Wednesday’s thwarted attempted terror attack on the Federal Reserve Building shook many Downtown residents and business people who have been here long enough to remember the horrors of 9/11 just 11 years ago.
But the successful intelligence efforts of the FBI and the NYPD’s Joint Terrorism Task Force that pinpointed the plot and engineered a sting against the terrorist behind it, shed a shining light on the vast progress this community has made since the World Trade Center was reduced to rubble and so many lives were lost in 2001.
As horrible as that event and the terrible loss of life it produced was, it did help motivate positive change in Downtown’s growth and sense of community.
In the 11 years since the darkest day, not only in the history of New York, but in that of our nation…15 terror attacks on our city have been thwarted.
Since the devastation of that attack, Downtown has grown faster than any other community in the United States. According to a study conducted by the Downtown Alliance, a staggering 309,800 people go to work in our neighborhoods each and every day; more than 57,000 residents live in 27,722 units over 318 residential buildings in the area. Lower Manhattan attracts an incredible 10 MILLION visitors a DAY!
National intelligence efforts, combined with the cooperation and support of area leaders, business owners and residents have not only made this a thriving and livable community—but one that is safer and more secure than ever before.
“The alert efforts by the FBI to head off this latest attempted attack on Downtown Manhattan clearly indicates, that we’ve come a long way since 2001,” says Luigi Rosabianca, a real estate attorney from Rosabianca & Ass., whose Wall Street office is located just blocks away from the intended terrorist target.
The attorney who also resides on Wall Street, helped form and currently heads the FiDi Association which brings local business owners and leaders together in an effort to promote the community’s development and prosperity.
“Those of us who live and work here have banded together to maximize, not only financial growth, but quality of life in this area,” says Rosabianca. “We have all been vigilant and protective of each other in the face of ongoing terrorist threats. All of the security measures taken by all of our businesses, combined with the remarkable efforts of law enforcement indicate to me that this is a safer place to live than ever. This has been accomplished through mutual sacrifice and dedication to each other…and the community we love.”
And that mentality is not confined to one business association. Downtown Magazine Advisory Board member, Drew Alexander is the Headmaster of the Leman Preparatory on Exchange Place…well within the range of the blast radius of Wednesday’s intended terrorist attack. He maintains a close dialogue with both our magazine and the other community leaders on our board since he took over at Leman, two year ago.
Alexander’s perspective on security is particularly unique and informed since he was serving as director of the Anglo-American School in Cairo, Egypt, on the day when the attack on the World Trade Center occurred.
“This thwarted attempt demonstrates the success of the security measures in place to keep Lower Manhattan and our entire city safe from terrorism,” he says. “Its failure should serve as a clear message to all New Yorkers and the world that Downtown is a safe and most desirable place to work, to go to school, to reside and to play.”
Community Board 1 Chair, Catherine Hughes echoes the sentiment. “NYPD’s counter-terrorism is doing their job well,” she says. “CB1 has always supported their efforts and will continue to do so.”
This foiled plot has raised the curtain on all of the efforts…of law enforcement and our neighbors who have combined to make Downtown not only safer…but a more united and connected community. Terror has no place in this newer and better place to live.