Downtown Brooklyn economy to grow by billions
by Heather Senison
Apr 25, 2012 | 5354 views | 1 1 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MetroTech Center
MetroTech Center
The Downtown Brooklyn Tech Center will grow to a $5.85 billion a year industry, an 87 percent increase from the current $3.13 billion, supporting more than 61,000 jobs by 2015, according to a recent survey of tech firms.

The area is currently home to more than 32,700 jobs.

The survey was conducted as part of an initiative known as the Brooklyn Tech Triangle,which connects the real estate and education resources in Downtown Brooklyn to the tech businesses in DUMBO and the Navy Yard.

The Triangle is currently home to more than 500 creative companies in more than 1.7 million square feet of space. By 2015, the area is expected to exceed 600 companies and 3.1 million square feet.

The survey was commissioned jointly by the three major stakeholders in the Triangle – the Brooklyn Downtown Partnership, the DUMBO Improvement District and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.

It was completed by 185 tech firms in the city, 144 of which are located in the Tech Triangle, mostly in DUMBO, with 41 companies in Manhattan or other parts of Brooklyn.

It assessed current and future office space needs, growth projections and location expectations. It ran from March 9 through March 23.

“The survey results provide tremendous insight into the current state of the industry and the boom anticipated with the short-term,” said Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Tucker Reed. “Perhaps the most surprising finding is that companies and their workforce want to be in Brooklyn.”

Half of the responding firms originated in Brooklyn, Reed said, and a large portion of their employees live there. Twelve percent of the companies surveyed moved to Brooklyn from other parts of the country.

“The Brooklyn brand coupled with the cool, hip vibe here is part of the attraction for tech companies,” he said, adding that the academic and real estate opportunities in the borough could attract enough firms to rival Silicon Valley.

For example, New York University was chosen by the city last week to take over the former MTA building at 370 Jay Street, and is slated to receive $15 million in public funds to build a Center for Urban Science and Progress there.

The stakeholders held a meeting at the MetroTech Center in March to discuss their need for public funds, mainly for improving transportation between the points of the Tech Triangle and addressing expansion needs from local businesses.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” said DUMBO Improvement District Executive Director Alexandra Sica. “The ripple effects for Brooklyn are incredible. Start-ups want to stay and grow here and new companies want in.”

She said it is imperative to create spaces for the companies to operate in because “they want to be where the talent lives, in the borough they love.”
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April 25, 2012
this is great news for downtown brooklyn! it was disappointing when this plan lost the nyc competition a few months ago to cornell's roosevelt island plan, so we're really glad nyu is going ahead with the plan anyway! this will be a great boost to the tech boom in brooklyn and will help push the movement from dumbo further into downtown brooklyn. really a coup for the neighborhood. we at can't wait to ride the wave!