FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2013
IN FINAL STATE OF CITY ADDRESS, MAYOR BLOOMBERG OUTLINES THE CITY'S UNFINISHED BUSINESS
Details New Initiatives to Continue the City’s Economic, Educational and Environmental Gains
High-Resolution Renderings of Major Priority Projects are Available at www.flickr.com/nycmayorsoffice
Full Text of the Mayor’s State of the City Address is Available at www.nyc.gov
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg delivered his 12th and final State of the City address today at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, detailing his agenda for the year and the unfinished business the Administration intends to accomplish over the next 320 days. The Mayor outlined his multi-faceted strategy to continue the progress of the past 11 years that has resulted in better schools, safer neighborhoods, improved infrastructure, more jobs and housing, a cleaner environment and greater opportunities for all New Yorkers.
Complete Major Infrastructure Improvements and Start New Projects to Spur Economic Development and Create Jobs
“But as far as we’ve come, our work is not done. We have unfinished business – and only 320 days to complete it. As the countdown clock in City Hall says: we are going to Make Every Day Count. Our goal is not to spend the year cutting ribbons. It’s much bigger than that: Our goal is to advance projects – and start new ones – that will keep our city on the right course for decades to come. … That’s why 2013 will be our busiest – and most important – year yet.”
- Rezone East Midtown, working with Borough President Stringer and Council Member Garodnick, the Administration will seek to allow for a select number of new buildings to rise in the decades ahead to keep the area economically competitive, while preserving the area’s historic character. The new buildings will pay into a mass transit fund to relieve some of the pedestrian bottlenecks and congestion in and around Grand Central. The average age of buildings in East Midtown is 73 years old, and only two new office buildings have been built there in the past decade.
- Complete the second stage of the single largest construction project in the city’s history: the third water tunnel. The city currently relies on two water tunnels for the majority of its drinking water. Those tunnels were first put into service in 1917 and 1936, respectively. Completing City Water Tunnel No. 3 will provide New York with critical redundancy, and will allow the Department of Environmental Protection to shut down and repair City Water Tunnels No. 1 and 2 for the first time in their history.
- Finalize construction on the Number 7 train extension – the first new subway track funded by the City in 50 years. The new section will extend from 42nd Street and 7th Avenue at Times Square to 34th Street and 11th Avenue in the Hudson Yards area in Midtown West. The $2.1 billion project, funded by the City and managed by the MTA, is the first subway expansion in decades, creating nearly 500 construction jobs.
- Complete the third and final section of the High Line. Located between West 30th and West 34th Streets to the south and north, and 10th and 12th Avenues to the east and west, the final section of the elevated railway, called the High Line at the Rail Yards, extends a half mile beyond the current northern end of the High Line park, which has welcomed more than ten million visitors since it opened in 2009. The High Line at the Rail Yards surrounds Related Companies/Oxford Properties Group’s Hudson Yards project that started construction this past fall.
- Undertake one of the most exciting cultural projects yet – the Culture Shed, a 170,000-square-foot arts and exhibition center at Hudson Yards. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and David Rockwell, the space will accommodate visual art exhibitions, performances and creative industries like fashion. The building will be next to the High Line on 30th Street near 11th Avenue.
- Begin creating a new community called Greenpoint Landing – with more than 5,000 new homes, 1.5 acres of parkland and up to four acres of waterfront open space, a marina, a public school, commercial space and shops – on the waterfront in Brooklyn.
- Begin developing the sites around Seward Park on the Lower East Side. This project will transform more than six acres of underutilized land into a vibrant, mixed-use space in one of New York City’s most dynamic, diverse neighborhoods. Located along Delancey and Essex Streets, the nine sites, now with full land use approvals, will be transformed into 1.65 million square feet of permanently affordable and market-rate housing, commercial space, a new Essex Street Market, and new open space, with the potential for a school and other community space.
- Move forward with plans to build a major retail complex and the world’s largest Ferris wheel at St. George, bringing more visitors – and jobs – to Staten Island. The wheel is expected to welcome as many as 30,000 riders per day during peak season and an estimated 4.5 million visitors per year. The 350,000-square-foot retail complex will feature 100 designer outlet stores and a 120,000-square-foot hotel. Together the projects will generate a $480 million private investment, and create more than 1,200 construction jobs and 1,100 permanent jobs.
- Begin the process of cleaning up Willets Point and bringing jobs and open space to the community. The development plan from Queens Development Group, a joint venture between Sterling Equities, Inc. and Related Companies includes a retail and entertainment attraction to the west of Citi Field in the first phase. Ultimately, the plan will unlock over 5 million square feet of new development in a unified district, transforming a contaminated area into a new neighborhood. The build-out will include retail, hotel and commercial uses to complement a residential community of 2,500 housing units, of which 875 units will be affordable. The expanded vision will infuse $3 billion of private investment into the local economy and create 7,100 permanent jobs and 12,000 direct construction jobs.
- Open the next phase of BioBAT at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park and will ultimately provide 500,000 square feet of commercial biotech space. Its anchor tenant, the International Aids Vaccine Initiative, occupies a 40,000-square-foot space.
- Build the $50 million New York Genome Center in Lower Manhattan. The research facility will be a world-class hub for genome sequencing, analytics, bioinformatics, high performance computing, and translational research. The Center will leverage New York’s vast academic and research infrastructure; serve as a collaboration nexus for pharmaceutical, biotech, and IT companies; and catalyze the formation of new innovations and start-up enterprises.
- Open the new Steeplechase Plaza at Coney Island. Located in the amusement district between MCU Park and the Boardwalk, this 2.2-acre outdoor oceanfront plaza is envisioned as a site for public performances and art, a water feature and retail space. It will also serve as the future home to the Carousel pavilion.
- Open one of the largest track and field complexes on the East Coast – the largest PlaNYC recreational center – at Ocean Breeze, a 110–acre park that was once part of the Staten Island University Hospital campus. This 135,000-square-foot complex will feature a competition quality eight-lane track, two long jump pits, a pole vault, a high jump, and two shot-put and weight throwing areas and accommodate 2,500 seats.
- Work with Borough President Diaz to bring new life – and good jobs – back to the Kingsbridge Armory.
- Work with Major League Soccer to bring soccer back to our city for the first time since the Cosmos left in 1977.
- Move forward with a plan to turn the Domino Sugar Plant into new housing and commercial space.
- Work with the State to help begin creating a 50-acre new media campus at Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard – which will be home to 2,500 middle-class jobs in film and television production.
- Begin the redevelopment of the South Street Seaport – breaking ground on the Pier 17 renovation project, which will create 295,000 square feet of new retail and public accessible open space this year.
- Break ground on a new community that will bring housing and jobs to the Navy Homeport on Staten Island.
- Help the New York Public Library create the largest circulating and research library in the world.
Expanding Waste Reduction and Recycling and Seeking to Ban Polystyrene Foam
“We’ll also take major new steps toward another important sustainability goal that we’ve set: Doubling the city’s recycling rate to 30 percent by 2017… It starts with making recycling easier for everyone by putting 1,000 new recycling containers in streets on all five boroughs this year… We’ll also tackle New York City’s final recycling frontier: food waste… So with Speaker Quinn and the City Council, we will work to adopt a law banning Styrofoam food packaging from our stores and restaurants. And don’t worry: the doggie bag will survive just fine.”
- Put 1,000 new recycling containers on streets in all five boroughs this year.
- Work with Speaker Quinn and the City Council to adopt a law banning polystyrene foam food packaging from stores and restaurants.
- Finalize a major new facility in South Brooklyn that will accept all kinds of plastics, have a state-of-the-art education center to teach children about recycling and one of the largest solar installations in the city.
- Begin recycling food waste, nearly 200,000 tons of which fill landfills every year at a cost of nearly $80 per ton. That waste can be used as fertilizer or converted to energy at a much lower price.
- Launch a pilot program to collect curbside organic waste from single family homes in Staten Island for composting.
Expand the Use of and Access to Electric Vehicles
- Pilot curbside vehicle chargers that will allow drivers to fill up their battery in as little as 30 minutes.
- Work with the City Council to amend the Building Code so that 20 percent of all new public parking spaces in private development will be wired to charge electric vehicles.
- Add 50 more electric vehicles to the city’s fleet of cars and place the first six fully electric taxis on the road – with the goal of making one-third of the City’s fleet electric by 2020.
Build on the Progress in Our Schools
“Since 2005 … we’ve raised high school graduation rates by 40 percent – while they’ve gone up only 9 percent in the rest of the state. At the same time, our college readiness rate has doubled even as our dropout rate has been cut in half. But we know how much unfinished business remains in our schools. … Success in college and careers requires good writing and critical thinking skills, as well as good math and science skills.”
- Adopt Common Core standards and new State exams for grades 3 through 8 to test for critical math, science, writing and reading skills.
- Add a total of 100,000 new classroom seats since the start of the Administration by the end of this year.
- Launch a fellowship program, through the Young Men’s Initiative, for 12 to 15 education leaders who will design eight new schools based on the most promising college readiness strategies – and then they will become principals or at those schools, or serve in leadership positions.
Create New Charter Schools to Increase Graduation and College Readiness Rates
- Open 26 new charters by this September – and work to approve many more for 2014.
- Locate some of these new charters within public school buildings because charters students are public school students and they students deserve access to public school facilities.
Open New STEM Schools to Prepare Students for a 21st Century Economy
- Work to create two more 9-14 high schools – including one in the South Bronx, focused on the health care industry and one in Long Island City focused on the energy industry.
- Open the second Academy for Software Engineering high school. This school will be grades 9 to 12, located in the Bronx and will open with 9th grade this fall.
- Bring computer science classes to 20 more middle and high schools next September with private support.
- Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel and Small Business Services Commissioner Rob Walsh will work with the tech industry, universities and the nonprofit sector to develop an intensive computer science training program in Downtown Brooklyn for adults who want to learn IT skills.
Grow the City’s Digital Infrastructure
- Create Code Corps, a program that engages vetted volunteer technologists to realize lifesaving City government initiatives in emergency and disaster situations. Code Corps tech volunteers will be screened in advance, and partner with City representatives from a range of agencies on strategic projects developed to serve civic needs.
- Launch a competition for installing Wi-Fi in more of our Business Improvement Districts and make areas even more attractive for consumers, residents, and businesses.
Create a More Resilient, Sustainable City Following Hurricane Sandy
“After the storm passed, it was clear that the houses and businesses most damaged by Hurricane Sandy were built decades ago, while those that were built in the last few years or are now being built held up pretty well. That was no accident. Our administration has fundamentally changed the way we conduct waterfront development. But Sandy raised the bar – and now we must rise to the occasion.”
- Deliver a report by the end of May on how to better protect New York City – and its critical infrastructure – from extreme weather events.
- Develop a long-term plan to ensure that when extreme weather hits, the City can get the lights back on quickly and ensure the heat keeps working, gas stations stay open, hospitals maintain power and the transportation system keeps flowing.
- Work with the State on an innovative program to preserve and protect vital wetlands while also enabling more efficient economic development along the city’s waterfront.
- Launch a Conservation Corps, financed privately through the Mayor’s Fund, to cultivate and train the next generation of Park stewards and leaders and help improve the resiliency of our parks and beaches.
- And ensure all the City’s beaches are open on Memorial Day weekend.
Connect New Yorkers in Storm-Damaged Areas with Job Opportunities
“Many small businesses are also suffering as a result of Sandy. … We need our businesses to recover as quickly as possible and we’ll make sure government doesn’t stand in their way.”
- For all businesses in the hardest-hit areas, sign an executive order waiving all city fees for repair work and work with Speaker Quinn and the City Council to waive all fees that require legislation.
- Provide $1 million in City funds administered by the Center for Economic Opportunity to support non-profit groups in placing 1,000 unemployed New Yorkers to work on hurricane relief and recovery projects.
- Hire up to 70 teenaged probation clients, as part of the Young Men’s Initiative, to make a positive difference for the city – and themselves – doing hurricane recovery work this spring.
- Encourage construction companies that are repairing and rebuilding storm-struck areas to hire the unemployed from those communities.
Help Juvenile Offenders Stay on the Right Path and Change Policy for Marijuana Possession
“We know that there’s more we can do to keep New Yorkers, particularly young men, from ending up with a criminal record.”
- Effective next week, those who are arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana will no longer be held overnight.
- Create a new program to connect juvenile offenders to jobs and services and, for the first time, pay program providers based on how successful they are in helping offenders get jobs, earn GEDs and stay clean.
- Attack recidivism by using data and risk-management strategies to target resources where they are needed most.
- Appoint a new Chief Analytics Officer and launch a new platform using data analytics to improve the way all agencies share information.
Help Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
- Work with Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance on a new program that will pair police officers with mental health professionals who will work together to help those who are most at-risk. The pilot program, based out of the Manhattan Family Justice Center, will allow domestic violence police officers to call upon specially trained counselors to help children in the most at-risk families. Children who witness violence in their home, particularly to a caregiver, are at risk of post-traumatic stress and poor life outcomes.
- Open our fourth Family Justice Center where victims of domestic violence can get all the services and support they need in one place.
Transform the City’s Aging Public Housing Stock
“Hurricane Sandy made painfully clear just how much NYCHA’s aging housing stock is suffering from decades of federal disinvestment. … We can either allow them to crumble or knock them down, or find new revenue for repairs and capital investments. I know which is right for New York: our Administration will not walk away from public housing. … We have a plan – and will move forward on it this year.”
- Begin the process of developing new housing on under-used NYCHA sites, which will raise revenue for maintenance and repairs.
- This plan will improve conditions for residents of public housing where the development takes place – and bring more of the affordable and market rate housing our city needs.
Ensure New York City Remains the Tourism Capital of the World
“Last year, a record 52 million people visited…Even though we’ve become the number one tourism destination in the country, we still have unfinished business… So working with Speaker Quinn and the City Council, we’ll pass legislation to make New York a more youth-friendly tourism destination.”
- Work with the City Council to pass legislation that will make New York a more youth-friendly tourism destination and legalize for-profit youth hostels.
- Attract 175,000 more young tourists to our city each year – which will create more than 1,000 new jobs for our residents.
Marc La Vorgna