Updated 09/09/2011 08:41 PM
Downtown Manhattan Has Robust Recovery From Devastating Attacks
The September 11th attacks had a devastating impact on Lower Manhattan, as some 65,000 jobs were lost or relocated, and more than 20,000 residents were at least temporarily displaced. Ten years later, however, the area has bounced back in ways no one imagined possible. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
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“Given the audio and video record of 9/11, it’s not hard to understand the early predictions of the demise of Lower Manhattan,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Immediately following the September 11th attacks, the Millennium Hilton across the street from the World Trade Center was covered in toxic ashes. Today, it is newly renovated.
In fact, hotels are a major indicator of Downtown Manhattan’s revival: 12 new ones have opened in the last decade, including the Andaz Wall Street.
“I think more and more people realize what New York has to offer besides theaters and Times Square,” said Toni Hinterstoisser, the general manager of Andaz Wall Street.
Last year, Lower Manhattan saw a record-breaking nine million visitors, but it is not just tourists crowding the sidewalks. The area below Chambers Street has seen more than 30,000 new residents since 2001.
They have been attracted by new housing, like a Frank Gehry-designed tower that is the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere, and new schools, of which six have opened in the last two years. The Spruce Street School just opened Thursday.
“Our population doubled in the last 10 years. It’s set to double again in the next 10 years,” said Community Board 1 Chair Julie Menin.
“It’s remarkable what has happened,” said President Elizabeth Berger of the Alliance for Downtown New York.
In a recent report, the Downtown Alliance found that found that while not all the jobs lost on 9/11 have come back, Downtown Manhattan is now home to 130 more businesses, and it’s not just Wall Street firms.
“We’ve seen a real growth in nonprofits, in professional services, in the creative services. I think media is a huge growth industry,” said Berger.
Leading the media boom is publisher Conde Nast, which has signed on as anchor tenant in One World Trade Center.
All together, the rebuilt World Trade Center will add almost nine-million-square feet of new office space, again making Downtown Manhattan the country’s third-largest central business district.