Fifteen years after 9/11, Lower Manhattan transformed
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.