By Steve Spinola
Ten years ago this month the City Council voted to rezone Downtown Brooklyn. This rezoning, along with other targeted public improvements, has unleashed tremendous private investment in the area and put in place a downtown with world-class amenities that would rival any downtown in the country.
The rezoning has yielded tremendous improvements. The public investment of $300 million has triggered private investment of $10.5 billion, and this injection of funds has had a significant positive impact on the economy and general development of Brooklyn.
The passage of the Downtown Brooklyn rezoning in 2004 provided critical momentum for many other projects such as the creation of Brooklyn Bridge Park and Atlantic Yards.
Today Brooklyn Bridge Park is well on its way to completion offering unparalleled waterfront access and views with amenities appealing to New Yorkers and tourists alike. In the short time it has been opened, the Barclays Center has established itself as a world-class events venue.
Downtown Brooklyn’s success as a business and academic center is epitomized by the fact it serves as an anchor to the Tech Triangle.
The rezoning made possible the expansion of academic institutions throughout the area. Over 60,000 students occupy Downtown Brooklyn’s 900,000 square feet of campus area, including St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn Law School, and the New York City College of Technology.
The effects of the rezoning also played a part in the affiliation (and later merging) of New York University and the then-Polytechnic University, now called the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. In an area filled with students, the rezoning not only maintained the existing space for these institutions, but also created opportunities for them to grow.
Finally, as one well knows, New York is constantly seeing a steady influx of people coming to live here from around the world, and with another one million citizens expected by 2040, we must not neglect the need to find places for all of them to live and work.
Downtown Brooklyn, which had very little residential housing prior to 2004, is now home to many new opportunities, with 14,000 residential units planned and over 17 million feet of office space.
To this day, the entire City of New York is enjoying the fruits of the decision to approve the rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn. The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership has done an exemplary job in overseeing the area’s growth and helping it thrive. I look forward to seeing what other important projects and initiatives it will champion in the future.
In other REBNY news:
June 6 is the Residential Brokerage Division’s Downtown Roundtable, a discussion seminar where participants will spend approximately 20 minutes at a table before moving on to the next subject’s table. Registration is required, and for more information contact Yesenia Perez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 9 is the annual REBNY Spring Golf & Tennis Outing at the North Shore Country Club in Glen Head, a fun-filled day during which attendees will be able to network with each other and have a good time. Golf is $425, tennis is $315 and includes singles and doubles brunch, all-day is $225, dinner-only is $150, and a swimming pool is available to all. Each package includes cocktails and dinner, and sponsorships are available. For more information, contact Kathleen Gibbs at 212-616-5246, or email@example.com.
June 10 is the Real Estate Weekly Young Leaders’ Forum at National Bohemian Hall. Join over 350 real estate players for an annual summit highlighting the emerging players in real estate and finance. The forum is from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and more information can be found at www.rewyoungleadersforum.com.
June 10 is the Residential Brokerage Annual Owner/Manager Luncheon from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m at the New York Athletic Club at 180 Central Park South. The event is for REBNY members only and $35 per person, and for more information contact Indi Jaipal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On June 10, the winners of the Retail Deal of the Year 2013 Awards will be announced at a cocktail party hosted by the Retail Committee. For more information, contact Jeanne Oliver-Taylor at JTaylor@rebny.com.
June 18 is the Brooklyn Committee’s cocktail event at the Brooklyn Winery from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information, contact Jeanne Oliver-Taylor at JTaylor@rebny.com.