Money troubles in Manhattan

Sian
Wednesday 29 Feb 2012

More dramatic changes afoot at Ground Zero


It was reported today by the New York Post that a Performing Arts Center designed by Frank Gehry lacks funding. The 1,000 seat theatre, which is to occupy a sliver of land adjacent to One World Trade Center and which is estimated to cost $450m, is reportedly hundreds of millions of dollars short of being realized.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has earmarked $155m of federal funds for the project for site preparation and sub-surface engineering. But beyond that, New York Governor Mario Cuomo and the Port Authority said they will not allocate additional funds for the project, which means Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the private sector will have to cough up $295m to get it built. Funding is not the only problem facing the theatre.

It has yet to secure a tenant. According to the Post, the only tenant currently signed on, modern dance company The Joyce Theatre, is looking elsewhere for space as sources say the Joyce has concerns about the plan. This is latest in a series of setbacks at Ground Zero. In January, Larry Silverstein made a stunning announcement that he was capping 3 World Trade Center at 7 storeys, 73 floors shorter than envisioned. And other projects, most notably the 9/11 Memorial Museum which was to open this year on the anniversary of the attacks, are behind schedule due to disputes yet to be resolved and possible design flaws in below grade work at the Transit hub.

Last but not least, all this is taking place amidst an ongoing investigation of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and its possible wrongdoings and missteps in the overall management of the WTC site.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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