Testimony Of U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer & NYS Senator Daniel Squadron Regarding the Allocation of LMDC Funding

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments.

We want to express our support for several Lower Manhattan projects identified for new funding by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), particularly the $12 million in funding that will help the further redevelopment of Pier 42 into a waterfront park.

At a March meeting this year, LMDC voted to allocate $50 million for projects that would continue to enhance the resurgence of Lower Manhattan. We are excited about the multiple organizations and projects that are being considered in this funding cycle. We submitted comments and support letters to LMDC in September of last year in which we expressed support for several of the projects identified in this round of funding.

One of the projects that we supported for funding during September’s LMDC meeting was the redevelopment of Pier 42 into a world class waterfront park. We, along with several community organizations, expressed the importance of transforming the pier, and giving the Lower Manhattan and Lower East Side communities a great, year round, open space for all to use.

Given the opportunity to submit comments on LMDC’s latest spending plan, we want to once again reaffirm our strong commitment to Pier 42’s redevelopment. In September, we pushed LMDC to make Pier 42 a top funding priority. We are encouraged to see that Pier 42 has been earmarked for further funding in the LMDC spending plan presented in March of this year, and that LMDC has committed the entire $12 million that we pushed for, and that the City requested.

It is our understanding that the additional $12 million is meant to fund a playground and comfort station at Pier 42. This funding will help realize the vision put forth by the City.

Our advocacy to transform Pier 42 into a park began in 2010, following advocacy by the community, particularly Community Board 3, and we secured $16 million for the pier from LMDC in 2012. Additionally, we’ve had successful community driven programming on the pier after securing interim park space there. Committing further resources to Pier 42 will help complete our City’s Harbor Park, a Central Park for the center of our city, and add much needed green and recreational space to our communities.

As we’ve said previously, the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan continues, and the work of LMDC must run parallel to that resurgence. We are convinced that funding the many projects identified in LMDC’s latest spending plan will support Lower Manhattan’s redevelopment. Though out of the scope of these new funding allocations, we continue to support a clear plan forward for the long-promised Lower Manhattan Performing Arts Center before any transition at LMDC, and LMDC taking an active role in comprehensive Lower Manhattan resiliency.

We appreciate our continued partnership with LMDC, and thank the State and City for their commitment to the Lower Manhattan community.