“Transformative!” That’s the word used by Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Carlo Scissura to describe the new commercial development that will bring 400,000 square feet of new office and retail space to 420 Albee Square in Brooklyn’s Tech Triangle.
The development will add “much needed commercial and office space, parking and green space —which make it easier for people to live and work in the borough,” added Scissura. “Not since Muss Development built Renaissance Plaza and FCRC completed MetroTech has Brooklyn seen a substantial addition of office space, but this new building will allow for growing employers to stay and expand in Brooklyn, rather than being forced to leave the borough and city.
“I had the privilege of working on this project during my days as Chief of Staff to Borough President Marty Markowitz, and I could not be prouder to see the hard work of so many finally come to fruition,” Scissura continued.
Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and JEMB Realty announced the development on Monday.
This project, the first ground-up construction of commercial space since the rezoning of the area in 2004, builds off the de Blasio administration’s commitment to supporting growth and creating jobs in emerging innovation and commercial centers across New York City. International architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates is working with NYCEDC and JEMB Realty on the design.
The project is also the latest part of the Downtown Brooklyn Redevelopment Plan, a city strategy to revitalize the area, under which the city has made $300 million in public investments in open space and infrastructure commitments. It will provide much needed space for innovative and technology-focused businesses in rapidly expanding sectors of the economy, while helping to further advance the growth of Brooklyn’s Tech Triangle.
The project is expected to create approximately 722 permanent jobs and 566 new construction jobs, and by adding at least 400,000 square feet of space, this development will help address the need for additional office space in New York City. NYCEDC projects that 60 million square feet of new commercial office space will be needed across the city by 2025, much of it in outer-borough commercial hubs like Downtown Brooklyn.
Monday’s announcement accompanied the release of a Tech Triangle Economic Impact report by the Brooklyn Tech Triangle Coalition, a group comprised of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Brooklyn Navy Yard and DUMBO Improvement District. The report calls for the creation of 3.1 million square feet of office space to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding workforce and business community located in the Tech Triangle.
The coalition projects that the Tech Triangle could generate $15.5 billion in economic impact by 2025, and the report highlights the need to support future growth of the area by making four recommendations to ensure that it remains a world-class center for innovation. These recommendations — creating commercial and industrial working space, leveraging city assets to support commercial growth, investing in public spaces and enhancing transit infrastructure — will help support the growing creative and tech ecosystem, which the coalition expects to grow by 18,000 jobs in the next 10 years.
“We want to make sure that companies keep starting-up, innovating and growing in the Tech Triangle. And the city can spur that growth by making sure innovators have the office space they need,” said Glen. “This is a fantastic project that will stoke Brooklyn’s economic engine and deliver the kind of high-quality jobs and careers we want to secure our place in the 21st century economy.”
“The demand for commercial space in Downtown Brooklyn is far outweighing the supply, a direct impact on our ability to create local jobs and support the needs of our burgeoning community,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Developing 420 Albee Square for commercial and office usage is an important piece of the larger puzzle we must solve.”
The announcement is part of the overall Willoughby Square project, which will also bring a brand new one-acre public open space atop a fully automated below-ground parking garage, providing needed public space for residents, workers and visitors as well as meeting additional parking needs as the area continues to rapidly expand. The Willoughby Square project is part of a suite of NYCEDC projects and initiatives in Downtown Brooklyn and the surrounding neighborhoods that are driving the area’s emergence as a mixed-use residential, commercial, cultural and innovation center. These projects include:
City Point, a mixed-use development creating thousands of square feet of retail, office and residential space;
BAM South, a groundbreaking project bringing new arts facilities, public space and badly needed affordable housing to the area;
The NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress, a part of the Applied Sciences initiative further establishing the Brooklyn Tech Triangle as an innovation hub of New York City; and
The Made in NY Media Center by IFP, a 20,000-square-foot center providing workspace for entrepreneurs and innovative media projects and companies, particularly those in the digital media, interactive entertainment, trans-media, digital advertising, social media and mobile application space.