Dysfunctional LMDC obstructs development at WTC Tower 5

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cropped-Ground-Zero-WTC-pano-looking-north-from-Tower-4-1-16-2014.jpgSeptember 5, 2014- Downtown Express posted a story about the World Trade Center Tower 5 spot that sits undeveloped just north of the W Hotel. The reason is that the land is owned by the LMDC, and they want to charge the Port Authority hundreds of millions to take possession of it. The Port Authority claims that they own the land.

The article then goes on to explain how most governors and mayors since 2006 have wanted to close down the LMDC, since it’s purpose had been achieved. However, the men leading the LMDC seem to have no other jobs lined up, and are keeping the bureaucracy alive.

The article states, “Former Gov. George Pataki created the agency at the end of 2001 with a Congressional grant of $2.783 billion. Rumors of the development corporation’s imminent demise began surfacing a few years later, and by 2006, Pataki’s last year in office, he said it was time for the agency to close since it had done most of what it set out to do including managing the World Trade Center redevelopment and memorial plans.

Pataki’s successor, Eliot Spitzer, apparently agreed during his campaign calling the agency an “abject failure” in 2006, but he had a change of heart after taking office the next year, naming his top economic development adviser, Avi Schick, as chairperson, and Emil as president.

There have been two new governors since and one new mayor, but Schick and Emil remain the leaders of the corporation. Emil no longer draws a salary for his position and works part time as president. He said there are now 15 staff members remaining who focus on making sure invoices on L.M.D.C. projects are legitimate before writing checks. He said their combined salaries was something less than $750,000 a year.”

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