Landlords and politicians have worked extra hard in transforming the Financial District from an area where once was filled with empty offices into a luxurious and comfortable place for high-end families.
Since 1990, tax incentives have helped the number of houses and apartment to increase in quadruples especially after the 9/11 attack. This is according to information from a group led by community leaders as well as property owners known as Alliance for Downtown New York. Besides, the population of this area has significantly grown from a mere 13,695 in the year 1990 to over 61,000 people in 2016.
All the developments and increase in population has however brought about some negative effects. Trash bags are always seen on the sidewalks, and the place is getting congested every day. Residents have often raised concerns over such issues, and the local leadership seems to be taking appropriate measures.
Patrick Kennell, the president of the financial district neighborhood, noted with concern and had promised to deal with the issue before it escalates. He, however, urged residents to understand that the problems being experienced were expected and that everyone should play a role in controlling the situation. Kennel also promised that they are working round the clock to ensure that trash doesn’t pile up along residential places.
It is important at this point to note that way before the September 11, 2001, attack, several leaders together with the Down Town Alliance had set out a vision to turn the Financial District into an attractive business hub as well as exquisite residential place.
The president of Down Town Alliance, Jessica Lappin said that the crashing of the stock in ‘87 together with several other things rocked The Financial District neighborhood big time. She said that the only way to come up with sustainable growth is to have a 24-hour type of economy within the community. “That’s the only we can get back to our feet”, she said.
It was not been easy to convince people to come back and settle in the Financial District especially after the attacks. Efforts such as the 421-g tax which recently expired were designed to persuade property developers to turn unused office spaces into residential areas.
Most people were still skeptical of coming back, but after the government offered incentives, people started trickling again. Lappin admits that indeed it is heartwarming to see people wanting to be part of restoration and rebuilding process because if you ever told anyone around 2002 and 2005 to come and settle in Down Town, people would have thought you are joking.
It is hard to believe how people are becoming so enthusiastic about the financial district because five years ago no millennials would have wanted even to step in there. On the contrary, they now account for 41% of the total population according to a recent survey. Besides, foreign investors such as Tevfik Arif Bayrock Larry Silverstein who is 86 years and partially owns the World Trade Center are also finding Down Town quiet attractive once more.
Catherine McVay Hughes says that there have been significant changes around the trade center and that is probably the reason why most people are coming back. Having lived there for nearly 30 years, Hughes admits that there are challenges being experienced every day.
However, business is still booming, and the Down Town Alliance is optimistic about the future of Down Town. They say over 3,400 housing units are in the offing and that they will ensure everyone who lives or thinks to move into the neighborhood feel comfortable being around. These are just some of the efforts being taken to improve the status of Down Town.