Downtown Alliance Releases Report on Stock Exchange District, Calls for Major Design Changes Around Wall and Broad Streets

Downtown Alliance Releases Report on Stock Exchange District, Calls for Major Design Changes Around Wall and Broad Streets

The Alliance for Downtown New York released a new report calling for major design changes in the Stock Exchange District. The report, entitled "A More Welcoming Wall & Broad: A Vision for Improving the Stock Exchange District" lays out a series of recommendations that would make one of the most heavily visited and historically important areas of New York City more welcoming, vibrant and secure.  

"This report lays out a roadmap.  It is a grand yet achievable vision that could turn the Stock Exchange District into the jewel it should be," said Jessica Lappin, President, Alliance for Downtown New York.  She added, "with its release, the stock in the financial district is sure to go up."

The study's recommendations are guided by three principles: 1) creating an identity and sense of place; 2) improving the pedestrian experience; and 3) rationalizing essential deliveries.

While the full report and an explanatory video is available on the Downtown Alliance website (, a few of the strategies outlined in the plan include:

  • Creating curbless shared streets and using more uniform, durable, and historically appropriate paving materials throughout the district.

  • Installing custom “gateway” structures at the main pedestrian entrances to the district to give people a sense of arrival in a special area.

  • Upgrading lighting along dark corridors, particularly New Street and Exchange Place, with cable or cantilevered lighting, while framing the area's nine landmarked buildings with architectural lighting.

  • Expanding pedestrian access on Broadway and creating more sidewalk space on New Street by redesigning the street in a way that adds loading bays and gets trucks off the sidewalks.

  • Adding new multi-functional seating areas that include planting beds.

  • Decluttering security infrastructure with more attractive bollards.

  • Piloting a consolidated delivery center for all packages arriving in the district.  This pilot would create a centralized delivery truck drop-off point and then disseminate packages within the area by hand-truck or small vehicles.

The result of a nine-month collective effort, the report incorporates public feedback, as well as guidance from an ad hoc committee of over 30 stakeholders, including local property owners, residents, cultural institutions, government agencies, and a professional urban design team led by Lower Manhattan architects WXY Architecture + Urban Design, with support from Sam Schwartz Engineering, SCAPE and City Activators.

Committee Co-Chair Tom Farley, President of the NYSE, said that "The corner of Wall and Broad has witnessed the span of Lower Manhattan history from Henry Hudson’s arrival in New York harbor to the heroic response to 9/11. As co-Chair of the Stock Exchange District Study Steering Committee, a city resident, and President of the NYSE, I strongly endorse the vision in this report which celebrates our past, helps our mixed-use neighborhood thrive and grow, and safeguards our millions of workers, residents and visitors — now and into the future."

Cynthia Rojas Sejas, Board Member of the Downtown Alliance and Vice President of Risk Services at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said "Co-Chairing this project was an inspiring process. We worked hard to craft a plan that really balances the broadest set of interests in our community. It was important to us to emphasize the historical significance of the Wall and Broad area and recognize the pedestrian nature of this storied area. As a local resident, I can say that walking through the district as reimagined by this design will be a much more pleasant experience."

Ric Clark, the Chairman of the Alliance for Downtown New York and Senior Managing Partner and Chairman of the Brookfield Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners added that "The Wall and Broad study is a thoughtful plan and how it's come together demonstrates the real power of BIDS. Throughout this process, the Alliance has led project with tremendous participation from the community,  they brought the right players together to make these recommendations and I'm confident the collaborative efforts will continue as they try to get improvements underway."

The plan works within security parameters established by the NYPD, and is designed to be realistic with changes that can be implemented in stages, over several years, by both public and private sector actors.  Given the high level of real estate activity in recent years — six properties have changed hands, five buildings have undergone, or are in the process of residential conversion and hundreds of millions are being invested by private owners — this is an opportune moment for the community to work with the city and individual owners on a well-needed transformation of the area.  

Alicia Glen, New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development said "We greatly appreciate the Downtown Alliance's partnership as we work to improve the public realm and safety in the Financial District. These are thoughtful plans and proposals that will inform our efforts, and align with our shared goals of making this a dynamic streetscape that welcomes workers, residents and visitors alike.

Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer offered that "The streets and sidewalks around the stock exchange are busy and have been in need of a good improvement plan for some time. I'm glad that the Alliance has taken the lead on putting forward suggestions to do just that and I look forward to working with them to help realize a more welcoming New York Stock Exchange area."

Councilwoman Margaret Chin said "Located at the heart of Lower Manhattan, Wall and Broad Streets – as well as their surrounding blocks — have long been recognized as a hub steeped in history, cosmopolitan energy and a world of opportunities. I am excited by the vision this plan sets forth to rectify long-standing traffic issues in the area, and look forward to working with the Alliance and all the other stakeholders involved on this report to help bring about the changes this location deserves."

DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner Luis Sanchez said "DOT looks forward to working with our partners in the community to improve the Stock Exchange streetscape experience for all residents, workers and visitors."

Assistant Chief Patrick Conry, NYPD DCPI added "Public safety is our primary concern. This plan keeps in place the protective perimeter for the financial district while addressing the aesthetic concerns of the community and the Downtown Alliance."

Nathan Berman, Managing Principal, Metroloft offered that "This re-imagination of Wall and Broad stands to have a major impact on how this revered area is experienced by the people who live here.  It's important to have a forward looking plan like this that prioritizes both current and future residents."

Roger Byrom, Co-Chair, Community Board 1 Landmarks Committee noted that "Over the last 15 years, Wall and Broad has undergone incremental changes of varying success but the time has come for a master plan that can reimagine the area. What the Downtown Alliance has done is very timely. They brought together stakeholders on behalf of local developers, business owners,  community leaders and residents to team up with designers and come up with a plan for the area that’s really powerful."

Rev. Phillip Jackson, Vicar, Trinity Church Wall Street / Alliance for Downtown New York Board Member said that "Trinity Church Wall Street has played a vital role in our Lower Manhattan neighborhood for more than 300 years, adapting to changing populations and geographies. Our rapidly growing community — parishioners, visitors, neighbors, and workers — deserves a workable streetscape that serves all our needs and is worthy of its history. Trinity supports the Downtown Alliance vision and plans for a coherent, sensible, and aesthetically pleasing Stock Exchange District."

Patrick Kennell of the FiDi Neighborhood Association said, "The Alliance's Stock Exchange District proposal nimbly wrestles with a complex set of challenges unique to this vital and historic part of Lower Manhattan.  It truly recognizes the 24/7 mixed-use community we've become, balancing the needs of residents, workers and visitors. The Alliance should be proud of its hard work in bringing so many stakeholders to the table — residents, owners, tenants, culture makers and all the relevant City agencies.  I look forward to working with the Alliance to help bring this vision to life."

Anthony Notaro Chair Community Board 1 offered that "CB1 is excited to see the results of this work to improve this part of our community. It's the historic center New York but yet a vibrant community that blends commercial and residential needs and where people from all over the world come to visit. It deserves our attention and we have great expectations."

William C. Rudin, CEO, Rudin Management Company / Chairman, Real Estate Board of New York / Alliance for Downtown New York Board Member added that "This particular corner of Lower Manhattan is an important historic and symbolic place in our City, but presents extraordinary design challenges for the 21st century.  The Alliance has undertaken a thoughtful planning process and delivered excellent recommendations and core solutions for needs of Lower Manhattan, while also proposing aesthetic improvements that can truly make this a magnetic destination for workers, residents and tourists."

Marie Salerno, Federal Hall said "The Alliance, along with so many of Lower Manhattan's stakeholders, has begun a process to finally reimagine the area outside the doors of Federal Hall, the birthplace of American government.  We yearn to honor our vital history and this place for New Yorkers and visitors alike."

Diego Segalini, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council noted that "LMCC has enlivened the area surrounding the Stock Exchange with arts and culture for many years, and the redesign proposed in this study would offer endless opportunities to connect with the community through cultural programming in a deeper and more meaningful way. We have events scheduled this summer during the River To River Festival that will animate Wall and Broad Streets, and we look forward to making it a more regular occurrence in the future."

Brian R. Steinwurtzel, the Co-CEO of GFP Real Estate and Alliance for Downtown New York Board Member offered that "Now that Lower Manhattan has become a 24/7 neighborhood, we need to make sure that it's designed to support its people. It's a fine symphony to coordinate these different uses and this plan lays out smart ways we can create safer, better looking, well-lit areas for pedestrians while also supporting local commerce with improved delivery zones."

Ad Hoc Committee Members

  • Tom Farley, President, NYSE Group / Alliance for Downtown New York Board Member

  • Cynthia Rojas Sejas, Vice President, S&P Global Market Intelligence / Resident / Alliance for Downtown New York Board Member


  • Nathan Berman, Managing Principal, Metro Loft Management

  • Roger Byrom, Co-Chair, CB 1 Landmarks Committee

  • Maria Castelluccio, Head of School, Léman Manhattan Preparatory School

  • Bruce Ehrmann, Co-Chair, CB1 Landmarks Committee

  • Robert Gladstone, CEO Madison Equities

  • Andy Golubitsky, Vice President, Development, Macklowe Properties

  • Mark Gordon, Managing Partner, Tribeca Associates

  • Daniel Haimovic, Managing Partner, DTH Capital

  • Kelly Harbison, General Manager, Bobby Vans

  • Rev. Phillip A. Jackson, Vicar, Trinity Church Wall Street / Alliance for Downtown New York Board Member

  • Patrick Kennell, Co-Chair, CB1 Land Use Committee / FiDi Neighborhood Association

  • Michael H. Krupa, President, Gemdale USA Corporation

  • Jessica Lappin, President, Alliance for Downtown New York

  • Anthony Notaro, Chair, Community Board 1 / Alliance for Downtown New York Board Member

  • Bill Rudin, CEO & Co-Chairman, Rudin Management Company / Alliance for Downtown New York Board Member

  • Marie Salerno, President/CEO & Co-Founder, National Parks of NY Harbor Conservancy – Federal Hall National Memorial

  • Frank Sciame Jr., CEO/Chairman, F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc. / Alliance for Downtown New York Board Member

  • Diego Segalini, Executive Director, Finance & Administration, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

  • Kevin Singleton, Executive Vice President, TF Cornerstone Inc.

  • Brian Steinwurtzel, Co-CEO, GFP Real Estate / Alliance for Downtown New York Board Member

  • Kent Swig, President Swig Equities, LLC / Alliance for Downtown New York Board Member

  • Jack Terzi, CEO & Founder, JTRE Holdings

  • Reggie Thomas, Co-Chair, CB 1 Land Use Committee

  • John Wheeler Jr., Managing Director, Jones Lang LaSalle

City Agencies

  • Deputy Mayor’s Office of Operations &

  • Deputy Mayor’s Office of Economic Development

  • Mayor’s Office of Capital Project Development

  • New York City Department of Transportation

  • New York City Police Department

  • New York City Economic Development Corporation

  • New York City Department of City Planning

Elected Officials

  • New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh

  • New York State Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou

  • Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

  • New York City Council Member Margaret Chin


About WXY
WXY is an award-winning multi-disciplinary practice specializing in the realization of urban design, planning and architectural solutions in challenging contexts. Led by Lower Manhattan Resident Claire Weisz, the firm has extensive experience in the neighborhood and has recently lead the design for the Robert R. Douglass Bridge (formerly the West Thames) and  the SeaGlass Carousel at The Battery. Focused on innovative approaches to public space, structures and urban issues, the firm’s work engages both site-specific design and planning at multiple scales. The firm’s commissions are in collaboration with community-based, public authority, and private clients.