Fif­teen years af­ter 9/11, Lower Man­hat­tan trans­formed

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By AMY HE in New York amyhe@chi­nadai­

In the 15 years since the Septem­ber 11 at­tacks, the Lower Man­hat­tan area has been trans­formed by pub­lic and pri­vate in­vest­ments, ac­cord­ing to a new city report.

New of­fice tow­ers, a mass trans­porta­tion hub and new re­tail com­plexes that at­tract young pro­fes­sion­als have sprung up in an area that sus­tained ex­ten­sive dam­age to its in­fra­struc­ture.

“As the re­build­ing has pro­gressed, the lo­cal econ­omy has changed. The area has be­come much more res­i­den­tial as older of­fice build­ings have been con­verted to res­i­den­tial use and new tow­ers are com­pleted,” said the report, Trans­for­ma­tion of Lower Man­hat­tan’s Econ­omy, re­leased Tues­day. “The streets are filled with young pro­fes­sion­als and grow­ing fam­i­lies.”

Thomas P. DiNapoli, state comptroller, told The Wall Street Jour­nal that Lower Man­hat­tan is a res­i­den­tial neigh­bor­hood “very much on the rise”.

The pop­u­la­tion in Lower Man­hat­tan grew from 22,700 in 2000 to 49,000 in 2014, and more than three-quar­ters of the pop­u­la­tion is younger than 45 years old, with the num­ber of chil­dren tripling since 2000. Res­i­den­tial hous­ing units have more than dou­bled to 30,000 units since 2000.

Jonathan Miller, pres­i­dent of ap­praiser Miller Sa­muel Inc, said the down­town area has seen a tremen­dous ex­pan­sion of de­vel­op­ment “to the point where over the last decade at least, we’ve seen price growth in that area at nearly dou­ble the over­all growth of the bor­ough”.

There’s been a surge of ac­tiv­ity post-9/11, and “in many ways, even though it’s a com­mer­cial, mixed-use district, there’s been a tremen­dous amount of res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment that’s been in­cor­po­rated into it”, he said.

Em­ploy­ment, which was badly af­fected by the at­tacks, is at its high­est since that time. To­tal pri­vate sec­tor jobs reached 228,300 in 2015, com­pared with the roughly 270,000 in 2000.

The Lower Man­hat­tan area has his­tor­i­cally been home to many fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions in New York City and is still the pre­dom­i­nant in­dus­try in the area, but its pres­ence has been re­duced, the report found.

“A num­ber of firms re­lo­cated out­side of Lower Man­hat­tan as part of an ef­fort to en­hance their ge­o­graphic di­ver­sity and min­i­mize the im­pact of an­other at­tack. Some moved to Mid­town Man­hat­tan, while oth­ers moved across the river to New Jersey,” it said.

Com­mer­cial real es­tate has re­bounded, though many of the older com­mer­cial build­ings in the area have been con­verted to res­i­den­tial build­ings. Lower Man­hat­tan also gained some brand-name ten­ants with its re­vival, such as me­dia com­pa­nies Condé Nast and Time Inc.


Three World Trade Cen­ter sky­scraper is un­der con­struc­tion as part of the re­build­ing of the World Trade Cen­ter site in Lower Man­hat­tan. The project stands across the street from ground zero.

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