12/13/2011 11:40 am ET

City Plans For Light Show In Lower Manhattan To Boost Economy

The city is planning to pull out all the stops for a new Lower Manhattan revitalization project that hopes to bring an interactive light display to the neighborhood by the end of 2012.

The Economic Development Corporation hopes the lights will "transform the experience of Lower Manhattan at night," and shed its image as a neighborhood that closes early in order to attract more visitors to come and spend money in the area.

The initiative will award $1 million to the best design proposal that may include "projection-mapping including 3D effects, interactive element...and pedestrian or kinetic motion-activated lighting" and ultimately help bring exposure to Lower Manhattan.

While a specific location has yet to be determined, The Times reports possible places cover South Street between Fletcher and Whitehall Street, and in the public space bordered by Broad Street, Wall Street and Exchange Place.

Chairwoman of Community Board 1 Julie Menin promises the lights will stray away from tacky, "circus-like atmosphere." She explains her hopes for the project:

We want something tasteful, to emphasize historical facades, but most importantly economic development, jobs-anything to create more revenue for small businesses.

The new project coincides with recent efforts to boost tourism in Lower Manhattan, a neighborhood whose economy was greatly damaged by the attacks on September 11th.

More than a decade later, the area is boasting as both a tourist destination and growing neighborhood with new businesses and apartment complexes.