A Message From the Chair and President
A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR AND PRESIDENT
It’s been a year of restoration and renewal for Lower Manhattan. It’s still an unsettled moment, but after two years of uncertainty and newfound challenges, the advent of vaccines and treatment options has provided some new normalcy and hope. The streets are increasingly filled with workers, residents and tourists who are gathering outside our historical landmarks, restaurants and bars.
No stranger to crisis, Lower Manhattan’s resilience and grit continue to inspire and surprise us. The neighborhood once again has a sense of vibrancy.
There are many things that keep a neighborhood like Lower Manhattan ticking, in hard times and boisterous ones. There are the residents who chose to make downtown their home. There are the business owners whose vision and tenacity create the shops, restaurants, bars and other establishments that bring us back to the neighborhood again and again. There are the essential workers who keep those businesses running, the shelves stocked, the people fed.
There are the office workers coming in and out of the subways, lunch spots and happy hour bars that make downtown come alive. There are all the municipal workers, transit operators, police and fire uniformed services who keep the city humming. There are the Downtown Alliance Public Safety and Sanitation teams, and others in our community, who do their part to keep the neighborhood clean and safe. There are the tourists who remind us how delightful and special this area is, especially when experiencing it for the first time.
And there are the cultural institutions — the museums, the performing arts centers, the sculptures and murals that line our streets — that create joy and community. They remind us that beauty is everywhere, even just around the corner. They draw in painters, sculptors, dancers, musicians, writers, actors, singers who use their chosen mediums to strike at human truths and transform our everyday experience into something magical.
The Alliance has long been a champion of the arts, sponsoring public art installations, offering grants to cultural institutions and hosting live performances across the district. After the September 11 attacks, we were foundational to the creation of the celebrated River To River Festival, where the combined efforts of many Lower Manhattan groups helped the neighborhood to heal.
This year has been no exception to that commitment, with everything from theatrical walking tours to lunchtime musical acts to an advertising campaign highlighting the neighborhood’s exceptional public art on our agenda. We hope to continue these efforts in the year to come, especially with the arrival of two essential arts institutions downtown: the visionary immersive digital arts center Hall des Lumières, which opened in September, and the long-awaited Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center, which is expected to open in 2023.
From the cobblestoned historic streets to the gleaming skyscrapers, from our plazas and streetscapes to the melodious sounds of millions of shoes shuffling from one thrilling downtown destination to the next, in Lower Manhattan, art really is all around. We can’t wait to show it all to you.
Sincerely,Jessica Lappin President Ric Clark Chair
ART IS ALL“Double Check” by John Seward Johnson II
“East West Gate” by Yuyu Yang
“Power vs Play” by Judith De Leeuw (JDL)
“The Great Debate” by Hebru Brantley“Figure Balancing on Dog” by Keith Hering
New York City is home to some of the most impressive art museums in the world, with everything on view from ancient Egyptian temples to Renaissance masterpieces to Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans. But you don’t have to hit the subway and pay museum admission just to see great art.
The walkable square mile south of Chambers Street is a grand, open-air museum, with dozens of permanent and temporary installations of largescale sculptures and public art. Dubuffet, Nevelson and Noguchi are just a few of the famous artists whose masterpieces have found a home here.
There’s more than just those standbys. Lower Manhattan has everything: theater, live music, cinema, museums and galleries, standout restaurants and food halls, and even a remnant of New York’s hip underground video past. Arts and culture help make a city come to life, and in Lower Manhattan, you’ll find some of the best — and there’s much more to come.
“Ape & Cat (at the Dance)” by Jim Dine
Lower Manhattan has long had a significant cultural impact. It has been a fertile ground for artists and institutions for decades. Our kinetic one square mile offers visitors, residents and workers alike access to a rich art history and a lengthy list of museums and institutions.
These include the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the China Institute, Fraunces Tavern Museum, the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Federal Hall, Poets House, Skyscraper Museum, South Street Seaport Museum and the Statue of Liberty–Ellis Island Foundation. The neighborhood is also home to a number of art galleries, including Calderon Gallery, Melville Gallery and Front Art Space. Additionally, Pace University has a robust and broad arts program and is the home of the legendary Actor’s Studio.
Also in Lower Manhattan is the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), part of the Smithsonian Institution and housed at the historic former U.S. Custom House at Bowling Green. NMAI is the first national museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to Native Americans, and presents all of its exhibitions from a Native viewpoint.
In addition to its permanent collection and programming, this year NMAI hosted the work of Oscar Howe (1915–1983), an artist who dedicated his career to preserving and expressing his Yanktonai Dakota culture. The exhibit, “Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe,” showcased how the artist challenged the art world’s existing images and definitions of Native American art, and catalyzed a movement among other Native artists to express individuality. The exhibit was on display March 11 through September 11, 2022.
In addition, whether it’s the dedicated, innovative offerings by Brookfield Arts, the committed patronage of Silverstein Properties to contemporary and street art, performances by Gibney Dance or the Battery Dance Company, puppetry and comedy at the Borough of Manhattan Community College’s Tribeca Performing Arts Center, the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra or regular concerts at Trinity Church, there have always been exciting cultural happenings almost every day of every year in Lower Manhattan.
The Coenties Slip Group
Lower Manhattan has an exciting place in art history. After the Second World War, much of the Lower Manhattan waterfront fell into disuse as the city’s economic base shifted away from shipping and manufacturing. By the 1960s, a coalition of young intellectuals, writers, filmmakers, artists and poets had moved into the area’s inexpensive loft spaces. This was one of the first instances of “loft living” — artists inhabiting and making art in former industrial buildings favored for their space, light and cheap rents. The group included Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Indiana and Agnes Martin. Sometimes referred to as the artists of the Coenties Slip, this group is recognized today for their departure from the time’s popular Abstract Expressionism movement. Their pioneering work instead prefigured Pop Art, Minimalism and other movements.
A Wheat Field Grows in Manhattan
One of the most memorable art installations in the neighborhood’s history was also perhaps the most incongruous. In 1982, the artist Agnes Denes planted and harvested 1.5 acres of wheat at what was then the Battery Park landfill. The planting consisted of digging 285 furrows by hand, clearing off rocks and garbage, and then placing the seeds by hand and covering the furrows. Denes and her assistants maintained the field for four months, set up an irrigation system, weeded, put down fertilizers, cleared off rocks, boulders and wires by hand, and sprayed against mildew. On August 16, Denes harvested the crop, yielding almost 1,000 pounds of healthy, golden wheat. Denes described the project as a "symbol, a universal concept. It represents food, energy, commerce, world trade, economics.”
LMCC was founded in 1973 as the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. For almost five decades, they have produced events and made space for artists and communities in Lower Manhattan and elsewhere. Their Artist Residency programs provide studio space, professional development and networking opportunities to enable artists to develop their work. Their grants programs to artists and organizations support hundreds of local and neighborhood arts projects, and their public programs (River To River Festival, Open Studios) bring performances and artistic experiences to hundreds of thousands of audience members annually. In 2019, LMCC opened the newly renovated and expanded Arts Center at Governors Island, a 40,000-square-foot arts space.
In 2007, the Downtown Alliance started a groundbreaking initiative that recast construction barriers as large-scale canvases for temporary public art. Called ReConstruction, the program unveiled nearly 40 works of art amid a fast-changing post-9/11 Lower Manhattan until it ended in 2013. Lower Manhattan’s sidewalks became more user-friendly, its streetscapes more scenic, and thought-provoking and delightful art was integrated into the pedestrian experience. Noteworthy pieces included “Flying Animals” at 99 Washington Street, “Concrete Jungle” at Fulton Center, “Men at Work” at Liberty and Church streets, and “Star Sun Burst” at Hudson Street.
World Trade Center Site Murals
As Lower Manhattan continued to rebuild the World Trade Center campus following the 9/11 attacks, the Alliance and property owners have sponsored projects that beautified the sites still under construction. In 2017, the Alliance commissioned street artist and ambassador to the United Nations High Commission of Refugees Chinòn Maria to paint “One World, Our Children,” a 200-footlong temporary outdoor mural at Site 5 that celebrated unity and the collective strength of working together. In 2018, Silverstein Properties partnered with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to commission street artists to paint vibrant, thought-provoking murals on construction sheds. The Downtown “Mural Project” in and around the 2WTC site is made up of numerous gorgeous murals. With the Oculus in the background, these large-scale mural projects take what would be an area defined by pre-construction infrastructure and turn it into an outdoor museum.
ARTS AT THE ALLIANCE TODAY
Art Is All Around Campaign
To celebrate all the public art Lower Manhattan has to offer, this past summer the Alliance launched a new campaign that highlighted some of the neighborhood’s best pieces and celebrates downtown as one of the city’s premier arts and culture hubs. Dubbed “Art Is All Around,” the campaign featured 23 pieces of art, including “Ape & Cat” by Jim Dine; “Eyes” by Louise Bourgeois; “Jasper’s Split Star” by Frank Stella; and “Figure Balancing on a Dog” by Keith Haring. Informational ads about these pieces were placed on all the Bigbelly trash cans in the neighborhood, as well as on the light pole banners. The ads were located within a few blocks of the art pieces they feature, so pedestrians were able to stroll over and check them out in person after reading up on them.
Art Is All Around Music Series
In September, the Downtown Alliance kicked off a free lunchtime concert series that aimed to bring six weeks of scintillating sounds to the plazas at 28 Liberty, 140 Broadway and the World Trade Center site.
The series, which expanded on the Alliance’s Art Is All Around campaign, was programmed by esteemed New York musician Matt Munisteri. The performances sought to capture the neighborhood’s energy and delight the lunchtime crowd with a diverse mix of sounds, with performers including Cuban ensemble Los Soneros de Oriente, New Orleans bluesinspired group Aurora Nealand & The Royal Roses and jazz band the Mason Quartet.
In May and June, we sponsored the public art piece “moonGARDEN,” which was on display at 85 Broad through June 8. “MoonGARDEN” hosted moving silhouettes that depicted how life unfolds in an urban park. Visitors could witness the silhouettes coming to life after dark, when the orbs were lit up, making for a unique and immersive experience.
The installation marks the sixth public art activation that the Downtown Alliance has brought to Lower Manhattan’s public plazas over the past three years, with past installations including “Prismatica,” “Oscillation,” “Ziggy,” “C/C” and “Talking Heads.”
Downtown Stories: Dreams From New York’s Oldest Streets
In 2021, the Alliance teamed up with En Garde Arts to present Downtown Live, a live performing arts festival that featured 37 performances from a diverse mix of NYC-based emerging artists at outdoor spaces across the neighborhood. The collaboration was such a success that we renewed our partnership with En Garde Arts again in 2022 to produce “Downtown Stories: Dreams From New York’s Oldest Streets,” a month-long series of performances inspired by the people and places of Lower Manhattan. The collaboration comprised two fictional walking tours that traversed the streets of Lower Manhattan as well as a theater piece in the oldest Methodist church in the country.
The first walking tour, “Uncovering Downtown: A Magical Expedition of Unrecorded Dreams,” was written by Mona Mansour (“The Vagrant Trilogy”) and Jessica Holt, who also directed. The tour followed an out-of-work Downtown performance artist moonlighting as a Hamilton walking tour guide, who follows a path not taken when an unexpected fork in the road appears. The tour is soundtracked by Carly Simon, patron saint of women making their way to Manhattan in search of adventure.
The second walking tour, “We the People (Not the Bots),” was written by Eric Lockley and developed and directed by Morgan Green. It followed accidental time traveler Javel Washington, who arrives in present-day NYC with a dire warning from the future. The tour even included a fictitious encounter with the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, who once tagged the neighborhood with his Neo-expressionist masterpieces in the 1980s.
Playwright Rogelio Martinez penned “Sidewalk Echoes,” a documentary theater piece with music drawn from interviews with small business owners who shared heartwarming and illuminating stories about what it takes to survive against all odds.
The theater pieces were all inspired by interviews with real Lower Manhattan small business owners; walking tour attendees were also given vouchers to local eateries with their ticket purchase, further engaging them with the downtown community. “Downtown Stories” netted an impressive audience and received an enthusiastic feature in the New York Times.
Essential Workers Plaque
Broadway pedestrians have a new commemorative plaque to admire: one in honor of the essential workforce that persevered throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. In April 2022, Mayor Eric Adams and Deputy Mayors Lorraine Grillo, Meera Joshi, Maria Torres-Springer, Anne WilliamsIsom and Sheena Wright joined the Downtown Alliance and more than a dozen essential workers to celebrate the unveiling of Lower Manhattan’s new plaque at 250 Broadway. City Council Member Christopher Marte and Manhattan Borough President Mark D. Levine were also on hand for the occasion.
The plaque commemorates the 208th ticker-tape parade, held on July 7, 2021, which celebrated essential workers as thousands of New Yorkers lined the streets to show their support. As is customary, the procession ended at City Hall where the group was also given symbolic keys to the city by thenMayor de Blasio.
Legions of frontline workers, including nurses, bus drivers, train operators, restaurant workers and sanitation workers among others faced unprecedented circumstances at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Thanks to their sacrifice, the city continued to operate amid stay-athome orders intended to curb the spread of the virus in its earliest days.
Lower Manhattan got an exciting new addition at the end of 2021: Alamo Drafthouse, the Austinbased cinema chain that lets you dine while you watch, opened its first Manhattan outpost at 28 Liberty. The new location lives up to the Alamo hype, housing 14 screens in addition to the Press Room, which serves multiple functions as a bar, museum, letterpress print shop and private event space.
Alamo’s opening also resurrected an important New York City landmark: Kim’s Video and Music. Kim’s Video was like CBGB for a certain segment of downtown cinephiles: an institution beloved in the New York of the ’90s whose appeal probably eludes kids today.
The cult-famous independent movie rental store operated from 1986 through 2014 in a few locations across Manhattan, and was famous for its diverse, esoteric and expansive collection, attracting videoheads in search of cult titles and hard-to-find releases among its 55,000 films in stock. Former store employees include director Todd Phillips, musician Andrew W.K. and Albert Hammond Jr. of the Strokes. Its famous East Village flagship closed in 2009 — the same year Netflix streams overtook DVD shipments — and when its last store closed five years later, it marked the death of both the video store and a certain downtown aesthetic.
Thanks to Alamo, Kim’s is back as a permanent addition to the Lower Manhattan theater, along with its impressive collection of more than 55,000 films and perpetual aura of cool.
Dancing Under the Stars: Movies You Can Move To
Alamo Drafthouse is known for its programming and event series, and the downtown iteration is no exception. This past year, the Alliance teamed up with Alamo for a number of film events. In June, for New York City Pride, we collaborated on a screening of the queer cult classic “But I’m a Cheerleader,” starring Natasha Lyonne and Clea Duvall, with proceeds from ticket sales going to Lambda Legal.
And this summer, Alamo, the Alliance and Fosun Plaza presented the outdoor film series “Dancing Under the Stars: Movies You Can Move To,” held on the plaza at 28 Liberty. In July and August, we screened two movies that had viewers hopping off their picnic blankets for intermittent dance breaks: “Dirty Dancing” on July 13, and “La La Land” on August 24. Alamo brought the popcorn, Fosun brought the chairs and the films brought out the crowds, with each one drawing hundreds of attendees looking for some dancy outdoor entertainment.
The citywide Tribeca Festival was held in June 2022, offering an exciting number of film and television premieres, including the premiere of the hit Hulu show “The Bear,” starring New York City native Jeremy Allen White. As was the case in 2021, the festival included Lower Manhattan in its venue lineup, with screenings in Battery Park City and at the Waterfront Plaza at Brookfield Place, where free films included “Fate of the Sport,” an ESPN documentary about lacrosse legend Paul Rabil.
IPIC and Regal
Alamo’s not the only theater downtown. In 2016, IPIC opened its first New York location at the Seaport, featuring eight screens and the Tuck Room, a cocktail bar that pays homage to New York’s rich cocktail history. Filmgoers can enjoy oversized leather reclining chairs, as well as unlimited popcorn, pillows and blankets. Plus there are food and cocktail menus so you can enjoy a drink and a meal with your movie.
And for fans of the regular multiplex, the beloved all-stadium seating Regal Battery Park shows new releases across 16 screens.
Hall des Lumières
On September 14, Lower Manhattan's cultural offerings got a new addition: Hall des Lumières, a permanent immersive art center at 49 Chambers. Co-created by leading global management firms Culturespaces and IMG, the center strives to show off the intersection of art and technology, with exhibits rotating every year or so. The inaugural exhibit, “Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion,” echoes 2021’s famed “Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” at the Skylight on Vesey, offering full-scale immersive renditions of some of the Austrian Symbolist painter’s most recognizable work.
Hall des Lumières is located inside a piece of art itself: Its Beaux-Arts building was once the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, and Culturespaces renovated a 28,000-square-foot space to highlight its marble, classic brass and stained glass features.
Expect the Klimt and other exhibits to play off the architecture of the building, using cutting-edge mapping technology and an elegant soundtrack to show you art you’ve seen before in whole new ways. Klimt, whose most famous painting is “The Kiss,” uses bright, swirling colors and human forms that scandalized the art world during his lifetime. The exhibit will be a pretty exciting immersive display for visitors in 2022.
Once part of the Seaport’s storied shipping history over the last few years, Pier 17 has been transformed into a 365,000-square-foot retail, dining and entertainment complex. There, you'll find restaurants like Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s The Fulton and Andrew Carmellini’s Carne Mare, as well as some dynamic office space, with ESPN and Nike as current tenants. The Rooftop at Pier 17 is an impressive outdoor concert venue in partnership with Live Nation. Recent shows have included Blondie, The Offspring, Elvis Costello and Bikini Kill, to name a few; concertgoers can enjoy stellar panoramic views in addition to great tunes. The roof also houses The Greens, a rooftop dining retreat that changes its theme seasonally.
A VENUE WITH A VIEW
Dine Around Downtown Community Food Festival
On June 7, we hosted our first live community food festival since the start of the pandemic, with 35 restaurants on hand at Fosun Plaza to serve up tasty $5–$9 bites and mocktails to approximately 10,000 attendees. It was the 19th time Dine Around Downtown occupied Fosun, but the first time in three years that Lower Manhattan’s residents and workers were able to chow down at the fest.
Co-presented by Fosun and sponsored by Bike Rent NYC and the Howard Hughes Corporation, the community food festival drew so many people who were eager to get out and try it all, that many restaurants sold out of their signature dishes — Industry Kitchen’s ahi tuna nachos went fast
The event’s zero-waste initiative was also a success, thanks to partner Common Ground Compost. An estimated 1,750 pounds of organic materials and 1,050 pounds of recyclables were diverted from landfills. For the last few years, the Alliance has helped support local restaurants through “Dine Around Downtown: Cooking at Home Edition,” in which host and celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito features chefs from Lower Manhattan restaurants to cook up signature recipes and share tips for crafting everything from complex gastronomic delights to go-to comfort foods. DiSpirito was on hand on June 7 to emcee the live event, and Kelly Green and the Shades provided everyone with righteous tunes to accompany their lunch.
The Tin Building
This past summer, Jean-Georges Vongerichten finally debuted his much-anticipated sprawling culinary destination, the 53,000-square-foot remodeled Tin Building at the Seaport. Comprising six full-service eateries, six quick-service counters, four bars and tons of retail and private dining options, the historic space at 96 South Street promises to offer diners a never-before-seen cuisinal experience, one sure to delight every visitor’s taste buds. The restaurants include:
T. Brasserie, a Belle Époque-style French bistro Fulton Fish Co., a seafood dining counter with full raw bar Shikku, an intimate sushi and sake restaurant Seeds & Weeds, a seasonal vegetarian and vegan restaurant with views of the Brooklyn Bridge The Frenchman’s Dough, a traditional Italian restaurant with a French twist House of the Red Pearl, a fine-dining restaurant serving Chinese-inspired dishes
The building itself is an important one in downtown history: It was once home to the Fulton Street Fish Market, which handled fresh food for the whole city, but was beset by a huge fire in 1995 and fell into disrepair before finally undergoing a massive renovation in recent years.
Urbanspace Food Hall
In June, Lower Manhattanites’ lunch breaks got a little more exciting when Urbanspace made its arrival in Lower Manhattan. Urbanspace has made a name for itself in the city by opening higher-end, chef-driven food halls in several New York neighborhoods. The new location at 100 Pearl Street makes up 15,000 square feet connecting Water and Pearl Streets, and boasts a whole bunch of vendors that cater to every craving. Options include Plant Junkie, Coney Shack, Gabriela’s Cocina de México, Grind, Pita Yeero, Que Chevere, Top Hops and Twentyonegrains. The food hall’s original concept was to celebrate “elevated street fare” — it’s an effort to connect creative chefs and food entrepreneurs with customers seeking distinctive, rare food options.
Institute of Culinary Education
Where can you find 10 kitchens, four classrooms, a library, a stock-making room and an indoor hydroponic garden on a single floor? Lower Manhattan. More specifically, the Institute of Culinary Education, one of America’s leading culinary schools, at Brookfield Place.
The 74,000-square-foot facility offers award-winning classes and training programs for at-home chefs as well as people seeking culinary and hospitality careers. Attendees can get diplomas in the culinary arts, pastry and baking arts, restaurant and culinary management, and hospitality and hotel management, to name a few, plus they have programs in professional development for those who are further along in their careers. And, crucially, ICE has a chocolate lab, where students and seasoned professionals alike can experience the full spectrum of bean-to-bar production. Where do we sign up?
THE BIG COMING ATTRACTION
The Performing Arts Center
Nearly a decade after its conception, the long-awaited performing arts center on the World Trade Center campus is nearly a reality, and it’s set to have a profound impact on the cultural life of the neighborhood and the entire city. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) first announced plans for the multidisciplinary performing arts center in 2004 as part of the World Trade Center rebuilding effort; those initial plans stalled and were scrapped in 2014, but saw a rebirth in 2015 when architects Joshua Prince-Ramus and Davis Brody Bond were selected to draw up new designs.
Now, the Performing Arts Center is nearing completion, with an expected opening in 2023. The 90,000-square-foot building will include three theaters, in addition to rehearsal and dressing rooms and a restaurant/ bar for show patrons. The theaters have been designed with unique rotating, expandable walls to help customize performances and create a single large theater for bigger audiences, making it a true future home for a wide array of live performances.
MORE ABOUT OUR WORKPylons by Martin Puryear
The Alliance’s Operations team is responsible for keeping Lower Manhattan clean, safe and inviting for Lower Manhattan’s residents, tourists and workers. This year, the Public Safety team worked to address quality-of-life issues in the district by creating high-visibility posts — special posts that oversee residential areas in our district during evening hours — as well as by conducting homeless outreach and reporting illegal vendors to the appropriate city agencies. The team reported over 900 quality-of-life issues to various city agencies during the fiscal year.They also joined the mayor’s Commercial Corridor Recovery Task Force to help address quality-of-life issues requiring city agency attention and interagency coordination.
Our Public Safety officers canvass the district for homeless locations daily. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, Public Safety officers made over 9,800 observations with services offered. As a result of observations and coordination with BRC homeless outreach, the Department of Homeless Services and the New York Police Department, 81 homeless individuals were placed in permanent housing where they also received medical, mental and drug detox treatment.
The Public Safety team also monitors illegal vendors and vendors in violation of NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection and NYC Department of Health vendor regulation laws. In FY 2022, officers called in over 1,571 vendors in violation, and worked with a number of city departments to relocate food carts to legal vendor locations in an effort to keep our sidewalks and streets safe and clear.
Our Sanitation team consists of over 50 employees who are responsible for street sweeping, power washing, snow and ice removal, graffiti removal, street furniture maintenance and sanitization, recycling collection and horticultural services among other duties that help maintain the neighborhood. In FY 2022, the team collected a total of 7,7126 bags of trash and removed 1,653 pieces of graffiti, including stickers and posters, from the district. The team also powerwashed more than 450 conditions throughout the district.
On top of our usual cleaning and maintenance, in December 2021, Operations partnered with the Department of Sanitation to launch NYC’s first smartphone app-enabled public compost pilot program. We installed 10 compost bins throughout the district, which make dropping off compost convenient and accessible to the public 24/7. The program has been incredibly successful and popular in the neighborhood. As of the eight-month mark of the pilot program, we had collected more than 10,000 pounds of organic waste — that’s equal to five tons. Our Sanitation team keeps the bins clean and brings the bags to our Department of Sanitation collection point.
After helping provide businesses with PPE supplies during the pandemic, Information Services transitioned back to its original role of representing tourism in our district. As of last summer, we were pleased to reintroduce the mobile information kiosks at Bowling Green and Pier A, coinciding with the return of tourism and the revitalization of Lower Manhattan.
The Alliance is responsible for installing and maintaining the granite ticker-tape parade markers along Broadway, and in April 2022, Operations held a dedication ceremony to unveil the marker commemorating the July 7, 2021, parade celebrating essential workers during the pandemic.
April 2022 also saw the return of our popular dual shred-a-thon and electronics drop-off. Lower Manhattan residents and workers headed to our parked truck on Fulton Street to securely dispose of and recycle tons of their sensitive documents, tax receipts, junk mail and old bills, as well as old computers, monitors, cell phones and other electronic waste. And as always, the Operations team kept the free Downtown Connection bus running. In December 2021, we switched to a new bus vendor, and now have a fleet fully equipped with UV filters for rider safety. We also upgraded our GPS tracking and passenger counters this summer, so riders can enjoy a more seamless transit experience.
The Alliance’s Economic Development team tracks the neighborhood’s economic health, collecting data on leasing, new development, private sector employment and tourism trends. The department has worked particularly hard in the last year to document the district's Covid-19 recovery as office workers and tourists make their return to Lower Manhattan.
This year, Economic Development completed a comprehensive consumer sentiment survey that gauged satisfaction with existing Lower Manhattan retail and food/beverage offerings. The survey results aim to provide guidance for property owners, brokers and retailers to better cater their offerings to Lower Manhattan’s 64,000-plus residents. This report is in addition to the quarterly research reports the team produces that detail essential data for business owners.
As in previous years, the department has continued to aid local businesses with grants and other assistance programs. This spring we launched a new business assistance program called Get Social. The Alliance paired 10 businesses with social media consultants, each of whom demonstrated skills and strategic insight in how to build an audience on a variety of platforms. We provided each participating business with six hours of consulting services, as well as a $1,500 grant to spend on digital advertising; we also hooked businesses up with a 45-minute professional photoshoot to help them with their image.
Consulting sessions focused on teaching businesses how to best engage with customers on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Yelp while also helping businesses develop sustainable posting habits by using social media planning and design apps like Planoly and Later.
The program ran from the end of May to late July and was a rousing success. By the end of the program, businesses were able to use social media to connect with specific customer bases — one specialty coffee shop, for instance, learned to use their platforms to connect with global coffee connoisseurs, while a local wine shop was able to advertise their weekly wine tastings to local residents by using ads narrowed by age and location. The Alliance plans to relaunch Get Social in 2023.
“As a small business owner, we are doing everything ourselves and social media can be very overwhelming,” one Get Social participant told us at the end of the program. “Having someone who was able to simplify how to get the most out of social media with the time that we have, was really great.”
Last fall, the department launched a student self-care pass that connected personal care and wellness businesses in Lower Manhattan with local colleges and universities to offer discounts to students. A second iteration of the program was launched in the spring, with nearly a dozen participating businesses providing discounts to students at 10 local schools.
Economic Development also is key to keeping up the Alliance’s commitment to the arts. Last fall, the team partnered with nonprofit Art on the Ave to activate eight vacant storefronts along the Broadway corridor with 70 works of art from 27 artists who represented the breadth and diversity of New York’s communities. In addition, the team commissioned two local artists, Michelle Weinberg and Frances Smith, to design custom wraps for the Alliance’s light poles up and down Broadway.
And in June, following the success of 2021’s Downtown Live project, Economic Development teamed up with En Garde Arts to produce the aforementioned “Downtown Stories: Dreams from New York's Oldest Streets.” Consisting of a specially commissioned play that told the stories of 11 Lower Manhattan small retailers as well as two theatrical walking tours, the series ran for three weeks. In addition to delighting visitors and longtime Lower Manhattanites, it also drummed up revenue for downtown businesses, as attendees received vouchers for local eateries with the ticket price.
“Many people who have not visited our restaurant before are now able to know about our location,” one local business that participated in “Downtown Stories” told the Alliance, adding, “The voucher even brought some recurring customers and customers who now come in consistently.”
The Downtown Alliance’s Communications team works as a megaphone for all that’s happening in Lower Manhattan, sharing with residents and visitors information about everything from ongoing events to art installations to the best outdoor dining spots. The team manages the Alliance’s social media platforms, blog, newsletters and other means of communication. The Alliance’s blog has continued its run as an essential and excellent resource for neighborhood news, restaurant and event roundups and, in the Covid-19 era, a chronicler of Lower Manhattan’s continued resilience and recovery. The blog has racked up some mainstream attention, including linkbacks from the New York Times. The blog puts out engaging, “fun” content, in addition to more serious news updates. One of our most popular posts was our Lower Manhattan Pizza Matrix, which organized all of Lower Manhattan’s pizza according to fanciness and seating ability — and yes, we did sacrifice our bodies for pizza-tasting science.
Our Communications team did impressive work sharing our accomplishments, programs and reports with local and national media. We were a valuable resource for publications seeking comment on the post-pandemic future of offices and return-to-work, netting interviews with outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. Our composting program attracted wide media attention and we published opinion pieces in the New York Daily News, among other outlets.
We continued to build an impressive social media following, with a cumulative Instagram, Facebook and Twitter follower count of 117,299. We also focused on content creation via TikTok, increasing our following by 183% from July 2021. And we had fun with social media this year, launching a new Instagram filter that allowed users to place three-dimensional renderings local sites such as the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Fearless Girl, the Oculus and One World Trade Center anywhere in their own hometown. Instagram users who posted a photo or video using the AR filter and tagging @downtownnyc were automatically entered to win a getaway for two to New York City to see the sites in person.
Campaigns this year included the “Art Is All Around” Bigbelly campaign, as well as a Holiday Gift Guide highlighting downtown's retailers and starring New York City social media influencer Sarah Funke. As part of our “Do You. Downtown” marketing campaign from 2021, we partnered with Spotify to release themed playlists for Lower Manhattan; we revisited that partnership in June for Pride Month, releasing a “Listen With Pride” playlist that celebrated New York’s queer communities that have strived for equal rights since the Stonewall Uprising.
2022 also saw the return of the “Shop Dine Guide,” our homegrown compilation of the shops, restaurants and amenities here in Lower Manhattan. The free book for residents, businesses and visitors alike was briefly on hiatus during the peak months of the pandemic, but continues to be a valuable resource for the neighborhood.
Another post-pandemic return: the Exceptional Service Awards, which were presented to five outstanding members of the Lower Manhattan community in June. Honorees included Wellington Chen, Executive Director of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation; Supervisor Andrew Damico, New York City Department of Sanitation; Rocco DiSpirito, Chef, Author and Host of “Dine Around Downtown: Cooking at Home Edition”; Police Officer Brian Nelsen, NYPD’s First Precinct Community Affairs; and Anthony Notaro, Former CB1 Chair and Stalwart Champion of Lower Manhattan, who died in 2020. The honorees were recognized for their efforts to improve the lives of residents, workers and visitors in the neighborhood.
Dine Around Downtown: Dining at Home … and Out
With the return of the Dine Around Downtown community food festival in the spring, “Dine Around Downtown: Cooking at Home Edition” continued growing its audiences in 2022 with seasonal winter, summer and upcoming holiday episodes. The virtual series, which highlights local restaurants and chefs, is hosted by celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito, who received the Exceptional Service Award for his contributions.
In fall 2022, the Dine Around Downtown team presented Lunch Box, a new pop-up food fair featuring a tasty variety of curated lunch boxes for only $10 each. The fair will focus on newer restaurants to give locals a chance to stretch their taste buds on a budget.
From LMHQ to LM Live
In March, we closed the doors at LMHQ, our collaborative sister site at 150 Broadway. But though the physical site no longer exists, LMHQ’s events live on as LM Live. A project of the Downtown Alliance, LM Live features conversations with individuals and organizations in Lower Manhattan on topics that include entrepreneurship, current events and the future of work and career advancement. Events include a mix of in-person Women’s Breakfasts, industry panels and cultural events alongside virtual “Ask the Expert” sessions that feature Lower Manhattan experts discussing actionable takeaways related to their backgrounds.
Since its establishment, LM Live has hosted three in-person Women’s Breakfasts on topics ranging from state politics to climate solutions to “Roe v. Wade.” LM Live has also hosted virtual workshops on innovation, public speaking, getting a promotion, entrepreneurship and unconscious bias. And this summer, in partnership with Alamo Drafthouse and Fosun, we hosted the Dancing Under the Stars outdoor screening series at 28 Liberty. Films shown included “Dirty Dancing” and “La La Land.” Crowds exceeded 300 at each screening — utilizing every one of Fosun’s chairs, an impressive achievement. In addition, at Alamo proper, we hosted a Pride Month screening of “But I’m a Cheerleader” and a fall screening of the 2012 documentary “Koch,” the latter of which included a conversation with director Neil Barsky.
Alliance for Downtown New York Financial Statements (Dollars in thousands)
STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION
Cash and Cash Equivalents
June 30, 2022 (a) June 30, 2021
$ 10,026 $ 12,266
Treasury Bills 9,965 5,000
Contract and Grants Receivable 519 316
Prepaid Expenses 183 415
Property and Equipment, Net 1,162 1,447 Security Deposits and Other Assets 122 126
Total Assets 21,977 19,570
Accounts Payable and Accrued Expenses 1,624 1,182
Deferred Revenue 510 -
Deferred Rent Expense 492 486
Security Deposit Payable 92Total Liabilities 2,718 1,668
Without donor restrictions 19,176 17,902
With donor restrictions 83Total Net Assets 19,259 17,902
Total Liabilities and Net Assets $ 21,977 $ 19,570
STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES
Support and Revenue Assessment Programs, Contracts and Other Total Support and Revenues Expenses
Neighborhood Supplemental Services Sanitation Public Safety Bus Service Other Services
Total Neighborhood Supplemental Services Communications, Marketing and Promotion Economic Development and Research Facilitation (LMHQ)
Total Program Expenses
Management and general Fundraising
Total Support Services
Adjustment to deferred rent expense due to lease modification Increase in Net Assets
Year Ended June 30, 2022
$ 20,400 2,460 22,860 4,536 3,537 1,660 2,371 12,104 4,690 1,609 1,354 19,757 1,694 52 1,746 21,503$ 1,357
Year Ended June 30, 2021
$ 20,400 2,120 22,520 4,218 3,347 1,552 2,142 11,259 3,837 1,704 1,616 18,416 1,607 44 1,651 20,067 695 $ 3,148
Amounts were summarized from financial statements as of and for the years ended June 30, 2022 and June 30, 2021 audited by Condon O’Meara McGinty & Donnelly LLP, CPAs, dated September 29, 2022 and September 28, 2021, respectively.
Other Neighborhood Supplemental Services include homeless outreach, horticulture, infrastructure and streetscape maintenance
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ric Clark, Chair
WTC Performing Arts Center
Honorable Eric Adams Mayor of the City of New York
Rev. Michael A. Bird Trinity Church Wall Street
Ben Brown Brookfield Properties
Betty Cohen Century 21 Department Stores
Tom Costanzo Fosun Hive Holding
K. Thomas Elghanayan TF Cornerstone Inc.
David V. Fowler
The Bank of New York Mellon
Brett S. Greenberg Jack Resnick & Sons
Francis J. Greenburger Time Equities, Inc.
Daniel Haimovic Eastbridge Group
Thomas M. Hughes Residential Representative
Jonathan Iger Sage Realty Organization Marvin Krislov Pace University
Sarah Miyazawa LaFleur M.M.LaFleur
Honorable Brad Lander Office of the Comptroller of the City of NY
Honorable Mark Levine Manhattan Borough President
Honorable Christopher Marte Council Member, City of New York
Rudin Management Company, Inc.
Josh Marwell HarperCollins Publishers
Tammy Meltzer Manhattan Community Board 1
Ross F. Moskowitz
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
Jeremy Moss Silverstein Properties
Dr. Anthony Munroe Borough of Manhattan Community College
Dan Palino New Water Street Corp.
Edward V. Piccinich SL Green Realty Corp.
Peter A. Poulakakos Ahead Realty/HPH Hospitality Group
Cynthia C. Rojas Sejas S&P Global Market Intelligence
Joel Rosen GFI Hospitality LLC
Todd Schwartz Cushman & Wakefield
Frank J. Sciame F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.
Allan G. Sperling Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, LLP
Brian R. Steinwurtzel GFP Real Estate
Kent M. Swig Swig Equities, LLC
Matthew Van Buren CBRE Group, Inc.
Jones Lang LaSalle
The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Jessica Lappin President
The mission of the Alliance for Downtown New York is to provide service, advocacy, research and information to advance Lower Manhattan as a global model of a 21st century central business district for businesses, residents and visitors.
Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc. 120 Broadway, Suite 3340 New York, New York 10271 downtownny.com