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CUOMO PRAISES NEW YORK'S USE OF $8 MILLION HUD LOAN GUARANTEE TO HELP TURN MANHATTAN'S HISTORIC "PIER A" INTO TOURIST CENTERNEW YORK--Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo joined New York City leaders today in breaking ground for a project to transform the historic Pier A building on the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan into a major tourist attraction and visitor center.
Cuomo, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and other officials spoke at a ceremony launching the $27 million rehabilitation project, which will be funded with the help of an $8 million loan guarantee from the Section 108 program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"Pier A is a great project," Cuomo said. "Not only will it delight New Yorkers and thousands of visitors each year. It will create almost 300 permanent, full-time jobs, and 175 temporary construction jobs. It will bring new vitality and opportunity to the Battery Park area of Lower Manhattan."
When renovated, Pier A will house the Harbor Park Visitor Center (the city's largest), indoor and outdoor restaurants, retail shops, sightseeing and excursion boats, and promenades and plazas. The facility will be part of a 50-acre public waterfront being developed in the neighborhood.
The three-story Pier A, Manhattan's last Victorian piershed, is a New York landmark, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It sits at the gateway to Ellis, Liberty and Governor's Islands, which attract more than 4 million visitors a year.
Cuomo noted that the $8 million Section 108 loan guarantee for Pier A is the first of its kind ever sought by New York. "It's good that New York is at last using this excellent program," Cuomo said. "All around the country, Section 108 community development loans are leveraging millions in private investment, creating jobs and bringing city neighborhoods back to life. This is a good example of what the federal government can do in partnership with communities and the private sector."
Communities receiving Section 108 loan guarantees use their Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds as collateral for loans to spark public-private development projects. For Pier A, HUD is backing $8 million in taxable bonds issued by the city. Additional funds will come from the private developer, Wing Point Associates, and from the N.Y. State Environmental Quality Bond Act and CDBG funds.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009