The Empire State Development Corporation today announced that it was giving $17 million to several community organizations and cultural non-profits in Lower Manhattan, many of whom intend to use their grants for expansions, renovations or new construction, according to a statement released today by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The Flea Theater, for example, received $500,000 for the construction of a new three-theater complex at 20 Thomas Street in the Civic Center.
ABC No Rio, a center for art and activism on the Lower East Side, received $275,000 towards its construction of a new multi-use arts center at 156 Rivington Street. The group had first filed its construction plans in 2008 and has raised 80 percent of the $5 million in necessary funds, according to its website. The new building, which is slated to have a planted façade, was designed by architect Paul Castrucci.
Pace University received $1 million for the expansion of a dance rehearsal space that will be used by outside groups as well.
The struggling Seaport Museum at the South Street Seaport received $2 million for its long-term financial stabilization.
At 133 Pitt Street, the Common Ground Community organization received $250,000 for safety upgrades at the Lee, a newly constructed supportive housing facility, while the Grand Street Settlement social services organization will use $1 million for the replacement of an elevator at its 80 Pitt Street flagship location.
The New York City Department of Parks received two sums, among other funding, one $900,000 and the other $1 million, to complete the reconstruction of the western sections of Gulick Park and the renovation of a comfort station at Hester Street.
Another organization that received funding was Asian Americans for Equality, which received $300,000 for a housing preservation and anti-displacement program to provide housing rights education and anti-displacement assistance to Lower Manhattan residents. In addition, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum received $400,000 towards exhibit development for three historic apartments; a Jewish Refugee Apartment, a Chinese Immigrant Apartment and a Puerto Rican Migrant Apartment.
— Miranda Neubauer