| NEW YORK, Sept 6
NEW YORK, Sept 6 Lower Manhattan's population
has more than doubled and the number of children living there
has tripled since just before the Sept. 11 attacks 15 years ago
destroyed much of the financial district, a report on the
neighborhood's dramatic rebirth shows.
Employment growth in the area has equaled one in 10 of
Manhattan's private sector jobs, with a more diverse economy
that is growing faster than the citywide average, according to
the report from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
"It would have been impossible, in the midst of the
unspeakable tragedy suffered 15 years ago, to imagine Lower
Manhattan as we know it today," DiNapoli said in a statement.
The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 killed almost 3,000
people altogether -- more than 2,700 in Lower Manhattan alone --
and launched the U.S. into a global war on terror. New York's
iconic World Trade Center towers were leveled into a pile of
In the years that followed, city, state and federal
officials implemented grants and other financial incentives for
businesses and residents to rebuild.
Yet the process was far from smooth. Political fighting and
other hurdles stalled construction on the new World Trade Center
site and memorial.
A transportation hub, designed by renowned Spanish architect
Santiago Calatrava and maligned by some as a "boondoggle,"
finally opened this spring at a cost of $4 billion, nearly twice
its original estimate.
Critics also panned the now-expired Liberty Bond program,
which gave developers access to tax-exempt financing, some say
at the expense of ordinary New Yorkers.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. got nearly $1.7 billion of the
bonds to build a tower downtown, and Bank of America used the
program to construct a new building in Midtown, nowhere near
DiNapoli said the character of the area has changed in the
years since the attacks, becoming more residential as older
office buildings were converted to housing and new residential
towers were built.
The population rose to 49,000 in 2014 from 22,700 in 2000,
the report showed, while the population of New York City as a
whole grew just 4.3 percent over that period.
The mix of employers has also changed. In 2000, finance jobs
made up 56 percent of the area's economy. In 2014, that portion
had dropped to 34 percent, while business services, leisure and
hospitality and personal services such as dry cleaners grew.
(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Daniel Bases and Alan