Press Releases

NYCEDC Announces Water Street Pops! Winter Festival to Revitalize Water Street District in Lower Manhattan

Winter Festival Follows Successful Summer Series of Events, Which Attracted Over 50,000 Participants in the Water Street district  

Series of Daily Events, Programs and Performances Will Activate Privately-Owned Public Spaces in Major Commercial District Damaged by Hurricane Sandy

New York City Economic Development Corporation today announced the launch of “Water Street Pops! Winter Festival” – a series of activities and special events running through December 13th, designed to activate the Water Street district in Lower Manhattan.  After a successful series of events during the summer that attracted over 50,000 participants, Water Street Pops! returns in December with various programs and activities in the public plazas and arcades along Water Street. The summer and winter events are part of the City’s continued efforts to enliven the Water Street district after Hurricane Sandy by activating public space for local employees, residents and visitors and contributing to overall economic activity in the area.  Events include performances by the Big Apple Circus, cheese tastings with Cabot Cheese, numerous musical performances, and many other exciting and family-friendly options.  All events are free and open to the public, and a full schedule can be found at    

“Water Street is a dynamic corridor in New York City, with thousands of visitors, residents and businesses in the area daily,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball.  “The Water Street Pops! summer series proved to be a tremendous success, and with this winter series, we are thrilled to promote ongoing recovery, evolution and growth of this neighborhood.”    

Water Street Pops! builds on the success of the summer series of events on Water Street.  Between July 1 and Labor Day weekend, over 50,000 participants took part in approximately 200 events, which included artistic performances curated by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, a Bean Bag Toss Contest with the Staten Island Yankees, Sunrise Yoga with David Barton Gym, and Ben & Jerry’s Greek Yogurt sampling.  Hundreds of visitors received autographs from former New York Knicks and New York Giants players, and thousands saw the sand castle built by Staten Island resident Matt Long using 55 tons of sand.    

“The success of this summer’s events along Water Street’s privately owned public spaces exemplifies what a coordinated effort by government agencies and businesses can accomplish, and we’re sure this winter’s programs will continue to activate and rejuvenate this area,” said City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden. “Our zoning changes and this series of activities build on the City’s many efforts to make Lower Manhattan a 24/7 destination and enhance an important pedestrian link to the waterfront. Amenities such as tables and chairs and food kiosks along with exciting performances are invigorating Water Street, attracting visitors and complementing activity at the Seaport and East River Waterfront Esplanade.”    

"We are thrilled to bring back the Water Street Pops! program which was such a success this summer,” said Sarah Berman, President of The Berman Group, which is curating and running the event series.  “We are excited to launch our two-week winter schedule with cultural programming and entertainment that will be a wonderful addition to the Downtown community during holiday time."    

“Building on the success of the series of events that took place this summer, the events and performances scheduled as part of the Water Street Pops! Winter Festival will continue to attract workers, residents and tourists to the area,” said Cristin Burtis, Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of Citywide Event Coordination and Management.    

“The Lower Manhattan corridor is evolving before our very eyes thanks to creative, collaborative initiatives like Water Street Pops!,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer. “As winter approaches, I am encouraged that these events and activities will continue to draw New Yorkers and visitors alike to Water Street, benefiting surrounding businesses and helping to revitalize the neighborhood.”    

“’Water Street Pops!’ is a great way to showcase all of the wonderful amenities we have here in Lower Manhattan and it will serve as a boon to small businesses, many of whom are still struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. “Local residents and visitors will get the chance to see the exciting improvements we’ve made to the Water Street corridor and enjoy the progress we have made in creating a 24/7, mixed-use community in Lower Manhattan.”    

“The Water Street corridor is a dynamic place year-round, and this series of events will showcase the unique activities and amenities that Lower Manhattan has to offer during the winter months,” said Council Member Margaret Chin.  “New Yorkers and visitors alike will be able to enjoy local restaurants, markets, cultural institutions, and more while supporting Downtown’s continued growth and post-Sandy economic recovery.”    

“Special programing for the holiday session along Water Street will bring cheer to the residents, workers and visitors,” said Catherine McVay Hughes, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 1.  “Activating these public spaces has been on Community Board 1's wish list and we are happy to see it realized.”    

In 2010, the Downtown Alliance issued a study, Water Street: A New Approach, that reimagined Lower Manhattan’s modern commercial boulevard.  The study focused on ways to rescale Water Street, including adding more culture and street activity to its many privately-owned public spaces.    

“Water Street POPS! activated new life into Water Street’s privately-owned public spaces this past summer and we’re excited to see it return with new programming this winter,” said William Bernstein, acting president of the Downtown Alliance. “With over 103,000 workers and 12,000 residents situated in the buildings on and around Water Street, the Water Street commercial corridor is a prime location to bring Lower Manhattanites together for some food, music and fun.”    

Water Street is one of Lower Manhattan’s most important commercial districts.  Spanning more than half of a mile from Whitehall Street to Fulton Street, it is flanked by over 19 million square feet of Class A and Class B+ office space.  It is home to some of Lower Manhattan’s largest companies – such as Standard & Poor’s and Emblem Health – as well as countless small and mid-sized firms, which combined employ nearly 100,000 people.  Water Street is close to some of the City’s most exciting amenities – several of which were created or transformed during the Bloomberg Administration – including the East River Waterfront Esplanade, the East River Ferry at Pier 11, the Fulton Center transit hub, South Street Seaport, and Stone Street.  “Water Street Pops!” builds on these assets by activating the area’s many public spaces on a regular basis.    

For more information on “Water Street Pops!” and a full schedule of events, visit    


New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.


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