WTC Performing Arts Center still lacks funding to proceed

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911 performing arts centerUpdate July 24, 2015- The LMDC, the piggy bank for this project, is not going to release any funds unless the estimated cost is cut in half, to $200 Million, according to the NYT. In Port Authority inflationary terms, $200 Million won’t buy them even the foundation of the building. What will they do?

By the way, convicted felon Jeff Galloway was part of this performing arts planning stage committee that dreamed up the billion-dollar plan. After 9/11/2001, his law firm and he had been involved in all of the redevelopment plans with the Port Authority.

Interestingly, the new cheaper design has already been created in secret, “Ms. Boepple did not identify the new architect at the meeting but said later that one had been selected in a competition. “In my bag is already the second reiteration for this new building,” she told the board. “We will be done in eight weeks.” Last fall, the arts center leaders unexpectedly shelved Frank Gehry’s original design — a cascade of rectangular forms, like boxes piled atop one another. Even with a reduced budget, the building would still have three stages — and occupy the same footprint — though it would not be as tall, Ms. Boepple said.”

Update March 10, 2014– As BP.TV has reported, the WSJ confirms that the WTC performing arts center is going nowhere fast. “Maggie Boepple, the center’s director, declined interview requests. A spokesman didn’t respond to questions submitted by The Wall Street Journal, except to say that until Mayor Bill de Blasio appoints a cultural-affairs commissioner, “no arts organization knows what he’s thinking.” Board Chairman John Zuccotti also declined to comment…..

After a rocky financial start, the organization must now raise hundreds of millions of dollars, competing with the 9/11 Memorial & Museum for government funding and high-profile arts projects for private donations. To succeed, it will need to assemble a high-octane board, win over a thusfar noncommittal mayor and explain why the project is vital to New York at a time when a handful of similar theater spaces have opened in recent years, cultural leaders and arts-management experts said.

The construction cost last March was pegged at $469 million—a price tag organizers have said they are trying to lower. Some $155 million in federal funds have been allocated for the project.”

January 7, 2014- By Steven E. Greer

Maggie Boepple, the acting president of the 9/11 Memorial Performing Arts Center, gave an update presentation to the CB1 Planning Committee last night. It was a non-event. She essentially announced that there will be an announcement regarding a new artistic team that has been hired. No names or details were released the CB1. A big press event is planned, she said.

More importantly, there seems to be no progress whatsoever with funding. Recall, the only reason that Ms. Boepple and her new team have paychecks is that the LMDC released $1 Million for a planning committee. The city, state, and Port Authority all seem unwilling to come up with any funding for the wildly premature architectural plans that would cost anywhere from $300 Million to billions to build.

As the Brookfield Place and WTC buildings continue to succeed with signing tenants, perhaps money will be found for a much needed Downtown performing arts center. However, would it be better and cheaper if such a center were constructed in Brookfield Place, or on some other location away from the bloated inefficient Port Authority?

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