FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES LATEST STEPS TO DIVERSIFY THE CITY’S ECONOMY IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, July 26, 2009
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"More than anything, the current national recession has reminded us of the importance of economic diversity in our city. The more we can grow and strengthen a wide array of industries, the less our local economy will be driven by the ups and downs of Wall Street. And that's been our strategy.
"For the past seven years, we've focused on maximizing those sectors of our economy that have existing assets and tremendous potential - industries like tourism, fashion, and film & TV production. In recent weeks, we've also announced initiatives to strengthen our media and non-profit sectors, develop green construction jobs, and promote entrepreneurship. But there's a lot more we can do - and we're doing it.
'Take New York's waterfront. No other city in the world can match it, yet our 578 miles of shoreline have been neglected or poorly used for decades. No longer. In addition to our efforts to reclaim huge swaths of our waterfront for the public, last week we unveiled an ambitious new plan for Sunset Park in Brooklyn that will revive its once thriving maritime industrial activity.
"As part of our plan, the City will invest more than $165 million to modernize up to 3.5 million square feet of now vacant or underutilized manufacturing and warehouse space. That's greater than the commercial space of the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building combined. And the result will be some 11,000 new manufacturing and distribution jobs - many of them coming within the next few months.
"Another sector of the city's economy ripe for growth is biotechnology. We're already home to more than 120 bioscience companies - some of the best academic medical institutions and a talented workforce. The only thing we've really lacked is space for growth. Too often, the pattern's been that firms are created at research institutions in the city, and then move out of town as they develop and expand, taking jobs with them. But that's now about to change.
"We've been hard at work developing a flagship location for commercial bioscience research and development - right along the First Avenue medical science corridor. And last week we secured its very first tenant: global pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Company.
"Our agreement with Lilly means that we now have a world-respected company anchoring our new bioscience park, which will help us attract other top research and development companies there and create new jobs. Above all, Lilly's decision amounts to a great vote of confidence in the future of our city - and in our future as a center of biotechnology.
"And make no mistake: As part of our five-borough economic opportunity plan, we are going to continue pursuing opportunities to diversify our economic base - so that in the future, when Wall Street sneezes, the rest of the city doesn't catch a cold.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address