By Julie Shapiro
DOWNTOWN — More than a dozen projects long dreamed for lower Manhattan, including a performing arts center at the World Trade Center, could become a reality thanks to a new $150 million grant program from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.
The LMDC unveiled a wishlist for the money — which was left over from a federal post-9/11 rebuilding fund — at a board meeting Wednesday morning, including plans for the arts center, affordable housing, small business incentives, new parks and a new pedestrian bridge over West Street.
"This will have a huge impact," said City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden, an LMDC board member.
Con Edison had also fought for a share of the money as reimbursement for work done after 9/11 and will likely receive tens of millions of dollars under a compromise deal approved Wednesday.
The LMDC will hold a public meeting on the $150 million in community money within the next two weeks and hopes to vote on final priorities by the middle of November.
The lion's share of the money will go to the World Trade Center performing arts center, which has no final design or timeline, with the LMDC planning to devote $100 million to the project.
The LMDC also hopes to fund a new, $21-million bridge over West Street at West Thames Street.
Local residents and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have been fighting for the bridge for years, calling it a vital safety improvement, but funding has been unavailable until now.
Other projects mentioned on Wednesday include the Downtown Alliance's massive overhaul of Water Street, a plaza and bike path in front of the Battery Maritime Building, and a new home for the Drawing Center.
Avi Schick, chairman of the LMDC, said it is too soon to say how many of the projects could be done using the new funds.
"Depending on the budgets, hopefully we can do as many as possible," he said.
"It's a great plan," said Jeff Simmons, spokesman for the Downtown Alliance. "We are extremely happy that this was put on the table."