Governor George E. Pataki, Governor James E. McGreevey and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced today that The Port Authority and Lower Manhattan Development Corporation have selected a team led by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLP, in association with Parsons Brinckerhoff, to provide consulting services to the two agencies as they conduct an integrated urban design and transportation planning study for the World Trade Center site, adjacent areas and related transportation.
he winning consulting team was chosen after a publicly advertised Request for Proposals that resulted in 15 proposals, submitted by groups representing more than 90 architectural, engineering and planning firms. After evaluation by a team representing the Port Authority and the LMDC, the six highest rated teams were invited to make oral presentations. After two leaders emerged with scores that were very close, the committee reviewed the two leading submissions further, and submitted a recommendation to the executive director of the Port Authority and the President of the LMDC, who reviewed and approved it.
Beyer Blinder Belle, which has practiced in New York City for more than 30 years, has an outstanding reputation earned in urban planning on such notable New York projects as Grand Central Terminal, Governors Island, Ellis Island and the Queens West Development at Hunters Point, and for the Anacostia Waterfront initiative in Washington, D.C. Parsons Brinckerhoff, which has practiced in New York City for more than 100 years, has worked on transportation planning for the Access to the Region’s Core Project, Farley Post Office Building Redevelopment and other major projects.
By the end of the year, the team will produce a plan describing proposed land uses for the site and adjacent areas, including related transportation improvements, which will, after close consultation and review with families of September 11 victims, lessees, advisory committees, area residents and the general public, form the basis for a cohesive development plan.
A comprehensive public outreach program will begin on Thursday, May 23, with a public hearing at Pace University in Lower Manhattan. The outreach program will include at least five joint public hearings by the Port Authority and the LMDC before the end of the year; newspaper advertisements and public service announcements; and widespread distribution of informational materials in Lower Manhattan and on the Internet.
Governor George E. Pataki said, “The selection of an urban design and transportation consultant to advise the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Port Authority is an important milestone in developing a sensitive, inclusive plan for rebuilding Lower Manhattan. During this process, we will draw on the best ideas, meet with all interested groups, and build the broadest consensus possible. And we will constantly bear in mind our commitment to family members who lost loved ones at the World Trade Center site to ensure that their concerns are recognized as the process moves forward.”
Governor James E. McGreevey said, “New Jersey has a tremendous stake in the vitality of Lower Manhattan and the restoration of the transportation links from New Jersey to New York. The selection of a consultant demonstrates that we are making tangible progress toward the joint goals of honoring the memory of those who perished and strengthening our region’s economy.”
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, "Today’s selection is one more sign that all the participants in this process are working together smoothly. The ability to reconcile the numerous interests at stake, and move ahead with a project of this complexity, shows the enormous resources our region can bring to bear. We will continue to work together as a city and a society to create an appropriate memorial to honor those who lost their lives on September 11, and to rebuild Lower Manhattan.”
Port Authority Chairman Jack G. Sinagra said, “I congratulate the staff of the Port Authority and the LMDC for a selection process that produced a team with such outstanding qualifications. This is a project of extraordinary magnitude and sensitivity, which must not only meet the development and transportation needs of the region but also reflect the terrible tragedy of September 11. We need to bring together the very best minds available to develop an appropriate response. The Port Authority is committed to working closely with Governors McGreevey and Pataki, Mayor Bloomberg and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation as we move forward.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, "Members of the team chosen today have already left their mark on New York City and the surrounding region with exceptional projects. Under the leadership of Governors Pataki and McGreevey and Mayor Bloomberg, we will continue to bring together the diverse agencies and levels of government needed to develop a plan that will improve our regional transportation system and create a stronger economy for Lower Manhattan, the City and the entire region.”
Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “This team was chosen on the basis of experience, technical qualifications, personnel and understanding of New York and the surrounding region. They have also shown a striking sense of vision, personal commitment and sensitivity to the nature of a project that is unlike any other. The choice shows the constructive, cooperative relationship that exists between the Port Authority and the LMDC as we work together to accomplish the great task of healing and rebuilding set for us by the Governors and the Mayor.”
LMDC Chairman John C. Whitehead said, "Today's announcement represents another important step toward revitalizing Lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center site. We were extremely pleased by the quality of the responses to the RFP. Based upon a fair, open and competitive process, the selected consultant emerged as the most qualified candidate to carry out this important study. The consultant will help the Port Authority and LMDC plan the redevelopment of the overall site and consider the complex transportation and urban planning issues that will have to be addressed in order to revitalize Lower Manhattan."
LMDC President Lou Tomson said, "Now that a consultant has been selected, the LMDC and Port Authority will move forward with the study consistent with the need to revitalize Lower Manhattan as quickly as possible while also providing significant opportunities for public input every step of the way."
The study, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, will be conducted in three phases. Phase I, to be completed in July 2002, will analyze proposed transportation improvement projects and develop up to six concepts for land-use options at the World Trade Center site and adjacent areas.
Phase II will further develop and define these options based on the public input received, and narrow the options to three by September. Phase III will result in a preferred land-use and transportation plan by December. That plan would then become the basis of a process leading to a framework for site development and transportation improvements including PATH, the MTA, the New York State and New York City Departments of Transportation, the New York City Department of City Planning, New Jersey transportation agencies and private transportation operators.
Throughout the planning process, there will be consultation and review with representatives of various stakeholders, including families of September 11 victims, the lessees, area residents, other government agencies, advisory committees, and the general public.
Separately, LMDC is developing a process, with the consultation of the