Close the LMDC by 9/11/11, Residents Say
By Julie Shapiro
LOWER MANHATTAN — The state should close down the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, downtown residents said this week.
The LMDC has nearly finished its two major projects — demolishing the Deutsche Bank building and distributing $2.8 billion in federal 9/11 recovery funds — so it should not continue to exist, Community Board 1 said.
"There needs to be a responsible sunset plan put in place," said Julie Menin, chairwoman of CB1 and an LMDC board member.
The LMDC spends about $5 million a year on staff salaries, office space and other administrative costs, money that could go to a better use once the agency shuts down, Menin and other CB1 members said.
CB1's World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee unanimously passed a resolution Monday night calling for the city-state agency's closure.
Menin said she would like to see the LMDC close its doors even sooner than Sept. 11, 2011, but she wanted to make sure there was enough time for an orderly transition.
The LMDC is currently reviewing applications for the last $17 million in downtown community and cultural grants and plans to announce the winners by March 31. The LMDC is also finalizing grants for a few major projects, including the East River Waterfront and a pedestrian bridge at West Thames Street.
The LMDC’s work on the Deutsche Bank building is also nearly done. The building has been entirely demolished, and crews are now cleaning up the site and preparing to turn it over to the Port Authority at the beginning of March.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew Cuomo share control of the city-state agency. Bloomberg has repeatedly called for the LMDC to be closed, and Cuomo told reporters in November that the LMDC’s future was an issue he would look into in January.
Cuomo’s spokesman did not return a call for comment Tuesday. An LMDC spokesman declined to comment.