Lower Manhattan Development Corporation

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Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
FoundedNovember 2001;17 years ago (2001-11)
Parent Empire State Development Corporation
Website renewnyc.com/   Blue pencil.svg

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation was formed in November 2001, [1] following the September 11 attacks, to plan the reconstruction of Lower Manhattan and distribute nearly $10 billion in federal funds aimed at rebuilding downtown Manhattan. It is a subsidiary of the Empire State Development Corporation, which is a New York state public-benefit corporation.

September 11 attacks Attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001

The September 11 attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others, and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. Additional people died of 9/11-related cancer and respiratory diseases in the months and years following the attacks.

Lower Manhattan Central business district in New York, United States

Lower Manhattan, also known as Downtown Manhattan or Downtown New York, is the southernmost part of Manhattan, the central borough for business, culture, and government in the City of New York, which itself originated at the southern tip of Manhattan Island in 1624, at a point which now constitutes the present-day Financial District. The population of the Financial District alone has grown to an estimated 61,000 residents as of 2018, up from 43,000 as of 2014, which in turn was nearly double the 23,000 recorded at the 2000 Census.

Empire State Development (ESD) is the umbrella organization for New York's two principal economic development public-benefit corporations, the New York State Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and the New York Job Development Authority (JDA). The New York State Department of Economic Development (DED) is a department of the New York government that has been operationally merged into ESD.



The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation was formed in November 2001 by then-Governor George Pataki and then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The LMDC is a joint State-City corporation governed by a 16-member Board of Directors, half appointed by the Governor of New York and half by the Mayor of New York. As a result, Pataki and Giuliani appointees dominate the LMDC. Its original chairman was John C. Whitehead, a former Deputy Secretary of State and head of Goldman Sachs.

Governor of New York head of state and of government of the U.S. state of New York

The Governor of New York is the head of government of the U.S. state of New York. The governor is the head of the executive branch of New York's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military and naval forces.

George Pataki 53rd Governor of New York

George Elmer Pataki is an American lawyer and Republican politician who served as the 53rd Governor of New York (1995–2006). An attorney by profession, Pataki was elected mayor of his hometown of Peekskill, New York and went on to be elected to the State Assembly and the State Senate. In 1994, Pataki ran for Governor of New York against three-term incumbent Mario Cuomo, defeating him by a margin of more than three points as part of the Republican Revolution of 1994. Pataki would himself be elected to three consecutive terms, and was the third Republican Governor of New York elected since 1923. As of 2018, Pataki is the most recent Republican to hold any statewide office in New York.

Mayor of New York City head of the executive branch of New York Citys government

The Mayor of the City of New York is head of the executive branch of the Government of New York City. The mayor's office administers all city services, public property, police and fire protection, most public agencies, and enforces all city and state laws within New York City.

In February 2003, the LMDC chose Daniel Libeskind's master plan for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center complex. The organization also sponsored the international design competition for the World Trade Center Memorial, which resulted in Michael Arad and Peter Walker's Reflecting Absence being chosen as the winning design in January 2004.

Daniel Libeskind Polish-American architect

Daniel Libeskind is a Polish-American architect, artist, professor and set designer. Libeskind founded Studio Daniel Libeskind in 1989 with his wife, Nina, and is its principal design architect. His buildings include the Jewish Museum in Berlin, Germany, the extension to the Denver Art Museum in the United States, the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin, the Imperial War Museum North in Greater Manchester, England, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the Felix Nussbaum Haus in Osnabrück, Germany, the Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Wohl Centre at the Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel. His portfolio also includes several residential projects. Libeskind's work has been exhibited in major museums and galleries around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Bauhaus Archives, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Centre Pompidou. On February 27, 2003, Libeskind won the competition to be the master plan architect for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.

World Trade Center (2001–present) set of buildings built on the site of the former Word Trade Center site in New York City after 2001

The World Trade Center is a mostly completed complex of buildings in Lower Manhattan, New York City, U.S., replacing the original seven buildings on the same site that were destroyed in the September 11 attacks. The site is being rebuilt with up to six new skyscrapers, four of which have been completed; a memorial and museum to those killed in the attacks; an elevated park adjacent to the site, called Liberty Park; and a transportation hub. The 104-story One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, is the lead building for the new complex.

The World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition was an open, international memorial contest, initiated by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) according to the specifications of architect Daniel Libeskind, to design a World Trade Center Site Memorial on a portion of the World Trade Center site. The competition began April 28, 2003 and the winner—Michael Arad and Peter Walker's Reflecting Absence—was revealed January 14, 2004 in a press conference at Federal Hall National Memorial in New York City. The contest garnered 5,201 entries from 63 nations and 49 U.S. states, out of 13,683 registrants from all 50 U.S. states and 94 nations, making it the largest design competition in history.

Having distributed its funds, the LMDC in July 2006 announced plans to dissolve and transfer its responsibilities to other existing agencies and foundations, including the W.T.C. Memorial Foundation, and the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center.

Organization structure

LMDC does not own the World Trade Center site and this has created some problems in its dealings with Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Larry Silverstein, who has a lease to the site.

World Trade Center site Grounds of the World Trade Center in New York City

The World Trade Center site, formerly referred to as "Ground Zero" or "the Pile" immediately after the September 11 attacks, is a 14.6-acre (5.9 ha) area in Lower Manhattan in New York City. The site is bounded by Vesey Street to the north, the West Side Highway to the west, Liberty Street to the south, and Church Street to the east. The Port Authority owns the site's land. The previous World Trade Center complex stood on the site until it was destroyed in the September 11 attacks.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) is a joint venture between the U.S. states of New York and New Jersey, established in 1921 through an interstate compact authorized by the United States Congress. The Port Authority oversees much of the regional transportation infrastructure, including bridges, tunnels, airports, and seaports, within the geographical jurisdiction of the Port of New York and New Jersey. This 1,500-square-mile (3,900 km2) port district is generally encompassed within a 25-mile (40 km) radius of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. The Port Authority is headquartered at 4 World Trade Center and is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York.

Larry Silverstein American businessman

Larry A. Silverstein is an American businessman. Among his real estate projects, he is the developer of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex in lower Manhattan as well as New York's tallest residential tower at 30 Park Place, where he owns a home. His worth has been estimated at $3.5 billion as of 2016.


The LMDC was funded through the disbursement of Community Development Block Grants-amounting to $2.783 billion—approved by the federal government in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and resultant destruction of much of lower Manhattan's economic and structural base. It was not listed in the New York State Authorities Budget Office's 2018 annual report, and so it may be dissolved or it may have chosen not to report for 2017.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), one of the longest-running programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, funds local community development activities with the stated goal of providing affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development. CDBG, like other block grant programs, differ from categorical grants, made for specific purposes, in that they are subject to less federal oversight and are largely used at the discretion of the state and local governments and their subgrantees.

The New York State Authorities Budget Office (ABO) is an independent office in the state of New York established by the Public Authorities Accountability Act of 2005 and signed into law by Governor Pataki in 2006. In 2009, the ABO was restructured as part of the Public Authorities Reform Act.


Two members of the LMDC's board have asserted that up to $45 million allocated to the LMDC from a "community enhancement" fund in May 2005 has not been directly accounted for, and that up to $15 million from that stipend might have been spent in areas other than those it had been explicitly stipulated for. [2]

Former Attorney General Democrat Eliot Spitzer became governor in 2007, rethought his condemnation, and announced a "reinvigorated LMDC" that would continue the revitalization of Lower Manhattan. Mayor Bloomberg welcomed the Governor's renewed interest at the time. However, in September 2008, Mayor Bloomberg condemned the LMDC as a contributor to a slower progress in rebuilding and he demanded dissolution of the LMDC. [3]


The LMDC obtained a patent for one of its 9/11 Memorial endeavors in 2005. Engraving for a National Memorial, U.S. Patent D506,860, designed by Michael Anthony Stahl of Huntsville, AL. was registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on June 28, 2005.

See also

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  2. "Shifting dollars, debatable legacy as L.M.D.C. approaches its final days" [ permanent dead link ]
  3. Bagli, Charles V. (September 11, 2008). "Mayor Seeks to Disband Lower Manhattan Panel". nytimes.com.