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NEW YORK CITY-An $800-million plan formulated over the past three years will use the remaining Lower Manhattan Development Corp. funds for a variety of improvement projects in Lower Manhattan.

A new affordable housing proposal for previously allocated funding has been developed that leverages $50 million in LMDC funds to create more than 200 new affordable units, and preserve and rehabilitate nearly 3,000 affordable units throughout Lower Manhattan. Projects include Site 5B in Tribeca and potential conversions in the Fulton Street corridor. It also outlines a preservation and rehabilitation component for existing affordable housing units through the Chinatown/Lower East Side Acquisition Loan Program, and capital improvements for Masaryk Towers and Knickerbocker Village as well as existing Mitchell-Lama developments on the Lower East Side.

A $300-million contribution will be made over time to the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation for the creation of the memorial and cultural complex, while $20 million will be used to assist in the acquisition of the sites to the south of the World Trade Center site for the memorial effort. A $15-million LMDC commitment coupled with the $40 million in state and city funding will go toward the rebuilding of Fiterman Hall, the Borough of Manhattan Community College building partially destroyed when 7 World Trade Center collapsed on Sept. 11. The plan does not include contributions to either the Long Island/JFK rail link or public infrastructure on the World Trade Center site, due to public response.

According to the LMDC, the reintroduction of Fulton and Greenwich streets through the rebuilt Trade Center site offers “the opportunity to turn these two streets into arteries and catalysts.” Approximately $38 million will create a new park and be used for the street’s retail as incentives and grants, and new residential development. Up to $40 million will serve as a down payment on a bus facility, new public spaces, new residential housing opportunities and the creation of pedestrian connections from Battery Park City to the financial district. Additional transit fund are being sought for this project as well.

Other elements of the allocation plan include investments for open space and parks throughout downtown. A $70-million grant will be put toward the rejuvenation of the Tribeca section of Hudson River Park. Planned improvements include an estuarium containing a Hudson River education center, playgrounds, volleyball courts, a new skate park and a restaurant. The East River Waterfront project will receive $150 million in funding for public spaces, cultural and recreational uses. Other cultural and community enhancement planned including a $20-million commitment for a nearly 100,000-sf K-8 public school on Beekman Street.

LMDC activities and programs are funded through a Community Development Block Grant from HUD. “Our efforts will mean better streets and transportation, new parks and open spaces, more affordable housing, and an overall improved Lower Manhattan,” Gov. George Pataki says. New LMDC president Stefan Pryor adds that this “cogent and potent plan will fulfill our collective goals for a world-class business district and vibrant residential neighborhood.”

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