FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 14, 2003
Michael Sherman/Janel Patterson (NYCEDC) (212) 312-3523
Public Affairs Officer: (212) 720-3471
Bloomberg Administration Unveils Development Plan for Downtown Brooklyn (4/13/2003)
Plan Promotes Alternative,
Affordable Office Space in Vibrant Downtown District
Brooklyn, New York, April 14, 2003 -- Deputy Mayor
for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff
was joined today by Amanda M. Burden, Director of City
Planning, and Joshua J. Sirefman, Chief Operating Officer
of the NYC Economic Development Corporation, to unveil
the Bloomberg Administration's Plan for Downtown Brooklyn.
The Plan is part of the Bloomberg Administration's comprehensive
strategy to stimulate growth in New York City's varied
business districts, and retain and increase jobs throughout
the City. Already New York City's third-largest business
district, Downtown Brooklyn offers companies seeking
to diversify their operations affordable office space,
outstanding mass transportation access, and burgeoning
residential, academic and cultural opportunities.
"No one can predict when the market will turn
around, but it is vitally important that as the City's
economy recovers we are prepared to offer companies
viable and affordable locations to meet their expansion
needs," Deputy Mayor Doctoroff said. "We can
ill-afford to lose jobs to New Jersey or Westchester.
We must move ahead now with plans to build on momentum
that has already begun in Downtown Brooklyn and enhance
the area's array of assets-a tremendous mass transit
network, strong corporate presence, dynamic academic
and cultural institutions and vibrant residential neighborhoods
"I am proud to partner with Mayor Bloomberg and
Deputy Mayor Doctoroff on the Downtown Brooklyn Redevelopment
Plan which recognizes that Brooklyn must play a key
role in the economic resurgence of New York City,"
said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "The
Plan firmly solidifies Downtown Brooklyn as the third
major business hub in the New York metropolitan region,
while also realizing that Downtown Brooklyn must be
a livable community with its own unique identity. Downtown
Brooklyn has been and will always be the finest downtown
New York City Economic Development Corporation and
Department of City Planning are spearheading the planning
effort on behalf of the Administration in conjunction
with the Downtown Brooklyn Council, a not-for-profit
economic development advocacy group representing a number
of Downtown Brooklyn's corporate, academic and cultural
Deputy Mayor Doctoroff, Director Burden and COO Sirefman
presented the Plan in separate meetings to elected officials
at City Hall and local community organizations. In a
third meeting held at the MetroTech Center in Downtown
Brooklyn, Deputy Mayor Doctoroff led the presentation
of the Plan to representatives of various Citywide civic
groups, including NYC Partnership, Real Estate Board
of New York, Central Labor Council, and architectural
and housing groups, among others.
In the presentations, Deputy Mayor Doctoroff called
for expansion of the area's commercial core and the
creation of opportunities for new residential, academic
and cultural development. The sweeping proposal calls
for the City to increase zoning allowances, assist in
the assembly of key commercial and residential sites
and undertake a series of infrastructure improvements
to help facilitate the creation of as much as 5.4 million
square feet of new commercial space and about 1,000
units of housing.
The Plan for Downtown Brooklyn also calls for the transformation
of Flatbush Avenue Extension into a thriving, pedestrian-friendly
gateway to the borough serving the area's workers and
residents. The thoroughfare is now largely viewed as
a vehicular route linking the Brooklyn and Manhattan
bridges to other areas of the borough.
"Not only will this Plan build on Downtown Brooklyn's
momentum as one of the City's primary Central Business
Districts, it will also bolster the area's identity
as a strong cultural district and academic center,"
said NYCEDC President Andrew M. Alper. "Fostering
new office and residential development, creating new
and varied retail opportunities, and improving the mass
transit system will all help Downtown Brooklyn capture
future economic growth and create new jobs."
"Our vision for Downtown Brooklyn capitalizes
on its existing strengths: its transit networks, strong
neighborhoods, cultural resources and diverse retail
market," said DCP Director Burden. "Through
the expansion of commercial and residential opportunities
as well as significant investment in public open space
and streetscape improvements, we hope to transform Downtown
Brooklyn into one of the greatest office districts in
the City of New York."
In developing the Plan, the City worked closely with
representatives from the local community and surrounding
areas to address quality of life improvements, including
traffic management and parking facilities. Participating
community organizations included groups from Brooklyn
Heights, Cobble Hill, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and
The Plan envisions the creation of:
- Three new office towers, with as much as three million
square feet of space, to be built abutting a newly created
1.5-acre park on Willoughby Street just west of Flatbush
- Another office development anchoring the west end of
downtown at Boerum Place with a total development potential
of nearly 850,000 square feet.
- New residential and office opportunities on the eastern
side of Flatbush Avenue Extension, from Tillary to Willoughby
Streets and along the south side of Myrtle Avenue, east
of Flatbush Avenue Extension.
- Additional residential opportunities along Livingston
Street between Smith Street and Flatbush Avenue.
- An expanded intellectual community spurred by the seven
existing academic institutions, including Polytechnic
University, Brooklyn Law School and St. Joseph's College,
that enroll more than 32,000 students and occupy over
900,000-square-feet of campus area.
- A mixed-use cultural district with a new library, theaters,
galleries, rehearsal spaces, and other cultural venues,
as well as mixed income housing in the area surrounding
the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
- pproximately 2,000 parking spots.
Robert Catell, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
of KeySpan Corporation, and Chairman of the Downtown
Brooklyn Council, said, "In the 1980s Brooklyn
Union Gas, now KeySpan, was a pioneer, deciding to build
a world headquarters in Downtown Brooklyn before being
here was in vogue. Now, the corporate community includes
venerable Wall Street institutions, insurance companies,
banks and others. Simply stated, Downtown Brooklyn is
a great place to do business. The Bloomberg Administration's
vision for Downtown Brooklyn builds upon that fact and
presents a very exciting Plan for creating a truly outstanding
"This Plan and collaboration that went into its
development underscore the Mayor's commitment that residents
should decide the future of their communities,"
said Deputy Mayor Doctoroff. "Downtown Brooklyn
has enormous potential for further quality development
and the Administration is determined to ensure that
we continue to build consensus going forward so that
we meet the needs and interests of everyone involved."
About City Planning
The Department of City Planning is responsible for the
City's physical and socioeconomic planning, including
land use and environmental review; preparation of plans
and policies; and provision of technical assistance
and planning information to government agencies, public
officials, and community boards.
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