Earlier this month, the New York Post called on the city and state to shut down the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. (LMDC), the agency set up to distribute September 11th recovery funds. In an editorial, the tabloid noted that the LMDC had long ago run out of money to spend and that “one of its champions, Sheldon Silver, has now been indicted and forced to step down as Assembly speaker.” But this week the LMDC may have gotten another temporary lease on life.
At a board meeting yesterday morning, the agency announced a tentative settlement with Lend Lease in connection with the 2007 demolition of the Deutsche Bank building near Ground Zero that touched off a fire, killing two firefighters. As Capital reported last night, the settlement (if it goes through) would free up $50 million.
David Emil, LMDC president, said the organization is still overseeing several projects. A new executive was recently brought on to oversee the distribution of the Lend Lease Settlement money. From Capital’s story:
Today, the corporation has a $2.5 million budget and the equivalent of about a dozen full-time staff, Emil said. It has modified the terms of its lease at 1 Liberty Plaza to move into smaller offices in the same building, an acknowledgment of its shrunken mission. “We are extending [our lease] one year at a time to allow us to get smaller space as the agency gets smaller,” Emil said.
The LMDC has funded many projects on the Lower East Side, including the renovation of the East River waterfront. One of its last grants was awarded to Pier 42 at Montgomery Street. The agency allocated $14 million for the first phase a new park that’s being planned.