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NYCEDC_logo_nyreblog_com_.jpgNew York City Economic Development Corporation Seeks Creative Proposals for an Iconic Lighting Installation in Lower Manhattan

Multi-year initiative to build upon neighborhood's reputation as a global hub of commerce and transform the experience of the area at night

Yesterday, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) issued a Request for Proposals for the development and implementation of an innovative and engaging lighting and placemaking initiative aimed at increasing Lower Manhattan's exposure, expanding its appeal in the evening hours, and spurring more diverse business activity by using the area's buildings and public spaces to create a strong neighborhood identifier visible to viewers from both near and far. In the past decade, in an effort to create a modern, mixed-use neighborhood that is inviting 24 hours a day for seven days a week, many investments have been made in Lower Manhattan to create and redevelop public spaces, enliven active corridors, and further connect the area to the rest of the city. The proposed project is an opportunity for design and architecture professionals to showcase their creativity and shine a light on the area's evening attractions in order to draw more visitors and solidify Lower Manhattan's place as a business, residential, and commercial district.

"Lower Manhattan has long been a global hub of commerce and, in the past ten years, thanks to key investments by the City and others, it has at last become a true 24/7 neighborhood. The RFP issued today seeks to tap some of the world's most creative minds to help us highlight the evolution of this great New York neighborhood, both literally and figuratively," said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky.

Council Member Margaret Chin said, "These interactive lighting displays will add vibrancy to our neighborhood and create an enhanced visitor experience in Lower Manhattan. The new lighting will make visitors feel more welcome and give our residents and workers more interesting public and private spaces. This project will further our vision for Lower Manhattan as a dynamic and forward-looking place to live."

"Innovative lighting programs have been shown in other cities around the world to increase foot traffic and business to local businesses by drawing tourists, residents and workers to the area. We want to encourage visitors to shop in the local stores and dine in the local restaurants and lighting programs are one way to boost this foot traffic," said Julie Menin, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 1.

"Keeping New York competitive with the iconic, glittering skylines of major international cities, this lighting and placemaking initiative will bring a bright, new sense of destination and place to Lower Manhattan," said Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York. "The Downtown Alliance applauds EDC President Seth Pinsky for this visionary plan and I am excited to collaborate with EDC to continue Lower Manhattan's tradition of 400 years of innovation and history."

The initiative is scheduled to be implemented by the end of 2012 and programmed on a regular basis, for at least three years. The development and execution of the overall concept including the lighting design, related programming, obtaining approvals, marketing, branding, sponsorship and funding opportunities to ensure successful execution and maintenance of the project will be the responsibility of the selected team. NYCEDC will provide the selected multi-disciplinary team up to $1 million for the length of the project to leverage other funding sources including grants, commissions, and corporate underwriting or sponsorship as needed to realize the project.

NYCEDC has identified South Street between Fletcher and Whitehall Streets, as well as the pedestrian area bordered by Exchange Place and Broad and Wall Streets as two potential locations that have the ability to engage a large amount of tourists, workers, and residents. These areas also have the benefit of being surrounded by iconic architecture. Respondents may propose other locations east of Broadway and from Ann/Fulton Streets southward, taking into account any relevant site challenges.

This project is a tremendous opportunity to further Mayor Bloomberg's efforts celebrating Lower Manhattan's prominence as a preeminent global marketplace and engage over 56,000 residents and the over 300,000 employees who work in Lower Manhattan every day, along with the tens of thousands of tourists that visit attractions in the area. Since 2001, the population in Lower Manhattan has more than doubled, In addition, over 34 lane-miles of streets have been rebuilt, more than 4,100 hotels rooms have been created, more than 13 million square feet of residential real estate has been constructed, and the area is now home to some of the world's biggest financial service companies as well as a host of other industries across a variety of sectors.

To obtain a copy of RFP, please visit: www.nycedc.com/rfp . Responses are due no later than February 12, 2012.

Property owners interested in including their building(s) in the initiative should send an email to LM-Lighting-RFP@nycedc.com.