesses and residents and to begin the work of redeveloping the area. Proposed by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the funding plan will also stimulate cultural development and tourism by promoting the Tribeca Film Festival and the Splendor of Florence. The film festival has brought in more than $60 million in revenues. The Splendor of Florence Festival is new to New York. It celebrates the artistic, cultural, musical and culinary contributions Florence, Italy.

In May, a comprehensive game plan for the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan was initiated. Included in the effort are quality-of-life-projects, tourism and business promotions. A proposal to construct a new East River rail tunnel connecting Lower Manhattan to the Jamaica Long Island Rail Road station and John F. Kennedy Airport is also part of the effort. In addition a multi-million dollar advertising campaign to brand the neighborhood as a destination spot is ongoing. The campaign partners the LMDC, the Empire State Development Corp., Downtown Alliance and Wall Street Rising.

Another effort designed to help area businesses is the creation of a wireless data network system to enable businesses to broadcast data through secure channels to satellite locations. The ESDC is committing $10 million toward the endeavor.

In late February, an agreement that paved the way to demolish the bank building at 130 Liberty St., was reached between Deutsche Bank and insurers Alianz and AXA. The 1.4-million-sf building next to the World Trade Center site will be torn down in a five- to seven-month process that is expected to begin in September. The use of the site reduces density on the WTC site by moving the proposed fifth office tower to the property and creating approximately 30,000 sf of open space. Also planned is underground tourist bus parking and a truck security spot.

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