De Blasio announces new investments for Downtown Brooklyn

AM New York, 2014-07-16


July 16 -- Downtown Brooklyn's revitalization is about to get a second wind.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced new investments for the area Wednesday that would help create new parks, shops and retail. The announcement came after the 10-year anniversary of Downtown Brooklyn's rezoning, which the mayor said helped to put the spotlight on the borough.

"This is one of the city's great success stories, and we have an incredible opportunity to take these stunning communities, parks and institutions and knit them together," he said in a statement.

Several new businesses, hotels and shops sprung up following the 2004 Downtown Brooklyn rezoning and the plan will build on the rezoning in a number of ways, according to the mayor

The city will work with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership to redevelop the Brooklyn Strand, the 21-acre space Borough Hall and Brooklyn Bridge Park that includes greenways, pedestrian plazas and parks. Revitalizing this area will make it easier for people to access Brooklyn Bridge Park from the downtown Brooklyn mass transit hub.

A new Business Improvement District , the Brooklyn Cultural District BID, which will be made up of several cultural groups and businesses, will be in charge of maintaining and marketing the area.

The city will also redevelop the ground floors of the commercial properties it owns in Downtown Brooklyn and exploring ways it can repurpose their office space for new businesses.

"I applaud Mayor de Blasio's commitment to policies that increase economic opportunity for our established businesses while opening the doors to new investment and infrastructure that will attract the office space Brooklyn so desperately needs and supports this thriving, growing engine of our city's economy," Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce said in a statement.

The plans aren't just aimed for play and commerce. De Blasio's investment also aims to boost the neighborhood's emerging tech sector.

In addition to creating a college consortium of the 11 schools located in Downtown Brooklyn , which will receive a $200,000 in seed funding from the city, the plan creates an internship program for 50 New York City College of Technology students.

"An investment in the growth and development of downtown Brooklyn is an investment in the men and women who live, work, and pursue higher education in this community," Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo , who represents parts of neighborhood, said in a statement.

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