The Real Deal New York

With Silver out, Downtown could lose generous subsidies

Three programs that benefit the area are set to expire

June 11, 2015 05:35PM

From left: Downtown Manhattan and Sheldon Silver

From left: Aerial view of Lower Manhattan and Sheldon Silver

Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s district in Lower Manhattan might miss out on subsidies without his help.

The area has benefited from several subsidy programs over the years, WNYC reported, that were financed through New York City’s taxpayers and received authorization from the State Legislature but are set to expire next week. Lower Manhattan could benefit from as much as $150 million in subsidies this year, Citizens Budget Commission’s Rahul Jain told the radio station.

As a result, companies have flocked to the area. In 2014, 6.8 million square feet of office space was leased, according to a report by the Downtown Alliance cited by WNYC. Among the new leases: Saks, Bank of New York Mellon and potentially Rupert Murdoch’s 20th Century Fox and News Corp.

But, since Silver’s downfall and the impending end of the legislative session, those programs might come to an end and local community leaders are concerned. Silver was a “go-to resource for the Downtown Alliance and others who knew they had a friend for Lower Manhattan in Albany,” subsidy consultant Ann Kayman told the radio station.

Silver resigned as speaker in February after he was arrested for allegedly pocketing roughly $4 million in kickbacks. [WNYC] — Claire Moses