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NEW YORK CITY-In a presentation Thursday to the Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York Inc., Robert Lieber, president of the New York City Economic Development Corp., offered a run down on the government’s major initiatives. Lieber touched on everything from Moynihan Station to the rezoning of Jamaica.

During the last several hundred days of the Bloomberg administration, Lieber said many of the projects are getting final thrusts forward to be significantly under way when the administration changes. He said the Mayor runs the government like a business and that has led to success in many areas.

The Javits Center expansion, which is under way, is expected to double the current building to a total of 1.3 million sf. And while Lieber admitted there have been some glitches along the way, he remained confident phase one would be completed by 2010.

The complete transformation of the Westside through the Moynihan station project and Hudson Yards projects he said will take a long time, although not mentioning a specific time frame. Lieber said the government is working to make sure no one part gets built out before another, so that the amenities and services will be in place to meet the needs of millions of square feet of office and residential space that will be coming online. The scoping for the station will be complete in the next couple months, allowing the project to progress further from that point.

“An example of this administration’s let’s take responsibility and make something happen is the extension of the No. 7 subway line. We can wait and we can wait and we can wait and we’ll still be waiting and our grand children might wait before all the other authorities got together to come up with the capital to put this extension in place but we, the city, has basically funded the [$2-billion] project on our own.” Construction of the subway extension started this year and is scheduled to complete in 2012.

The government is also trying to rezone areas to allow for additional development. He sited a 368-block area in Jamaica, Queens as being rezoned away from industrial to all for more density and a true mixed-use area to be built around the transportation hub. The area zoning has remained unchanged since 1961.

Likewise along 125th Street, the government is rezoning 1961 regulations to bring in more retail and cultural components. “We are trying o establish a critical mass of cultural uses and venues within the arts and entertainment sub-district,” around the Apollo theatre. He said the city is trying to be creative in the ways the area is built; for example the big commercial banks are being highly sought after to open branches in the area. But those banks will be required to take second floor space, with a first floor lobby and ATM area, in order to avoid the perceived empty ground floor space.

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