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Lower Manhattan jobs at pre-9/11 level

BY GABE HERMAN | Employment in Lower Manhattan has reached pre-9/11 numbers for the first time since the attacks, according to the Alliance for Downtown New York.

The organization’s Q1 2019 Lower Manhattan Real Estate Market Report shows that private-sector employment in 2018 grew to 251,334 workers, the highest number since the third quarter of 2001.

The employment gains were due especially to strong leasing activity for office space across industries, according to the report. Over all, there were 2 million square feet of deals in Lower Manhattan, which contributed to the area outperforming all other Manhattan submarkets, as well as having one of its busiest quarters in seven years.

Jessica Lappin, president of the Downtown Alliance business improvement district, left, and Senator Chuck Schumer speaking at the announcement of Lower Manhattan’s job figures. (Courtesy Downtown Alliance)

The report was released May 10 as part of a press conference at 7 World Trade Center. The event was attended by Senator Charles Schumer, along with Jessica Lappin, president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, and local business representatives.

“Anyone who doubts this city, ends up losing,” Schumer said. “Anyone who bets on this city, ends up winning. For Downtown and all of New York…the best is yet to come.”

“This milestone is important for both practical and symbolic reasons,” said the Downtown Alliance’s Lappin. “Practically, it proves that the rebuilding effort has diversified our city’s economy in a meaningful way while generating thousands of jobs in growth industries. Symbolically, it shows that our determination and spirit can never be broken.”

“After 9/11, we all agreed that our primary responsibility was to commemorate those we lost,” said Larry Silverstein, chairperson of Silverstein Properties, at the press conference. “At the same time, we had to restore the commerce that has defined the lower tip of Manhattan throughout the city’s history. At the end of the day, our vision was to create a better version of New York. That vision is now a reality. The bottom line is that Downtown New York — a place many had written off — is now the city’s hottest neighborhood.”

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