Downtown center opens on Broad Street


By Albert Amateau

The Downtown Information Center, Wall Street Rising’s new center for visitors and businesses, opened its doors at 25 Broad St. for the first time last week with well-wishers from the business, government and residential communities.

Guided by Julie Menin, founder and president of Wall Street Rising, visitors saw demonstrations of the technology providing a complete and up-to-date data base that lists every Downtown restaurant, store and apartment building as well as vacant retail space, construction projects, events, cultural programs and grant opportunities.

Visitors to the center or the Web site, www.downtowninfocenter.org, are able to search for directions and hours for businesses, museums and other organizations in the database.

Among the guests were Battery Park City Authority President and CEO Tim Carey, Lower Manhattan Development Corp. president Kevin Rampe, Downtown Alliance president Carl Weisbrod, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Senate Minority Leader David Patterson, State Sen. Martin Connor, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller and Councilmembers Gale Brewer and David Weprin.

“This center is the perfect example of how the leadership and generosity of the business community, with my colleagues in government, are coming together to revitalize Lower Manhattan,” Silver said.

“Within these walls we will continue the work of Wall Street Rising and promote this historic community as a great place to live, work and visit,” Menin said.

The center, whose main sponsors are Merrill Lynch and American Express, was designed by Frederic Schwarz and the Rockwell Group. In addition to providing information, the 1,800-ft. space will serve as a meeting place and program center for visitors, residents, and businesses.

The programs include the American Red Cross “Together We Prepare” demonstration from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Mon. Sept. 22 and Wed. Sept. 24. The Red Cross will show how to deal with disaster and evacuation contingencies, how to create an emergency communication plan for the family, how to assemble a disaster supplies kit and basic first aid.

A free seminar on opening a small business in Lower Manhattan will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tues. Sept 23, featuring a small business manager from JP Morgan Chase and the director of Pace University’s small business development center. Topics will include financing, grants and incentives available to new businesses and how to develop a business plan to meet the needs of the neighborhood.

A wine tasting presented by Chambers St. Wines will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thurs. Oct. 9. Monthly tastings will feature speakers on different vineyards and suggestions for wines for specific menus. The tastings are free but space is limited. Phone 212:425-INFO or e-mail: events@downtowninfocenter.org.

On Thurs. Oct. 16, Wall St. Rising will hold a scavenger hunt for adults from 6:30- 8:30 p.m., produced by Watson Adventures, exploring the hidden history and winding streets of Lower Manhattan and including visits to Battery Park, Museum of the American Indian, Wall St., Federal Hall and Trinity Church.

On Sat. Oct. 25 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Watson Adventures will hold a family scavenger hunt for adults and children 7 years and older. For information, phone Watson Adventures at 212:726-1529 or e-mail at rsvp@watsonadventures.com.

Two visitors search for information at Wall Street Rising’s new center at 25 Broad.