Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A step closer to performing arts at ground zero

Some relatively good news came yesterday for those supporters of a performing arts center at ground zero in Manhattan.

From the New York Times:
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Tuesday approved an agreement under which the city will reimburse the authority up to $44 million for building underground foundations and infrastructure for a performing arts center at ground zero.

The vote does not guarantee that an arts center will be built on the World Trade Center site, as called for by the master plan. Though the authority, which owns the site, and the city support that plan, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which controls $50 million in federal funds earmarked for the project, has explored a different location nearby.

The development corporation has yet to release those funds. It has been negotiating a “clawback” agreement with the city and the authority that would require that the funds be returned to the corporation, should they ultimately be used for private development rather than a performing arts center or some other public purpose. Then the corporation could direct the money toward an arts center elsewhere.

The development corporation is exploring building the arts center at the Deutsche Bank site at 130 Liberty Street — which the corporation owns — where they believe construction would be faster and less expensive. Construction of an arts center at ground zero cannot begin until the PATH station is completed...

...But the authority’s approval “is an important step forward for both the performing arts center and the overall redevelopment of the World Trade Center site,” said Kate D. Levin, the cultural affairs commissioner.
For more, visit the New York Times Art & Design section.

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