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NEW YORK CITY-”It’s important for the real estate industry to understand the process and what you can do,” said Charlie Maikish, executive director, Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center, during a CoreNet breakfast meeting dealing with the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan. Maikish, who was selected earlier this year to oversee all construction projects in the area, said Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have taken “undue criticism” over the redevelopment progress.

“I’m not slapping a sign and say ‘under construction, do not enter.’ We need to address the burden, obstacles and the opportunity.” He said there will be a “vast amount of construction in a small amount of time.” The peak construction time is expected to be in 2007, 2008 and 2009. With the Deutsche Bank–130 Liberty St.–site expected to be coming down in the late summer and early fall, he expects the activity in the area will generate some excitement. Part of his job is to coordinate efforts to avoid the impact of the various projects. “We need to make sure we don’t impale, impede Lower Manhattan’s mobility.”

Carl Weisbrod, outgoing president of the Alliance of Downtown New York Inc., said there were a number of key challenges ahead. The main challenge is to see what Goldman Sachs, which is reconsidering its plans to build a $2-billion headquarters site across from Ground Zero, chooses to do. If the firm chooses to develop in the area it will “reaffirm its faith in Lower Manhattan and be a bellwether.” Another challenge is to establish retail on the eastern end of the World Trade Center site as soon as possible, he said. “We need to move forward to serve a population with amazing buying power that is not being satisfied.” Other challenges include finding an appropriate balance between commercial and residential development, implementing the JFK/LIRR rail link and improving the area near the stock exchange.

Weisbrod, who has served as president of the Downtown Alliance since its inception 10 years ago, will leave the organization next month and become executive vice president of the real estate division of Trinity Church-St. Paul’s Chapel. His replacement has not been named.

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