NYS Seal For Immediate Release:
October 24, 2005


Silver Criticizes Bloomberg for Suggesting that Commercial Redevelopment Efforts in Lower Manhattan Be Abandoned

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today sent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg the letter below regarding the need for commercial redevelopment in Lower Manhattan.

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Speaker of the Assembly
Room 932
Legislative Office Building
Albany, New York 12248
(518) 455-3791
FAX (518) 455-5459

October 24, 2005

Mayor Michael Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Dear Mayor Bloomberg:

As the Assemblymember representing the Lower Manhattan community that continues to struggle even now more than four years after the devastating September 11th attacks, I was outraged by your recent suggestion that we abandon efforts to commercially rebuild on the site of the former World Trade Center towers.

Your new position will undoubtedly hurt efforts to reestablish the Lower Manhattan community as a strong commercial center.

In addition, considering the city's willingness to join me in enacting the new Lower Manhattan Marshall Plan that is providing significant economic incentives to promote rapid commercial growth throughout this unique community, I found your comments to be both inconsistent and absurd.

Indeed, your administration participated in negotiating incentives provided under the Marshall Plan, including the elimination of the Commercial Rent Tax (CRT) for all Ground Zero tenants, a five-year exemption from the CRT for all of Lower Manhattan and sales tax exemptions for equipment and build out costs, such as structural and interior construction.

These new incentives, which have only been in place for eight weeks, have already produced positive results. Goldman Sachs and American Express are among the businesses that have made the commitment to locate in Lower Manhattan. I understand negotiations are currently underway with other firms to make similar commitments.

For centuries, Lower Manhattan has played a central role in our nation's development and economic prosperity. I urge you to reassert your personal commitment to the commercial redevelopment of this historic and vital community so that we can move ahead in fulfilling the commitment made in the days after September 11th.

Having read in recent days of your intention to take on a prominent role in Lower Manhattan redevelopment, I am not at all encouraged by this major, ill-advised policy reversal.