- Associated Press - Thursday, January 31, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) - A performing arts center planned for the World Trade Center site got a financial boost that improves chances of the languishing project to begin construction in four years.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. on Thursday approved $1 million to hire staff and develop building plans.

It means construction could begin in 2017; the center could open in 2019.

The LMDC had withheld the money, citing concerns over the project’s cost and fundraising ability.

A board of directors was named to the center last year.

The Frank Gehry-designed center would include a theater for contemporary dance.

Center director Maggie Boepple said the LMDC has appropriated $100 million for construction below grade.

The total cost had been estimated at $450 million but the board is working to reduce the price tag.

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