The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation announced today that it is awarding more than $37 million in Community Enhancement Fund grants to support a variety of community improvements. The grants will fund crucial programs, services and facilities in neighborhoods throughout Lower Manhattan.
The 33 grants will go to not-for-profit organizations for a range of projects including healthcare, education, community services, recreation and cultural projects. The grants address needs in each of Lower Manhattan’s distinct and diverse neighborhoods and communities.
The LMDC is providing $8.5 million towards improving healthcare services, $7.6 million for recreational facilities and programming, $4.5 million for the area’s public schools, and $8.8 million for services to assist low-income families, disadvantaged workers and businesses, children, and the elderly. Another $7.7 million will go to a group of diverse museums and cultural institutions to aid them in attracting visitors Downtown by expanding their programming and enhancing their facilities.
“As Lower Manhattan blossoms into a residential destination, these funds will ensure that critical public amenities receive necessary support,” said Governor Spitzer. “This is part of our vision to transform Lower Manhattan into a 21st century community - one that is supported by a growing list of corporate tenants, but also responsive to community needs and alive with recreational and cultural activities.”
“Lower Manhattan is one of the fastest-growing central business districts in the country and is one of our City’s hottest residential markets,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “As we watch the transformation of this community into a 24 hour a day, seven day a week place to be, it’s important that we continue to offer support to organizations that improve the quality of life here, and enrich our entire city.” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said: “As Lower Manhattan continues to recover from 9/11, our diverse 24-hour community still has many needs that must be addressed. That is why I worked closely with the Governor and LMDC to advocate for a wide range of programs and services in need of these important grants throughout my downtown community. Aid for education, healthcare and a variety of community services and amenities will go a long way toward achieving our goal of rebuilding Lower Manhattan bigger and better than ever before.”
LMDC is awarding $5 million to New York Downtown Hospital. Half of the grant will allow the hospital to purchase Lower Manhattan’s first public MRI machine. The remaining $2.5 million will help fund a new preventative care unit.
The LMDC is also proving $1 million to the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center to provide bilingual education for frontline healthcare workers, ensuring the delivery of culturally-appropriate healthcare services to Chinatown’s underserved residents.
The LMDC is providing $4.5 million to support public schools in Lower Manhattan. Each of Lower Manhattan’s 44 public schools will be eligible for monies for specific projects, programs and equipment which they deem critical to improving their educational mission.
The LMDC is directing $2 million to the Museum of Chinese in the Americas, the Maya Lin-designed museum in Chinatown. LMDC’s award will make this museum a reality and allow for the completion of this important community institution.
Another $2 million will go to the construction of a baseball field that will serve as the home field for the Downtown Manhattan Little League, and be available for use by all Lower Manhattan residents. LMDC will also provide $600,000 to the New York City Parks Foundation to improve Lower Manhattan parks.
$4 million will go towards Lower Manhattan settlement houses: the Grand Street Settlement, the University Settlement Society of New York, and the Educational Alliance. These funds will enable these community institutions to renovate facilities and dramatically expand their programming for low and moderate-income residents in Chinatown and the Lower East Side.
$1.5 million will support Manhattan Youth, which operates a Downtown community center that provides programming for children and families. These funds will enable Manhattan Youth to hire staff and address its operational needs.
LMDC Chairman Avi Schick said, “All year, LMDC has been committed to improving all of Lower Manhattan, not just the 16 acres of Ground Zero. These grants, which support a wide number of wonderful community organizations, further that commitment and address important community needs.”
New York City Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff said: “The 33 organizations that are getting this funding are reflective of a cross section of the best of what Lower Manhattan has to offer. Over the last five years, we’ve seen a resurgent Lower Manhattan and the commitment of these organizations to this community are part of the reason. They are deserving of our support in their efforts.”
Community Board One Chairperson Julie Menin said: “This is one of my proudest days as Chairperson of Community Board One and as a Lower Manhattan resident. The face of the Lower Manhattan community will be forever changed by the disbursement of these critically needed community enhancement funds.”
Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York, said: “These grants are an important investment in the future of Lower Manhattan. I commend Governor Spitzer, Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Silver, LMDC Chairman Avi Schick, LMDC President David Emil, and the members and staff of the Community Enhancement panel for supporting these interesting, creative and vital projects and for their extraordinary efforts to develop Lower Manhattan into the finest live-work community in the country.”
For a complete list of Community Enhancement Fund recipients click here.