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PR- 185-05
May 15, 2005


The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, May 15, 2005

"Good Morning.  This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

"One of our Administration's central strategies for producing jobs, building housing, and creating open space has been to reclaim and bring new life to New York's long-neglected waterfront.  You can see those efforts taking shape all over the city - from Hunts Point in the Bronx to the Far West Side of Manhattan to Staten Island's Homeport.  But nowhere are they more dramatic than in Greenpoint and Williamsburg.  Last week, the City Council approved a comprehensive rezoning, setting the stage for a remarkable renewal of a largely abandoned and derelict stretch of the Brooklyn shoreline.

"The plan, which was developed with the full participation of the local community, will create 54 acres of parks and open space, including a new 28-acre waterfront park along the Bushwick Creek Inlet.  There will also be a new continuous, two-mile-long esplanade along the East River that promises to become a favorite spot for joggers, bikers, and anyone looking for a beautiful spot to read a good book, or enjoy the magnificent views of the Manhattan skyline.

"The plan will also create nearly 11,000 new units of much-needed housing - 3,500 of which will be affordable housing.  That represents the largest commitment to affordable housing that the city has ever made in such a rezoning plan.  We were able to achieve this by leveraging the forces of New York's hot real estate market and allowing private developers to build taller buildings on the waterfront - as long as they guaranteed that more apartments would be affordable. 

"This will ensure that the communities of Greenpoint and Williamsburg will continue to be home to people of all incomes.  With $130 million in City capital spending and $1.5 billion in private investment, the rezoning of Greenpoint and Williamsburg will lead to the creation of 11,000 construction jobs and 600 permanent jobs over the next ten years.

"What's more, the rezoning will protect manufacturers that are currently thriving there, and also encourage new manufacturing and industrial businesses by establishing an industrial zone that will be a safe, clean, and attractive place to work.  Industrial businesses that relocate to this zone will be eligible for valuable tax incentives.  Encouraging and investing in all sectors of our economy is a vital part of reducing our City's dependence on Wall Street.  And that's really crucial to New York's long-term prosperity and stability.

"Our City's economic diversity also got a big boost last week from the airline industry.  Jet Blue - which has flown by its competitors with a formula of low fares and quality service - opened a new maintenance facility at John F. Kennedy Airport and re-affirmed its commitment to build a new $875 million terminal. 

"Jet Blue is quickly turning into one of New York's great success stories.  In less than six years, they've become the busiest carrier at JFK, now serving 20% of all passengers there.  With their new maintenance facility and terminal, they're aiming to double the number of passengers they serve by 2009.  Their success and confidence in the future underscores how far New York's economy has come in the past four years, and how much farther the world's biggest companies believe we can go. 

"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.  Thanks for listening."


Edward Skyler   (212) 788-2958

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