Driving Crime Down and Revitalizing Neighborhoods Throughout The City
Good news has a way of building on itself; success breeds success. Because New York City is the safest big city in the nation, and because we’re both addressing our short-term budget problems and going ahead with plans to build for the future, businesses are giving the Big Apple their votes of confidence by making major investments here.
The FBI confirmed what New York’s own statistics have showed. Despite the Police Department’s budget belt-tightening and new anti-terrorism responsibilities, crime continues its historic, decade-long decline. Among the ten largest cities in the U.S., New York ranked 10th on the FBI’s overall crime index for 2002. In terms of public safety, we were 203 out of the nation’s 225 cities of 100,000 or more people. That puts us right between Garden Grove, California and Henderson, Nevada—an achievement that is a tremendous tribute.
We also released our proposed rezoning of 170 blocks in the Greenpoint and Williamsburg communities in Brooklyn. This plan, which enjoys broad local support, aims to create 49 acres of walkways and public spaces along the East River. That will open up an abandoned stretch of the waterfront for public use and enjoyment for the first time in decades. Over the next five years, our Administration plans to create 65,000 units of affordable housing; the rezoning of Greenpoint and Williamsburg will be a major step toward reaching that goal.
Our Administration is also using city-owned land to spur economic development. Case in point: We announced that a full square block in East Harlem—now used to store road salt—will be developed as the biggest auto sales and service center in New York City. With the assistance of tax-exempt bonds made available by the City, two of the most respected names in the auto business—General Motors and Potamkin Auto Group—will open four minority-owned and managed car dealerships in this Harlem Auto Mall. The first will be launched in 2005. The mall has the potential to bring up to six car dealerships and as many as 400 new jobs to the community. And last week, the City Council Land Use Committee approved our Administration’s proposed rezoning of 57 blocks in East Harlem—a plan that has the potential to create up to 1,700 units of badly needed housing in this growing neighborhood.
In short, we’re driving crime down—revitalizing neighborhoods throughout the city—and creating new jobs for New Yorkers. Like I said, success follows success—and New Yorkers are the ultimate winners.#