Mayor Bloomberg says he’s not sure the city will be able to raise enough private money to construct the performing arts center at Ground Zero.
“It is certainly not a go until we find out whether we can raise $300 million,” he told reporters after a media event when he helped plant the 50th tree at the September 11 Memorial plaza. “It’s hard to raise money in this market.”
The performing arts center is one of the final pieces of Daniel Libeskind’s master plan for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site and a particularly dear one to the thousands of residents who’ve made Lower Manhattan into more of a residential neighborhood since the September 11 attacks.
But the center, which will house the Joyce Theater, also been an orphan, without any clear chaperone in charge of seeing that it actually gets built. The Bloomberg administration has recently taken the lead, but the mayor said the city couldn’t afford to pay for it by itself.
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, a city and state board, allocated $100 million in federal funds three weeks ago as seed money for the project. That money comes on top of $45 million that is expected to be used beginning this fall to pay for underground construction work.
“We've got to explore whether or not we can find some very generous foundations, companies and individuals who can make a major difference,” Bloomberg said.
The center would be located near the northeastern corner of the World Trade Center site, at the extension of Fulton and Greenwich streets.