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Downtown's major projects show progress in 06.

Even though it sometimes seems that the redevelopment efforts downtown are moving at snail pace, the area is progressing, according to Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who this week welcomed new legislation aimed at helping Chinatown finally get back on track after the 9/11 attacks.

On January 3, Governor George Pataki, Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Assembly Sheldon Silver announced the creation of a new Empire Zone for Chinatown and the Lower East Side.

"I'm pleased to see that this effort, which was years in the making and represents countless hours of hard work, has finally come to fruition," said Bloomberg. "Over the past four years, the more than 1,200 businesses in the City's Empire Zones have created over 23,000 jobs, and in no place will the benefits of a new Empire Zone have a more far-reaching impact than in Chinatown and the Lower East Side, whose businesses have suffered more than their fair share of hardship in recent years."

This week, former New York School Construction Authority head, William Goldstein, was also appointed to oversee the construction of the World Trade Center Memorial and Museum.

According to the Memorial Foundation president and CEO Gretchen Dykstra, "Known for his ability to manage projects with speed, efficiency and accountability, we're lucky to have such a star on our team."

City and state officials have also managed to get the following projects off the ground in 2005:

In November, excavation work has started on the South Ferry Subway Station. The project, which will expand and improve an existing facility, is scheduled for completion in 2007.

New entrance structures are currently being installed for the Fulton Street Transit Station, in addition to underground work to expand subway platforms and underpin tracks that will be part of the finished complex.

Completion date for the new station, which will tie together 12 subway lines, is anticipated for the winter of 2008.

At the same time, workers are procuring elevator, escalator and electrical equipment for the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. The project is expected to be ready by 2009.

In another month, scaffolding installation will be complete at the former Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty St., with structural deconstruction scheduled to begin in the spring of this year.

With an ambitious target date of spring 2006, the city is also hard at work on reconfiguring the West Street Promenade, with electric conduit installation and reconstruction of Battery Place already underway.

Pavement installation and tree plantings are also currently being done at Liberty Plaza Park, work on the Columbus Park Reconstruction is almost complete and the British Memorial Garden should be ready for the public by this spring.

And, 7 World Trade Center is almost complete. The building only requires utilities installation and interior build-outs for new tenants--two of which signed leases totaling 60,000 s/f in the past two weeks.
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Author:Misonzhnik, Elaine
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Jan 11, 2006
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