Check Out Our Brooklyn Tech Triangle Strategic Plan
Six months of study and 200+ interviews later, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle Strategic Plan is here: a five pronged approach to help fuel the local tech scene. The plan, presented at meeting with New York Tech Meet Up and local start ups at Galapagos on June 17 and at an ABNY breakfast at NYU Poly on June 18, represents a path forward for making sure our startups and creative companies can continue to grow here. We want to open up new spaces by adding more than 2 million square feet of office space in DUMBO and nearby, boost transportation links and bring added amenities to DUMBO and throughout Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard areas.
DUMBO is an ecosystem – the energy of these innovators and creators is infused throughout the neighborhood. We are committed to working with the entire community to advance this vision in a way that truly benefits not only the DUMBO workforce, but also our retailers, residents and families alike. Many thanks to all of the community members who gave their input along the way – including the dozens of companies who joined for focus groups, the residents who attended our Community Board 2 workshop and the public and private partners who have contributed both funding and ideas. This is a big, ambitious vision and one that we will be working on together for years to come.
Below you’ll find highlights for each of the five points: Space, Workforce, Transportation, Placemaking and Tech. You can also download the full report (it’s a whopper) or check out a nifty interactive map of today’s tech ecosystem and the plans for growth here. (Note, “innovation companies” have been added based on MappedinNYC.com… if you would like to be added, just let us know via dumbo-at-dumbonyc.org).
1. Space for Tech to Grow: Challenge: The area is running out of appropriate commercial space for tech.
- Activate key buildings including 700,000+ square feet of property owned by the Watchtower at Sands Street; 200,000 square feet of office space at the Empire Stores in DUMBO; 1.2 million square feet of commercial space surrounding Cadman Plaza and government-owned and occupied buildings such as the Municipal Building at 210 Joralemon Street, 65 Court Street, and the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse at 271 Cadman Plaza East. Move government tenants from DUMBO and preserve existing space in tech occupied buildings that have residential zoning options.
- Create a master lessee program to designate an organization to carry umbrella long-term leases and credit-worthiness on behalf of multiple short-term leases for tech firms.
- Designate a Special Innovation District to allow minimal residential density to subsidize the conversion of storage and warehouse buildings into new space for the innovation economy.
- Start a commercial modernization incentive program to encourage building owners to refurbish their buildings to meet tech needs such as creating open plan spaces by providing dollar-for-dollar matching amortization over five years.
- Allow for the transfer of air rights from buildings along the Fulton Mall to other properties within the Downtown Brooklyn District, provided owners on the Mall take action to transform the derelict upper floors of their buildings into space for the innovation economy to grow.
2. A New Tech Ecosystem: Challenge: The Tech Triangle could be – but isn’t yet – a new model integrating talent from local communities and universities with high-growth industries.
- Start a coder training program in Downtown Brooklyn to establish entry-level talent for Tech Triangle firms.
- Support curriculum alignment and information exchange between tech firms and universities to allow for tailored courses, job fairs and internships, expanded teaching by experts in the field, and other activities to ensure that students are prepared for the demands of the tech sector.
- Start a Tech Triangle Innovation Hub by partnering with a broad spectrum of technology businesses in and outside the Tech Triangle as well as higher education, particularly the City University of New York, to prepare local people and New York City students and workers for the jobs emerging from the tech sector.
3. Connections Across the Triangle: Challenge: It needs to be easier to get around the Tech Triangle.
- Create new bike corridors on Cadman Plaza East and Jay Street in addition to the Brooklyn Greenway plans for Flushing Avenue to create direct connections between Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, and the Navy Yard.
- Extend the B67 and B24 bus lines to establish routes through the Navy Yard, allowing more than one bus per 10 minutes from York Street station and providing connections to Williamsburg and Greenpoint on the eastern end of the Navy Yard.
- Create new ferry landings at the end of Jay Street and within the Navy Yard to expand the public transit options to the Tech Triangle.
- Design a new F train entrance on Jay Street and create a pedestrian linkage to the A/C entrance from High Street to Adams Street to facilitate significant transportation connections between Downtown Brooklyn and DUMBO.
4. Dynamic Places for Tech: Challenge: Parts of the Tech Triangle need an upgraded energy and vibe.
- Create a new vision for Columbus Park, Clumber Corner and Cadman Plaza that would develop a cohesive greenway called the Brooklyn Strand. Bring in cafés, new lighting and an improved crossing of Adams Street to make this park space into a signature civic space in Brooklyn. Clumber Corner improvements would use the BQE off-ramp embankments and the NYC DOT staging area to create new public spaces.
- Create a Jay Street Crossing at Sands Street to improve the experience of pedestrians walking between Downtown Brooklyn and DUMBO.
- Implement Fox Square / Flatbush improvements to create a dynamic, pedestrian-friendly environment at the critical intersection where Fulton Mall meets Flatbush Avenue. Extend the Flatbush Avenue streetscape design from DeKalb Avenue to 4th Avenue to provide a critical connection from the Barclays Center and the Cultural District to Downtown Brooklyn.
5. Tech Triangle Interface: Challenge: The “tech” in Tech Triangle should be apparent to all.
- Set up ubiquitous Wi-Fi coverage throughout the area.
- Create Digital Touch points to bring the tech outdoors.
- Implement Brooklyn BOLD (Building Office Leasing Downtown) to increase marketing efforts through model unit grant programs and leasing and design competitions targeted at tech firms.
- Incentivize Last Mile Fiber into office buildings.
- Provide resources to local tech firms to test their inventions in the neighborhoods.
Funding and other support for the Brooklyn Tech Triangle initiative has come from Empire State Development Corporation, Office of New York City Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, New York City Department of Small Business Services, New York City Council and Speaker Christine Quinn, Borough President Marty Markowitz, New York University, Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly), NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) and the Brooklyn Community Foundation.