City OKs performing arts center for WTC site

February 15, 2010 01:04PM

The planned Ground Zero performing arts center has finally gotten the go-ahead from the city, and after a long debate over the facility’s location, officials confirmed last week that they’ve settled on the one originally proposed. Construction on the theater’s foundation, a $50 million project in the area between Fulton, Greenwich, Vesey and Washington streets, will begin next quarter, Crain’s reported. Plans ultimately call for a 1,000-seat performance space, which will be designed by Frank Gehry and run by the Joyce Theater, a dance organization. Although the work on the already-delayed underground foundation is now getting a jumpstart, construction on the building itself will have to wait until after the permanent transportation hub that will house a PATH station is finished, a project that will take at least another four years. By that time, the fundraising picture may be different; some peg costs for the performing arts center at around $500 million. “The city is not giving up, and the Joyce is not giving up, but the delays have now put us in an economic climate that will have a long-term systemic impact on funding,” said Norma Munn, chair of the New York City Arts Coalition. With that in mind, some are pushing to move the center to the site of the former Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty Street, where work could begin sooner and costs would be lower. [Crain’s]