Downtown New York businesses to receive low-cost electricity

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., June 17, 2002 — Governor George E. Pataki recently announced the allocation of lower-cost electricity to assist downtown businesses displaced or otherwise impacted by the September 11 attacks.

The power, which had been supplied by the New York Power Authority to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for the World Trade Center, will be provided to companies employing more than 25,000 workers at locations in Lower Manhattan.

“Electricity that once powered the World Trade Center will now be working to keep jobs in New York,” Governor Pataki said. “The companies in this initial round of allocations illustrate the diverse segments of the economy that are so critical to New York, including our financial institutions, retail establishments and hotels. We look forward to making additional allocations as we continue to work to revitalize Lower Manhattan and demonstrate to the world resilience, strength and character of New Yorkers.”

Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno said, “The World Trade Center Economic Recovery Power program will be a major aid for downtown Manhattan businesses. This is another example of our economic recovery efforts that will help attract new businesses to revitalize Lower Manhattan.”

Speaker Sheldon Silver said, “As we proceed with efforts to rebuild New York City’s economy, it is essential that every effort is made to stabilize the businesses in my community that have been struggling since the attacks. By reallocating the low-cost electricity that was to be used by the World Trade Center, we are moving forward in a way that will produce real results for the people and businesses of Lower Manhattan.”

The World Trade Center Economic Recovery Power program will provide up to 80 megawatts (mw) of lower-cost electricity to eligible businesses. Priced about 25 percent less expensive than typical commercial electricity rates in New York City, the power should result in total savings to downtown Manhattan businesses and other organizations of about $6 million a year. The lower-cost power is designed to serve as an incentive for businesses to help rebuild the Liberty Zone (generally, the area of Lower Manhattan south of Canal Street) and the Resurgence Zone (generally, the area between Canal and Houston streets).

In the current set of allocations, the New York Power Authority approved approximately 42 mw of power, in consultation with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Empire State Development Corporation, for American Express, Century 21, FC Battery Park Associates and Brookfield Financial Management (a property management firm whose allocation of lower-cost power will benefit more than 40 large and small businesses and other organizations).

American Express, which provides a full range of financial services to businesses and consumers, occupied multiple sites downtown before September 11, including the American Express Tower at 3 World Financial Center. Only last month, it returned a work force of more than 3,400 people to the 2 million square-foot building, which is designated for the WTC Economic Recovery power.

Century 21 operates a department store at 22 Cortlandt St. that sells a wide array of apparel and accessories. A total of 830 people are employed at the store, which reopened only last February. They include office workers comprising Century 21’s corporate headquarters staff. The lower-cost power for FC Battery Park Associates is designed for its Embassy Suites Hotel at 102 North End Ave., another location near Ground Zero. The hotel, which employs 230 people, officially reopened on May 16.

Brookfield Financial Properties is the operator of the World Financial Center, which consists of four towers. In addition to providing power for electric-drive chillers that cool the towers, the allocation to Brookfield will serve 4 World Financial Center, which is occupied by Merrill Lynch; 1 World Financial Center, for the benefit of 10 large and small businesses and other organizations, including Dow Jones, Fidelity Investment and the Battery Park City Authority; and at 1 Liberty Plaza — another Brookfield-managed building — for about 30 other large and small businesses, including the Mutual of America, the Royal Bank of Canada and the Fireman’s Fund.

NYPA Chairman Louis P. Ciminelli said, “We’re pleased to be part of Governor Pataki’s economic recovery efforts in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy. By helping to lower their power costs, we’re encouraging these companies to continue to do business — and keep the jobs they provide — in Lower Manhattan.”

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “New York State, under the leadership of Governor Pataki, is making a wide array of resources available to rebuild the infrastructure and economy of Lower Manhattan. Economical electricity is an important part of that effort.”

Empire State Development Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “The Governor has made it clear that his administration won’t relent until Lower Manhattan’s economy is restored to its full greatness. I’m confident that, in time, this goal will be achieved as a result of resourceful State and local government policies and the optimism and enterprise of numerous businesses.”

Allocations made under the WTC Economic Recovery Power program are for minimum periods of three years. The legislation that established the program reserved up to 15 mw of the 80 mw for small businesses.

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