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Long-Delayed WTC Arts Center Gets $1 Million in Funding

By Irene Plagianos | January 31, 2013 7:08pm

LOWER MANHATTAN — The long-delayed World Trade Center performing arts center got a boost Thursday when the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation approved $1 million in funding for the project.

The center, designed by famed architect Frank Gehry, has been part of the plans for the new WTC for many years, but because of funding issues along with delays at other parts of the site, the project had stalled.

Thursday’s cash infusion will be used to hire staff and set the building plans in motion, with an estimated 2017 construction start date, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The PAC, slated to be built at Greenwich and Vesey Streets, will include a 1,000-seat theater anchored by the Joyce Theater, a SoHo-based dance company, as well as a smaller 200-seat theater, a rehearsal space and a restaurant. Construction should take about two years.

Last year, Mayor Michael Bloomberg created a board of directors for the PAC. Some $155 million has already been committed to the project, but the funds only become available when the LMDC votes to release them for a specific purpose, as occurred at Thursday's meeting.

The entire cost of the center has been estimated at $455 million.

The LMDC also approved a new board member Thursday. Catherine McVay Hughes, chairwoman of Community Board 1, was appointed a member of the LMDC board.