Movie legend Robert De Niro is investing money in a new six-storey hotel, to be built near the site of New York's WORLD TRADE CENTER.

Building work on the hotel - aimed at boosting Lower Manhattan after the September 11 (01) terrorist attacks - is set to begin in early 2004.

New Yorker De Niro, 60, is part of the 377 Greenwich LLC group that will manage the hotel once it has opened.

The GOODFELLAS actor is a familiar face in the area, and founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2002 - in a bid to promote culture and tourism in downtown New York.

City development boss CHARLES GARGANO says, "I thank Robert de Niro for all he continues to do for Lower Manhattan."

14/11/2003 19:03