Manhattan, NY – There’s no meat left to pack in the Meatpacking District. The garmentos who gave the Garment District its name have become scarce. Big financial firms quit the Financial District years ago. While many of Manhattan’s industry-namesake areas have changed, the Diamond District — so far, at least — is forever. But the high-security mindset of 21st century hasn’t completely bypassed the diamond dealers of Midtown.
An umbrella organization for businesses in the district activated an advanced video-surveillance system to monitor the block. The project, which had been in the works for 15 years, was finally made possible with a $75,000 counter-terrorism grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The businesses chipped in an extra $25,000.
“We consider ourselves a target for terrorism because of the economic value and the perception that this is a Jewish industry,” explained Michale Grumet, executive director of the Diamond District Business Improvement District.
The area is home 25 jewelry exchanges that hold more than 2,000 independent vendors, according to Grumet. With sales receipts totaling $6 billion each year, the Diamond District is the second largest business improvement district in the world.
Grumet’s group won a grant for six high-tech cameras from the Urban Areas Security Initiative, which provides more than $800 million each year in support of terrorism-prevention programs. The Diamond District became the first BID to ever receive this grant — but it was also the first to ever apply.
Continue reading at The Wall Street Journal