LOWER MANHATTAN — The terror attacks on 9/11 devastated Lower Manhattan, but the neighborhood is booming 15 years later.
The number of residents has more than doubled from 22,700 to 49,000 and the number of children living in the neighborhood has nearly tripled, according to a a new report from Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
“It would have been impossible, in the midst of the unspeakable tragedy suffered 15 years ago, to imagine Lower Manhattan as we know it today,” DiNapoli said. “Lower Manhattan is doing more than rebuilding, it is transforming and moving forward with resilience and hope.”
Many feared for the neighborhood after 2,753 people died in the 2001 terrorist attack. More than 30 million square feet of office space were destroyed or damaged.
But private-sector employment reached 228,300 jobs last year – the highest level since 9/11. The economy is also more diversified; the financial sector, which accounted for more than half of jobs in 2000, now accounts for just one-third of jobs. There’s been a huge increase in the number of people employed in the health care and hospitality industries.
Employment in Lower Manhattan’s hospitality sector has doubled since 2002. The area now has 28 hotels; another 10 are planned to open in the next two years. There were only six hotels in the area before 9/11. About a quarter of the 59.7 million tourists who came to the the city last year visited Lower Manhattan.
It’s also one of the richest and most educated neighborhoods in the city. More than one-third of families in the area have an annual household income of more than $200,000, compared with only 7 percent citywide. Forty percent of area residents have earned a graduate degree or higher, compared with 14 percent citywide.
“Comptroller DiNapoli’s report verifies what those of us who have fought for this neighborhood’s revitalization already know — that thanks to the work and commitment of the local residents and businesses and the support of the federal, state and city governments, this neighborhood has become one of the most vibrant in New York City,” said Congressman Jerry Nadler.