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PR- 244-13
July 10, 2013


Series of Daily Events, Programs and Concessions Will Activate Privately-Owned Public Spaces in Major Commercial Corridor Damaged by Hurricane Sandy

New Merchants Association, the Old Seaport Alliance, Will Help Small Businesses

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the New York City Economic Development Corporation today announced the launch of “Water Street Pops!” – a series of activities and special events throughout the summer of 2013 which are designed to activate the Water Street corridor in Lower Manhattan. The various programs and concessions will take place in the public plazas and arcades along Water Street, attracting local employees, residents and visitors, leading to an increase in economic activity throughout the area. Events are scheduled to run through Labor Day and include lunchtime markets with Stone Street Tavern, a Bean Bag Toss Contest with the Staten Island Yankees, Sunrise Yoga with David Barton Gym, and many more concessions and entertainment options. All events are free and open to the public, and a full schedule can be found at This program fulfills recommendations made by the Mayor’s Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency.

“The neighborhood surrounding Water Street has grown more and more lively over the past decade – exactly the opposite of what many predicted after 9/11,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Even as Lower Manhattan has faced another challenge – the recovery from Hurricane Sandy – we are working to make sure it bounces back stronger than ever.”

“Lower Manhattan is one of New York City’s most dynamic corridors, serving as a residential community for New Yorkers as well as a hub for businesses large and small,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. “Throughout the summer, the series of events along Water Street that is being announced today will play a critical role in the ongoing recovery of the area from Hurricane Sandy, and its continuing evolution and growth.”

“Today’s announcement of programmed events along Water Street’s Privately Owned Public Spaces exemplifies what a coordinated effort by government agencies and businesses can accomplish,” said City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden.  “Our zoning changes and this series of activities build on the City’s many efforts to make Lower Manhattan a 24/7 destination and enhance an important pedestrian link to the waterfront.  Amenities such as tables and chairs, food kiosks and performances will activate and rejuvenate this area, attracting visitors and complementing activity at the Seaport and East River Waterfront Esplanade.”

“Water Street comes alive every day with tens of thousands of people, and DOT’s ongoing streetscape redesign is already helping to make it a safer and more attractive place to work and to visit,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “By stepping up the pedestrian experience on the street and by hosting events in public spaces throughout the corridor, we are working to make Water Street even more inviting, accessible and successful.”

“‘Water Street Pops!’ is an incredible collaboration between local downtown businesses and cultural organizations, non-profits and corporate partners – all coming together to support the vibrancy of the Water Street corridor,” said Sarah Berman of the Berman Group, a private firm selected by NYCEDC to manage the “Water Street Pops!” series. “As a New York City-based WBE, it is a privilege to work with the Mayor’s Office and NYC EDC to bring valuable programming to the Lower Manhattan community.”

“New York City is home to some of the world’s greatest events – both large and small – and the ‘Water Street Pops!’ series will both support the city’s economy in Lower Manhattan, and create an exciting destination for workers, residents and tourists,” said Cristin Burtis, Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of Citywide Event Coordination and Management.

“When you walk through the streets of Lower Manhattan you see a vibrant mix of residents, visitors, and businesses taking advantage of all the neighborhood has to offer,” said Rob Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “The creation of the Old Seaport Alliance, and new marketing initiatives and programming like ‘Water Street Pops!’ will help make the neighborhood even stronger and attract even more people to discover Lower Manhattan and support its small businesses.”

“These initiatives work together to draw visitors and New Yorkers alike to one of the city’s most vibrant communities,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “‘Water Street Pops!’ will highlight the many attractions that Lower Manhattan has to offer, while the new streetscape improvements make it easier than ever to enjoy the wide variety of shops and restaurants. The Old Seaport Alliance will play a major role in promoting the vitality of small businesses in the neighborhood. I am thrilled to see the summer rounded off in such an exciting way.”

“The launch of ‘Water Street Pops!’ is an exciting step towards a re-imagined Water Street,” said Downtown Alliance President Elizabeth H. Berger. “With over 103,000 workers and 12,000 residents situated in the buildings on and around Water Street, ‘Water Street Pops!’ has the potential to breathe new life into the many privately-owned public spaces surrounding one of Lower Manhattan’s major commercial corridors. Whether it’s sunrise yoga at the Elevated Acre or a cooking demo at the Andaz Hotel Plaza, Water Street will come alive this summer with urban outdoor activities that feature fitness, food and fun!” In 2010, the Downtown Alliance issued a study, Water Street: A New Approach, that reimagined Lower Manhattan’s modern commercial boulevard. The study focused on ways to rescale Water Street, including adding more culture and street activity to its many privately-owned public spaces.

NYC DOT is nearing completion of a corridor-length roadway redesign stretching from Broad Street to Fulton Street. Designed to enhance safety by reducing pedestrian crossing distances at multiple major intersections, update lane markings to better reflect traffic volumes and enhance the streetscape with additional greening, directional signage and signature graphics incorporated into the roadway itself, DOT is working with the Downtown Alliance to update Water Street and better serve the thousands that work and visit the area daily. The notable improvements include the opening of Gouverneur Lane and Coenties Slip as Downtown's newest public spaces, improving access to destinations including the nearby ferry terminal at Pier 11 and providing additional open space for the many planned events at adjoining public plazas. NYC DOT will also install 27 additional, distinctive Lower Manhattan street lamps along the corridor no later than next year. The new street improvements are a blueprint for longer-term Water Street capital projects, as described in the final report from the Mayor’s Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency.

In addition to the Water Street events, the Mayor also announced the formation of the Old Seaport Alliance, an association of merchants located in the historic Seaport District north of Fulton Street and west of South Street. Working with the Department of Small Business Services and supported by funding from MasterCard, the organization will provide cohesive branding and marketing for the small businesses in the neighborhood. Beginning in September, the Old Seaport Alliance will sponsor “Seven Saturdays in the Old Seaport,” a walkable feast to celebrate the return of the restaurants and shops in this historic area following Hurricane Sandy.

Water Street is one of Lower Manhattan’s most important commercial corridors.  Spanning more than half of a mile from Whitehall Street to Fulton Street, it is flanked by over 19 million square feet of Class A and Class B+ office space.  It is home to some of Lower Manhattan’s largest companies – such as Standard & Poor’s and Emblem Health – as well as countless small and mid-sized firms, which combined employ nearly 100,000 people.  Water Street is already home to some of the City’s most exciting amenities – several of which were created or transformed during the Bloomberg Administration – including the East River Waterfront Esplanade, the East River Ferry at Pier 11, the Fulton Center transit hub, South Street Seaport, and Stone Street.  “Water Street Pops!” builds on these assets by activating the area’s many public spaces on a regular basis. 

For more information on “Water Street Pops!” or for a full schedule of events, visit


Marc La Vorgna /Julie Wood   (212) 788-2958

Patrick Muncie/Ian Fried (NYCEDC)   (212) 312-3523


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