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August 7, 2002


$8 Billion in Bond Financing to Revitalize Lower Manhattan with
Commercial and Residential Development

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Governor George E. Pataki, Senator Charles E. Schumer and Senator Hillary Clinton today launched the New York Liberty Bond Program, an $8 billion initiative to provide low cost, tax-exempt bond financing for major projects to revitalize Lower Manhattan. The City-State program, made possible by Federal legislation approved by President George W. Bush last March, is intended to secure significant private sector investments to rebuild Lower Manhattan. The program will work to ensure the City's long-term economic health and establish downtown as a vibrant, mixed-use 24/7 community rich with new commercial, retail, and residential development.

"The New York Liberty Bond Program represents a unified and flexible initiative that will allow the City, State, and private sector to jointly rebuild, renew, and enrich Lower Manhattan with new investments," Mayor Bloomberg said. "The Liberty Bond Program will help revitalize Lower Manhattan with new construction, renovation, and development, as well as create new jobs for the City. I want to thank President Bush and Congress, especially Senators Schumer and Clinton, for their leadership and direction on the economic stimulus bill, as well as Governor Pataki, Senator Bruno, and Speaker Silver for their efforts on behalf of all New Yorkers."

"We're proud to partner with Mayor Bloomberg and New York City on the
Liberty Bonds program, which will play a key role in our ongoing efforts to rebuild Lower Manhattan," Governor Pataki said. "By supporting major new investments in Lower Manhattan, the Liberty Bonds program will help create new jobs and provide a tremendous boost to the New York City economy. These bonds represent an important investment in the future of this great city and we thank President Bush and our entire congressional delegation for their support in making this program a reality."

"We lost over 20 million square feet of office space on September 11, and every day we wait to replace it is another day we lose businesses to New Jersey and other states," Senator Schumer said. "These new tax exempt bonds mean new construction and new development now, and that means new jobs in New York City tomorrow. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of President Bush, Senator Clinton, Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Pataki, the Congressional Delegation and so many others, we are taking the steps needed to ensure
lower Manhattan's recovery."

"New York still has much to do to recover from the devastation of September 11, and that includes rebuilding commercial space we lost that day," Senator Clinton said. "Tax exempt
bonding authority will attract new capital, developers, and companies to lower Manhattan, and I want to commend the Mayor, the Governor, Senator Schumer and the entire New York delegation for their hard work in bringing this critical financial tool to New York. As we continue to develop other incentives, both federally and locally, the Liberty Bond Program will be vital to helping us rebuild New York City stronger than ever before."

In March 2002, Congress authorized New York to issue $8 billion of tax-exempt private activity bonds for the construction and renovation of commercial and residential facilities. The City and State have worked together closely to create guidelines for a unified, flexible program. The Liberty Zone is the area located on or south of Canal Street, East Broadway (east of its intersection with Canal Street), and Grand Street (east of its intersection with East Broadway).

The Liberty Bond Program seeks to:

To be considered for financing, projects must be consistent with one or more of these goals and satisfy the application guidelines.

The City and State will each allocate $4 billion of the program. Of the total amount, up to $800 million may be issued for retail development in the Liberty Zone, up to $1.6 billion for residential rental projects in the Zone, and up to $2 billion for commercial projects in New York City outside of the Zone. The New York City Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and the New York Liberty Development Corporation (NYLDC) will issue bonds for commercial projects. The New York State Housing Finance Agency (HFA) and the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) will be the issuers for residential projects.

Projects seeking Liberty Bond financing must also meet certain minimum square footage and expenditure requirements. The commercial guidelines require that construction projects located within the Zone must create at least 20,000 square feet of commercial space. Construction projects outside the zone, but within the City, must create at least 100,000 square feet of contiguous commercial space. Renovation projects within the Zone must renovate at least 50,000 square feet of contiguous commercial space and involve expenditures for base building improvements of at least $50 per square foot. Projects outside the Zone, but within the City, must renovate at least 100,000 square feet of contiguous commercial space and involve base building expenditures of at least $100 per square foot.

The guidelines for residential projects require the projects be located within the Zone. Projects may entail new construction, conversion of a commercial facility, or substantial renovation of an existing residential facility. Rehabilitation expenditures must equal at least 50% of the amount of New York Liberty Bonds. Both HDC and HFA are requiring an additional public benefit as part of the liberty Bond Program: HDC will impose additional fees to be used to preserve and create affordable housing throughout the City, while HFA will require that at least 5% of the units be affordable to moderate income families.

"The New York Liberty Bond Program will maximize the benefits of this available financing to rebuild Lower Manhattan as a vibrant mixed-use community," Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff said. "Thanks to the close working relationship between Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Pataki, this program is being jointly administered with a shared vision by City and State agencies."

"Under the leadership of Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg and with the steady assistance of President Bush, our Senators and the entire bi-partisan Congressional Delegation, Lower Manhattan continues its renewal and rebirth," Empire State Development Corporation Chairman Charles A. Gargano said. "This important Liberty Bonds initiative will help us continue our efforts to revitalize Lower Manhattan and rebuild it even stronger than it was before the horrific events of September 11th."

"The New York Liberty Bond Program will provide Lower Manhattan and New York City with the resources needed for the renovation of the World Trade Center site and the revitalization of the City's economy," Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno said. "This multifaceted $8 billion program represents a major part of our efforts to rebuild Lower Manhattan and make it a wonderful and exciting place to work, live and visit."

For more information on the New York Liberty Bond Program, contact the bond issuers: New York City Industrial Development Agency, 212-312-3600; New York Liberty Development Corporation, 212-803-3766 or; the New York State Housing Finance Agency, 212-688-4000 or; and the New York City Housing Development Corporation, 212-227-9783 or

Contact: Edward Skyler / Jerry Russo
(212) 788-2958
Mike McKeon (Office of the Governor)
(518) 474-8418
  Phil Singer (Senator Schumer's Office)
(202) 224-7433
  Philippe Reines (Senator Clinton's Office)
(202) 224-2873
  Lynn Rasic (EDC)
(212) 312-3804
  Tracy Paurowski (HDC)
(212) 227-9496
  Michael Marr (ESDC)
(212) 803-3740
  Sally Crockett (HFA)
(212) 688-4000