Rebirth of Lower Manhattan

A satellite image of Lower Manhattan was taken Sept. 15, 2001. The image shows the remains of the World Trade Center, and the debris and dust that settled in the area.
GETTY IMAGES

Directly following the attacks on 9/11, thousands fled Lower Manhattan, and the area was a barren shell of the thriving commercial, residential and business center it is today.

In the days leading up to the 10-year anniversary of the attacks, the Alliance for Downtown New York released a report on the growth of Lower Manhattan. Their analysis found that the area is one of the fastest-growing in the city, with a population that has more than doubled since 9/11.

Lower Manhattan lost 754 companies and 65,000 jobs in the first two years after Sept. 11; but in the years since, it the area has recovered almost all the jobs it lost.

While Ground Zero is a tourist attraction on its own, the Tribeca Film Festival and the River to River Festival are also strong contributing forces to tourism.

“The arts are an economic generator,” said Elizabeth Berger, president of the Downtown Alliance. “When people come to Tribeca and River to River, they go to restaurants and shop. … They support the community.”

With Wall St. being one of the best-known business addresses, the area has seen drastic growth commercially.

“Whole Foods coming to Lower Manhattan was huge,” Berger said. “It was a sign of an active residential community. It was a nod to the growth of the commercial sector.”

Berger, who said the area endured a lot but prevailed, predicts more progress.

“A decade of growth for residents, businesses and tourism lies ahead,” she said.


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